Soviet war memorial destroyed in Poland
A Red Army memorial has been demolished in the north-western Polish city of Koszalin by unidentified perpetrators, the police have reported.
The incident took place at Koszalin's Municipal Cemetery between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Monika Kosiec, a Koszalin police press officer, told PAP on Wednesday.
She said that heavy equipment was used to knock over the monument and that the perpetrator, or the perpetrators, likely entered the cemetery with an excavator through a section that was unfenced.
"We are conducting an investigation at the scene of the incident, under the prosecutor's supervision, in order to identify the perpetrator... CCTV videos from the cemetery has been secured," Kosiec said.
The Monument to the Victorious Soviet Army, unveiled in 1954, was the first monument erected in Koszalin after World War Two. It showed a Soviet soldier in full kit with a girl hugging him, with a dove in her hand, as a symbol of peace.
The monument was made of sandstone and first stood in the then Zwyciestwa Square (today's Wolnosci Square) in front of the former Provincial Office. It was demolished in 1998 and, on March 3, 2001, it was erected in a new place, the Municipal Cemetery, with a plaque with the inscription from the original pedestal: "To the victorious Soviet Army, the liberator of the historically Polish land of Koszalin on the tenth anniversary of the Polish People's Republic from the residents of the City of Koszalin."