On Friday, Smolensk mayor Andrei Borisov posted on social media a photo of the memorial site showing a Russian flag next to the empty flagpole.
WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGES: As the world reels in horror from Russian atrocities in Ukraine, leading historians and others have been drawing parallels with the 1940 Katyń massacre which saw over 20,000 Poles murdered by Stalin’s secret police.
Polish diplomats will not be allowed to lay flowers at a building that once was the local headquarters of the dreaded Soviet secret police NKVD, charge d'affaires of the Polish Embassy in Moscow Jacek Sladewski said.
British national daily The Times on Monday ran a commentary on the recent removal by Russian nationalists of a plaque commemorating 6,000 Polish officer POWs murdered in 1940 by the Soviet NKVD security police in Tver, a city some 180 km north-west of Moscow.
The twin plaques paying tribute to Polish prisoners of war from the local Ostashkov camp who were murdered as part of the 1940 Katyń massacre of around 22,000 Polish officers and intellectuals, were photographed being removed from a former NKVD security service local headquarters.