The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance is about to suspend the process of validating Poland`s memorials in Ukrainian territory, according to a statement by the Institute.
”In the past two years, the Institute has been working to create mechanisms to legalize Poland`s monuments and memorial signs set up in Ukraine between 1991 and 2017 without any permit from central or local authorities. We have been seeking mutual understanding with the Polish side in preserving sites of commemoration of both nations, as the state interdepartmental commission for commemorating participants in the anti-terrorist operation, victims of war and political repression together with the [Polish] Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites have been discussing certain steps to solve the problem. But the absence of a proper reaction by the Polish authorities to the systematic destruction of Ukrainian sites of commemoration in Poland forces us into suspending the process of legalization of the Polish memorial sites in Ukrainian territory,” the Institute said.
There are still at least 105 Polish monuments and memorial signs built in Ukraine from 2012 to 2017 without permission.
As was reported earlier, the monument set up 23 years ago in honor of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in the cemetery of the village of Hruszowice, Poland, which had earlier been vandalized, was demolished on Wednesday, April 26, after the local authorities had upheld nationalist organizations who claimed the monument had been ”built unlawfully.”
The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance will also ask the state interdepartmental commission for commemorating participants in the anti-terrorist operation, victims of war and political repression to suspend the issue of permits for the search of burial sites and maintenance of Poland`s sites of commemoration in Ukraine.
The Institute has also appealed to local self-government agencies to stop considering any requests from Polish state institutions, individuals or public organizations for permits for the installation of new Polish monuments and memorials or the restoration of existing ones.
”The destruction of the UPA soldiers` mass grave in Hruszowice is the 15th act of vandalism in the sites of commemoration of the Ukrainian people in Poland since 2014. These cases are not investigated by Polish law enforcement agencies. The Polish authorities do not restore the destroyed monuments. There were four acts of vandalism in the same period to destroy Polish sites of commemoration in Ukraine, and every time the Ukrainian authorities restored memorial objects in their original form as soon as possible, and criminal cases were opened on the facts of vandalism,” the Institute stressed.
At the same time, the Institute says it is ready to resume cooperation with Polish partners once all the facts of the destruction of the Ukrainian sites of commemoration that were recorded in 2014-2017 have been investigated openly and transparently, and all those guilty are punished. Another conditions set forth by the Institute is that all the destroyed Ukrainian monuments be repaired at Poland`s expense along with their further validation.