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Russia Removes Polish Flag From Katyn WWII Memorial Amid Tensions Over Ukraine Invasion.

Russia has removed the Polish flag from a memorial in the Katyn Forest.

Russia has removed the Polish flag from a memorial in the Katyn Forest.

Russian authorities have removed a Polish flag from a memorial in the Katyn Forest marking the area where the mass killings of Polish officers by Soviet forces took place in April-May 1940.

Local officials on June 25 confirmed that the flag had been removed amid tensions between Russia and Poland, which has vocally backed Kyiv and provided assistance following the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Andrei Borisov, the mayor of Smolensk, said on social media the decision was made by the Ministry of Culture.

“I will express my general opinion: There can be no Polish flags on Russian memorials! And after the frank anti-Russian statements of Polish politicians, even more so,” he posted on the social media platform VKontakte, along with a photo.

"The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation made the right decision by removing the Polish flag. Katyn is a Russian memorial," he added.

After the Nazis triggered World War II by invading Poland on September 1, 1939, the Soviets occupied the eastern part of the country, eventually massacring more than 20,000 Polish officers that they had taken prisoner at Katyn.

The Soviet Union originally blamed the Nazis for the killings, but in 1990 ended decades of denials and admitted the truth.

Based on reporting by AFP and The Telegraph

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