Russian Soldiers' Graves In Poland

Twenty memorial cemeteries will be restored in the current year in Poland, where the greatest number of Soviet and Russian soldiers' graves are situated outside Russia and the CIS countries, said Igor Makarov, head of the historical-memorial department of the Russian embassy in Poland on the eve of Victory Day. Almost 1.2 million graves of Soviet citizens have been registered in Poland. Among them are soldiers, war prisoners, and people driven to Germany for forced labour, who died during World War II. There are about 800,000 such burial places on German territory. The department staffers have registered all the 648 Soviet soldiers' cemeteries in Poland and see to it that they are in good state. "Time is inexorable, and we must regularly do this kind of work," noted Makarov. Last year 19 soldiers' graves were restored throughout Poland, he said. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers were killed during the liberation of Poland alone, and 1.2 million POWs were tortured to death there. Not long before this year's Victory Day, restoration work was completed on the unique memorial in Boleslawiec in Western Poland, where Soviet and Russian soldiers of two epochs lie buried. In the centre of the cemetery, where 718 Heroes of the Soviet Union and high-ranking officers killed at the concluding stage of World War II are buried, stands a monument to the great Russian military leader Mikhail Kutuzov. He died in that town during the 1813 campaign (war against Napoleon). His body has been laid to rest in the Kazansky Cathedral of St. Petersburg, while his heart is buried under the Boleslawiec monument. New memorial cemeteries are being created. Among the latest are cemeteries opened at the place where tens of thousands of Soviet war prisoners died near the villages of Boguce and Kosuvka in North-Eastern Poland. Much work is conducted to find the burial places of Soviet soldiers who were killed during preceding military conflicts. In particular, there are 687 cemeteries of the days of World War I, and a cemetery dating back to the period of the Napoleonic wars. Experts believe that the remains of about 2.5 million Russian and Soviet citizens lie buried in Polish land.

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