10:28 11.01.2017

Act of vandalism at Polish memorial in Lviv region won't set Polish, Ukrainian peoples against each other

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin is sure that the destruction of a memorial to Poles killed during WWII in the village of Huta Peniatska (Huta Pieniacka) in Lviv region will not complicate relations between Ukraine and Poland.

"I strongly denounce the act of vandalism at the Polish memorial. Such provocations won't set us against each other. As for the criminals, they must be punished," Klimkin said on Twitter.

It was reported earlier that unidentified individuals had partially ruined a monument to Polish residents of Huta Peniacka killed during WWII.

Preliminary reports by law enforcement officials indicate that a memorial cross had been destroyed, and the tombstones carrying the names of the slain village dwellers had been painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and a red-and-black flag. SS lettering has also been painted on one of the tombstones.

Svitlana Dobrovolska, a spokesperson for the Lviv regional police department, said it was not fully clear so far when exactly the act of vandalism had been committed, as the memorial is located several kilometers away from the nearest populated area.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland Andriy Deschytsia views the act of vandalism in Huta as a provocation.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa also said this was "an obvious act of provocation."

The village of Huta Peniacka inhabited by Poles was exterminated in February 1944. Historians have differing accounts of those events. Most Ukrainian historians believe the village had been annihilated by German troops, while Polish historians tend to believe that a unit of the SS Galicia (Halychyna) Division was responsible for killing its residents.

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