Russian Embassy cancels Victory Day march in Poland

The embassy planned to place a wreath at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw and organise a march on the city’s streets as part of the Russian Federation’s “Immortal Regiment” campaign, a massive civil event staged in major cities in Russia and around the world on 9 May. [Shutterstock/Fotokon]

The Russian Embassy in Poland decided not to go ahead with the planned Victory Day march on Monday after city authorities and the Polish foreign ministry slammed the initiative, the embassy announced on its website.

The embassy planned to place a wreath at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw and organise a march on the city’s streets as part of the Russian Federation’s “Immortal Regiment” campaign, a massive civil event staged in major cities in Russia and around the world on 9 May.

However, the Polish foreign ministry refused to support the Russian plans and “did not recommend” implementing them, the Embassy said on its official website. According to the announcement, the ministry cited concerns that the march “would allegedly be involved with the special operation in Ukraine and be against the criminal code of Poland.”

Russia “considers such understanding of our traditional Victory Day ceremonies absurd and unfounded,” the embassy’s announcement reads.

The Russian Embassy still went ahead with its plans to put a wreath at the Soviet Cemetery but decided to give up on the march, explaining that the city authorities would be incapable of providing safety to its participants, both Polish and Russian citizens.

Having learnt that the embassy had asked the foreign ministry for support in securing the march, Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski from the opposition Civic Platform sent a letter to Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau calling on the government “not to let the event happen.” No Polish public institution should support “initiatives like this one,” he tweeted on Saturday.

In response, Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said his ministry had received the letter “with wonder” as it “did not plan to give its support to the Embassy of the Russian Federation and will not provide such support.” The ministry sent a negative answer to the Russian Embassy’s request, he added.

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