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Ukraine Condemns Nazi Graffiti On Gravestones At Cemetery Outside Kyiv

The National Historical Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia Graves" near Kyiv
The National Historical Memorial Reserve "Bykivnia Graves" near Kyiv

Unidentified vandals have spray-painted Nazi graffiti at a memorial cemetery in Ukraine where some Poles are buried.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin denounced the vandals' action at the Bykivnia memorial on the outskirts of Kyiv.

"I resolutely condemn the vandalizing of the Ukrainian and Polish memorials in Bykivnia. Nothing is sacred for the provocateurs, and they will bear responsibility," Klimkin said on Twitter late on January 25.

Bykivnia is a burial place for victims of the Soviet secret police, including some Poles, who were executed from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Vandals spray-painted the name of the SS division Galicia, a Nazi unit consisting of Ukrainian volunteers, on one tombstone at Bykivnia. They also put the name of UNA-UNSO, a Ukrainian far-right nationalist organization.

Poland and Ukraine have friendly ties, but some in Poland harbor bitter memories about the killings of up to 100,000 Poles by Ukrainian nationalists between 1943 and 1944 in Volyn and the eastern Galicia regions, which are now part of Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS

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