Warsaw, Poland — Poland’s government alleged on Thursday that authorities in neighboring Belarus are leveling the site of a memorial to Polish resistance fighters who died fighting Soviet soldiers in World War II.

Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina said on Twitter that the cemetery in Surkonti, Belarus — a village where members of Poland’s largest wartime resistance force, the Home Army, fought Soviet forces on Aug. 21, 1944 — “was. Destroyed by the services of the Minsk regime.”

“Those who think that the human memory of heroes can be destroyed are very wrong. The government will pay for these barbaric acts,” Jasina wrote.

The accusation, based on reports from the Polish minority in Belarus, came a day after the Polish government said it was tearing down a monument to Soviet Red Army soldiers in southwestern Poland, one of dozens marked for destruction since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago. No soldiers were buried at the memorial site.

There was no immediate comment from Belarus and it was not clear whether the developments were related. Belarus has destroyed two Polish wartime cemeteries since early July.

Since Poland backed President Alexander Lukashenko’s opposition in 2020, Minsk has been cracking down on the Polish minority, arresting its leaders, who were seen internationally as riggers. Poland has joined international sanctions against Belarus over Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Poland, like many of its neighbors, was invaded and occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, and then spent decades under Moscow-backed rule.

Since the fall of communism in the country three decades ago, steps have been taken to remove hateful communist symbols from public spaces. Efforts to remove remaining Soviet monuments increased after Russia invaded Ukraine.

However, cemeteries containing the graves of Red Army soldiers in Poland were not disturbed.

The cemetery in Surkontee is the final resting place of a few dozen soldiers of Poland’s Home Army, a resistance force that also fought the German occupation forces in World War II. The Home Army was led by the Polish government-in-exile based in London during the Nazi and Soviet occupation of the country.

During the decades of Moscow-backed communist rule, Poles were prohibited from publicly honoring the memory of Polish victims of the Soviet Union or the regime.

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