Sunday, February 25, 2024

    Erasing history: Act of state-sponsored vandalism in Russian monastery

    Memorial plaques with the names of Polish prisoners of war are set to be dismantled in an ROC monastery of the Tver diocese.

    “So that vandals had nothing to destroy, it is necessary to destroy things in advance.” The Tver Regional Court was presumably guided by this principle when ruling to dismantle two memorial plaques honoring the memory of Polish prisoners of war, set up by the entrance to the Nilo-Stolbenskaya Pustyn Monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Tver Diocese.

    The motivational part of the court judgment states that such a step is due to the “increase in the number of acts of vandalism.”

    “The case file confirms that the memorial plaques installed on the land plot provided to the Nilo-Stolbenskaya Pustyn Monastery for free use do not belong to the monastery complex, are not owned by monastery, and are not subject to any other property right as the religious organization never entered into ownership over the plaques,” the Tver court wrote, according to the Karavan outlet.

    It is important to note that the text engraved in the plaques, in Russian and Polish, says the monastery once hosted a special prison camp for Polish POWs. Now the court has ruled the plates be moved “to another location.”

    However, it is quite logical to assume that the court’s decision is an act of state-sponsored vandalism and an attempt to erase certain pages of history in favor of the Vladimir Putin regime, which quite often distorts historical facts in the context of state propaganda.

    The assumption is confirmed by a similar case involving memorial plaques on the building of Tver State Medical University. In 2020, they were dismantled and gone since then.