Moscow cemetary WWII graves
© AFP / Dmitry Kostyukov
An elderly woman visits a military cemetery in Moscow where numerous veterans of World War II are buried.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova fired off a caustic rebuttal to Poland's prime minister after he penned an op-ed accusing Moscow of overstating its role in defeating the Nazis during World War II.

In an opinion piece published by Politico on Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that, far from being the "liberator" of Poland, the Soviet Union was a "facilitator" of the Nazi regime, despite sacrificing tens of millions of citizens in the war to topple fascism.

"The Soviet Union did not 'liberate' Warsaw, as Russian authorities are now claiming," Morawiecki wrote, also arguing that the USSR did not free Auschwitz as early as it could have.


Zakharova wasted little time before delivering a counter, roundly rejecting the PM's claims as a blatant distortion of history.

"This is another criminal attempt to re-write the history of World War II," she wrote on Facebook, stating Morawiecki had committed a form of "suicide" with the article, killing "the human within him."

Zakharova also slammed the PM's argument about Warsaw as a "terrible lie," saying he ignored "dozens of monographs and scientific works based on documents and evidence of witnesses who recorded the feat of Soviet soldiers in history."

One of those Soviet soldiers, Ivan Martynushkin, who took part in liberating Poland from Nazi forces near the end of the war, similarly rejected Morawiecki's claim as historically illiterate and a "childish error," insisting he is a "living participant" of the country's liberation.

"Everyone knows that 600,000 of our soldiers died during Poland's liberation," Martynushkin told RT. "Everywhere, there are our graves."
It's surprising that the prime minister exhibits such illiteracy. How can it be? I personally participated in the liberation of Krakow; I personally participated in the liberation of Auschwitz. My blood lies somewhere in Silesia, I was injured there.
Unconvinced that Morawiecki had simply made a "one-off" mistake, the World War II veteran said the op-ed was part of a "focused propaganda exercise."