Mahiliou authorities to leave Pushkin monument without controversial verse

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Mahiliou authorities are not going to return a string of controversial poem "To Slanderers of Russia" to the bust of Alexander Pushkin. This follows from the formal response of Deputy Chairman of the Mahiliou Oblast Executive Committee Valery Malashka to the Russian movement activist in Belarus Andrey Gerashchenko, nn.by reports.

The poem on the monument caused a sharp reaction from the public, as it was written after the defeat of the Belarusian-Polish uprising of 1830-1831. After the public resonance, officials removed the lines of the poem "To Slanderers of Russia", which, in turn, caused outrage of pro-Russian forces in Belarus.

Valery Murashka, in a reply to Mr Gerashchenko, wrote that the poem written in the XIX century had a simple meaning and was "a response of the poet to the threats to Russia coming from the West."

But now, said the official, there are sovereign states - the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus with a variety of civil organizations. "These lines could get a different ideological interpretation not compatible with the official position. In this connection, as well as on the basis of reviews that appeared in the internet about the installation of the monument, the administration of the executive committee instructed to change the monument. Unfortunately, it was made on the national holiday of the Russian Federation, but it had no anti-Russian slant," said the official.