Russian President Vladimir Putin is not expected to attend Holocaust commemorations in Poland later this month, since he has not been invited, the Euro News website reports today (January 14, 2015).
January 27 is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Nazi concentration camp, but relations between Moscow and Warsaw are strained over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis. Poland is angry at Putin for having Russia seize control of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea. Recalling Soviet Russia's 45-year control of Poland and several other Eastern European nations beginning in 1945, many Poles believe that Putin is trying to establish a new "Russian Empire."
A Russian spokesperson said that Putin has not received a personal invitation to Poland's commemorations.
The Auschwitz concentration camp was established by the Nazis in 1940 and became the largest of the death camps during World War II. It was liberated by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945. The United Nations established the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on that date.