Topics of coins

30th Anniversary of the Withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Poland

Tens of thousands Red Army troops of the so-called Northern Group of Forces had stationed in Poland since the end of World War II. Their units were deployed in over 70 localities, mostly in western and northern Poland, with the Northern Group command headquartered in Legnica.

Prior to the 1956 agreement between the Polish People’s Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the latter’s military presence in Poland had not been legally regulated. It was only under the specific arrangements related to the general agreement of 1956 that the number of Soviet military personnel was set at 62,000-66,000 troops, including 40,000 ground troops, 17,000 airmen and 7,000 troops in the navy. It is estimated that during the almost 50-year presence of the Soviet troops, related traffic accidents, accidental shots or intentional shots claimed the life of over 600 Polish citizens.

First military units left Poland in April 1991. Over a year later, a protocol regulating property, financial and other matters related to the withdrawal of the Russian Federation troops from the territory of Poland was signed on 22 May 1991. Under this protocol, the Russian Federation had withdrawn all combat forces by October 1992, with the last units leaving Poland on 17 September 1993.

The entire process of transporting the troops, which was a big logistics operation involving the evacuation of over 1,500 tanks and combat vehicles, was mostly carried out by rail.

Antoni Dudek

The reverse of the coin features the slogan “SOVIETS GO HOME” from the 1989 demonstration and an image of a hand that, in a symbolic way, orders the Soviet army to leave Poland. A fragment of the photo from the collection of NAF Dementi (authors: Tomasz Kizny, Anna Łoś, Andrzej Łuca and Henryk Prykiel / “Remembrance and Future” Centre) has been used for the design of the coin’s reverse.