Defence Minister wants posthumous promotion for Colonel Kukliński
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has appealed to the president to posthumously promote Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, who passed secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA during the Cold War.
Bust of Colonel Ryszard Kukliński. Photo: Flickr.com/Piotr Drabik
Macierewicz wants Polish President Andrzej Duda to posthumously award Kukliński the rank of general.
Talking to journalists in Brussels on Wednesday, during a break in a meeting of NATO defence ministers, Macierewicz said that his request is an expression of gratitude to a man who devoted his life to the cause of Polish independence and who paid with the lives of his closest family.
In his remarks, Macierewicz referred to the death, in unexplained circumstances, of Kukliński’s two sons.
“Colonel Kukliński should serve as a model for us all,” Macierewicz said.
February 11 marks the 12th anniversary of Kukliński’s death, in the US state of Florida. Wreaths and flowers are to be laid at his grave at Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery and a Catholic mass in his honour is to be celebrated in the evening in the city’s St John’s Cathedral.
Kukliński passed top-secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA between 1971 and 1981, including plans for a military onslaught on the West and for the imposition of martial law in Poland to crush the Solidarity movement.
Shortly after the declaration of martial law in December 1981, Kukliński was extracted from Poland by the CIA, along with his family.
In 1984, a military court in Warsaw sentenced him to death in absentia. The sentence was annulled after the fall of communism in 1989.
Kukliński visited Poland in 1998. He died at the age of 74. (mk/pk)