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Ukraine exposes Katyn executioners

Pawel Styrna|Sunday, September 27, 2009

In a week where Polish and Russian parliaments throw angry resolutions at each other over historical interpretations of WW II, Poland has received documents from Ukraine containing the names of NKVD officers responsible for the 1940 Katyn massacre

Ukraine exposes Katyn executioners

25.09.2009 12:13

In a week where Polish and Russian parliaments throw angry resolutions at each other over historical interpretations of WW II, Poland has received documents from Ukraine containing the names of NKVD officers responsible for the 1940 Katyn massacre.

The documents - handed over by Ukraine’s secret service to the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw - shed light on the Katyn executioners - who they were and why they killed 350 Poles in the Roviensky oblast’ in 1939 and 1940.

The killings were just part of the slaughter of over 20,000 Polish officers by the Soviet NKVD.

The documents show that the aim of the NKVD massacre was to ‘decapitate’ Polish society by murdering a whole class of intellectuals, officers, landowners and others. Consequently, the NKVD functionaries were ordered to arrest and execute “officers, landowners or agents of noble Poland,” say the documents, dating from 1956.

Battle of parliaments

The development comes a day after the Lower House of the Russian parliament condemned a bill to commemorate the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939 passed by the Polish parliament.

The polish bill condemns the invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939, with the Katyn massacre described as a “war crime” with “characteristics of genocide”.

In protest, the foreign commission of the Russian Duma sent a letter to the Polish government saying that: “It is blasphemy to see only Stalinist repressions against Polish soldiers but to forget about the deeds of Soviet soldiers who saved Poles from annihilation.”

The Duma expressed its “deep disappointment at [the Polish] attempt to compare Nazi Germany with the Soviet Union.”

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the nationalistic Liberal Democratic Party of Russia demand that, apart from the letter, the Duma passes its own resolution in response to Poland’s 17 September bill.

The documents handed to Poland by the Ukrainian secret services, however, point to the deliberate attempt by the Soviet Union to deprive Poland of a whole class of people.

As such, Katyn falls under a UN convention of 1948 which describes genocide as: “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group


 
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