Russian experts propose ways of rehabilitating victims of Katyn massacre

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Oct. 17, 2011, 4:47 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

The "Katyn crime" is a term which stands for the execution in April and May 1940 of almost 22,000 Polish citizens, held in the NKVD's camps and prisons.

Russian experts have prepared proposals on how the problem of rehabilitating the victims of the execution of Polish POWs in Katyn by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, known as the "Katyn crime," could be resolved. "An interagency working group under the aegis of our commission, has mulled over various possible ways of rehabilitating the Polish nationals and drafted recommendations, which have been submitted to the presidential administration, where they have been discussed and where this work is continuing," said Mikhail Mityukov, the head of the Kremlin Commission for Rehabilitating Victims of Political Reprisals.

"Of the 183 volumes of the Katyn criminal case, 148 have been declassified," Mityukov told the Presidential Human Rights Council on Monday.

Polish lawyers argue that the Polish citizens, executed in Katyn, should be rehabilitated "by list" and they insist that the "Katyn crime" be re-qualified, an effective investigation carried out and all materials of the case declassified.

Russian Ambassador to Warsaw Alexander Alexeyev said in February that work was on to find a formula for rehabilitating the Polish officers, executed in Katyn. "I am sure a formula will be found that will be accepted by the relatives and will not be at variance with the Russian legislation," the diplomat told Interfax.

The "Katyn crime" is a term which stands for the execution in April and May 1940 of almost 22,000 Polish citizens, held in the NKVD's camps and prisons. The Soviet Union did not recognize for decades that the Poles were executed by NKVD people.

The Main Military Prosecutor's Office investigated the Katyn case, but closed it in 2004 in a secret resolution.

In June 2010, Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky told the press that he did not see reasons for restarting the probe into the Katyn case and for recognizing the executed Poles as victims of reprisals.

The State Duma at the end of last year passed a special statement which recognizes that the execution of Polish officers in Katyn was ordered directly by Josef Stalin and other Soviet officials.

Rights campaigners say that the rehabilitation of the Polish POWs, executed in the Soviet Union in 1940, will draw a line under the Katyn case.

"We in Russia need a solution of the Katyn problem in the first place. It is our internal problem," Alexander Guryanov, the director of the Memorial human rights society's Polish program, earlier told Interfax.
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Anonymous Oct. 17, 2011, 4:58 p.m.    

And when will there be some accountability for the widespread executions in Ukraine in 1937-1938. In Vinnitsa alone over 8000 were killed by the NKVD, a dozen or so shot in the back of the neck every night, then buried under cover of darkness either in the central park, in a cemetery behind the hospital or in an orchard. Their relatives were told they had all been sent to Siberia and were not allowed to write.

I am sure something similar happened in many other regional centers in Ukraine during this time.

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Anonymous Oct. 17, 2011, 10:33 p.m.    

have you not learned?

when it comes to Ukraine and its people the kremlin never did anything wrong, no crimes are ever commited to the people of Ukraine.

it was always nazi's and Ukrainian people who killed, always someone else.. never the kremlin.

comrade stalin does no wrong! and is a good people manager that is why they have big posters of him in moscow.. he is their hero.. he killed more Ukrainians than anyone, even signed executive order before ww2 to clear away all Ukrainian people from Ukraine make it free for russians to move in and take their land and they pat him on the back for it.

even now putin rewrites the history books so that kremlin and those how have been in charge there are whiter than white.

you have to ask the question why do they hate the Ukrainian people so much that they have to repeatedly invade and kill by the millions each time.

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Anonymous Oct. 17, 2011, 11 p.m.    

What is there to rehabilitate, I might ask? Stalin murdered the Polish Officers and now there exists the problem of rehabilitation? The officers, as most of Stalin's victims were innocent or at least not deserving death. We all know that. The only way for the Kremlin to atone at this time is to pay substancial reparations to all the relatives of victims beginning in 1930 and ending in 1991. Otherwise all words and flowers and fake bowing of the head are just that - FALSE. Russia will always be soviet.

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