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article imageRussia officially blames Katyn massacre on Stalin

By Christopher Szabo     Nov 26, 2010 in Crime
Moscou - Russia has finally admitted that it was Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who ordered the massacre of Polish officers in World War II.
The declaration by the Duma, or parliament, breaks decades of denial and reluctance to admit that Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) ordered the crime in 1940.
A report by the South African Press Association (SAPA) quotes the Duma saying history can no longer be avoided and it was time to throw out the myths sprea by"official Soviet propaganda." The Russian news agency, Interfax, quoted the declaration as saying:
"Materials that for many years have been kept in secret archives and have now been published not only show the extent of this terrible tragedy but show that that Katyn crime was carried out on the direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet leaders."
SAPA says the declaration was the result of an unusually stormy session featuring virulent opposition from the minority Communist Party – whose leaders still argue the Nazis could have carried out the crime.
However, mainline lawmakers hailed the statement. Head of the Duma's foreign affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev said:
"This declaration is without exaggeration of historic importance."
After the Soviet Union jointly invaded Poland with Nazi Germany in 1939, some 22,000 Polish prisoners of war were shot by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, in the Katyn Forest in western Russia.
At first, the USSR blamed the massacre on the Nazis and it was only at the end of the Soviet era that it was admitted by ex-Soviet leader Mikhael Gorbachev.
Russia has since handed over 20 volumes of formerly secret documents. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has promised to declassify all secret Soviet archives and the millions of case files compiled by the Cheka, which eventually morphed into the KGB, precursor of today’s FSB.
The Russian Parliament not only spoke about the killing of the Poles. The document added:
"Thousands of Soviet citizens destroyed by the Stalin regime in 1936-38 remain buried in the ditches of Katyn. The technology of conducting mass murders was perfected on these people and then applied against the Polish servicemen at the same place."
Who knows what else those millions of files contain?
More about Russia, Poles, Katyn, Massacre, Stalin
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