Russia hands over Katyn files ahead of Medvedev visit
Ahead of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Poland next week, Moscow
has delivered around 50 volumes of documents from the investigation into the
1940 Katyn massacre, many of which contain information new to Polish historians.
According to Poland’s Foreign Ministry, the majority of documents have been
available to Polish researchers for the very first time.
“The Foreign Ministry considers it as a very significant move by Russian.
These are materials embracing various periods of the investigation, and we think
it as an important and positive gesture,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin
Bosacki told Polish Radio.
The move comes just days after the Russian parliament voted to recognize Katyn
as a crime ordered by Stalin.
The documents from the years 1939 - 1940 include lists of Poles arrested by the
NKVD , Stalin’s secret police , in the east of Poland as Soviet forces invaded
Poland as well as documents from the 1990s, which cover the Russian
prosecution’s investigation into the murders of over 20,000 Polish POWs.
This is the third batch of documents presented by Russia concerning the Katyn
massacre. The first 67 volumes were handed over to President Bronislaw
Komorowski in May this year and another 20 volumes were passed to the Institute
of National Remembrance (IPN) in September.
The assignment of the documents is seen as another gesture of friendship ahead
of Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Poland on 6 December. During a press conference
at the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday it was suggested that the visit will
abound in more surprises and gestures of friendship towards the Polish nation.
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