Poland wants to bring the Katyn massacre to international justice

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Sunday he would bring the Katyn massacre – the killing of nearly 22,000 Poles by Stalin’s police in 1940 – to international justice.

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“Genocide knows no prescription. This is why I will demand that this case be decided by international tribunals. We will soon be filing the appropriate requests”, announced Mr. Duda, in a speech delivered on the occasion of the 82and anniversary of the massacre, also referring to “Russia’s brutal aggression against independent and democratic Ukraine”.

“This crime must be judged definitively and its authors designated”, he added, without specifying which jurisdiction he intended to seize and who would be the accused.

This date also corresponds to the 12and anniversary of the Smolensk air disaster, which killed 96 people on April 10, 2010, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski who was traveling to Russia to pay tribute to the victims of the Katyn massacre.

Following the invasion by the USSR of the eastern regions of Poland in September 1939, within the framework of the German-Soviet pact, 22,000 Polish officers, prisoners of the Red Army, were shot in the forest from Katyn and Mednoye (Russia) and Kharkiv (Ukraine).

For decades, the Soviet Union blamed the Nazis for this massacre. It was not until April 1990 that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged his country’s responsibility for the massacres.

“It was a crime of genocide committed by the Soviets on completely defenseless victims. He was never punished. Instead, we got the Katyn lie,” Mr. Duda claimed.

He referred to “a brief episode in the early 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin, when it was finally accepted that the ‘Stalinist authorities’ were responsible for the Katyn massacre”.

But, he continued, “no further action has been taken. The Katyn investigation was dropped and none of the perpetrators were punished. While Putin’s Russia has been glorifying again, for years, Stalin and the Soviet Union. Katyn’s lie has come back into favor, ”said the Polish president again.

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