Sunday, 10 April 2011

Russia hands over Katyn files

The Russian prosecutor’s office has handed over 11 volumes of declassified documents to Poland, containing information about 20,000 Polish prisoners of war massacred in western Russia in 1940.

They contain the conviction and burial certificates and lay to rest Soviet claims that the German were responsible, RIA Novosti reported.

In the 1990s, Russia handed over to Poland copies of archive documents from the top-secret File No.1, which placed the blame solely on the Soviet Union. In September 1990, Russian prosecutors also launched a criminal case into the massacre, known as “Case No.159”. The investigation was closed in 2004.

In November 2010, lawmakers from the lower house of Russia’s parliament approved a declaration recognizing the Katyn massacre as a crime committed by Josef Stalin’s regime. Poland has hailed the move.

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