Russia denies Poland access to Katyn files
Thursday, September 20. 2007
Russia has denied Poland access to 180 historical files concerning the 1940
Katyn massacre – an event that divides Warsaw and Moscow to this day.
According to the daily Nasz Dziennk a definitive indictment of the role the
NKVD, the Soviet government at the time and even Stalin himself played in the
massacre - where over 20,000 Polish officers were murdered - will not be offered
anytime soon by Poland's National Institute of Remembrance (IPN), which is
investigating the matter.
Poland insists that the executions of Polish prisoners of war after the
Soviet invasion during WW II was `genocide'.
In November, 2005, after years of investigation, Chief Russian Military
Prosecutor Alexander Savenkov announced, to Poles disbelief, that the criminal
case was now closed because investigators didn't find any evidence of genocide
in the 1940 Katyn killings.
According to public prosecutor Malgorzata Kuzniar-Plota, who is conducting
the investigation, a substantial amount of materials and the high number of
witnesses still to be interviewed poses the main obstacle to issuing a final
report by the Polish side.
The newspaper writes that the "detached" attitude of the Russian side
towards sharing materials and evidence necessary for indictment to be formulated
is yet another obstacle.
IPN is afraid that the investigation may come to a complete standstill if
Russia refuses to open its archives.
Thanks to Tom for posting this article on the Polish American Forum.