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Polish President doubts Russian press reports on ECtHR's Katyn verdict

Russian media revelations that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has found Russia not guilty of the Katyn massacre of Polish nationals in 1940, are not likely to be true Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski told reporters on Thursday.


The Strasbourg Court will pass its formal judgment on Monday April 16, but the operative part of the sentence has been already passed, the Russian paper Moskovskiye Novosti wrote on April 12 citing unnamed sources linked to ECtHR.


According to the paper Moscow will not be held responsible for the mass execution, by the Soviet secret police (NKVD), of almost 22,000 Polish officers, police and civilians in 1940 in Katyn, near the western Russian city of Smolensk


Poland has almost suffered overwhelming defeat in the Katyn case, the Russian paper writes. “We cannot be responsible for Stalin” the headline reads.


Moscow, however will be held to account for not cooperating with the ECtHR in the Katyn case having failed to provide details from its investigation into the crime.


The court has also declared Russia responsible for inhuman treatment of some of the Katyn victims’ relatives – the plaintiffs, the newspaper reports.


The Soviet Union always blamed the Katyn massacre on the Nazis, saying the killings took place in 1941, when the territory was in German hands. However, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev formally admitted in 1990 that the executions took place around 1940 and were carried out by the NKVD.

In the 1990s, Russia handed over copies of documents from top secret File No.1 to Poland, which placed the blame directly on the Soviet Union. The lower house of Russia's parliament approved the declaration recognizing the Katyn massacre as a crime committed by Joseph Stalin's regime in November last year.

According to Poland’s Foreign Ministry ECtHR will not deal with Russian responsibility for 1940 Katyn crime but will judge the Russian authorities’ treatment of Katyn victims’ relatives.

source: warsawvoice.pl

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