Soviet records of Katyn massacre released by Russian government





Russia's state archives posted documents on the Internet for the first time Wednesday about the Soviet Union's World War II massacre of more than 20,000 Polish officers and other prominent citizens.

The step was a gesture to Poland in a case that looms large in Polish history and has soured relations between the two countries for decades.

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the documents posted on the archives' Russian-language website, reflecting a new willingness in Russia to accept responsibility for the killings at Katyn and elsewhere in 1940.

Relations between Russia and Poland have warmed following the tragic April 10 plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others on a flight to visit the Katyn forest in western Russia for a memorial ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the massacre.

But while Medvedev's order was clearly intended as a positive gesture, the documents posted Wednesday were made public long ago and already have been published in Poland and Russia. Many more documents remain classified, despite dogged Polish appeals for the archives to be opened....


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