A Soviet-era crime is being brought before the European Court of Human Rights, a complaint being lodged against Russia.
Seventy families of the more than 4,000 Polish officers, soldiers, officials and intelligentsia killed in the Katyn forest in 1940, at Stalin’s order, want the crime recognised as an act of genocide.
Some 22,000 reserve officers – professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, soldiers and policemen – were shot by the NKVD secret police in April of that year, in Katyn, Kharkov and Miednoje.
In 1992, a representative of then Russian president Yeltsin handed over in
Warsaw to then Polish president Walesa documents saying the decimation of the officer corps was carried out at the order of the Soviet Communist Party Politburo.
The crime had been discovered by German Nazi troops in 1943.
Until the fall of communism, Moscow had blamed the Germans.
It has always refused to accept it as a crime against humanity.