The European Court of Human Rights has found that Russia’s dealings with relatives of the Katyn massacre victims who tried to find out information amounted to “inhumane treatment.”
The Strasbourg court cannot force Russia to investigate the killings of 22,000 Polish officers at Katyn during the Second World War and also ruled it could not pass judgment on whether the Russian authorities had properly investigated the 1940 massacre, as vital documents were not provided.
The Soviet secret police killed 22,000 Polish military and police officers and members of the intelligentsia. The massacre mainly took place in Russia’s Katyn forest, with many of the victims Polish prisoners taken during the invasion the year before.
Hitler’s troops first announced their discovery of the graves in 1943, but for nearly half a century Moscow tried to blame the war crime on the Nazis. They eventually admitted the truth, but have not acknowledged a genocide.