Poland wants to go to international tribunal over Katyn massacre | News from Germany on Europe DW

Poland intends to refer to the international court the case of the mass execution of Poles in the Katyn forest by the NKVD. “There is no statute of limitations for the genocide,” Polish President Andrei Duda said on Sunday (April 10th). The head of state intends to take appropriate measures “in the near future”. He did not specify which court Poland wants to go to. In 2012, the ECtHR declared the Katyn massacre a war crime.

Duda did not shy away from alleged Russian war crimes during Russia’s war on Ukraine. “Forgotten, unpunished war crimes and crimes against humanity ignite a sense of impunity for criminals,” said the Polish president. “It’s like giving the green light to their successors and followers,” he added. According to Duda, today an example of this is “Russia’s brutal aggression against an independent and democratic Ukraine.”

Anniversary of the plane crash near Smolensk

The statement was made by the Polish head of state on the 12th anniversary of the death of former President Lech Kaczynski. The Tu-154 aircraft belonging to the Polish government delegation crashed while landing at Smolensk-Severny Airport on 10 April 2010.

As a result, 96 passengers were killed, including the head of state and his wife, representatives of the country’s top military administration, well-known politicians, public and religious figures. They were sent to mourning in memory of the execution of Polish officers by the NKVD.

Execution in the Katyn forest

In the spring of 1940, the first group of Polish prisoners of war were transferred to the Katyn forest near Smolensk, who were later shot by the NKVD. In all, about 22,000 Poles were killed in Katyn. They were mainly Polish officers captured after the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939.

For about half a century, Moscow denied its involvement and blamed the Nazi occupation troops for the execution. It was not until 1990 that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged that the Soviet secret service was responsible.

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