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(kətĭn`), village, W central European Russia, 12 mi (19 km) W of Smolensk. During World War II, when it was part of the USSR, it was occupied by the Germans in Aug., 1941. In 1943 the German government announced that the mass grave of some 4,250 Polish officers had been found in a forest near Katyn and accused the Soviets of having massacred them. The officers had been captured during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. The Soviet government denied the German charges and asserted that the Poles, war prisoners, had been captured and executed by invading German units in 1941. The Soviets refused to permit an investigation by the International Red Cross. In 1944, a Soviet investigating commission alleged that the Germans killed the officers. In 1951–52, a U.S. Congressional investigation charged that the Soviets had executed the Poles. In 1989 Soviet scholars revealed that Stalin had indeed ordered the massacre and the following year Soviet President Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
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 apologized to the Polish people for the killings. In 1992 Russian officials released secret documents that proved Stalin's direct involvement in the Katyn massacre. A Russian criminal investigation into killings, begun in 1990, was halted by the chief military prosecutor in 2004.


See V. Abarinov, The Murderers of Katyn (1992); W. Materski, ed., Katyn: Documents of Genocide (tr. 1993); A. Paul Katyn (upd. ed. 2010).

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References in periodicals archive ?
1990: The Soviet Union admitted the massacre of up to 15,000 Polish officers at Katyn in the Soviet Union in 1940
The same may well have been asked in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Hartford, and "in several places around the world," where similar protests were held by a multitude of loosely affiliated Polish American organizations, including the Committee to Protect the Katyn Monument and Other Historical Objects (New Jersey); the Polish American Strategic Initiative ZwiaI[umlaut]zek ZIoAnierzy Narodowych SiA Zbrojnych (Chicago); the Polish Heritage Council of North America Inc.
Some 22,000 members of the Polish officer corps captured by the Russians were executed by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, at the Katyn Forest in Russia where the prisoners were being held.
The Soviet Union denied responsibility for the Katyn massacre of 10,000 Polish officers in 1943, blaming it on the Germans.
Much has been said about Katyn and the tragic events that occurred there seventy-one years ago.
Katyn is the name of a small Polish village where, in 1940, hundreds of allied army officers were gunned down and thrown into trenches.
[In his famous speech] Khrushchev didn't mention and could not mention the Katyn victims, because the murdered Polish officers never belonged to the Party, they were never communists.
The majority of these, as the authors write, were murdered in places like Katyn.
It was in stark contrast to the work that opened the concert, Panufnik's Katyn Epitaph which he dedicated to the "15,000 Polish patriots who were slaughtered while completely defenceless" in the Katyn Forest, in Russia, in 1943.
In the spring of 1940, the Soviets murdered about 22,000 Polish officers--including prisoners of war and high-profile citizens--in Katyn and in other" locations.
These killings, which have come to be known as the Katyn massacres, were executed on the instruction of Josef Stalin.