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Old 04-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default European Court Rules Russia Gave Poles Cruel Treatment

By Marcin Sobczyk - The Wall Street Journal - April 16, 2012

The Soviet massacre of Polish prisoners of war during World War II was a war crime and Russia, which assumed the Soviet Union’s rights and obligations in 1991, demonstrated “an attitude lacking in humanity” toward families of the victims and violated an international treaty, the European Court of Human Rights said in a ruling Monday.

The court said it had been unable to examine the merits of the case because it had not received vital documents from Moscow, but ruled that Russia had failed to treat the victims’ families “in a humane and compassionate way.”

A group of Polish claimants, unable to get access to classified Russian documents on the Katyn massacre, took the country to the European Court of Human Rights, asking for recognition that Russia hadn’t carried out an effective investigation, and that it “displayed a dismissive attitude to all their requests for information about the dead people’s fate.”

In 1940, the Soviet Union’s secret police, the NKVD, on Joseph Stalin’s orders killed more than 20,000 Polish soldiers in a forest in the village of Katyn, near Smolensk in western Russia. The Soviet Union denied this for nearly all of its existence and the matter was also censored in Soviet-controlled Poland before 1989.

Soviet authorities initially insisted German Nazi soldiers had perpetrated the crime. In the 1990s, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president, and Boris Yeltsin, then Russia’s president, admitted Soviet guilt. Some officials and historians in Russia have continued to deny Stalin’s guilt, while Russia has refused to call the massacre genocide.

“The Court was struck by the apparent reluctance of the Russian authorities to recognize the reality of the Katyn massacre,” the court said in a judgment released Monday. “The approach chosen by the Russian military courts to maintain, to the applicants’ face and contrary to the established historic facts, that their relatives had somehow vanished in the Soviet camps, demonstrated a callous disregard for the applicants’ concerns and deliberate obfuscation of the circumstances of the Katyn massacre.”

Russia had the obligation to account for the fate of the missing people, the court also said.

The victims’ families “had been left to bear the burden to uncover how their relatives had died, while the Russian authorities had not provided them with any official information about the circumstances surrounding the deaths, nor made any serious attempts to locate the burial sites of the relatives,” the court said, referring to the Katyn massacre as a war crime.

Russia also violated the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights by failing to cooperate with the court and refusing to produce a copy of a 2004 decision to discontinue the investigation into the Katyn massacre, the court said. The ruling may be challenged by the parties before the Grand Chamber of the Court.

Poland and Russia have for decades been in dispute over the Katyn massacre. In a move signaling more openness, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appeared at a ceremony in Katyn on April 7, 2010, to commemorate the victims with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was planning a conciliatory speech three days later, but died when the government’s airplane crashed near Smolensk as the president and his delegation of 95 people traveled to Katyn.

What initially looked like a chance for permanent reconciliation amid deep mourning for the victims of the crash in both countries appears to be lost. Russia’s handling of the investigation into the plane crash has irked Polish officials, and the country relapsed partially in its attitude toward the Katyn massacre.

Prime Minister Tusk said in February that his country’s relations with Russia were worse than before the crash.

http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/...ogle_news_blog
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Default European court can't rule on World War II massacre

Published April 16, 2012 - Associated Press

PARIS – The European Court of Human Rights said Monday it cannot rule on whether or not Russia properly investigated a World War II massacre of thousands of Polish officers because it has not received vital documents from Moscow to properly judge the case.

The court also said it considers the massacre in the Katyn forest a "war crime," but that it cannot force Russia to further investigate. Poland considers it a war crime, but Moscow has refused to apply the term.

The court found Russia in violation of the European Convention for Human Rights for refusing to share investigation documents, and said that Russia's response to most attempts by victims' relatives to find out the truth about what happened had amounted to "inhuman treatment."

Fifteen Poles have complained that Russia failed to hold a proper investigation or to find those responsible for the 1940 killing by the Soviet secret police of some 22,000 Polish officers and intellectuals in the Katyn forest and other places.

The Katyn massacre has been a sore point in Russia-Poland relations for decades since 1943, when the Soviet Union blamed the killings on the Nazis. It was in 2010 that Russia formally took the blame when the lower chamber of Russia's parliament admitted the executions were ordered by Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

In the 1990s, Russia launched an investigation into the killings, but discontinued it in 2004. It refused to make its reasoning available to the relatives or to the European court.

In Moscow, Russia's Justice Ministry reported Monday's ruling without comment.

But Poland's government said the case shows Russia's disregard for international law.

"It is not for the first time that Russia has a problem with following the standards of a European state of law," said Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin said on Polish TVN24.

One of the 15 Polish relatives, Ryszard Adamczyk, said that officials in Russia have "their own laws, they disregard international laws."

In Moscow, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee in charge of relations with the former Soviet nations in the lower house of parliament, said the European Court of Human Rights had tried to walk a middle line in its ruling.

"The judges apparently sought to partly satisfy the Polish party without hurting Russia too much," Slutsky said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. He said the issue requires deeper consideration, adding that he wasn't sure that the judges had studied all materials available.

Slutsky said the court ruling is unlikely to have any impact on Russian-Polish ties, saying that while the issue remains an irritant, relations between Moscow and Warsaw are gradually becoming more constructive thanks to economic cooperation.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04...r-ii-massacre/
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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The Katin happened in 1940 and Russia entered the war in 1941 therefore this can't be war crime as EU wants present it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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I do believe,the Soviet Union invaded and occupied eastern Poland at the same time Germany invaded Poland from the west,Sept 1939.I apologize,if my memory is faulty.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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Funny thing about Russia and Russians is they want to be portray as victims of that war, But we know history Russia along with Germany invaded and thought they had a agreement to divide the world lol.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikoyan View Post
I do believe,the Soviet Union invaded and occupied eastern Poland at the same time Germany invaded Poland from the west,Sept 1939.I apologize,if my memory is faulty.
You are correct.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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In 1939 Soviet Union took back from Poland the West Ukrainian territories, so called Galicia and Besarabia, which have been surrendered to Poland during 1917 and 1920 peace treaties. Actually these lands were given back to Russia by Germany with agreement from London, Paris and Washington.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:34 AM   #8
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lol those lands don't belong to Russian, those lands were conquered, people could have all the arrangements in the world. but facts are facts.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by armchair_warrior View Post
lol those lands don't belong to Russian, those lands were conquered, people could have all the arrangements in the world. but facts are facts.
All lands went from hands to hands in the history. Entire Kiev Russia belonged to Polish-Lithuanian empire at one point in time as later entire Poland and Lithuania belonged to Russian Empire later on. But thats not the point of this thread. Dont want to get any deeper into Polish-Russian/Ukranian relations as they have never been too friendly.
What i was saying originally, the Katin cant be war crime simply for the reason Russia and Poland were not at the state of war or the time. An internal affair of USSR. USSR entered WWII in 1941 and was attacked from the Polish territory
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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As if Russia will have many shits to give.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by VSFoxhound View Post


As if Russia will have many shits to give.
LOL, that is really funny.

Actually Russia does care what Poland says. If Pols start talk crap too much Russia will close the gas pipe as they did before. This is a very effective way to deliver the point but bad for business loss of profit.
I am still wondering if the crash of Polish plane with its president on board under Smolensk was deliberate act or a catastrophic accident. Will know the truth in another 70 years.
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