Russia Blames Stalin for Polish Massacre

He ordered killing of 22,000 in Katyn
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2010 4:14 PM CST
In this 1943 photo, two German officers, left, and a group of Allied officers who were prisoners of war look over a partly-emptied mass grave in the Katyn Forest in Russia.   (AP Photo, File)
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(Newser) – A rarity out of Russia today: Official condemnation of Josef Stalin. The lower house of parliament censured Stalin and blamed him for ordering the massacre of 22,000 Polish officers during World War II, Reuters reports. It's not exactly news that Stalin did so, though for decades the Soviet propaganda machine had pinned the blame for the Katyn massacre on the Nazis.

"Material, kept for many years in secret archives...bears witness to the fact that the Katyn crime was carried out under Stalin's direct orders," said the resolution. "The State Duma deputies extend a hand of friendship to the Polish people and hope this will mark a new era of relations between our countries." The move is also notable because the Putin government had been embellishing Stalin's image and downplaying his atrocities.

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