Experts reconstructing Belarusian Katyn list (+fragment)

The Belarusian Katyn list is a document containing names of Poles murdered by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. There are 98 names in the published fragment of its reconstruction.

Earlier Belarusian President Aliaksandr Lukashenka blankly denied the fact of the existence of such a list and stated that “not a single Pole was executed in Belarus”.

“Katyn crime” means the mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the NKVD in April and May 1940. In 1990 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev handed over the list of 14,552 Polish officers murdered and buried in the territory of the USSR (Katyn, Kalinin, Mednoye in Russia and Kharkiv in Ukraine) to the Polish side. In 1994 Poland received the list of 3435 victims of repressions from the Ukrainian authorities.

According to experts, about 3,800 Polish citizens (including Belarusian-borns) might have been killed in the territory of our country. The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding has published the fragment of the list.


At the press conference on December 23, 2011 Aliaksandr Lukashenka declared: “We have studied all archival records in the country including those of the KGB archive <. ..> There were only reconsignment points in the territory of our country”.

The fragment published was composed in the result of comparing two lists: one of Polish citizens who disappeared in the north-east regions of The Second Commonwealth of Poland in 1939-1949 and the other including names of people who were transferred to Minsk prison by the NKVD in the above period.

“The lack of any information on these people’s fate is a testimony to the fact that the hypothesis for their murder in the frames of the decision taken on March 5, 1940 comes near to certainty,” the document published by the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding says. Accodding to the experts, in the aftermath of further research the Belarusian Katyn list may be expanded.

To download the document click the link below.

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