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Polish Officials Mark Anniversary Of Katyn Massacre

16 April 2005 -- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Prime Minister Marek Belka laid wreaths today to mark the 65th anniversary of the massacre of some 22,000 Poles by the Soviets in the Katyn Forest.

Several hundred people attended the ceremony at Warsaw's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Members of parliament, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Katyn Committee, an organization of relatives of those killed, also paid homage to the victims.

The Polish military officers, intellectuals, and priests were taken prisoner when the Soviet Union invaded Poland at the start of World War II. They were executed in April and May 1940 by the Soviet secret police in and around the forest near the city of Katyn, in what was then the western Soviet Union.

Russia admitted in 1990 that Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered the killings.