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Poland: Yeltsin Authorizes Cemeteries For Poles Killed Under Stalin

Warsaw, 31 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The Polish media report today that Russian President Boris Yeltsin has authorized the establishment of two military cemeteries in Russia for the remains of Polish officers murdered by the Stalinist police.

The media say that Yeltsin signed yesterday a decree paving the way for the establishment of cemeteries in Katyn Forest and in Mednoye, near the Russian city of Tver. These were just two of the sites of the 1940 mass massacres of Polish military officers and police officials taken prisoner by Russian troops in 1939.

Altogether, more than 20,000 Polish prisoners of war were killed then by the Stalinist police. Russia denied for many years that it massacred the Poles, blaming invading German forces. Moscow admitted its responsibility only in 1991.