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Poland: More Families To Be Repatriated From Kazakhstan

Warsaw, 10 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Poland's Interior Ministry intends to repatriate more ethnic Polish families from Kazakhstan this year, reports RFE/RL's correspondent in Warsaw.

The director of the Migration and Refugees' Department at the Ministry, Jaroslaw Mojsiejuk, expects over 250 Poles will be brought home from the Central Asian republic "soon." And by the end of the year, Mojsiejuk anticipates close to 200 families will be repatriated to Poland.

Poland has said the main problem delaying repatriation up until now is the lack of funds and apartments to house the repatriates.

Poles were deported to Kazakhstan in three major waves: before World War II, as Soviet forces occupied the former eastern territories of Poland (now Ukraine); after the war, when the Red Army reclaimed the part of Ukraine occupied by German forces; and, finally, as Poland came under Communist domination.

The biggest previous repatriation of ethnic Poles from Kazakhstan occurred after Stalin's death, during the Khrushchev era.