Katyn (rural locality)
|- Inhabited locality -|
Location of Smolensk Oblast in Russia
|Federal subject||Smolensk Oblast|
|Population (2002 Census)||1,737 inhabitants|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 481|
|Katyn on WikiCommons|
It is situated to the west of the city of Smolensk (about 18 km from its center) and circa 60 km from the Russian borders with Belarus. It has a station on the Berlin-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow international railway line.
Before World War I, Gnezdovo with the Katyn forest belonged to the Koźliński family. In the 19th century, Piotr Koźliński married Leokadia Lefftreu, the daughter of the director of the English railway construction company in Russia. Under the marriage articles Gniezdovo and Katyn became a co-owned by the British.
The Katyn Forest in the vicinity of the village was the site of the Katyn massacre in the time of World War II, in which thousands of captured Polish officers and other citizens were killed. Despite claims by the Poles, the Soviet Union blamed Nazi Germany for the mass murders and attempted to hide their involvement, going as far as to ban all mention of the Katyn massacre in the USSR. Then in 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that the NKVD had indeed executed the Poles and confirmed two other burial sites similar to the site at Katyn: Mednoye and Piatykhatky. A number of earlier mass graves of victims of the Soviet system have also been found there, as Katyn Forest had long been used as an execution site for Soviet citizens.
Katyn is the place where the communists executed their plan to eliminate entirely the educated head of Poland: politicians, professors, scientists, doctors, lawyers, etc. for their alleged Nazi activities.
Polish plane crash
On April 10, 2010 around 08.56 GMT a Polish government aircraft crashed near Katyn, on Smolensk Military Air Base. Passengers of the Polish-owned Russian Tupolev-154 airplane included Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife, Maria Kaczyńska; former President of Poland in-exile Ryszard Kaczorowski; Sławomir Skrzypek, governor of the Polish Central Bank; Andrzej Kremer, Deputy Foreign minister; Piotr Nurowski, President of the Polish Olympic Committee; Jerzy Szmajdzinski, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, seven army generals and many key political figures. The delegation heading to commemorate the Massacre of Katyn consisted of 96 people, including 7 members of crew. None survived.
The Polish President, Lech Kaczyński was to deliver a speech at the formal commemorations. The speech was to honour the victims, highlight the significance of the massacres in the context of postwar communist political history, as well as stress the need for Polish-Russian relations to focus on reconciliation. Although the speech was never delivered, it has been published with a narration in the original Polish and a translation has also been made available in English.
- Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (Russian)
- Tadeusz A. Kisielewski, Zabójcy. Widma wychodzą z cienia, Poznań 2006, p. 40.
- Decision to commence investigation into Katyn Massacre, Małgorzata Kużniar-Plota, Departmental Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Warsaw 30 November 2004
- (Polish) Onet.TV Platforma "Słowa które nie padły"
- View From The Right "The Speech the Polish President was to give at the Katyn Memorial" (12 April 2010)
- Media related to Katyn at Wikimedia Commons
- Officiаl site of the State memorial complex «Katyn»