Logo Polskiego Radia

Presidents of Ukraine and Poland begin WW II cemetery construction

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 28.11.2011 12:35
The presidents of Poland and Ukraine will lay the foundation stone for a new Polish military cemetery near Kiev on Monday.


The cemetery is in tribute to Poles murdered by Stalin's secret police (NKVD) during World War II.

The graveyard at Bykivnia (Bykownia in Polish) will be part of a much larger complex commemorating victims of various nationalities.

It is believed that some 3500 Polish victims of the WWII Katyn Crime were buried at the site in mass graves.

Over 22,500 Polish citizens, many of them reserve army officers, were executed on Stalin's orders in 1940 by the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD).

However, the final resting place of those on the so-called “Ukrainian List” has long remained a mystery.

Russia officially acknowledged guilt for the Katyn murders in 1990.

In 2007, Polish archaeologists working at Bykivnia discovered the dog tags of Sergeant Jozef Naglik, as well as a comb with the names of four Poles inscribed on it.

The names tallied with the so-called Ukrainian List, which makes up about 15 percent of the Poles executed during the Katyn massacre.

However, identifying individual victims has proved largely impossible.

Estimates of the overall number of victims of Stalin buried at Bykivnia range from 16,000 to 100,000, with Poles representing just a portion of the death toll, with remains spread over a site of some 200 hectares.

Meanwhile, there has been speculation that President Bronislaw Komorowski may also use the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vikor Yanukovych, to raise the matter of the 11 October imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The sentencing of Tymoshenko for “illegally” pushing through a deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom in 2009, was described by Poland's foreign ministry as representing “the politicization of the Ukrainian judiciary.”

However, Komorowski has made no statement confirming that he will discuss the matter on Monday. (nh/pg)

Source: IAR

tags: katyn, Ukraine
Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us