Re: The TASS communiqué. 1990 April, 13.

The TASS communiqué.

The question of clarifying the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Polish officers, interned in September 1939, has been raised over a long period of time in meetings between representatives of the Polish and Soviet Governments and more widely in public. Historians from the two countries have been engaged in the thorough research of the Katyn tragedy, including a search for documents.

Very recently Soviet archivists and historians have discovered documents concerning Polish soldiers, who were held in the Kozelski, Starobelski and Ostashkovski camps by the Soviet NKVD. It emerges from these documents that in April-May 1940, out of about 15,000 Polish officers, held in these three camps, 394 were transferred to the Gryazovetski [Griazovietz] camp. The remainder were 'handed over' to the NKVD responsible for the Smolensk, Voroshilovograd and Kalinin regions and were never mentioned in NKVD records again.

The archive material as a whole leads to the conclusion that responsibility for the crimes of Katyn belonged to Beria, Merkulov and their assistants.

The Soviet side expresses deep regret over the Katyn tragedy and declares that it is one of the most serious crimes of Stalinism.

Copies of the discovered documents will be handed over to the Polish side. The search for the archive material will continue.

"Izvestia" 1990 April, 13.

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