The list of names of Soviet secret agents responsible
for murdering thousands of Polish officers in 1940
has been discovered by the Russian Memorial Society,
investigating the Katyn massacre, Polish radio reports.
The man in charge of the mass murder is thought to
be personally responsible for the death of 50,000
people over a long and bloody career.
Researcher Nikita Petrov has got hold of a list of
officers of the NKVD, a forerunner to the KGB,
who participated in the Katyn massacre, where
up to 22,000 Polish officers were murdered in
prison camps and forests in Russia. The head
executioner turns out to be the then 45-year-
old Vasilij Blochin. Making his first kill of
Russian dissidents in 1927 he went on to
execute people regularly for the next 29 years,
causing the death of an estimated 50,000,
according to Polish Radio.
Records indicate that Blochin was especially
trusted by Stalin, who used him to eliminate
many of his enemies, real and imagined.
The Katyn massacre was among the executioner’s
special tasks for which he received considerable
reward once Stalin signed their fate in the
spring of 1940.Researcher Nikita Petrov claims
that the Soviet secret police rewarded not
only high ranking officers involved in the murders,
but also drivers, typists and ordinary soldiers.
Petrov of the Memorial Society is trying
to establish and reveal the names of all
Katyn executioners who are still being
protected against war crime trials by
the Russian authorities, Polish Radio
The Soviets initially claimed that that the Nazi
soldiers were responsible for the Katyn massacre.
But after an investigation in the 1990s,
Moscow admitted that it was in fact the NKVD
who were responsible but have since refused,
both, to label the massacre as ‘genocide’, or
carry out prosecutions against those still alive
who took part, radio notes.