Soviet leadership to blame for Katyn massacre: Medvedev

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called the killing of thousands of Polish officers in 1940 a "crime" for which the Soviet leadership bore sole responsibility.

"The responsibility for this crime is borne by the Soviet leadership of that period," Medvedev said before holding talks with his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski.

"Attempts to present some other versions are groundless, both on the basis of historic documents and moral considerations," Medvedev said.

The two leaders are set to visit the forest of Katyn in western Russia where more than 4,000 of the estimated 22,000 slain Polish officers were shot dead by Stalin's NKVD.

The Soviet leadership tried to hide the 1940 mass execution and Russia's parliament only placed formal blame on the dictator Joseph Stalin in November.

© 2011 AFP

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