The Belarusian Katyn List will be published for the first time in 72 years. It contains the names of 1996 Poles, brought by the NKVD in Minsk in 1940, and probably executed there by the order of Stalin and Beria.
"We have suspected for a long time, the traces of what researchers call The Belarusian Katyn List one needs to look in the archives of 15 Brigade of convoy troops, which in 1940 was in Belarus and transported the NKVD's prisoners to the capital of the republic. Premonition didn't lie to me", Russian professor Natalia Lebedeva told Gazeta Wyborcza.
1996 people were brought from the NKVD prisons of Brest, Pinsk, Baranovichi, Grodno, Bialystok and other cities on the lands occupied by the Red Army on March 5, 1940.
Photo by Gazeta Wyborcza
Documents, discovered by Lebedeva, are filled by hand (judging from the handwriting by one person), table names, surnames and patronymic of prisoners, which was transported by 15 Brigade in the spring of 1940, as well as information about when, how and where they were delivered.
Since the end of March to July in Minsk group up to 60 people had been transported, on April 1 the Minsk NKVD received 53 people out of Brest. In total, in Minsk more than 1800 people out of total amount of 1996 were exported According to Lebedeva, 99% of them were shot there - at the same time as the officers in Katyn.
Belarusian historian Igor Kuznetsov considers the discovery of the Belarusian Katyn list is very significant, as the Belarusian authorities "completely denied the very existence of the list, but it turns out, as we expected, the documents have survived".
According to the researcher, it'is not the complete list of murdered Polish officers in Belarus. Igor Kuznetsov names a figure of 3870 names. Russian researcher Lebedeva gave the Polish side about a half of them.
"I guess, only the first list was found. And I think in the near future Natalia Lebedeva will find and other lists too, if they haven't been previously removed and destroyed. But, it looks like, they are preserved", the historian said.