Disinfo: Russia puts more effort into establishing the truth about the Katyn massacre than Poland


Russia puts more effort into establishing the truth about the Katyn massacre than Poland. During the recent two years, the Russian authorities have devoted much closer attention to this issue that the Polish leadership.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to distort the truth about the Soviet crimes committed against Poland.

The Katyń Massacre is a symbol of the criminal policy of the USSR against the Polish nation. In Spring 1940, almost 22.000 Polish prisoners of war were executed by the NKVD in Katyn, Kharkiv and Kalinin (Tver). The Massacre was carefully considered and organised by the Soviet leadership. Up until 1991, the Soviet authorities refused to accept responsibility for this crime, blaming Nazi Germany for the mass-murders of Polish prisoners of war. In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin submitted documents confirming the Soviet blame for this crime to President Lech Walesa. Read more about the Katyń Massacre here.

Throughout 2020, the Russian authorities took several measures regarding the Katyń Massacre, which may be considered as historical revisionism. In May 2020, the municipal authorities of the city of Tver ordered the removal of two plaques commemorating the memory of the victims of the Katyń Massacre. In November 2020, the Russian authorities organised a conference on the Katyń Massacre – several participants of the conference promoted the idea that the USSR and the NKVD were not responsible for this crime. These statements are an evident example of historical revisionism promoted by Russia – the Polish authorities continue to demand an investigation into this Soviet crime against the Polish nation.

The Polish Institute of Historical Remembrance protested against the Russian attempts to distort the truth about Soviet crimes.

See other disinformation messages connected to the Kremlin’s historical revisionism: Poland re-writes the history claiming that the USSR attacked it in September 1939; Accusing USSR of WWII outbreak, Poland distracts attention from its pre-war “miscalculations” and The pre-war Polish leadership bears all the blame for the tragedy of this country during WWII.


  • Reported in: Issue 222
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: War crimes, KGB, USSR, Historical revisionism, WWII


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

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