Archive for July, 2010

Katyn: 49 signs of falsification of “Closed package no. 1”

July 14, 2010

Part I. The storing place, the circumstances around the discovery and the release of these documents

1. It is unknown where the ”Closed package no. 1” was stored before December 1991. The circumstances around the “miraculous discovery” of these documents, which was made by the employees at the Soviet Presidential Archive, are also shrouded in mystery.

M. S. Gorbachev claimed that he, until December 1991 had not seen these documents, while in the two “Closed packages” of the Politburo regarding Katyn, were stored all other documents, which were dealing with the guilt of the German side in the Katyn massacre. Only a few days before Gorbachev’s resignation from office as the president of the Soviet Union, the archive employees delivered on December 24, 1991 (as implied at their own initiative) through Gorbachev’s chief of staff Grigory Revenko the package with the found documents (“Zhizn’ i reformy” (“The Life and the Reforms”), book 2, Moscow 1995, pp. 348-349).

A. N. Yakovlev claimed both in his book ”Sumerki” (”The Dawn”) and in several articles and appearances, that he up to December 24, 1991 had never seen these documents. In addition Yakovlev revealed an important detail, namely that in the package with the Katyn documents that was delivered to Gorbachev on that day also was a certain “Serov’s letter”. But in the archive list for the “Closed package no. 1” that was delivered from Gorbachev to Yeltsin that letter is missing.

A. Yu. Yablokov claims in his book ”Katynskij sindrom …” (“The Katyn syndrome”) on p. 386: ”In July 1992 the then head of the President’s Administration Yu. V. Petrov, the President adviser D. A. Volkogonov, the head of the Main Archives R. G. Pichoya and the manager of the Archive A. V. Korotkov went through the most secret materials in the Russian President Archive. On September 24, 1992 they opened the “Closed package no. 1”.

This means that somebody is lying – either Gorbachev and Yakovlev, who claim that these documents were stored by Gorbachev and that they in early winter of 1991 were delivered to Yeltsin in Yakovlev’s presence, or the archive employees who claim that they found this package themselves first in the fall of 1992. In this case, however, it is clear that both the former and the latter are lying. Those documents have not been found in any archives or packages. They have been forged but they have not been able to fabricate a coherent story and force everyone who is featured in this case to learn it by heart, especially not the senior managers, why each one has been forced to lie based on what he managed to remember.

2. The documents in question were made public for the first time in fall of 1992 during the meeting of the Constitution Court as evidence of the guilt of the Soviet Communist Party for the Katyn massacre, but already a cursory examination by the judges revealed their falseness, which resulted in the fact that the Constitution Court in its final verdict did not even mention these accusations.

3. That these are forgeries is attested by the fact that these indeed sensational ”documents” were not presented to the Russian public immediately after they have been discovered, despite the fact that the press had been filled with quotes from them. After the fiasco in the Constitution Court the text from some of these documents was published only after two years and then not in any known historical magazines but in so called “periodical edition”, the magazine “Voyennye arkhivy Rossii” (“Russia’s Military Archive”). After the release of no. 1 of the magazine, in which some of these forgeries were published along with other genuine documents from Russian archives, the magazine and its Editorial disappeared without a trace.

4. In this the first publishing of these ”documents” the publishers did not indicate the peculiarities of these documents from a case management point of view, which directly testified about their falseness, i.e. the publishers themselves realized that they were publishing forgeries.

5. In the magazine ”Voprosy istorii” (”Historical questions”) no. 1/1993, where these “documents” were described for the first time in Russia, they only described three of the five documents, but even despite such a shortening this issue was not sent to the subscribers and the libraries until 1995.

6. In Russia they have up to this day not yet officially published the most prominent (when it comes to the degree of falseness) documents from the “Closed package no. 1” – the so-called “print-out for Shelepin” (not to be confused with “Shelepin’s letter”!). This confirms once again that the publishers themselves were well aware of, and still are, the fact that these by them published documents are forged.

Part II. Information that does not go with real historical facts

7. In the documents from the ”Closed package no. 1” it talks about the formation of a certain “special NKVD troika”, which, as it says, had sentenced the Poles to execution. But in the large amount of real genuine archive documents from that period there is not the slightest hint of either the formation of any “troika” (as claimed in these documents) or that any Poles whatsoever had been executed in the Soviet Union in 1940 by any extrajudicial process. To use the words of the specialist in archive system, A. P. Kozlov, “these documents stand out because they run counter to other real indisputable facts from this time which are known from genuine sources”.

8. The real court troikas were provided during these years to sentence the accused, dependant on their guilt, and to acquit the innocent. In “Beria’s letter” the troika is not assigned any judicial rights, but provides to execute all Poles, i.e. the “troika” is not assigned any defined judicial work. Such a “troika” is directly embarrassing for the individual who made it up. The real Beria would never have suggested to the Politburo that they should pull up three senior NKVD employees (including him) from their usual work, in order to sit down and sign 22 000 pieces of paper, which no one other than themselves would read.

9. In the creation of the “troika” the key principle for the establishment of the court troikas which would consist of the top people from the NKVD (the Ministry of Interior) and the AUCP(b) (the Communist Party) and with the mandatory participation of a prosecutor.

10. In this “troika” they violated the principle of the members’ equal responsibility – to the two top NKVD officials (the People’s Commissar and his first deputy) they had added a third rank chief. In the real court troikas it was inconceivable with the participation of the subordinates to any of the members of the troika.

11. Beria could not suggest that they should create a “troika”, since all court troikas recently had been abolished by a joint decision of the Soviet government (Sovnarkom) and the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CC AUCP(b)), i.e. no “troika” was now possible seen from the legal law. After the joint decision had been made no decision executable could neither execute nor even arrest anyone at the orders from such an illegal “troika”, which had been officially forbidden in the Soviet Union by the government and the party.

12. If you assume that these documents from the “Closed package no. 1” are genuine, then it means that the Politburo at the Communist Party’s Central Committee had exceeded its powers – the Politburo took a decision to establish a “troika” despite the fact that the party’s leading agency – the Central Committee (CC) – had abolished them. Such is simply inconceivable. In a decision of November 17, 1938 from the Council of the People’s Commissars of the USSR (Sovnarkom, i.e. the government of the Soviet Union) and the CC AUCP (b) – the party’s leading agency, which is superior to the Politburo, ordered the following: “Liquidate the court troikas which have been created in accordance with orders from the NKVD of the USSR and the troikas at the militia’s oblast-, krai- and republic boards. From now on all cases shall in accordance with the prevailing legislation be forwarded for investigation to the courts or to the Special Council of the NKVD of the USSR.”

13. In the documents from the “Closed package no. 1” they have in no way included those 395 captured officers, policemen, and border guards, who – while the other POWs were sent to the correction- and labor camps at GUZhDS – were sent to the POW camps in Yukhnov and then to Gryazovets.

14. The “Politburo decision”, which was put into these “documents”, was impracticable for Beria: in pure self-preservation his surroundings would have found a way how to avoid to carry out such a criminal order from the People’s Commissar. It was a similar performance of their chief’s criminal orders that during 1937-38 had led to the execution of the closest collaborators to one of Beria’s predecessors Yagoda (who held the post as People’s Commissar of the NKVD until September 1936). And not long before these events, on February 4, 1940, they had for the same reason executed deputy assistants to Yezhov (who was succeeded by Beria as People’s Commissar and who was also executed on February 4, 1940). The whole world knew that the Poles were in captivity in the Soviet Union and no one in the top management of the NKVD would dare to take any risks by carrying out an illegal order of their execution issued by Beria, who had been working in the NKVD for only a year and a half and of which he had held the post as People’s Commissar only a little bit more than fifteen months.

Part III. Internal contradictions

15. ”Beria’s letter” contains a suggestion to execute 25 700 citizens from former Poland, while ”Shelepin’s letter” says that only 21 857 were actually executed. No explanations are given to on what ground another 3 843 Poles, who obviously were sentenced to execution, avoided being shot.

16. In “Beria’s letter” 14 736 officers and 18 632 inmates are declared as being “inveterate enemies of the Soviet power”, but it is suggested that they execute 14 700 of the former and 11 000 of the latter; this without any explanation about what to do with the remaining “inveterate” enemies and how they should separate the former from the latter. By such a decision the powers of the “troika” were delegated to the direct decision enforcers at spot and they were forced to decide themselves who should be sentenced to execution, which is inconceivable and something that could never exist in a real decision by Beria.

17. According to the notes at the back of the “print-out copy for Beria” they have during the period of March 5, 1940 to November 15, 1956 printed two extra copies of the “print-out copy for Beria” and that they had destroyed two copies on November 15, 1956. Given the strict confidentiality that surrounded the documents in the “Closed package no. 1” such manipulations with the print-out copies, which is unknown whom they were meant for, cannot be explained in a rational way.

Part IV. “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B (N. 794/Б)

18. Seen purely from a formal and legal point of view, “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B is a forgery because of the elementary fact that its key attributes – the date and the number – do not correspond to each other. Because according to the official registration the letter 794/b, which was sent to Stalin from the NKVD, was dated February 29, but in the archives they have found an entirely different letter with the same number – 794/B from the same March 1940 – but without a date indication. In order to understand the absurdity in the situation, imagine a person whose passport is full of errors and as date for its issuing is stated March but that later after a control of the Ministry of Interior it is found that this passport has been issued in February!

19. In “Beria’s letter” the resolution and the signatures of the Politburo members are written in a way that the lines of the “letter” during the signing must have been in a vertical position. No real right-handed leader signs that way. However, a specialist in forged signatures could write just like that – if he wanted to leave a hidden hint in the document that it was forged.

20. “Beria’s letter” has a number but no date. In a genuine document that is impossible since they are the one and the same note in the registration record, and then the date is more important than the number.

21. In “Beria’s letter” generals have been written on the same line as the lieutenant colonels, which was impossible for a genuine NKVD document. In all genuine NKVD documents the generals were written on a separate line and were never mixed even with the colonels.

22. According to a certificate from the Archive Board of the FSS, letter no. 794/b had been registered at the NKVD secretariat on February 29, 1940. In a genuine Beria letter from February 29 there could be no records from Soprunenko’s information from March 3, which appear in “Beria’s letter” from the “Closed package no. 1”. Consequently “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B with this information is a forgery.

23. The first three pages in “Beria’s letter” are not written on the same typewriter as page four (there is even an expert opinion available that proves that). A court would understand that such a thing was impossible for a genuine NKVD letter, because if you change the beginning of a document after the People’s Commissar has signed it, then it is the same thing as committing a crime.

24. Page four is written on a typewriter that has been used to type other recognized genuine Beria letters, while the three first pages are written on a typewriter whose font they still have not been able to trace in any of the fifteen Beria letters covering the period December 1939 to September 1940 that have been found in the archives and which they have up to date investigated.

This reveals the most probable way around the forgery of the letter.

The forgers probably took from the archive Beria’s genuine letter no. 794/b dated February 29, 1940 which contained a suggestion that the Poles would be sentenced by the Special Council of the NKVD (SC) to various fixed-penalties in prisons or labor camps. The forgers destroyed the first pages and instead printed three new ones which were converted in a way that it would like Beria was suggesting that the POWs should be shot. After that they added to these three forged pages a fourth one (the genuine) in which Beria suggested a quantitative (“troika”) and a personal (Beria, Merkulov, Bashtakov) composition for the Special Council. According to the “Regulation for the Special Council” its qualitative and personal composition would differ depending on the kind of matters that would be investigated. If the event occurred inside the borders of a union republic, then one of the members would be that republic’s People’s Commissar of the NKVD, if the matter was strictly criminal law then also the head of the militia’s (i.e. the police) board would be in it. In this particular case Beria suggested a special council with reduced staffing – consisting of three people – a troika. He suggested himself as chairman (he was the chairman of the SC according to the Regulation), his first deputy (also a member of the SC according to the Regulation) and the head of the department who prepared all cases regarding the POWs for the investigation in the Special Council – for the convenience of the organization and the implementation of meetings. Beria’s suggestion was logical, but still relinquished from what was provided in the “Regulation for the Special Council” – the head of the First Special Department, as a member of the SC, was not named which was the reason why Beria coordinated his suggestion with the Politburo.

But the Politburo did not share Beria’s view. They felt that they could not allow the People’s Commissar himself in this case to waste his time on a routine screening of up to 20 000 criminal law cases. That is why Stalin deleted Beria from the list and instead of him kept the Premier Deputy People’s Commissar of the NKVD Merkulov, as chairman of the Special Council and supplemented with Kobulov who was the head of the NKVD:s Main Department for Economy and by his employment dealt with investigation matters concerning the POWs and their use for labor. Worth noting is that Stalin did not write Kobulov’s last name above Beria’s deleted name (which would have meant that Kobulov had been appointed chairman) but wrote his name after Merkulov and before Bashtakov. That is, if you assume that the first three pages in “Beria’s letter” are forgeries and that the genuine letter was about the Special Council, then such a letter is completely consistent with all known historical facts.

Part V. The “print-out copy from the Politburo protocol” no. 1 (addressed to Beria)

25. The printed form begins with a warning: ”Must be returned within 24 hours to the 2nd Department at the Special Sector of the Central Committee”, and to the left there is another warning vertically written in the form: “The comrade who has received these documents do not have the right to forward them, nor to show them to anyone else, unless it is particularly admitted by the CC. Duplication of the said documents and production of prints from them is categorically forbidden. The note and the date for the superscription are to be made on each document personally by the comrade to whom it is addressed and shall contain his personal signature. Based on: the decision at the plenary meeting of the CC AUCP(b) on August 18, 1924.”

The “print-out copy for Beria” is the first copy (the original) unlike the “print-out copy for Shelepin” which is a re-print. It was precisely the original that in accordance with the delivery would be sent to Beria for superscription. This is witnessed, among other things, by the notes on the back, among them a hand-written note about another mailing to Beria which is supposed to have been done on December 4, 1941. But in the “print-out copy for Beria” there are no notes or signatures whatsoever from L. P. Beria that would confirm that he would have noted the print-out copy in 1940 and 1941.

26. In the “print-out copy for Beria” the for the genuine print-out copies mandatory facsimile signature from the Secretary of the Central Committee J. Stalin and the stamp with a relief of the CC AUCP(b) are missing.

27. The “print-out copy for Beria” is printed on a form that was not the standard form used by the Politburo in its case management. To date there are only two known copies of such a form – both are from the “Closed package no. 1” regarding Katyn.

28. On the form for the “print-out copy for Beria” the absolutely mandatory element for all official documents from the CC AUCP(b) is missing, namely the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” All the forms meant for documents that were sent to other agencies, always began with the Communist’s most important slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”

Part VI. The “print-out copy from the Politburo protocol” no. 2 (addressed to Shelepin)

29. The document on this AUCP(b)-form is attested with a CPSU stamp. This constitutes such a climax of the forgers’ senile dementia that this one thing only was enough for the Constitution Court to realize that it was dealing with forged documents and not associate the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with the murder of the Polish officers.

30. In the “print-out copy for Shelepin” Stalin’s signature, the mailing date and the last name of the addressee have been typed with another typewriter.

31. The print-out copy is dated February 27, 1959 which would mean that the Poles continued to be in camps up to that date and that not before 1959 it was decided to shoot them.

32. The Politburo addressed the directive of the troika’s foundation and the execution to Shelepin but of the ”troika’s” original members, only Bashtakov was still alive.

33. In order to attest the signature Stalin in 1959 returned from the grave and arrived at the meeting of the Politburo.

34. Outwardly the ”print-out copy for Shelepin” is designed as an attested copy but is in reality not attested by any official at all at the CC CPSU. The forgers were not aware of the elementary, namely that the round stamp at any institution was stamped on top a signature. The purpose with the signature is to certify the genuineness of the signature.

35. On the front of the print-out copy there is a signature made with ink “Return. 27/II-59” which is a gross violation of the elementary rules for storing of documents under which it is strictly forbidden for the archive employees to make any notes whatsoever in the documents with the exception of cases when they are allowed to write a new page number with an ordinary pencil in the upper right corner when a case is being hardcovered again.

36. In the print-out copy they have erased the previous addressee’s name “Com. Beria” and the date “March 5, 1940”. Instead of them they have written a new surname “Com. Shelepin” and a new date “February 27, 1959”. Such changes in the text were also categorically forbidden according to the rules for archiving of documents.

37. In the same way as the ”print-out copy for Beria” the ”print-out copy for Shelepin” is printed on a form that was not used in the Politburo’s normal work and misses the mandatory slogan ”Workers of the world, unite!”.

Part VII. “Shelepin’s letter” N-632-sh (Н-632-ш)

38. “Shelepin’s letter” was sent to the CC CPSU through the KGB office since it has a mailing number (N-632-sh; Russian Н-632-ш) and the mailing date March 3, 1959 and from that follows that the absence of an inward registration at the CP CPSU in March 1959 is a sign of a forgery.

39. In the “letter” there are no notes or directives whatsoever from a single secretary at the CC CPSU – the forgers were unable to think of any, but then it seems that none of the secretaries at the Central Committee had ever seen Shelepin’s letter which is impossible when it comes to a letter from the chairman of the KGB.

40. When describing the “decision of the Politburo” which should have been in front of the person who issued “Shelepin’s letter”, that person wrote “decision of the CC” which could not occur – Shelepin did definitely know the difference between the Central Committee (CC) and the Politburo (PB).

41. When describing the ”decision of the Politburo at AUCP(b)”, someone wrote ”CC CPSU”. But neither Shelepin nor the person who issued the authentic letter that was addressed to the supreme leader of the country could have confused the name of the party in such an important document.

42. Already in the second sentence of “Shelepin’s letter” it says: “Altogether 21 857 people were executed after a decision from a special troika at the NKVD USSR, of them: in the Katyn forest (Smolensk oblast) 4 421 people, in the Starobelsk camp near Kharkov 3 820 people, in the Ostashkov camp (Kalinin oblast) 6 311 people and 7 305 people were executed in other camps and prisons in Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia.”

But with the help of thousands of documents they have identified, and also made it an integrated part of the version which condemns Russia, the fact that in April-May 1940 they had transported the Polish POWs from the camps in Starobelsk and Ostashkov and that they at that time were still alive! How could the real Shelepin, at the same time has he was looking at genuine documents, write that the Poles were shot in the Starobelsk and Ostashkov camps?

43. The real Shelepin could not have written that the Starobelsk camp is located “near Kharkov” at the same time he looked at genuine documents. Because in the genuine documents the real address to the Starobelsk was stated; it was certainly not located in the Kharkov oblast, but in the Voroshilovgrad oblast – almost 250 kilometers from Kharkov!

These are far from all signs that prove that the documents in the “Closed package no. 1” were forged.

The forged documents in the “Closed package no. 1” are all tightly linked to each other by their contents. This means that all signs of forgery in one of them constitute evidence that also the others are forged. This was the reason why the Constitution Court not only chose not to rely on this evidence but also chose not to publish these for Russia embarrassing documents in the final compilation.

The forgery specialist Kozlov claims that 7 signs of forgery are more than enough to reveal a false document. In this case we are dealing with three interrelated historical texts which contain at least 43 signs of forgery!

One can expand this list and add more signs of forgery, namely as follows:

44. The forgeries were introduced for the first time during one of the meetings of the Constitution Court in the “CPSU case” (an investigation of the past activities of the Soviet Communist Party) and in the first versions “Beria’s letter” not only contained the number 794/B but also the date “March 5”. During the meeting on October 16, 1992, Yu. M. Slobodkin (from the CPSU defense) was discussing this date with the chairman of the Constitution Court Zorkin and called the court’s attention to the fact that Beria’s letter was dated March 5 and that the Politburo meeting had also taken place on March 5. It had never happened before that a letter was treated on the same day as it was written. The discussion around that date remains in the protocols of the Constitution Court and the fact that the date has disappeared in later versions of the forgeries is another sign that indicates that these are false.

45. No official would have stamped “Shelepin’s letter” that was sent in 1959 with an ingoing registration number from 1965. Because from that follows that the office employee at the Public Sector of the Central Committee had withheld a top secret letter from the Secretary General of the Central Committee for 6 years and 6 days! And that office employee who had stamped it in that way would have been held responsible for illegally storing a secret letter in an unknown place. Who could guarantee that he had not delivered the letter to the American embassy in order to be photographed? For example, Voznesensky, chairman of the Gosplan and one of the highest deputies in the Soviet government, had been executed in 1950, accused of having both wasted documents and to have delivered them to other hostile states. Did really the office employee at the Central Committee have to induce such a charge against himself?

46. Even more amusing seems the fact that the letter contains another stamp with the date March 20, 1965. This means that the letter from the former and since long resigned KGB head Shelepin, really had been forwarded to the now retired Krushchev, who then would have read the letter and sent it to another department at the Central Committee, where the letter was received and registered.

Those who forged these documents, believed that the stamps in the letters were nothing more than decorations, but the forgers did not realize that these are notes from people that they have received the letters for storage from a person, from whom they are obligated to receive them, and that they bear the highest responsibility for these letters not being read by any outsiders.

47. The letter is handwritten, but not by Shelepin, and is registered in the KGB office and thus sent by ordinary mail. If one believes that the letter is genuine, then it means that in 1959 there was only one typewriter throughout the whole of KGB and also that one had broken before then.

48. In “Shelepin’s letter” it is said that the “case files for the POWs” from the Starobelsk camp still remain in 1959 and that they are stored in the archive, but these case files had been burned already on October 25, 1940 about which Inspector Pismennyj and the sergeant for state security, Gaydidey, had compiled a document which still today is stored in archives.

49. “Shelepin’s letter” is written with a thick Polish accent. Only foreigners could look at it in a way that if there was a state named the Soviet Union then there should also have been the “Soviet power agencies”. Inside the Soviet Union nobody would have said it in that way, since the word “Soviet” absolutely clearly and firmly belonged to the legislative branch of power inside the Soviet Union – Supreme Soviet (Verkhovnyj sovet), the Oblast council (oblastnoy sovet), the District council (rayonnyj sovet). But then it was not called the “Soviet power agencies” but the “agencies for the Soviet power”, and only that since “Soviet” in the latter case meant that it is not about the belonging to a state but is a proper name for a specific power agency. (By the way these “agencies for the Soviet power” had nothing at all to do with the Katyn case). And the names of these agencies were never confused even by the average citizens, even less by the KGB employees! Therefore it really sounds bad when it says in “Shelepin’s letter”: “For the Soviet agencies … at the initiative from the Soviet power agencies”. The words seem to have their origins from abroad much the same way as “mine, yours, not understand” (a Russian jocularity when describing someone who is not very knowledgeable in the Russian language).

Kozlov said that one of the signs of forgery in one of the documents that he had looked at was the full name “Central Committee of the Communist Party” instead of “CC CPSU”.  Indeed, who inside the CC CPSU would have misunderstood what the CC CPSU meant? So also in this case: the real Shelepin or the KGB employee would never had written “Soviet power agencies”, in a similar case they would rather have used a more exact term like “party-state agencies” (partiyno-gosudarstvennyje organy).


AUCP(b) (All Union Communist Party (bolsheviks), Russian VKP(b) Vsesoyuznaya kommunisticheskaya partiya (bol’shevikov)) – the name of the Soviet Communist Party, the name AUCP(b) was used 1925-1952

CC (Central Committee, Russian: Tsentral’nyj komitet) – The Central Committee (i.e. the leading agency of the Communist Party)

CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Russian: KPSS, Kommunisticheskaya partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza) – The Soviet Communist Party (the name CPSU were used 1952-1991)

FSS (Federal Security Service, Russian: Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti) – The Russian security service today

Gosplan (or Gosplan USSR, Russian: Gosudarstvennyj planovyj komitet soveta ministrov) – The State Plan Committee of the Soviet Ministerial Council (a central Soviet plan agency which among other things developed the so-called  Five Year Plans)

GUZhDS (or GUZhDS NKVD USSR, Russian: Glavnoye upravleniye zheleznodorozhnogo stroitel’stva NKVD SSSR) – The main directory for the rail road building at the NKVD (formed in 1940, renamed GULZhDS NKVD USSR in February 1941)

KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti) – The Committee for State Security (KGB, earlier NKVD, nowadays FSS)

NKVD (Narodnyj komissariat vnutrennikh del) – The People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (then the name of the Soviet Ministry of Interior)

Sovnarkom (Sovet narodnykh komissarov) – The Council of the People’s Commissars (the government of the Soviet Union)

Troika (Russian: Troika, also Osobaya troika NKVD) – NKDV troika (an extrajudicial body which imposed sentences 1935-1938, usually on oblast level. The troikas consisted of the senior NKVD chief of the oblast in question, a secretary of the oblast committee and a prosecutor.)

USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Russian: Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) – the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, i.e. the Soviet Union.

Katyn: Dionis Kaptar’s interview with Viktor Ilyukhin regarding the forgeries

July 7, 2010

On July 2, 2010, an interview with Viktor Ilyukhin was broadcasted live on the TV channel ”KM.TV” conducted by Dionis Kaptar. In the interview Ilyukhin told more in detail about the forgeries of the Katyn documents.

It appeared that he knew the anonymous informant already during his time as employee at the Main Prosecution, however this man knew him better than vice versa. The person in question is closely related to the Russian intelligence. Ilyukhin said that it seemed easy to talk to him since they speak the same professional language.

Ilyukhin said that already before this man came forward and talked about the forgeries, there were strong doubts regarding the authenticity of the Katyn documents. He showed Beria’s four-paged letter no. 794/B and told that they have done an expert examination of it. It has been shown that the pages of the letter are written on two different typewriters.

According to Ilyukhin such a thing was inconceivable in the production of top secret documents. It happened sometimes that they, for confidentiality, even destroyed the typewriters that had been used to write secret documents. For that reason, Ilyukhin said, it was not so difficult to feel confidence in the anonymous informant’s information.

According to this man the forgery group was created during President Yeltsin’s time. The informant and Ilyukhin do not, however, exclude that the forgery of archive documents may have begun even earlier than that. Among other things it has been talked and is still talked a lot about the so-called “secret protocols” to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact from 1939. Ilyukhin believes that they are also forged and manufactured on the initiative of Alexander Yakovlev. However, this should be investigated more, Ilyukhin says. He says that the originals of the secret protocols are missing and have never been shown. They do not exist neither in Germany nor in the USA. Copies of these protocols first surfaced in the USA and eventually also in Russia during Gorbachev’s time.

The informant said that he must talk to his former forgery colleagues about these protocols because as he says: ”We may have manufactured them also.” He came in contact with the forgery group in early 1990s. The forgers worked exactly during the time when a government commission was de-classifying documents from the Central Committée of the Soviet Communist Party.

The group was located in Nagornoye outside of Moscow and had the technical design of the forged documents as their task (i.e. to put in signatures, stamps etc.). The texts themselves were already written (they contained dates and everything) and were delivered to the group for the final work. They also received real typewriters from the 1930s and 1940s that were to be used in typing the forged documents. According to Ilyukhin the former 9th Board at the KGB still had left many typewriters and other materials from that time. In making the forgeries they always used old forms and typewriters. Some of these forms the informant has brought with him and forwarded to Ilyukhin.

Some of the stamps they had, however, manufactured themselves. Apart from the signatures of Beria and Stalin they have also used forged signatures of Voroshilov and Molotov. Some of the stamps where else genuine and were delivered to them after the building where the Central Committee was located had been taken under control.

The man said that it was precisely his forgery group that manufactured the ”Beria letter” which contained a request to execute 21 857 Polish prisoners. According to him the “Politburo print-outs” for Beria and Shelepin are also false. One of them, the “print-out for Beria” ends with the “secretary of the Central Committee” but without any name and any stamp. In the “print-out for Shelepin” it says the “secretary of the Central Committee J. Stalin” (where Stalin’s name has been entered afterwards) and on top of that they have put a stamp from the Central Committee where the name of the party is CPSU instead of VKP(b). In 1940 the name of the party was VKP(b) and a CPSU stamp from that time was therefore totally impossible.

Ilyukhin says that since the heaviest documents are false one must ask if there are any other evidence in this case that makes it justifiable to claim that everything happened after a decision of the Politburo, i.e. the country’s top management.

According to Ilyukhin it seems that the anonymous informant still has not said everything and sits on more details. The meetings between the two of them continue.


Katyn: Dionis Kaptars intervju med Viktor Iljuchin angående förfalskningarna

July 6, 2010

2 juli 2010 direktsändes en intervju med Viktor Iljuchin som genomfördes av programledaren Dionis Kaptar i TV-kanalen ”KM.TV”. I intervjun berättade Iljuchin mera ingående om förfalskningarna av Katyn-dokumenten.

Det framkom att han kände den anonyme uppgiftslämnaren redan under sin tid som medarbetare inom huvudåklagarämbetet, dock kände den mannen honom bättre än tvärtom. Personen i fråga har nära samband med den ryska underrättelsetjänsten. Iljuchin sade att det kändes lätt att prata med honom, eftersom de pratar samma professionella språk.

Iljuchin sade att redan innan mannen trädde fram och berättade om förfalskningarna, så fanns det starka tvivel angående Katyn-dokumentens äkthet. Han visade upp Berijas fyrsidiga brev nr. 794/B och berättade om att man har gjort en expertundersökning kring det. Det har visat sig att brevets sidor är skrivna på två olika skrivmaskiner.

Enligt Iljuchin var sådant otänkbart vid framställningen av topphemliga dokument. Det hände ibland att man av sekretesskäl t.o.m. förstörde skrivmaskinerna som användes för att skriva ut hemliga dokument. Av den anledningen, sade Iljuchin, var det inte svårt att känna tilltro till den anonyme uppgiftslämnarens uppgifter.

Enligt mannen skapades förfalskningsgruppen under president Jeltsins tid. Uppgiftslämnaren och Iljuchin utesluter dock inte att förfalskningarna av arkivdokument kan ha inletts ännu tidigare än så. Bland annat har det pratats och pratas fortfarande mycket om de s.k. ”hemliga tilläggsprotokollen” till Molotov-Ribbentroppakten från 1939. Iljuchin anser att även de är förfalskade och tillverkade på Aleksandr Jakovlevs initiativ. Dock bör detta undersökas närmare, menar Iljuchin. Han säger att originalen till de hemliga tilläggsprotokollen saknas och har aldrig visats upp. De finns varken i Tyskland eller USA. Kopior av dessa protokoll dök först upp i USA och så småningom även i Ryssland under Gorbatjovs tid.

Uppgiftslämnaren sade att han måste ta och prata med sina tidigare förfalskningskollegor angående dessa protokoll, för som han säger ”vi kan ha tillverkat dem också”. Han kom i kontakt med förfalskningsgruppen i början av 1990-talet. Förfalskarna arbetade just under den tid då en regeringskommission höll på att avhemlighålla dokument från det sovjetiska kommunistpartiets centralkommitté.

Gruppen var förlagd i Nagornoje utanför Moskva och hade den tekniska utformningen av de förfalskade dokumenten som sin uppgift (d.v.s. att sätta dit signaturer, stämplar o.s.v.). Själva texterna var redan färdigskrivna (de innehöll datum och allt) och levererades till gruppen för det slutliga arbetet. De fick också äkta skrivmaskiner från 1930- och 1940-talen som skulle användas för att skriva ut förfalskade dokument. Enligt Iljuchin hade den tidigare 9:e styrelsen vid KGB kvar många skrivmaskiner och andra material från den tiden. Vid förfalskningarna använde man alltid gamla blanketter och skrivmaskiner. En del sådana blanketter har uppgiftslämnaren tagit med sig och överlämnat till Iljuchin.

En del av de stämplar som man använde hade man däremot tillverkat själv. Förutom Berijas och Stalins namnteckningar har man använt förfalskade signaturer för Vorosjilov och Molotov. En del av stämplarna var annars äkta och hade levererats till dem efter det att centralkommitténs byggnad i Moskva hade intagits.

Mannen har berättat att det var just hans förfalskningsgrupp som tillverkade ”Berijas brev” som innehöll en begäran om att avrätta 21.857 polska fångar. Enligt honom är ”Politbyråns utskrifter” till Berija och Sjelepin också falska. Den ena av dem, ”utskriften till Berija”, avslutas med ”sekreteraren i centralkommittén”, utan något namn efter och utan stämpel. I ”utskriften till Sjelepin” står det ”sekreteraren i centralkommittén J. Stalin” (där Stalins namn har skrivits in efteråt) och ovanpå det har man satt en stämpel från partiets centralkommitté, där partiets namn är SUKP istället för VKP(b). 1940 hette partiet VKP(b) och en SUKP-stämpel var således helt omöjlig i ett dokument från den tiden.

Iljuchin säger att i.o.m. det att de tyngsta dokumenten är falska, så frågar man sig om det finns fler bevis i det här kriminalrättsfallet, som ger grund att hävda att allt hände efter ett beslut i Politbyrån, d.v.s. landets högsta ledning.

Enligt Iljuchin verkar det som om den anonyme uppgiftslämnaren ännu inte har berättat allt och sitter på mer information. Möten de båda emellan fortsätter.


Katyn: first sign of life from Russian officials regarding the forgeries

July 5, 2010

The silence of official Russia was broken on June 21, 2010, by an article in the newspaper “Ogoniok”.

The keynote in the article is mockingly against Viktor Ilyukhin. They call the whole thing a “desperate communist comeback attempt”, they mark words (among other things Ilyukhin has said the village of “Nagornyj” instead of “Nagornoye”), and some other small bleed. They are almost on the verge of implying that Ilyukhin himself is behind the forgery of the documents that the anonymous informant has turned over to him and is now hiding behind convenient excuses. Furthermore it is said that “the forgery news” is not a coincident but has a direct connection with Rosarkhiv’s publication of the Katyn folder at their own web site recently (April 28).

In the article appeared also the former head of the archives Rudolf Pichoya (one of those who is actually depicted by the anonymous informant) and he strikes back at everything that Ilyukhin has claimed. Among other things Pichoya said that this is an attempt to confuse the brains of young people, and also that forgeries in the archives are totally impossible. He states, probably quite seriously, that no forgery attempts have been made in the archives for three centuries! He ends his debate appearance by calling Ilyukhin’s behavior as hooliganish and amateurish.

The article is concluded by a box with all the claimed strange affairs that Ilyukhin is supposed to have been involved in – if you want some kind of discredit box.

On the whole, this lunge on part of Pichoya, who is one of the main suspects and depicted in this case, is a little bit odd if you look at his reaction. It is strange that he does not react stronger than he actually does and take this matter to court as some kind of libel. If he has nothing to hide he should easily get a winning sentence against Ilyukhin for dissemination of slander. But no, Pichoya chooses to only mock Ilyukhin with a few sentences in a newspaper.


Katyn: KPRF press conference regarding the falsification of archival documents

July 5, 2010

The KPRF held a press conference on this subject on June 18, 2010.

Yuri Mukhin reports on his website about the press conference. He says that what all the gathered people were most interested in was the question of who it was that had come to Viktor Ilyukhin and confessed. Ilyukhin clarified that this person is in a real danger. Mukhin talked briefly to Ilyukhin after the press conference, when Ilyukhin were on his way to another place. The following then transpired:

1. The anonymous person (A.) really fears for his life and is concealing himself because of that.

2. A. is no lunatic, but is really a falsification expert. Mukhin can at the moment not say what it is that confirms this, but in time the public will know about it.

3. A:s motive “it hurts for my country” is confirmed by a personal motive which can be understood from a humanly perspective. When it eventually will be known the public will understand what that motive is about.

Before Ilyukhin ran off he said that now A. is not the only one who has confessed but in the hurry Mukhin did not have time to get a clarification over this.

At the press conference there were representatives from Polish media and people from the Russian “Memorial”. A Polish journalist tried to argument against Ilyukhin by saying that the execution of the Polish officers is confirmed by the excavations in Kharkov and Mednoe. Ilyukhin replied that in the USSR only “criminal Poles” were executed. Mukhin, however, feels that this argument was somehow listless. The reply should have been that a court does not have any use of some excavator’s “conclusions” developed during a commission without concrete evidence.

For example, Mukhin means that they should explain why among the 169 sculls found in Kharkov only 62 bullet holes were found while the dead in Katyn almost all of them had traces of bullet holes. In Mednoe 226 dead “Poles” were found, but only twenty had bullet holes.

An exhumation is part of a judicial process; everything found must be thoroughly documented, described, photographed and collected. All evidence shall then be packed, protected against destruction and preserved until it can be presented to a court, which shall then decide the matter.

Memorial’s Nikita Petrov tried to portray the whole thing as it “probably is about a falsification amateur who has made himself some money on his forgeries, but which has nothing to do with the Katyn documents”.

Mukhin argues against that position. He says that an individual can never perform such advanced forgeries as it is about in this case. Mukhin says that before you can sell something you must first buy something. Among other things the false stamps must be paid. Then genuine old paper from the 1930s and 1940s must be acquired (with specific paper composition and texture). Then the work to put all these document attributes and small notifications here and there is very time-consuming.

Beyond that real typewriters from that period must be acquired (for example from Beria’s office). That is something that is not to be done without considerable problems. In order to do that you must found documents in the KGB archive about deliveries of typewriters and establish which one of these was delivered specifically to Beria’s office, and then through some antique store find that particular typewriter.

And finally, you are spending a lot of time and money to produce for example “Stalin’s letter to the General Staff of the Red Army”, but then you also must sell the document. But to whom shall it be sold? Everyone will understand that the document is stolen, even if it is not false. The scholars are interested in the document text itself, and would never pay big money for a document. It is more convenient and also free of charge to write off a document directly in the archive. Why should you buy the document itself, and by that also commit a crime? And why should you buy a falsified archival document?

According to Ilyukhin they have fears for the witness’ life. “The witness will be presented to the investigation, if it will be performed on the highest governmental level”, Ilyukhin added.

Ilyukhin also claimed that “participants in the independent research group are also subjected to pressure, it is suggested that they officially shall retract some of their statements”.


Katyn: Ilyukhin’s appearance in the Duma regarding the forgeries

July 4, 2010

On June 16, 2010, Ilyukhin appeared in the Duma about these new revelations.

He says that the KPRF (Russian Communist Party) has information of such forgeries that needs to be thoroughly controlled by a parliamentary investigation. The purpose with the forgeries during the 1990s must have been to equate Stalinism with fascism.

Ilyukhin repeated his information that also people at the 6th department of the armed forces General Staff have been involved in these falsification activities. This group’s activity coincided in time when a government commission under the leadership of Mikhail Poltoranin was involved in declassifying documents from the Politburo and the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

It has been established earlier by Russian historians that Lenin’s so-called “will” is a forged document. Other known forgeries are documents which have to do with the abdication of Nikolay II and that Stalin is supposed to have been an agent of the Tsarist secret police (Okhrana), and other documents.

Ilyukhin says that today it is possible to state that “Beria’s letter” of March 5, 1940, is falsified. He showed an expert opinion from the lectern. Also the transcription from the Politburo decision is falsified, where permission is given to execute all these Poles.

He also shows an expert opinion that the document of the claimed co-operation between the NKVD and the Gestapo is also falsified.
Ilyukhin expressed great concern over that so many documents obviously have been forged, since it gives the scholars a wrongful image of events that have taken place not so very long ago “in our own history”, as he puts it.

He says that he may have restrained himself from similar statements of large scale falsifications if it not had been supported by the fact that Dmitri Volkogonov turned over tens and hundreds of top secret documents to the US Congress Library in the 1990s. The Russian archival documents “is indeed wandering freely all over Europe” as Ilyukhin put it.

He mentioned the false stamps that he has in his possession, including stamps of Stalin’s and Beria’s signatures, and that there are empty forms from the 1930s and 1940s on which they have made such documents.

He also mentioned “special case no. 29” from 1941. Some of these documents have unfortunately already been legalized, he says. The folder contains inscriptions “stored forever” and “not subject for de-classification”, but nevertheless these documents are outside the archives.

Recently Sergey Mironenko, manager at the Russian State Archive, has said that such things could never have happened and that Ilyukhin is spreading pure fantasies. Ilyukhin says that he is prepared to resign as a member of the Duma if Mironenko can prove that these documents have nothing to do with events from the 1930s and 1940s. If Mironenko fails in doing that, he should himself leave his post.

Ilyukhin put forward the question about the necessity to conduct a new parliamentary investigation regarding the massacre of the Polish POWs at Kozi Gory outside Smolensk and about the falsification of other historical documents.

In the near future they will suggest a legislative change in the Russian legislation which will fill a hole, namely that it should be considered a crime to falsify documents of great historical importance.

Ilyukhin says that it is wrong to believe that all of this has to do with the past. It has everything to do with our present time, he concludes.


16 juni 2010. Viktor Iljuchins framträdande i den ryska duman   angående dokumentförfalskningarna.

Katyn: Ilyukhin’s video on Katyn forgeries

July 4, 2010

On June 3, 2010, a video was released where Viktor Ilyukhin reveals orally what has happened.

In the video he is mentioning the latest information that he has received from the anonymous informant. He is showing some empty forms (among others a similar one which was done for “the Beria transcription”), he shows all the stamps which according to the informant is false.

Ilyukhin also talks about the 202 page document concerning Stalin’s correspondence and reports to him from 1941. The purpose with this forgery in particular was to insert as much information as possible in the documents that would show that the Soviet intelligence perfectly knew about the coming war already during spring 1941 and that Stalin was warned but that he despite of that ignored all warnings.

The informant said that he could no longer in calmness follow the events and see what the falsifications led to. He also said that he feels an ironic reaction every time he notices that they mentioning documents.  that his group has forged. The man also says that it was him who singlehandedly put Beria’s signature in “Beria’s letter No. 794/B”. At the same time Stalin’s, Voroshilov’s, Molotov’s and Mikoyan’s signatures were put in the same letter.

The man has said that Colonel Klimov was the one who singlehandedly executed the “Shelepin letter” to Khrushchev “from 1959”. It shouldn’t be difficult to compare that letter with other letters that Klimov has written to compare his handwriting and make an expert study of it. According to the video some falsification orders came directly from the head of the archive Rudolf Pichoya. All the falsified documents concerns the 1930s and 1940s, i.e. only the Soviet epoch.

In the video it is said that the falsifiers worked in the village of Nagornoye between 1991 and 1996 and then moved to a place not far from there. The informant does not exclude the possibility that the group can still be working. This group has produced hundreds and thousands of pages of falsified documents which have been put into circulation.

Ilyukhin finishes by saying: “There is really no credence left for the Russian archives.”


Katyn: “Closed package no.1” was forged

July 3, 2010

On May 25, 2010, an anonymous person called the member of the Russian Duma, Viktor Ilyukhin, and said that he had some things to say regarding certain things having to do with the murder of the Polish officers at Katyn. Ilyukhin met this person already the same day and during this meeting he revealed his name and said that he had been directly involved in the falsification of archival documents including the Katyn documents. Among other things “Beria’s letter No. 794/B” and “Shelepin’s letter” from 1959 have been falsified by him and his group.

This group was specially set up during the Yeltsin era and worked in the early 1990s in the village of Nagornoye (they were staying at a dacha which had previously been used by members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party). The group was well paid and was provided with various kinds of products. They had at their disposal a set of old Soviet forms and stamps.

The anonymous informant (the name is not revealed at this moment out of security reasons) told how the falsifications happened. They even falsified the signatures of the earlier Soviet leaders. It has already been proved by Russian historians that  several historical documents have been falsified even before, such as Lenin’s testament and the act of abdication of Nikolay II, among others. This specific group’s work went on until 1996, when they moved from Nagornoye to the village Zarechie.

Persons involved in this group were Colonel Klimov (who was directly involved in the falsification of the “Shelepin letter”), the head of the Russian archive Rudolf Pichoya, Yeltsin’s closest collaborator M. Poltoranin, and premier deputy security chief for the Russian president G. Rogozin. Rudolf Pichoya was, by the way, the individual that on the assignment of Yeltsin handed over documents from the “closed package no. 1” (the so-called Katyn folder) to Lech Walesa in Warsaw on October 14, 1992.

The informant also said that as far as he knows, even employees at the 6th Institute of the Russian General Staff (with Molchanov as head) worked in a similar way.

According to the information hundreds of documents dealing with important moments of Soviet history were falsified. They have also distorted the content in other documents. To support his allegation he presented a number of forms from the 1940s, false stamps, stamp markings on paper and other things. He promised to deliver more material.

Viktor Ilyukhin has now sent two letters (May 26 and 28) about this to the KPRF leader Gennadiy Zyuganov with a request to continue the investigation and that more scientists and scholars should be involved in this.


Katyn: Lazar Kaganovich’s testimony

July 2, 2010

The well  known Russian military historian, doctor in history of science, A. N. Kolesnik has to the editorial staff of “The truth about Katyn” forwarded extracts of stenograph from his personal conversations with the former member of the Politburo of the Communist Party, L. M. Kaganovich.

Altogether A.N. Kolesnik conducted six conversations with L. M. Kaganovich between 1985 and 1991 around different historical subjects. Out of censorship reasons it is not possible to release the stenographs from these conversations without considerable cuts and edits, not even in small parts, since the direct speech from Kaganovich is full of ugly words and swearing which characterizes his attitude to the leadership of Hitlerite Germany, to the leading circles of bourgeois Poland and to the leaders of the “Gorbachovite” perestroika, and in particular in person to A. N. Yakovlev.

The dates for A. N. Kolesniks conversations with L. M. Kaganovich and their duration are documented by the employees of the KGB who guarded the stairwell where L. M. Kaganovich were living. If necessary the dates and the duration of the conversations can be established more thoroughly with the help of archival information, since the guards were obligated to register all the visitors in a special logbook. Apart from that all the visitors were photographed with a special camera which automatically fixed the date and the time for the film shooting.

The conversation about the Katyn issue, during which L. M. Kaganovich for the first time announced the information of the exact amount of citizens from former Poland that had really been executed on Soviet territory between November 1939 and July 1941, took place on November 6, 1985 in Moscow in L. M. Kaganovich’s apartment which was located at Frunzenskaya naberezhnaya, house 50 and lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes, from 6.40 pm to 9.20 pm. Present at this conversation was also Lazar Moiseyevich’s daughter Maya Lazarevna, who stenographed everything that was said.

Later it turned out that the conversation also had been recorded with the help of special technical equipment by the employees of the KGB who in silence conducted reconnaissance of L. M. Kaganovich. That became obvious, when A. N. Kolesnik was called by the operative KGB employee Captain Ryazanov, who in a categorical form demanded that the content of the completed conversation could not be made public.

During the conversation on November 6, 1985, L. M. Kaganovich said that during the spring of 1940 the Soviet leadership was forced to make a very difficult decision to execute 3 196 criminals among those who were citizens of former Poland, but L. M. Kaganovich said that it was absolutely necessary in the then prevailing political situation. According to Kaganovich’s testimony, they had essentially sentenced to execution Polish criminals who had been involved in the mass extermination of captured Russian Red Guards 1920-1921, and employees of Polish punishment bodies who had compromised themselves with crimes committed against the USSR and the Polish working class during the 1920s and 1930s. Apart from them they had also executed criminals among the Polish POWs  who had committed serious general crimes on Soviet territory after their internment in September-October 1939 – gang rapes, criminal assaults, murders and so on (L. M. Kaganovich said literally: “ …the fuckers, the bandits and the murderers …”).

Apart from Kaganovich, the former chairman of the Peoples Council of Commissars V. M. Molotov in a telephone conversation in 1986 estimated that the amount of executed citizens of former Poland 1939-1941 amounted to “about 3 000 people”.

The exact figure “3 196” Polish citizens who had been executed in the USSR in 1939-1941 was also decidedly confirmed by the former Soviet People’s Commissar for the Construction Industry, S. Z. Ginzburg, in a private conversation with A. N. Kolesnik.

S. Z. Ginzburg told A. N. Kolesnik little-known details of the Soviet excavation works in the Katyn forest. According to him the excavations of the graves with the Polish citizens were conducted in 1944 not only in Kozi Gory but also in at least two other places west of Smolensk. The excavations and the exhumations were conducted with the help of special construction- and assembly units, so-called OSMCh (in Russian osobye stroitelno-montazhnye chasti), which were under S. Z. Ginzburg’s operational management. Because of the period of time that had elapsed S. Z. Ginzburg could not remember the exact number of this OSMCh unit, but said that the unit in question had been formed shortly after the beginning of the war on the basis of one of the civilian building boards and that their staff in 1944 amounted to about 200 people. After the exhumation works they distributed to all the conscripts of the unit – at S. Z. Ginzburg’s request – one kilogram of chocolate as some kind of bonus.

A. N. Yakovlev, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee, started to earnestly interest himself in the contents of the conversations between A. N. Kolesnik and L. M. Kaganovich, and also showed great concern regarding a possible publication of Kaganovich’s testimony about the Katyn issue. At the end of 1989, right before his appearance in front of the 2nd Congress of People’s Deputies, A. N. Yakovlev turned, through A. N. Kolesnik, over a list of tendentiously selected questions about the Katyn issue with the suggestion of recording his answers at a tape recorder. The idea was  to prepare Kaganovich’s answers in a proper way and confirm the version of the Soviet guilt in the Katyn massacre by his authoritative testimony. (Kaganovich said literally: “Tell this son of a bitch that I have had them spinning around my dick! I am from the family of a common meat pundit, but have been a member of the Central Committee and a minister, while they want us to fall back to 1914. The thing they have invented about Katyn – that will bounce back at them with bloody tears. They want us again to end up in a conflict with Europe. Because during the last war we indeed not only fought Hitler but with most other European countries!”

The perspective of a publication of the exact amount of Polish citizens that were executed in 1939-41 (3 196 people) and the true reasons for the executions, induced an extreme nervousness of Yakovlev and his surroundings. In exchange that A. N. Kolesnik should keep quiet about the information around the Katyn issue that he had received from L. M. Kaganovich, A. N. Yakovlev suggested that he could choose between six different senior posts.

When A. N. Kolesnik declined that offer, they arranged on directives from A. N. Yakovlev and D. A. Volkogonov a meeting between him and a representative for “competent bodies” who conducted a “preventive talk” with him in V. M. Falin’s (the head of the news agency APN) office. During the conversation threats were made to “bring him in on a long time”, if A. N. Kolesnik would go public on the facts about the Katyn issue that L. M. Kaganovich had told him.

When it became apparent that this measure had no effect, they brought prosecution on A. N. Kolesnik which ended with him being dismissed from the Military History Institute in 1993.


Katyn: “Beria’s letter” was written on two different typewriters

July 2, 2010

On March 31, 2009, Sergey Strygin (Russia’s leading Katyn-expert) turned to a licensed forensic expert, Eduard Petrovich Molokov with a request to analyse “Beria’s letter nr. 794/B” of “March __, 1940” in order to determine whether it was written on one or several typewriters.

Molokov has an expert diploma (issued in 1973 by the MVD, i.e. the Ministry of Interior of the USSR) and is entitled to conduct such investigations. He used a “MBS-10” microscope, which allows up to 32 times magnification, when analyzing the document. During the analysis of the “Beria letter” (which consists of four pages) he magnified the text 3 times and carefully compared the images.

Molokov found that pages 1, 2 and 3 are written on a different typewriter than page 4. He has, among other things, examined the letters’ distance from each other, their altitudinal and the clarity of the printing ink. His conclusion is that the pages 1, 2 and 3 are consistently equal. But page 4 (the one with Beria’s signature on) differs from the first three pages.

It should be added that the typewriter which was used to print page 4 has a font that is known to have been on one of the typewriters in Beria’s office, while the font from the typewriter that wrote pages 1-3 is unknown (it has not been found in any of the documents sent by Beria).

There is one other important detail. Molokov had only access to high definition digital colour copies that Strygin was allowed to do in the Russian archives some years ago. This means that Molokov did not have access to the physical letter, which in its turn means that such things as the age of the paper have not been possible to examine.

More information on Molokov’s analysis of the “Beria letter” can be found here: