WARSAW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Poland’s Foreign Ministry has called on Moscow to hand over to Warsaw archives relating to the so-called Augustow roundup that resulted in some 600 Polish anticommunists becoming missing in the summer of 1945, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported Thursday.
“The official publication by Russia of the full list of Augustow roundup victims and the site of their burial would be a humanitarian act, especially in regard to the victims’ close ones that would make it possible for them to gain access to information on their relatives’ fate and honor their memory,” the ministry said.
The Augustow roundup was a military operation by Soviet forces and Polish communist units against alleged anticommunist fighters near the city of Augustow in Poland’s northeast in July 1945. Of thousands arrested, some 600 are believed to have been executed and buried at an unknown location in Russia.
The alleged mass killing has been dubbed “a second Katyn” in reference to the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.
Relations between Russia and Poland have also been strained over a 2010 jet crash that killed Poland’s then-president, Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a host of top officials near the Russian city of Smolensk. The delegation was flying to Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. All 96 people aboard the plane died.
In its probe into the air crash, the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee said the Polish flight crew was responsible for the accident. Poland, which carried out a separate investigation, partially blamed Russian air traffic controllers.