Joseph Stalin’s grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, has filed a new defamation lawsuit against the lower house of Russian parliament demanding the refutation of a statement on his grandfather’s involvement in the Katyn massacre, his lawyer said on Monday.
More than 20,000 Polish officers, police and civilians taken prisoner during the 1939 partitioning of Poland by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were executed by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, in Katyn, near the western Russian city of Smolensk.
Dzhugashvili is trying to prove in court that the State Duma’s statement on the Katyn massacre of Polish officers contains libel and insults Stalin. He demands a refutation of the phrase: “The Katyn crime was carried out on a direct instruction from Stalin and other Soviet leaders.”
Earlier Stalin’s descendant already filed a lawsuit against the State Duma demanding that deputies pay 100 million rubles ($3.2 mln at current rates). The court rejected his request.
This time, lawyer Sergei Strynov said the plaintiff only demands that the report be refuted without requesting monetary compensation. Hearings have been set for November 28 at Moscow’s Tverskoi Court.
The Soviet Union always blamed the Katyn massacre on the Nazis, saying the killings took place in 1941, when the territory was in German hands. However, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev formally admitted in 1990 that the executions took place around 1940, and were carried out by the NKVD.
In the 1990s, Russia handed over to Poland copies of documents from top-secret File No.1, which placed the blame squarely on the Soviet Union. In November last year, the lower house of Russia's parliament approved a declaration recognizing the Katyn massacre as a crime committed by Joseph Stalin's regime.
In October this year, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili filed a defamation lawsuit against Channel One television host Vladimir Pozner, who maintains that Stalin authorized the killing of thousands of Polish POWs in Katyn.
Dzhugashvili has lost several similar lawsuits he filed against Russian media outlets.