15:16 GMT05 December 2020
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    Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, regularly going out of his way to make anti-Russian remarks, has characterized the 1940 execution of several thousand Polish officers by Soviet security forces as a 'genocide'.

    On Sunday, Poland held celebrations dedicated to Poland's Armed Forces Day, celebrating the 96th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw, one of the key battles of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921. At a commemorative event in the village of Ossuve, 22 km outside Warsaw, Defense Minister Macierewicz participated in a mass and wreath laying ceremony at the Cemetery of Heroes of 1920.

    The ceremony at Ossuve saw the unveiling of monuments to three high-ranking military officials who died in a plane crash outside Smolensk, Russia in 2010, which Macierewicz has previously characterized as a deliberate act of 'terrorism' against Poland by Russia.

    Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Macierewicz noted that the officers who died in the crash "were faithful to the president of Poland…flying to Katyn to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Soviet genocide."

    Taking responsibility for the Katyn crime, and formally apologizing to Poland, most recently in 2010, Moscow has also published its entire archives regarding the massacre online. Nonetheless, Russia has refused to categorize the crime as a genocide.

    In July, the Polish parliament officially recognized the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against Polish civilians in Volyn during the Second World War as a genocide. Macierewicz soon claimed that the Soviet Union was to blame for that event as well, suggesting Moscow had "used" the Ukrainian fascists to organize the anti-Polish genocide.

    Late last month, as a goodwill gesture to Warsaw,lawmakers from the Russian Duma proposed a bill which would officially recognize the crimes committed by the Ukrainian fascists a 'genocide'.


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