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73rd Anniversary of Soviet Invasion

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At dawn, 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland after a secret agreement with the German Third Reich.

Initially, the Soviet Union sent in 450,000 soldiers, though by the end of end of September this figure had risen to one and a half million.

Poland was then caught between German Nazi forces advancing from the west and Stalin’s forces from the east.

On 28 September, Germany and the Soviet Union drew up boundaries under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed a month before, which agreed spheres of influence within Poland, effectively snuffing out the independence the country won in 1918.

Following the Soviet invasion, around 15,000 Polish officers were deported to camps in Kozelsk, Ostashkov and Starobelsk.

Under Stalin’s decree of March 1940 the officers were executed by the NKVD security forces, and their bodies were buried in mass graves in Katyn, Kharkov and Mednoye.

Mass deportations followed to Siberia, which included, according to various estimates, from 550,000 to nearly one and a half million Poles.

September 17, 2012 - Posted by | News | , , , ,

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