Moscow Court Dismisses Stalin’s Grandson Libel Suit Again

A Moscow court dismissed on Thursday a libel suit filed by Stalin’s grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, against a Federal Security Service officer who earlier stated that the Soviet leader was to blame for the 1940 Katyn massacre.

More than 20,000 Polish officers, police and civilians taken prisoner during the 1939 partition 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 filed a libel suit against Lt.-Gen. Vasiliy Khristoforov, the head of the FSB archive documents department, who said during a scientific conference last November that Stalin was the one to order the Katyn massacre.

Two months ago another Moscow court dismissed an analogous libel suit from Dzhugashvili against the parliament’s lower house, the State Duma.

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 copies of documents from top secret File No.1 to Poland, which placed the blame directly on the Soviet Union. The lower house of Russia’s parliament approved the declaration recognizing the Katyn massacre as a crime committed by Joseph Stalin’s regime in November last year.


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