26 March 1990

The note of Valentin Falin on the proposal of the head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union concerning the proposal of the Polish side to celebrate the anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, intended for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, suggests that ‘in order to strengthen his position in [Polish] society, President Wojciech Jaruzelski should be provided with copies of documents indirectly confirming the participation of the NKVD authorities in the annihilation of Polish officers in Katyn’. It also suggests that the text ‘To the victims of fascism – Polish officers executed by shooting by the Nazis in 1941’ should be replaced with the words ‘To the Polish officers killed in Katyn’ without indicating the date….”


23 June 1990

The head of the KGB USRS General Nikolai Golushko gave the Poles a list of 4031 names of Polish officers deported from Starobelsk for disposal of the NKVD in Kharkiv.


23 June 1990

In issue 120 ‘Kurier Podlaski’ informs about the issuance by the Marshall Islands post office of a 25-cent stamp with a Polish officer in the grave, wrapped in a coat and tied with a rope, at the top an English inscription ‘Katyn. Forest Massacre 1940’


4 July 1990

“On hearing that some exhumation is to take place in Kharkiv, a letter was sent again to the USSR Public Prosecutor General Alexander Suchariev with a request to allow the Polish side to attend the planned exhumation,” writes Stefan Śnieżko, the then Deputy Public Prosecutor General of the Republic of Poland. And he will remind that the letter to Suchariev “remained unanswered”.


19 July 1990

During the meeting between Stefan Śnieżko and Gienadij Korzewnikow, the Regional Prosecutor in Kharkiv, the agreement to the participation of Polish prosecutors and experts in the exhumation planned for September is confirmed…


8 September 1990

The accusation that Poland had murdered 60,000 Red Army soldiers in the concentration camps established by Marshal Piłsudski in 1920 was accompanied by publications – as in the ‘Izvestia’ – with questions: Maybe the Polish government does not want to follow the example of our government and will not be able to say that the number of victims (Russian prisoners of war in Polish captivity in 1920) is much higher than in Katyn ?


13 September 1990

The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Poland receives a message from Kharkiv that the September exhumation will last …two days. “The information about the limited exhumation plans of the Soviet side reached the Katyn Families and other organizations, which began to send me expressions of indignation. The situation became very unpleasant,” mentions Stefan Śnieżko.


3 November 1990

A gloomy mystification was called the regulation signed that day by President Mikhail Gorbachev with an order for the USSR Academy of Sciences, the USSR Public Prosecutor’s Office, the USSR Ministry of Defence, the USSR State Security Committee to carry out, together with other institutions and organizations, research work to reveal archival materials on events and facts from the history of the Soviet-Polish bilateral relations, as a result of which the Soviet side suffered losses. The data should be used, as President Gorbachev recommended, in talks with the Polish side on the issue of ‘white spots’.

25 July 1991

Start of exhumation works in the Kharkiv Forest Park. Already on the first day of the work, a metal uniform button with an eagle is extracted.

29 July 1991

On one of the stands in the Forest Park in Kharkiv, a white tin enameled three-layered tiffin with the inscription ‘Made in Poland’ visible on the lid, a captain’s epaulette, Polish military shoes with long uppers, a chessboard pawn carved by hand in wood (in the camp ?), other Polish accessories, and a bit further away the prisoners of war’s belongings were dug out, brought from prison after the execution and burnt over the pit: hardware and locks for suitcases, keys, Polish coins of various face values, medallion, razors, spectacle lens, officer’s whistle, buckles for officer’s main belts, miniature commemorative medal for the war 1918-1921, cufflinks, porcelain bottle with the factory mark in Ćmielów …


30 July 1991

The previously discovered objects are complemented by three, among others: Polish coins, a rectangular mirror, a wallet, a medal with an image of saints and a complete chain, a fragment of a garrison four-cornered cap, a fragment of a spur, a canteen, a purse with the Sodality of our Lady badge, a drawing pen and coins, a wristwatch with the inscription ‘For perseverance and diploma – mother. 28. . 34’ and the bones of at least ten victims.


31 July 1991

In addition to eight skulls, including one with the clearly visible gunshot wounds, a number of different objects have been found, as well as a fragment of a postal section with the name of the recipient – as it will turn out a prisoner of war in the Starobelsk camp – Czesław Solka.


3 August 1991

A woman’s slipper is found at one of the stands – among male skeletons – but the other one will be discovered only on August 5th…


6 August 1991

After summing up the results of the work in excavation XXII it turns out that 74 skulls and a second female skeleton were found there, slippers slightly larger than those excavated earlier, a brown tortoiseshell hair comb for styling hair and small buttons from a woman’s blouse as well as underwear buttons.


10 August 1991

At the exhumation site, in the streams of a great downpour, after a solemn military holy mass in the field, boxes with bones and skulls of found victims are placed in the grave. A 5-metre high cross with a gorget of Our Lady of Czestochowa stands above the grave, in imitation of the Katyn Cross, and a plaque with the inscription ‘In memory of 3921 generals and officers of the Polish Army of Starobelsk prisoners murdered by the NKVD in the spring of 1940 and buried here. Compatriots. Kharkiv 10.08.1991.’


15 August 1991

At 11.20 a.m. in a probable burial place of Polish officers south of Jamok near Mednoye, a button with an eagle from a police uniform was found, and then a part of a cap.  


15 August 1991

Already on the first day of research and exhumation works in Mednoye, where in April and May 1940 the bodies of Polish prisoners from the Ostashkov camp, previously murdered in the NKVD headquarters in Tver, were transported, a excavator bucket comes across Polish police uniforms, trousers, underpants, military boots, which meant finding a mass grave.


17 August 1991

In the exhumation area, a rectangle measuring approximately 80 x 120 meters (fenced off from the forest area occupied by KGB dacha), more and more uniforms, buttons with eagles, bones and skulls are being excavated, and experts even come across entire bodies in full uniforms.

“What we saw is impossible to tell or describe – will be recalled by one of the members of the exhumation team, Colonel Zdzisław Sawicki. – Our eyes could see the complete, mummified bodies of men dressed in uniforms. It was amazing. We pulled out the bodies one by one, so as not to damage anything. We carried every corpse on wooden carriers, placed it on the ground, unzipped uniforms, searched the pockets […] As for personal belongings, contrary to what was found in Kharkiv, we were surprised, because the victims had only a towel rolled up in their pockets and a piece of soap, some glasses, a comb or a cigar holder. There were no belts by the uniforms. This enormous poverty, the limitation of personal belongings to such a necessary minimum, confirmed the accounts of the extremely harsh treatment of prisoners of war from Ostashkov…”


20 August 1991

“A lot of interesting objects have been extracted today,” writes Jędrzej Tucholski in his diary, recalling: a roll of pre-war cigarette paper ‘Herbewo’, a golden ring with initials ‘MB’ and the date 5.1.1919, a thick file of documents of a policeman Lucjan Rajchert, wrapped in newspapers, among others, in ‘Proletarian Truth’ of 2 April 1940, a 70×50 mm prayer book in leather binding with gilded edges of pages, a Border Guard badge, two boxes of matches, a well-preserved shirt, a wooden spoon, most probably carved in the camp…



23 August 1991

After the calculations, it turns out that at all research and exhumation sites a total of 180 skulls were excavated, and among them skulls of: Henryk Szwan, Marcin Świderski, Jan Sobczak and Józef Staszczyk.+


26 August 1991

In one of the pits 15-20 layers of corpses were found, 230-240 skulls and over 200 pairs of shoes were excavated. While looking through the documents found in the pocket of Lucjan Rajchert’s uniform, Jędrzej Tucholski finds 80 names: one policeman from Krakow, the rest are Silesians.


28 August 1991

Apart from the State Police badges, Polish coins, one gold coin, chess pawns and shaving soaps, a small candle has been found. “We took it to the pit and it lit up there with a bright flame at once,” recalls Jędrzej Tucholski in his diary. – We prayed for the dead, we sang ‘Sleep, my friend, in a dark grave…’ We were all very moved.”


29 sierpnia 1991

On the last day of the exhumation, after the official end of the work, at the position no. XXX (after rolling down the tent standing in this place) it became possible to find bones and police uniforms.


30 August 1991.

A large wooden cross was dug in over the excavation site in Mednoye, brought from the country by Stefan Melak, President of the Katyn Committee.


30 August 1991

A large wooden cross was dug in over the excavation site in Mednoye, brought from the country by Stefan Melak, President of the Katyn Committee.


15 September 1991

On that day, a plaque was unveiled on the outside wall of the church of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Sosnowiec – Kazimierz, which reminds of the names of several officers from Kazimierz Górniczy who were murdered by the NKVD in 1940.


21 November 1991

The completion of the two-day preparatory works and partial exhumation in Katyn, planned for that day, dragged on for 60 hours and made it possible – after 20 excavations – to find two skulls, small bone parts, parts of Polish uniforms and canteen.

16  November 1992 

A group of Polish military topographers completed their five-day measurements in Katyn, and their stay allowed them to make, among other things, a map of the area of the planned cemetery and an art table


21 November 1992 

A group of Polish military topographers completed their third day of work in Mednoye, taking the same measurements as in Katyn.

29 June 1993

In the renovated casemates of the fort ‘Sadyba’, located in Warsaw at 13 Powsińska Street, the Katyn Museum was officially opened as a branch of the Museum of the Polish Army. Photographs and documents made accessible by Katyn Families in five exhibition rooms are accompanied by the most interesting of several thousand objects and documents found during the exhumation in Katyn, Kharkiv and Mednoye.


3 July 1993

In Gdynia – Pogórze, on the former Pucka Street, there are signs informing about the change of its name to Kontradmirała Xawerego Czernickiego Street


2 August 1993.

The committee of experts of the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation in the criminal case No. 159 (…) considered ‘notice of the special committee…’ ‘not in line with scientific requirements and the ruling – not in line with the truth’ under the guidance of Nikolai Burdenko.


25 August 1993

“Prostitie” (“Forgive”) said the Russian President Boris Yeltsin after laying a wreath at the Katyn monument in the Powązki Cemetery.


2 September 1993

The Minister of Justice of the RP Jan Piątkowski informed the public that an independent Polish investigation into the Katyn Massacre had been launched. According to the statement of Minister Piątkowski, Poland would request the authorities of the Russian Federation to extradite living criminals.


15 September 1993.

President of the Katyn Institute in Poland – Adam Macedoński – one of the authors of the letter to Minister Piątkowski as a ‘civic motion’ to extend the Katyn investigation to other crimes of genocide committed on the Polish nation by the Soviet Union from 17 September 1939 to 31 December 1956.

6 September 1994

The first hours of research conducted in the Kharkiv Forest Park by the Polish archaeological, cartographic and geodetic team led by Prof. Andrzej Kola from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.


6 September 1994

In the Katyn Forest, in the so-called Memorial area, a Polish research team starts its work, with the task of finding the grave in the cemetery, established in 1943 by the Germans and the Technical Commission of the Polish Red Cross, checking whether there are bodies of Polish officers there and finding all the death pits 1 – 8.


7 September 1994

Beginning of the excavational and topographic research in Mednoye near Tver, in the area of collective graves of the fenced-off part of the FSK recreation centre.


9 September 1994

Finding traces of the ten-centimeter layer of slag, the so-called ‘black road’, leading from the gate to the Forest Park, which after the execution in the NKVD internal prison in Kharkiv was used to carry the bodies of the killed officers under the ‘death pits’.


10 September 1994

In Mednoye, the excavator bucket finds human remains with numerous elements of police uniforms, which after extraction are characterized, photographed and placed in a plastic bag and stored in the same place. Valuables go into depository.


11 September 1994

In the Katyn Forest, the first corpses of Polish officers are found in their uniforms, which indicates searching their pockets and taking out their contents from there.


14 September 1994

In Kharkiv a layer of skeletons was found at a depth of 160 – 270 cm and a military button made of sheet metal with a crowned eagle was found.


14 September 1994

In Mednoye, in the pit numbered XVI/88 human remains are found, dressed in Polish police uniforms, covered with a 30 cm thick layer of cloth police coats, including a khaki-coloured military coat with large convexed silver metal buttons with a crowned eagle…


19 September 1994

Discovery of a pit in Mednoye filled with a large number of police, military and personal equipment of Polish origin.


20 September 1994

In excavation 1 in the Kharkiv Forest Park, numerous fragments of Polish military clothing with buttons and complete, disorderly lying skeletons, a fragment of Polish shoes, eight military buttons with a crowned eagle, including three clumped with remnants of fabric, are found.


21 September 1994

In Kharkiv, three layers of bodies were unveiled with a shot-through wounds from behind through the occiput, a number of remnants of Polish uniforms were excavated, including a fragment of a cap and a uniform with the badge of the Cavalry Training Centre in Grudziądz.


22 September 1994

The last day of the Polish team’s work in the Katyn Forest, where the death pits and even the graves of the Polish Red Cross cemetery from 1943 were partially located. In several places – besides human bones and skeletons – elements of uniforms, forage cap, field or garrison four-cornered caps from before 1939 were found, among others, belonging to aviation officers, officer shoes, boots, main belts, canteens, the military trademark, the so-called ‘dog tag’, a silver medal, a silver cross, newspaper fragments in Russian, wallets and purses with Polish and Soviet coins, two gold coins and even a few penknives.


24 September 1994

On the last day of work, the remains of uniforms, a Polish military button and a men’s wristwatch with an inscription consisting of engraved initials ‘KW’, the name ‘Słonim’ dated 26 October 1935, were found in Kharkiv.


7 November 1994.

During a speech in Krakow by the Consul General of the Russian Federation, Boris Szardakov, the listeners learned about „the establishment by Jozef Pilsudski of concentration camps for Russian prisoners of war, soldiers and officers of the Red Army, in which 60,000 people were murdered without trial; some of them were used by Poles to make targets for shooting”.


In a book published “Katyńskij detektiw” the author of this work, Yuri Muchin, after criticizing the Polish officer corps, which after 6 September 1939 did not want to fight the Germans and fled to the East, justifies the crimes in 1940 with the words “I am sorry for these Poles, but as a patriot I do not care who shot those evil idiots, Germans or we. Polish officers in the Katyn forest were shot in the back of the head with a German bullet. This is not fair. Soviet bullet is also good”.


11 June 1995

during the funeral ceremonies in Mednoye near Tver a cornerstone blessed by John Paul II was laid for the construction of a war cemetery for the Polish policemen buried here.


17 September 1995

The names of the places where the NKVD murdered Poles and the names of the battlefields in Eastern Poland can be found on the monument ‘To the Fallen and Murdered in the East’ unveiled on Muranowska Street in Warsaw that day.


8 November 1995.

The memorandum of the Independent Historical Committee for the Investigation of Katyn Massacre reminded, among other things, of the repeated signals of the Polish side’s consent to the construction of a common cemetery for the victims of Stalinism in Kharkiv. The necessity of a strong “support for the idea of Polish military cemeteries” was stressed.


11 November 1995

The President of the Republic of Poland In Exile awarded the Katyn monument in London with the Silver Cross of the War Order Virtuti Militari.