Only about one-third of the inhabitants were Poles; one-third were Ukrainian, and another third reflected a mixture of Jews, Belorussians, and self-proclaimed “locals” () declaring to be none of the above.Linguistic and religious divides cut along ethnic lines: Poles were Roman Catholic; Ukrainians were Greek Catholic, except for families that had converted to the Russian Orthodox faith before 1918, under Russian imperial rule; and Belorussians were Orthodox.
Even after the re-establishment of Poland in 1918, the status of these territories under international law remained uncertain, given the transformation of the Russian Empire into the Soviet Union and the persistence of armed conflict within and on its borders.The Katyń Massacres were at least four series of massacres carried out by the Soviet “People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs” (NKVD), or security police, on Polish prisoners of war and political prisoners over the course of April and May 1940.Until 1990, when the Soviet Union admitted that its officials had been responsible for the death of 21,857 Poles, one generally spoke of the “Katyń Massacre,” after the Katyń Forest site (present-day Russia) where, in 1943, the German army discovered mass graves containing a total of 4,123 corpses (4,243 according to Polish figures).Following the 1990 revelation, other sites were exhumed at Kharkiv (present-day Ukraine) and Mednoye (present-day Russia).In September 2007, evidence of a mass grave of Polish officers was identified at Bykivnia (present-day Ukraine), and there may exist yet undiscovered burial sites for the victims of massacres by the NKVD pursuant to the March 5 and March 22, 1940 orders of NKVD chief Lavrentii Beria.Starobelsk Marriage Agency - the unique dating agency joining hearts of single ukrainian and russian woman with the men all over the world!
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Poles became “bourgeois Polish lords,” a collective enemy defined both in ethno-national and class terms, a hybrid object of hatred of bourgeoisie and aristocracy alike.
Both the Red Army and NKVD approached Poles systematically as such.
The battles of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920-21 were fought first in the borderlands as the Red Army advanced toward Warsaw.
There, the Poles won a resounding victory, and the March 1921 Treaty of Riga included recognition of Polish sovereignty over the borderlands.
Germany recognized Soviet rights to invade and occupy approximately 200,000 square kilometers of interwar Poland, roughly equivalent to the country’s eight eastern and southern voivodeships (the new German-Soviet border was finalized in a September 28 annex signed by Ribbentrop and Stalin).