Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

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Piotr Kapuscinski
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 15 Apr 2011 23:29

Can't see anything about limitations of liability (i.e. przedawnienie odpowiedzialności karnej) there.

There is only something about the dimension of the penalty (up to 20 and 10 - 20 years imprisonment).

If I understood it correctly.

==============================

Edit:

Prof. Janusz Symonides:

"The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, 26 November 1968, of which Poland and Russia are parties, does not mention genocide. Therefore insisting, that Katyn was a genocide, is not right. On the ground of law genocide is barred in Russia."

Prof. Symonides also says:

"It is not so easy to prove that a crime was a genocide. Criminal courts require to prove the clear intention [of killing those officers just becuase they were Polish officers - Domen] for a crime to gain the status of genocide."
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 15 Apr 2011 23:39

Domen121 wrote:Can't see anything about limitations of liability (i.e. przedawnienie odpowiedzialności karnej) there.

There is only something about the dimension of the penalty (up to 20 and 10 - 20 years imprisonment).

If I understood it correctly.

==============================

Edit:

Prof. Janusz Symonides:

"The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, 26 November 1968, of which Poland and Russia are parties, does not mention genocide. Therefore insisting, that Katyn was a genocide, is not right. On the ground of law genocide is barred in Russia."
well yes - why would be Russian Federation be labile under the Russian law for something that Soviet authorities did?

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 15 Apr 2011 23:45

Because the Russian Federation is the successor state of the Soviet Union?

The Russian Federation "inherited" the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations Security Council, for example. Not Ukraine, not Belarus, not Mongolia, not Latvia, etc. - but Russia is in the UN Security Council after the USSR.

AFAIK, the Russian Federation respects all international agreements that it signed when it was the USSR.

=====================

BTW:

Of course you know in which year exactly Russia (or the USSR) became party to this Convention?

Was it before the collapse of the USSR or after?

The fact that the Convention is from 1968 doesn't mean Russia joined in 1968.

Besides - Russia existed as part of the USSR back then (РСФСР - Russian Federal Soviet Socialist Republic).

If the USSR (as a whole) became party to some Convention, RFSSR (and all other republics) also did so.

You certainly know that the USSR's Constitution allowed individual Soviet federal republics to be parties of international agreements. One of amendments to the Soviet Constitution introduced this authorization.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 15 Apr 2011 23:58

Domen121 wrote:Because the Russian Federation is the successor state of the Soviet Union?

The Russian Federation "inherited" the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations Security Council, for example. Not Ukraine, not Belarus, not Mongolia, not Latvia, etc. - but Russia is in the Security Council after the USSR.

AFAIK, the Russian Federation respects all international agreements that it signed when it was the USSR.

=====================

BTW:

Of course you know in which year exactly Russia (or the USSR) became party to this Convention?

Was it before the collapse of the USSR or after?

The fact that the Convention is from 1968 doesn't mean Russia joined in 1968.

Besides - Russia existed as part of the USSR back then (РСФСР - Russian Federal Soviet Socialist Republic).

If the USSR (as a whole) became party to some Convention, RFSSR (and all other republics) also did so.
Russian Federation is one of the successor states to the USSR - it took one some responsibilities and not on others. For instance it never took on the USSR national debt. It was divided between all the republics (maybe not Baltic states). Later one Russia offered these states to pay it off in exchange for their share of USSR property abroad- all but Ukraine agreed. So right now both states claim right to the former Soviet property. Another case is Jackson-Vanik Amendment - which was initially was applied to entire USSR and after 1991 to all the republics and it being repealed on case by case basis. There are threads on the subject on this forum if you search for them. http://forum.axishistory.com/search.php?t=154970
PS. Technicall RF left USSR before it was no more. Or rather it was no more because RF left it.

I am not sure what second part of your post was about.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:05

I am not sure what second part of your post was about.
About the amendment to the Soviet Consitution (the one from 1936) from 1 February 1944, on the basis of which federal republics of the USSR gained the authorization to maintain international relations on their own.

On the basis of this amendment the Ukrainian and Belarusian federal republics of the USSR entered the United Nations (which, as we know, is an organization restricted only for states, not for component parts of federal states).

This means modern Russian Federation is not only one of the successor states of the USSR (and I will add that it is the main successor state of the USSR, since it occupied USSR's seat in the United Nations Security Council - instead of Belarusia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Latvia, etc., etc.) but also the only successor state of the RFSSR, which was also an individual legal entity / subject in international relations / law, just like all federal republics of the USSR.

According to the Soviet Constitution since the amendment from 1 February 1944.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 16 Apr 2011 00:13

Domen121 wrote:
I am not sure what second part of your post was about.
About the amendment to the Soviet Consitution (the one from 1936) from 1 February 1944, on the basis of which federal republics of the USSR gained the authorization to maintain international relations on their own.

On the basis of this amendment the Ukrainian and Belarusian federal republics of the USSR entered the United Nations (which, as we know, is an organization restricted only for states, not for component parts of federal states).

This means modern Russian Federation is not only one of the successor states of the USSR (and I will add that it is the main successor state of the USSR, since it occupied USSR's seat in the United Nations Security Council - instead of Belarusia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Latvia, etc., etc.) but also the only successor state of the RFSSR, which was also an individual legal entity / subject in international relations / law, just like all federal republics of the USSR.

According to the Soviet Constitution since the amendment from 1 February 1944.
it has been discussed already. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r&start=45
Like I noted before Russia left USSR before it got dissolved.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:15

OK. But this information is of no meaning for this discussion.

As prof. Symonides says, Russia IS (present tense, not past tense - not WAS) the party of this Convention.

Leaving a federation doesn't mean you automatically dissolve all agreements with other states you had signed.

The privilege of choosing which agreements they want to continue and which to dissolve was only granted to Post-Colonial states after they gained independence (and they were allowed to choose which agreements of European powers that ruled over them when they were colonies they want to continue and which to dissolve).

But not to other states, like for example former parts of the USSR.
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 16 Apr 2011 00:17

Domen121 wrote:OK. But this information is of no meaning for this discussion.

As prof. Symonides says, Russia IS (present tense, not past tense - not WAS) the party of this Convention.
Maybe my coffee was lacking in strongness department ... I still cannot see what are you driving at?

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:21

I am not driving at anything.

It seems that you claimed that crimes against humanity / war crimes are also barred in Russia (just like genocide).

This would mean that we can no longer punish anyone for Katyn because already 70+ years had passed.

But prof. Symonides says we can still demand justice for Katyn because Russia is a party to that Convention.

Of course provided that we qualify Katyn as a war crime or crime against humanity - not as a genocide.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 16 Apr 2011 00:29

Domen121 wrote:I am not driving at anything.

It seems that you claimed that crimes against humanity / war crimes are also barred in Russia (just like genocide).

This would mean that we can no longer punish anyone for Katyn because already 70+ years had passed.
No what I said was :
a) I don't understand what you meant by “barred” . Both Genocide and War Crimes are punishable under the penal code of Russian Federation. Genocide however was not defined until 1949, so it is problematic to apply to crimes committed before that. That is hardly something particular to Russia.
I believe the expert you have mentionedexplains that in your native language here http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,9411990,Dlac ... stwem.html

b) I have issues with you assumption that RF is the only successor state to USSR.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:32

Genocide however was not defined until 1949, so it is problematic to apply to crimes committed before that.
In general many of the Nazi crimes were "problematic" (it was problematic to "find a paragraph" on them).

Many Nazi war criminals were sentenced on the basis of general principles of justice derived from Natural Law.

Thus as you can see Nuremberg judges acknowledged that the fact that "genocide" was not defined before 1949 (and the term "genocide" was for the first time used in 1944) doesn't mean that such crime did not exist before.

That's why Nuremberg Trials are controversial for the followers of Legal Positivism.

But the horrible experiences of WW2 and 20th century crimes led to abandonment of legal positivist theories.
b) I have issues with you assumption that RF is the only successor state to USSR.
Not the only, but the main for sure. And the best proof is its "former Soviet" seat in the UN Security Council.

Also for example Ukraine and Baltic states seem to be clearly standing out from their Soviet heritage.
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 16 Apr 2011 00:38

Domen121 wrote:
Genocide however was not defined until 1949, so it is problematic to apply to crimes committed before that.
In general many of the Nazi crimes were "problematic" (it was problematic to "find a paragraph" on them).

Many Nazi war criminals were sentenced on the basis of general principles of justice derived from Natural Law.
War crimes and state organized mass murder of civilians were hardly problematic from legal point of view . Crimes against pace bit more murky. All in all, in theory if there was some 3rd party (form planet Pandora or whatever) conducted trail against Soviet authorities, it in all probability would have no issues convicting them for the Katyn.

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:39

I'm not talking about Soviet authorities, but Russian authorities.
a) I don't understand what you meant by “barred” .
http://translate.google.pl/translate?hl ... rmd%3Divns
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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 16 Apr 2011 00:41

Domen121 wrote:
Genocide however was not defined until 1949, so it is problematic to apply to crimes committed before that.
In general many of the Nazi crimes were "problematic" (it was problematic to "find a paragraph" on them).

Many Nazi war criminals were sentenced on the basis of general principles of justice derived from Natural Law.

Thus as you can see Nuremberg judges acknowledged that the fact that "genocide" was not defined before 1949 (and the term "genocide" was for the first time used in 1944) doesn't mean that such crime did not exist before.
b) I have issues with you assumption that RF is the only successor state to USSR.
Not the only, but the main for sure. And the best proof is its "former Soviet" seat in the UN Security Council.

Also for example Ukraine and Baltic states seem to be clearly standing out from their Soviet heritage.
There is nothing "for sure" here. As was pointed out to you Ukraine still claims its share of property located abroad that belonged to USSR -so much for distancing. UN seat was explained by the URL to the old thread given to you (you are not reading links again -are not you) And how exactly you succession theory accounts for a fact that RF clearly stated, prior to USSR dissolution , that laws of USSR no longer applicable on the territory of RF - as in your laws do not work here anymore, as in we will do what you tell us to, as in giant middle finger given by RF power figures to their Soviet counterparts?

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Re: Soviet Responsibility at Katyn: pro and con

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 16 Apr 2011 00:46

Ok I will read the link.

a) I don't understand what you meant by “barred” .
This:

http://translate.google.pl/translate?hl ... rmd%3Divns
And how exactly you succession theory accounts for a fact that RF clearly stated, prior to USSR dissolution , that laws of USSR no longer applicable on the territory of RF
It refers to internal laws. Not to international agreements.

A state cannot simply say "we don't respect any international agreements we signed from now on".
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