Russian, Polish leaders mourn Stalin-era massacre - Yahoo! News Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is hosting his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk in Katyn, the site of Stalin-era massacres of Polish troops during World War II. Putin's attendance at the Russian memorial ceremony for 22,000 Polish prisoners of war killed by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's secret police in 1940 is an unprecedented gesture of good will and reconciliation. It also appears to be part of a broader Kremlin charm offensive toward Eastern Europe. Putin is the first Russian leader to commemorate the Katyn massacres alongside Polish leaders, though Russia has not recognized the massacres as a war crime and Soviet archives on the matter remain sealed.