Vladimir Katryuk: how ended up the last executioner of Khatyn

Biography 15/01/20 Vladimir Katryuk: how ended up the last executioner of Khatyn

As you know, many Nazi war criminals managed to escape punishment. However, the biography of Vladimir Katryuk looks incredible even compared to other similar stories. Responsible for heinous crime — the burning of the inhabitants of the village Khatyn — Ukrainian nationalist quietly have lived in Canada for 64 years.

the Beginning of the war

Vladimir Katryuk was born in the village of Luzhany, Chernivtsi region, which was then part of Romania. When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, he was 19 years old. The young man joined the party of Ukrainian volunteers who have moved a March on Kiev. When they reached the capital of Ukraine in December 1941, he learned that the Germans arrested the OUN leaders, and about any independent Ukrainian state it has not proceeded. Bukovina battalion was disbanded and Katryuk came in the 118th battalion of the schutzmannschaft — auxiliary military police, recruited from among the collaborators. Here he eventually rose to the position of squad leader.


on 22 March 1943 punitive schutzmannschaft was sent to the village of Khatyn in Belarus. Earlier in the day, the partisans of the brigade, Vasily Voronyanskogo killed three German military, including the champion of the Berlin Olympics of Hans welke, a personal friend of the Fuhrer. The response of the Nazis were extremely cruel.

Together with brought by SS soldiers of the 118th battalion destroyed the entire population of Khatyn — 149 people, including 75 children. Some of the inhabitants were shot, others burned alive in the collective barn.

Although on paper Vladimir Katryuk was listed as an ordinary performer, subsequently interviewed by KGB officers, the witnesses said that he was one of the most active participants. This was told by his colleagues Gregory Basura and Vasily Meleshko. By their testimony, Katryuk personally drove the villagers into the barn, and those who tried to escape were shot.

For border

In July 1944, the Germans transferred to the 118th battalion in France. Obviously, Vladimir Katryuk already knew that landed in Normandy, the allies will soon knock the Nazis out of this country. So he deserted from the battalion and joined the French Resistance. The war Ukrainian finished in the French Foreign Legion in Italy. Vladimir Katryuk could not be extradited to the Soviet Union in 1945, as was never a citizen of the USSR. After spending some time in the detention camp, he was released and remained in France.

Before 1951 former Punisher lived in Paris, and then moved to the canadian province of Quebec, where calmly engaged in beekeeping in the district of Montreal.

However, Kairuku was unable to avoid litigation. In 1999, judge mark Nadon satisfied the claim of the canadian Ministry of immigration and naturalization. It turned out that when entering the country Vladimir Katryuk used false documents and gave authorities false information about yourself. The process was read the materials, testifying about the involvement of Ukrainian war crimes. However, the Katryuk the court asserted that never participated in large punitive operations in Belarus, and about the events in Katyn knew only by hearsay. Although the judge did not believe in the sincerity of this testimony, he only acknowledged the violation of immigration law. However, in 2007, one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals were returned to canadian citizenship. A role in this believed to played the pressure of Western Ukrainian nationalist Diaspora, is very influential in Canada.

the Local branch of the Jewish Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2012, presented to the canadian government documents, marked the beginning of a new investigation in relation to Katryna, which, however, was not completed.

the Death of 93-year-old beekeeper from a stroke in 2015, has attracted media attention in many countries. By this time Vladimir Katryuk was the last living participantskom crimes in Katyn. Just a month before his death, the Investigative Committee of Russia has asked to deport an elderly Ukrainian as accused under article “Genocide”, but Canada did not agree.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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