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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

April 10

In 2010, on this day a string of bizarre coincidences marred a ceremony marking the seventieth anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre in which twenty-two thousand members of the Polish Officer Corps were executed by the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD).

Annex 13
Article written by Ed & Jackie Speel
The execution of the Polish Officer Corps was expressly ordered in writing by the professional head of the NKVD, Lavrentiy Beria's in an official document of 5 March 1940 which was approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including its leader, Joseph Stalin. Three years later, the Government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest, a revelation which led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile.

In fact, the Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the perpetration of the killings by the NKVD. Because although the Polish government-in-exile failed to obtain justice, the brave actions of Polish nationals such as Lech Walesa and Karol Wojtyla contributed towards the final collapse of the Soviet System.

John Paul II had consecrated Russia after a Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assassinate the Holy Pontif as he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience in 1981 (the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a belief in the Roman Catholic Church that a specific act of consecration on the part of the Pope has been required by the Virgin Mary in return for which there would be world peace). Both the Central Intelligence Agency and an Italian parliamentary commission concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the conspiracy in retaliation for the Pope's support of Solidarity, the Catholic, pro-democratic Polish workers' movement (their "Top Secret" reports stated that certain Communist Bulgarian security departments were utilised and Soviet military intelligence - and not the KGB - were responsible).

It was widely rumoured in the Catholic Church that the Pope1 was intending to use the anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre to announce that the consecration of Russia was the "Third Secret of Fatima". Such a move would redefine the relationship with the Russian Patriach and the possibility of removing the schism with the Orthodox Church.

Also en route to the ceremony was a delegation of high ranking Russian and Polish officials. In his own speech, Polish president Lech Kaczynski was expected to confirm deeper integration with both the European Union and also NATO.

A tragic and bizarre aircraft crash at North Smolensk Airport killed all of the principals. Under Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Guidelines, the investigations were conducted by the Russian Government which acted under the direct, personal orders of President Medvedev. A conclusion of "pilot error" was reached which did nothing to dispel the global circulation of conspiracy theories.

© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.