Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland's Last Communist Leader Dies

But he lifted martial law two years later and after growing unrest was forced to negotiate with Solidarity in 1989.

He had been in ill health for some time. Gen Jaruzelski fought in a Polish unit of the Russian army during World War Two and rose up the military ranks after the war to become chief "political officer" of Poland's armed forces.

He was defence minister at the time of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, in which Polish soldiers took part. He denied ordering the fatal shooting of dozens of shipyard workers in 1971.

Gen Jaruzelski was put on trial in 2008 by Poland's post-Communist authorities for his 1981 decision to impose martial law.

Dozens of people died in the military crackdown, which he insisted he ordered to avert invasion by Moscow.

 

 

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