Well aware of the lack of support, the communists inaugurated their governance by resorting to repression and terror, and relied on the support of their Soviet ally. Three divisions of MVD armies, NKVD operational groups and 'Smersh' Counter–Intelligence, deployed against Polish society since the second half of 1944, initiated mass-scale arrests. The activity pursued by the NKVD de facto commenced the Soviet occupation of Polish lands. POW camp 178-454 was set up in Ryazan, about 180 kilometers to the southeast of Moscow. In 1944-1957 the inmates totalled 2 672 Poles and Polish citizens, the majority being Home Army soldiers and officers from Lvow, Wilno, Lublin, Bialystok and the environs of Warsaw, The prisoners also included Home Army commanders, including several hundred junior officers. All told, at least forty Poles escaped from the Ryazan camp, i.e. the largest number of inmates than in any other camp with Polish detainees. The camp also witnessed the greatest number of attempted escapes, carried out with the application of assorted variants.The majority failed, but this did not alter the fact that many inmates continued to attempt to flee the Soviet 'paradise'.
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