British academics express concern

BASEES Statement
The Trial of Yury Dmitriev

Yury Dmitriev is an exceptional scholar of Stalinist repression, and his pioneering methods of locating and identifying the graves of victims have helped him to make a substantial contribution to that important field of historical research. He is a senior member of ‘Memorial’.

Yury was arrested in December last year, and is on trial in the Republic of Karelia (Russian Federation) on serious charges not related to his research. The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) has no wish to pre-empt legal process, but it notes that Memorial, and international human rights organisations have raised grave concerns about the methods used in the investigation by law-enforcement agencies in the Republic of Karelia and the conduct of the trial which is taking place in closed session. Yury Dmitriev has been held on remand and denied bail and his legal team have serious questions about the nature of the prosecution’s evidence that have not been answered. Continue reading

How we found Sandarmokh (video)

Dmitriev half-seriously expresses the wish that, by his 60th birthday (28 January 2016), there would also be sixty collective memorials at Sandarmokh, one for each of the nationalities and confessions represented there.

A 38-minute recording made in 2014 (?) in which Yury Dmitriev described a chance meeting with Irina Flige and Venyamin Ioffe at the FSB archives in Petrozavodsk. It was then they agreed to search together for the burial pits holding the remains of the missing Solovki transport.

He vividly describes his attitude to monuments and memorial cemeteries, in particular his own preference for the informal and all-inclusive nature of the Memorial that has taken shape at Sandarmokh over the past 20 years.