It is immoral to support the hypocrisy of the Russian authorities
An appeal by former political prisoners
concerning today’s opening of a monument in Moscow
As former political prisoners and participants in the Democratic Movement in the Soviet Union, we consider the opening in Moscow of a monument to the “victims of political repression” to be untimely and hypocritical. A monument is a tribute to the past, yet acts of political repression in Russia not only continue – they are increasing.
In sponsoring the opening of the monument, the present Russian regime is pretending that acts of political repression are a thing of the distant past: the victims of such political repression, therefore, may be commemorated. We believe that today’s political prisoners in Russia are no less deserving of our help and attention than the respect and remembrance we owe to the victims of the Soviet regime.
Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a memorial dedicated to victims of Soviet-era government repression and said the years of suffering at the hands of the state must never be forgotten.
Putin was speaking at the opening ceremony for the Wall Of Sorrow on 30 October 2017 as part of the official Day Of Remembrance For Victims Of Political Repression — an event first held in 1991, the year the Soviet Union ceased to exist. […] Some one hundred people — mainly elderly citizens, human rights activists, and city officials — attended the ceremony (reports Radio Liberty)
Yesterday’s event in Moscow, from 10 am to 10 pm on Lubyanka Square (photos – Alexei Koreshkov)
This year 5,286 people took part in “Restoring the Names” a commemorative event held annually on 29 October (in 2007, the event’s first year, they numbered only 263). People queued up to 4½ hours in order to read out one name or several.
During the minute’s silence the embassies of 28 countries placed flowers on the monument to the victims of totalitarianism.
“Until 1 pm we were still trying to keep track of how many people called for the release of Yury Dmitriev. Then we lost count, but it seems that every sixth speaker called for the head of Memorial in Karelia to be freed.”
Every year, on 29 October, thousands of people gather near the Solovetsky Stone in Moscow to read out the names of those who were shot during Stalin’s reign of terror. “We call on our readers to join them this Sunday on Lubyanka Square,” writes the online Meduza website.
A press conference to mark the unveiling of the vast Wall of Sorrow on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow this coming Monday, 30 October, ended with a statement about the Dmitriev case.
Not one of Russia’s nationwide TV channels mentioned that statement in its coverage of the event, reports today’s Novaya gazeta
“From 10 am to 10 pm on Sunday, 29 October, we shall be reading out the names of the victims of political repression here in Moscow,” announces an item on the Restoring the Names page on Facebook. “The Memorial Society has organised this event for ten years, ever since 2007. One after another, people will get up and read from the list. Yet thus far we have barely read half of the names of the 40,000 people executed in and around Moscow during the pre-war period.”
“It is exactly 80 years since the killing by quota began of Ukrainian, Russian and other prisoners from the notorious Solovki Labour Camp,” writes HALYA COYNASH for the website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. “From 27 October to 4 November 1937, 1,111 prisoners were executed by the NKVD, including 289 Ukrainian writers, playwrights, scientists and other members of the intelligentsia.” Their bodies, like those of nearly eight thousand other victims shot in the vicinity, were tossed into burial pits at Sandarmokh in Karelia (Russia) and remained lost until 1997.
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