When YURY DMITRIEV was arrested, he was finishing work on a book that had taken nine years to research. It would contain thousands of names, he explained, in a January 2016 interview:
“I’m now putting together a book that will contain the names of those deported to ‘build socialism’ in Karelia from almost every other part of the USSR: Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, the Volga Region, the Urals and beyond – there was even one person from the Far East, from Kamchatka. There are more than 64,000 names in my list.
Yury Dmitriev in his own words
Did I ever want to give up? Sometimes, when there was no food at home and work on the execution lists and burial sites took up all my time. By then I was no longer an aide to a people’s deputy.
Yury Dmitriev (photo, Sophia Pankevich)
I made some attempts to get a job as an editor.
“Of course, such a book is needed. We’ve set up an editorial group,” they told me: “you’re the editor, now get on with it.”
“Come on,” I said. “I need a salary, it doesn’t need to be a big one … I’ve got to pay for the apartment, for electricity, and a few other things.”
“Be patient for a month or two. We’ll think of something and find you a place on the payroll.”