The Ordeal resumes

On Friday, 19 October 2018, the first hearing in Yury DMITRIEV’s second trial takes place. He will be represented, once again, by Victor Anufriev. At his defence lawyer’s insistence, both the charges against Dmitriev, the old and the new, will be heard as part of the same proceedings.

Dmitriev rearrested
Yury Dmitriev is re-arrested in June 2018 (photo from Frankfurter Allgemeine)

Meanwhile, attempts to sway public opinion and prejudge the outcome of the trial are again being made by Kremlin-controlled media.

On Tuesday 16 October, Meduza [R] reported, a camera crew from REN TV came to the head office of Memorial in Moscow: “They were asking us why we were defending Yury Dmitriev and how such people as Sergei Koltyrin came to be involved with our organisation,” said Alexandra Polivanova; “they were also waving around photographs from the Dmitriev case files, which should not be in their possession.”

Memorial called the police.

The intruders from the national REN TV channel were escorted by police and Sergei Krivenko of Memorial, a member of the Presidential Human Rights Council, to the local police station and spent 1½ hours there. At Memorial they suspect this incursion is linked to preparations for the “Restoring the Names” ceremony, held every year in Moscow at the Solovki Stone on 29 October.

The media in Finland and Scandinavia have been expressing concern at recent events. Finnish historians are highly sceptical about the “new evidence” from Sandarmokh. They are waiting for expert forensic assessment of the remains claimed by the Russian Military Historical Society to be executed Soviet POWs.


In a recent letter from Detention Centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk, Yury Dmitriev displayed the fortitude he showed between December 2016 and April 2018.

His new companion in misfortune, Sergei KOLTYRIN, suggests Dmitriev, needs people’s support and attention more than he himself. The director of the Medvezhyegorsk district museum, Koltyrin is now under investigation at Detention Centre No 2 in Segezh. Victor Anufriev has agreed to defend him, as well.

John Crowfoot