“Judges” and Executioners [1]

It has been suggested that Yury DMITRIEV attracted the wrath of the authorities by exposing the members of the troika that issued thousands of death sentences in Karelia during the Great Terror or by naming the NKVD executioners who shot those thousands of men and women.

Ivan Chukhin

These details were established and publicised years earlier, however, by Dmitriev’s mentor Ivan CHUKHIN (1948-1997), as Irina FLIGE describes in the Search for Sandarmokh. Between 1990 and 1995 Chukhin was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet and the Duma; as important perhaps, he was a lieutenant-colonel and senior investigator with the police. By the mid-1990s Chukhin had gained access to the minutes of the three extra-judicial bodies issuing death sentences for Karelia during the Great Terror. Further research in the FSB archives indicated the approximate place of execution; the numbers shot; and the surnames of the NKVD officers who oversaw the executions. In Karelia-1937, posthumously published in 1999, Chukhin went further (p. 118).

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