Twenty-Four Years

A Chronology of the Dmitriev Affair

See “Timeline One for more events & hyperlinks

full-screen format


11 May 1997: Death of Ivan Chukhin in motor accident

July 1997: Discovery of Sandarmokh and Krasny Bor killing fields

August 1998: 1st International Remembrance Day at Sandarmokh. Monument of the Guardian Angel unveiled

2002: Commemorative Lists of Karelia published

Dmitriev campaigns against Andropov statue in Petrozavodsk

2005: D. receives new Golden Pen of Russia award

2008: D. and second wife foster 3½-year-old Natasha.


February / March: Russia annexes Crimea, invades eastern Ukraine

July: Memorial Human Rights Centre declared a “foreign agent”

5 August: At Sandarmokh D. denounces actions of Putin regime in Ukraine


July: “New hypothesis” regarding Sandarmokh voiced by Yury Kilin, professor of history at Petrozavodsk University

4 October: International Memorial Society designated a “foreign agent”

November: D. awarded Honorary Diploma of Karelian Republic

29 November: Police ask D. to visit police station the next day; during his absence someone enters the apartment and starts up his computer

3 December: Police receive an anonymous tip-off that D. is taking “nude photos of his daughter”

13 December: D. arrested. Natasha taken from school: placed in grandmother’s care


10 January: Nationwide Rossiya-24 TV shows “What does Memorial have to hide?” including supposedly pornographic photos of Natasha


June 2017-April 2018

1 June: Trial begins in Petrozavodsk
(press and public not admitted)

August: Expert defence witnesses testify as to use of photographic records to monitor a child’s changing state of health (1 August) and, specifically, the health of D’s foster daughter (29 August).

30 October: Wall of Sorrow unveiled in Moscow by Putin, Patriarch Kirill and others

26 December: New experts declare photos taken by D. are not “pornographic”.


27 January: D. released the day before his 63rd birthday, on condition that he stays in Petrozavodsk

27 February: Serbsky Institute assesses D. as sane and showing no sign of sexual deviance.

5 April: D. acquitted by Judge Marina Nosova on all but firearms charge

14 June: Karelian High Court sends case back for re-examination

See “Timeline Two” for more events & hyperlinks

28 June: D. re-arrested, ostensibly for breaking his release conditions

25 August: Russian Military History Society begins two weeks of excavations in Sandarmokh

2 October: Museum director Sergei KOLTYRIN arrested “on suspicion of paedophilia


October 2018-July 2020

19 October: Trial begins in Petrozavodsk
(press and public not admitted)

23 October: Moscow city authorities attempt to shift “Restoring the Names” from the Solovki Stone to new Wall of Sorrow

9 November: Sergei Koltyrin turns down the services of Victor Anufriev


27 May: Sergei Koltyrin sentenced to nine years imprisonment

29 August: Finnish archive rejects Russia’s “new hypothesis” about Sandarmokh


January: D. publishes Sandarmokh, A Place of Remembrance (Vol. 1). Subtitle of his first book about Sandarmokh (1999) described it as “A Place of Execution”

1 April: Death of Sergei Koltyrin in prison hospital

7 July: Prosecution demands 15-year sentence for DMITRIEV

8 July: D’s Last Words to the court. He describes his own background and urge to foster a child, like himself, from a children’s home

22 July: D. found guilty by Judge Merkov on charges under Article 132 but only sentenced to 3½ years imprisonment, i.e., he is due for release in November 2020; other charges dismissed

29 September: High Court of Karelia increases sentence under Article 132 to 13½ years in a strict-regime colony and sends other charges back for third examination

See “Appeals” for more events & hyperlinks


November 2020-December 2021

24 November: Trial begins in Petrozavodsk
(press and public not admitted)

Presiding Judge Khomyakova

3 December: Case materials transferred to St Petersburg for consideration by the Third Cassation Court


16 February: Hearing at Court of Cassation in St Petersburg leaves 13 year sentence unchanged

30 March: Memorial lawyers submit appeal on D’s behalf to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

late June: Appeal to Supreme Court in Moscow

31 August: Supreme Court accepts appeal for consideration

12 October: Judge Abramov of the Supreme Court turns down appeal; Anufriev challenges his ruling

9 November: Prosecutor-General’s Office submits lawsuit to the Supreme Court calling for the closure of the Memorial Society