Terminology

This website has been in existence since September 2017. While the terminology used here is, for the most part, established and widely used two terms have now been changed.

A foster daughter

The unfortunate child at the centre of the charges brought against Yury DMITRIEV has often been described as his “adopted” daughter.

Russian procedures in this respect differ from those in the West and they have further changed since late 2016 during the course of the investigation and trials of Dmitriev. It is more accurate to characterise the precarious official and legal relationship between Yury Dmitriev and Natasha since 2008 by describing her as his foster daughter.

the High Court

Until now the highest court in the Republic of Karelia, one of the 83 subjects of the Russian Federation, has been described as that administrative region’s “Supreme” Court.

There is, however, a Supreme Court in Moscow with jurisdiction over all the 83 subjects of the federation. It will be less confusing, as the Dmitriev case and the successive verdicts passed in Karelia are examined at a higher level, to reserve the adjective Supreme for the court based in Moscow and, henceforth, refer to the court on 27 Kirov St. in Petrozavodsk as the High Court of Karelia.

Above the Supreme Court stands the Constitutional Court in St Petersburg. And since 1998 a further court of appeal has existed outside Russia, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. How far along this judicial sequence the Dmitriev case progresses before justice is done remains to be seen.

Attacking the Defence

There are a growing number of court hearings in Petrozavodsk associated with the Dmitriev case. On Monday, 25 January 2021, for instance, there will be a hearing at the High Court of Karelia that has no direct relation to Yury DMITRIEV or the charges brought against him. It is directly linked, however, to the methods used by the judicial system in the Karelian Republic to exact vengeance on the inconvenient historian. To be more exact, this court hearing will be an attempt to take issue with those methods.

A new defence lawyer?

On 17 November 2020, Judge Yekaterina Khomyakova tried to assign a new defence attorney to Yury Dmitriev. There was no legal logic to her action. It would have replaced Victor Anufriev who has led Dmitriev’s defence for the past four years.

The Petrozavodsk Embankment (photo, Galkova)

Judge Khomyakova sent a notice to the Fleganov & Partners law firm, requesting it to represent Dmitriev. It turned down her offer. To accept would have infringed the Statute on the Order for Participation in Cases of Defence Attorneys appointed by the Court. Alexander Fleganov refused the offer on behalf of his firm. There followed Judge Khomyakova’s individual ruling, which she sent to the Petrozavodsk bar association, about a violation supposedly committed by Fleganov & Partners. Alexander Fleganov appealed against this ruling, and it is his appeal that will be heard today by the High Court of Karelia.

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Unique Tomsk Region Museum safe for this winter at least

The only one of its kind in Russia, the museum in Palochka village in the north of the Tomsk Region opened this August. It is devoted to the memory of over 7,000 forced settlers from southern Siberia who died there in 1931-1933. Partly funded with grants from the presidential administration, it faced fears of closure recently until a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to pay for its prohibitive heating costs.

From mass burials to a museum

In 2018 two local women Irina Yanchenko and Gulnara Koryagina found mass burials of so-called “special” settlers on the outskirts of the village (population 297 in 2017). Archival documents revealed that in 1931 “kulaks” had been brought there on barges down the River Ob from the Altai Region to the south. Two years later only 700 of the 7,800 settlers remained alive: the rest had died from the backbreaking work, from starvation and sickness.

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