“Time may pass – the memory remains”

One of the last interviews Sergei KOLTYRIN, the arrested director of the Medvezhegorsk district museum, gave was to Nastoyashchee vremya, the online TV channel:

https://www.currenttime.tv/a/29525989.html

(Excerpts from a longer text on the website)

“The death of a person’s reputation is perhaps worse than being actually murdered. After such allegations, the person carries on but with great difficulty. It’s hard to live and not everyone can survive such an upheaval in their lives.

“When we speak about Sandarmokh, we must not forget the people at the time when this vile treatment began, and “undesirables” were eliminated. The free-thinkers, those who thought differently to others, who spoke in a different way and did things differently – they were awkward and undesirable [for the regime].

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Update on Koltyrin arrest

On 3 October, Sergei KOLTYRIN and Yevgeny Nosov were remanded in custody until 27 November.  The charges concern a 13-year-old boy.  The Interfax news agency has asserted, citing an unnamed source, that Koltyrin has written a confession.

As with all proceedings against Dmitriev, the prosecution is able to hold them behind closed doors because of the age of the alleged victim.  Defence lawyer Victor ANUFRIEV, who has represented Dmitriev from the beginning, will be representing Koltyrin as well.

There appears to be no information about Nosov, except that he does not appear to have a lawyer.

Human Rights in Ukraine
3 October 2018

 

Russia arrests second historian of Stalin’s Terror

It is becoming dangerous in Russia to investigate the crimes of Stalinism, writes Halya Coynash. A second Karelian historian, Sergei KOLTYRIN has been arrested and is facing charges almost identical to those now brought against political prisoner, Yury DMITRIEV.

Sergei Koltyrin (sea background)

Sergei Koltyrin

While the possibility cannot be excluded that there are real grounds for these new charges, the chilling similarities between the two cases are of immense concern. So too is the timing, with this second arrest coming soon after Koltyrin publicly rejected attempts to rewrite history about the mass graves of victims of the Terror at Sandarmokh in Karelia.

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Museum director detained “on suspicion of paedophilia”

Sergei KOLTYRIN, director of the Medvezhyegorsk district museum, has been detained “with an accomplice” on suspicion of paedophilia, a source within law enforcement told the local Respublika website. This was later confirmed by the Investigative Committee of Karelia.

Sergei Koltyrin

Sergei Koltyrn, director of Medvezhyegorsk district museum

Koltyrin has been heavily involved with the Sandarmokh memorial complex, which lies within the area covered by his museum, and spoke out against the recent excavations there by the Russian Military Historical Society. He has been director of the Medvezhyegorsk district museum for the past 27 years.

He is being investigated under Article 135 (Depraved Actions), concerning sexual relations with a minor. This is an offence similar to that which was added to Yury DMITRIEV’s charge sheet after his re-arrest at the end of June. (The details of the new charge against Dmitriev have yet to be clarified.)

Source: Respublika website
Tuesday, 2 October 2018

September 2016 – just before the arrest

Yury Dmitriev in his Petrozavodsk apartment

Yury Dmitriev at home (28 Sept 2016)

(photo, Hester den Boer)

On Friday, 13 December 2016,  the police knocked at the door and arrested the 60-year-old historian.

Dmitriev has been held in custody ever since, at the city’s Detention Centre No 1. In early June 2017 his trial began at the Petrozavodsk City Court (see Timeline). Recently, his term of preventative custody was extended until late January 2018.

Dmitriev arrested after anonymous denunciation

Yury Dmitriev categorically denies he is guilty. He took photos of his 11-year-old adoptive daughter as a record of her state of health, said Sergei Krivenko, citing the words of Dmitriev’s defence attorney Victor Anufriev.

According to Krivenko, when Dmitriev adopted the girl [Natasha] she was very thin, one might say emaciated, and the adoption agency ordered Dmitriev to follow her development closely. The day before his arrest, said Krivenko, the prosecutor’s office were informed anonymously that such photos could be found on Dmitriev’s computer. Who might have learned of their existence, and how, is for the time being incomprehensible.

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To Prosecutor from Memorial

Memorial International

International Memorial Society
Karetny Ryad, 5/10
Moscow
127006

 

Prosecutor of the Republic of Karelia
185910 Republic of Karelia
Petrozavodsk
4, German Titov Street

 

16 December 2016

Dear Mr Prosecutor,

On 13 December the local historian and public figure Yury Dmitriev was detained in Petrozavodsk.

We have known Yury Alexeyevich Dmitriev for many years as a researcher into the history of political repression in Karelia, as author of the book Lists of Remembrance of Karelia, as the person who discovered a number of places of burial of victims of political repression, and as one of the first people to locate a major burial site of this kind, [what is now] the Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, Continue reading

Historian Dmitriev arrested and jailed

The chairman of the Karelian branch of Memorial, Yury Dmitriev, one of the discoverers of Sandarmokh and a founder of its memorial complex, was arrested at his flat on Friday, 13 December. His computer and mobile phone were confiscated and the same day the adoption agency took Dmitriev’s 11-year-old adopted daughter from school.

The day before, says his common-law wife, who is currently in hospital, they found signs that someone had been in their apartment. Memorial representative and member of the President’s council on Human Rights, Sergei Krivenko, believes that these events might be a provocation aimed at discrediting the Memorial Society.

(Translation in progress – full Russian text follows.)

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