Supporters (20 June 2017)

On 20 June, appeals in support of Yury Dmitriev were broadcast on the Echo Moskvy radio station by writer Dmitry Bykov and musician Boris Grebenshchikov. On its website the radio station also published a list of several hundred people who have signed a petition in support of the historian.


In Petrozavodsk City Court the hearing continues of the case of Yury DMITRIEV, a well-known historian. A Gulag researcher and compiler of several “Books of Remembrance”, he is among those who created the memorial complexes in Karelia at Sandarmokh and Krasny Bor, and the memorial graveyard at Sekirnaya Hill on Solovki.

Dmitriev is accused of making child pornography, depraved actions and the unlawful possession of a firearm. The hearings are taking place behind closed doors and the media are not permitted into the courtroom. There are serious grounds for believing that the accusation is a deliberate provocation, aimed at ending the historian’s activities and destroying his reputation.

For more information about the Dmitriev Affair and the charges brought against him, see articles on the internet by Shura Burtin (“Gandalf’s Case), Anna Yarovaya, (“The Dmitriev Affair“),  and Irina Galkova (“My path to Golgotha“).


Text of Petition

We do not know a single person who believes that Dmitriev is guilty. Many thousands, on the contrary, express their admiration and support for him. Among them are the outstanding people whose appeal we publish below.

The following 320 individuals, and six organisations or collective letters, are among those that have already voiced their support for Yury Dmitriev [individuals marked * later recorded a video clip about the case, ed.]:


  • Archpriest Kirill Kaleda, incumbent of the Church of New Martyrs and Confessors at BUTOVO,[1] who is a member of the Patriarch’s ecclesiastical council for the Commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian church;
  • Archpriest Mikhail Nikolayev, incumbent of the Lodeinopolsky Church of SS. Peter and Paul in Karelia. [Built on a killing field identified by Dmitriev and others, ed.]


Ludmila Ulitskaya*, Boris Akunin, Vladimir Voinovich*, Alexander Arkhangelsky*, Alexander Gelman*, Yevgeny Vodolazkin, Olga Sedakova*, Denis Dragunsky*, Lev Rubinstein*, Igor Irtenyev, Grigory Kruzhkov, Mikhail Yasnov, Victor Shenderovich,

sedakova, olga (dacha)
Olga Sedakova

Alisa Ganieva*, Lev Timofeyev, Alla Bossart*, Nune Barsergyan [A. Nune], Dmitry Vedenyashkin*, Leonid Bakhnov, Vitaly Dikson, Yevgeny Yermolin, Victor Yesipov, Natalya Ivanova, Gennady Kalashnikov, Sergei Kostyrko, Anatoly Kurchatkin, Natalya Mavlevich, Sergei Makhlov, Maxim Nenarakomov, Nikolai Podosokorsky, Natalya Sivokhina, Vladimir Sotnikov, Anna Berseneyeva, Dilyara Tasbulatova, Sergei Task, Igor Kharichev, Oleg Khlebnikov, Andrei Chernov, Tatyana Shcherbina* and Sergei Yakovlev.

razumov, anatoly
Anatoly Razumov
  • Anatoly Razumov[2], director of the “Return the Names” centre at the Russian National library in St Petersburg, and a member of the St Petersburg commission for restoring the rights of the rehabilitated victims of political repression;
  • Lidia Golovkova, senior research associate of the history of the Solovki Archipelago[3] (the Solovetsky Museum and Conservation Area);
  • Olga Bochkareva, senior research associate of the history of the Solovki Archipelago (the Solovetsky Museum and Conservation Area);
  • Mikhail Rogachev, board chairman of the Repentance Foundation, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Honoured worker of the Republic of Komi;
  • Nikolai Olshansky, director of the Society of the Rehabilitated for the Novgorod Region [NW Russia];
  • Victor Kirillov, professor of the State Professional-Pedagogical University, director of the “Their Names Restored” project, Doctor of Historical Sciences.


Sergei Parkhomenko, Yevgenia Albats, Shura Burtin, Zoya Svetova, Victoria Ivleva, Mikhail Fishman, Akram Murtazayev, Leonid Bakhnov [2nd entry, see Writers List], Julia Vishnevskaya, Pavel Gutiontov, Diana Kachalova, Maria Krongauz, Oleg Pshenichny and Olga Beshlei.


Yuly Rybakov, Pavel Kudyukin*, Leonid Romankov, Alexander Feduta, Sergei Sharon-Delaunay, Grigory Pasko, Pavel Litvinov.[4]


Boris Vishnevsky, Dmitry Karaulov and Lev Shlosberg*;

POLITICAL SCIENTISTS [and other academics, 11]

Lidia Shevtsova, D.Sc (history), Mark Urnov, D.Sc (history), Igor Klyamkin, D.Sc. (philosophy) and Alexander Feduta, D.Sc. (philology);

Adrian Selin, D.Sc. (history), Igor Kurlyandsky, Cand.Sc. (history), Olga Krokinskaya, D.Sc. (sociology), Alexander Kobrinsky, D.Sc. (philology), Alexander Bobrov and Sergei Nikolayev (linguists), and Vladimir Dybo, Fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

  • Gasan Guseinov,* philologist;
  • Alexander Etkind, specialist in cultural studies, historian of culture and literary specialist;
  • Nina Popova, director of the Anna Akhmatova Museum (St Petersburg);
  • Publishers Alexei and Marina Zakharenkov, and Andrei Nikitin-Perensky;
  • Film directors and documentary makers Alexander Slobodskoi, Yelena Yakovich and Oleg Dorman;
  • Theatre directors Nikolai Belyak and Mark Bronstein;
  • Bishop Grigory Mikhnov-Vaitenko of the Apostolic Orthodox Church;


The Writers Union of Karelia (101 signatures);

The International Memorial Society;

The Moscow International Film School;

Participants of the Day of Remembrance at Sandarmokh and on Solovki (122 names);


  • Luba Yurgenson, research associate of the Sorbonne University, Paris;
Applebaum, Anne
Anne Applebaum
  • Anne Applebaum, writer, journalist and Pulitzer Prize laureate;
  • Dominique Roynette, journalist and artist, director of Le Monde daily newspaper;
  • Nicolas Werth, historian and faculty director at the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique, Paris;
  • Tomasz Kiszny, photographer and journalist, member of the Polish Union of Photographers;

The “House of Meeting with History”, a cultural and educational centre in Warsaw, Poland;

The University of Macerata, Italy;

… and many others.

At this moment around 30,000 people have signed the [R] petition in support of Yu.A. Dmitriev.

You can find further news on Facebook [R] about the Dmitriev case.

Concluding demands of the petition

We demand that Yury Dmitriev be given the right to a lawful, objective, and fair trial and we hope that our voices will be heard.

We ask:

  1. For independent, qualified expert evaluation of the photographic materials.
  2. For the right of the defendant and his lawyer to receive all the materials in the case (including the photographs that are the only basis for the accusation).
  3. For a change in the measure of restraint for Yuri Dmitriev.

Echo Moskvy, 20 June 2017
(Rights in Russia, 25 June 2017)



[1] The largest killing field near Moscow, the mass burial at Butovo, was uncovered on the city’s southern outskirts in the early 1990s during work to build a new residential area. The territory was controlled until then by the KGB. At least 20,000 people, or half of the total executions in Moscow and the Moscow Region, were shot at Butovo.

On October 2017 a Garden and Wall of Sorrow (sculptor, Grigory Frangulyan*) were opened at the Butovo Memorial Complex which is today in the hands of the Russian Orthodox Church. Accompanied by Patriarch Alexy II, Vladimir Putin visited the memorial complex at Butovo on 31 October 2007.

[2]  Anatoly Razumov is a close friend and colleague of Yury Dmitriev. See his extended remarks to Anna Yarovaya (1 March 2017). He is based at the National Library in St Petersburg where he oversees the project, “Their Names Restored”. It  brings together all the Books of Remembrance compiled since the early 1990s in the former Soviet Union, and maintains a website containing the names of tens of thousands of victims.

[3]  Solovki, the Special Purpose Solovetsky Camp (or SLON), was the first permanent concentration camp of the Soviet regime. Set up in 1923 on a group of islands in the White Sea, it began with a mixed population of left-wing political opponents of the Bolsheviks (Anarchists, Socialist Revolutionaries) and criminals. It was closed in 1939.

[4] Pavel Litvinov, grandson of a pre-war USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs, was one of seven protestors who demonstrated briefly on Red Square in August 1968 against the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Translated, edited and annotated
by John Crowfoot