“Putin has given the children of Karelia not a summer camp or a sanatorium (none remain in the republic), nor a polyclinic for children — not one has been built during the past 20 years — but a concentration camp,” writes Emilia Slabunova, Yabloko deputy in the Karelian republic’s legislative assembly.
New excavations are underway at the Sandarmokh Clearing in Karelia which holds the last remains of thousands of victims of the Great Terror of 1937-1938, writes Halya Coynash.
Any pretence that the excavations by a body linked to the Russian Minister of Culture are not aimed at rewriting history has been dispelled by a letter from the Karelian Ministry of Culture. This openly questions the internationally-recognized fact that the mass graves are of victims of the Terror, and, since this “damages Russia’s international image”, asks for another hypothesis, unbacked by any documentary proof, to be “investigated”.
As the prosecution continues to present its evidence of “new offences”by Yury DMITRIEV at his second trial in the Petrozavodsk City Court in Karelia, a related dispute is being pursued at the national level over the identity of those executed and buried at Sandarmokh.
In early February, the Kommersant daily newspaper reported on this “second front” in the Dmitriev Affair.
A lengthy article about the POW execution theory in Russia’s Kommersant newspaper (7 September 2018) is even-handed and thorough. It needs little more than the following passage, however, to show the “new hypothesis of Karelian historians” for what it is:
“Officially, there is no data to show that the Finns carried out mass executions at Sandarmokh. Mr Verigin also confirmed for us that Finland has not transferred any information to Russia about sites where shot POWs are buried in Karelia. The historian further confirmed to Kommersant that he has not yet examined Finland’s historical archives”.
Five bodies are discovered, allegedly Soviet POWs shot by the Finns, during the Continuation War, 1941-1944 (photo, Sergei Markelov)