“Society must become more humane”, Alexander Arkhangelsky to President Putin

On 21 December literary critic ALEXANDER ARKHANGELSKY spoke, at a meeting of the Council on Culture and Art with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, about the pressure being put on cultural figures and the need to humanise Russian culture and society.

“If such things take place at the federal level, in the glare of publicity, it’s not surprising that in places further from our national media the same kind of thing is happening. It is now one year that Yury Dmitriev, an outstanding historian, the author of classic works about Solovki, has been kept in detention, awaiting a verdict in his trial.

“The court – and this is a rare instance – rejected the results of the expert assessment that seemed to confirm his guilt. The case materials were again sent not to State institutions for expert evaluation, however, but to semi-private companies – a second time, let me emphasise.”

Continue reading

Russia – Past, Present and Future

THE OFFICIAL VIEW

“As Russia marks the centenary of the October Revolution, President Vladimir Putin has urged the society to end discord over the Soviet era,” reported the TASS news agency[1] on 21 December 2017.

“This year, the centenary of the October Revolution, we have been seeking to encourage the society to abandon confrontation, to see themselves as a single society and realize that we are continuing our common centuries-long history,” Putin told a session of the Council for Culture and Art.

“Whether we like certain years or not, but there was everything there – bad things, but also a lot of good things that should not be forgotten,” he said.

[Excerpt …]

Johnson’s Russia List
2017-#239, Friday, 22 December 2017, Item 1

HOW RUSSIA REPRESSES THE PAST

Nikita Petrov (Memorial)

Every spring, buses covered in portraits of Joseph Stalin appear on the streets of Russian cities. His face replaces ads for cell phones, soft drinks, laundry detergent, and cat food. With each passing year, the dictator gets more handsome and more glamorous; a portrait of him in his gorgeous white generalissimo’s jacket has become especially popular. He casts his stern gaze on the citizens, as if to say, “Remember me? I’m here, I didn’t go anywhere – and don’t you forget it!”  Continue reading

The Day of Remembrance in Petrozavodsk

On Monday, 30 October 2017, the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk marked the annual Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression. At the city’s Zaretsky Graveyard and then at Krasny Bor access to the microphone was limited to those who talked about spiritual values, Holy Russia and forgiveness. Your correspondent observed how official Karelia strove not to mention the name of YURY DMITRIEV, one of the pioneers in locating and investigating such sites of mass burial (writes Sergei Markelov, 7×7 – Horizontal Russia).

Continue reading

“Restoring the Names”, 2017

“From 10 am to 10 pm on Sunday, 29 October, we shall be reading out the names of the victims of political repression here in Moscow,” announces an item on the Restoring the Names page on Facebook. “The Memorial Society has organised this event for ten years, ever since 2007. One after another, people will get up and read from the list. Yet thus far we have barely read half of the names of  the 40,000 people executed in and around Moscow during the pre-war period.”

Continue reading

Government unlikely to attend Day of Remembrance

In a letter to Artur Parfyonchikov, the chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, has requested that the acting head of the Karelian Republic support the idea of holding yearly commemoratove gatherings on 5 August to mark the beginning of the Great Terror. It is the 80th anniversary of that tragic event this year. It is unlikely that the Government of Karelia will be present at such an event, since it is already taking part in official commemorative events on 30 October. The site of mass burials at Sandarmokh was uncovered in 1997. [Summary]

Full Russian text, read on …

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