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”.
Russia has turned to politically-motivated excavations to rewrite the history of the USSR in the late 1930s, writes Halya Coynash, after jailing a major historian of Stalin’s Great Terror yet again.
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On 22 April, the Karelian edition of the Rossiya TV Channel’s “Events of the Week” programme included a brief item, mentioning that “this summer” there would be fresh investigations of the burials at the Sandarmokh memorial complex near Medvezhegorsk.
(For those who know Russian,
the item begins five minutes into this half-hour broadcast)
Periodically, the suggestion that YURY DMITRIEV may have misidentified those buried at Sandarmokh or, rather, that the dead there also include Soviet prisoners of war captured and executed by the Finns in 1941-1944, has been given coverage in State-controlled Russian media and, even, in certain Finnish media outlets. Continue reading →
On 26 December 2017, Karelian journalists described their new investigation, “Rewriting Sandarmokh”, at a discussion held at the Agrikalch Art Gallery in Petrozavodsk.
ANNA YAROVAYA told how the idea of conducting the investigation first arose. It was hard to find out who was trying to alter the history of the executions and burials at Sandarmokh, and why, she said. Continue reading →