The child’s voice failed to be heard not just by the chairman of Petrozavodsk City Council Bondarchuk, while the court heard the girl’s statement about how much she loved her adoptive father.
As for unlawful threat to privacy, the Karelian children’s ombudsman Sarayev did not, for some reason, try to sue Rossiya TV or REN TV channels for broadcasting the photos from the “health diary” to the entire country.
In short, local officials requested the continued persecution of DMITRIEV. After that nothing stood in the way of executing the ready-made scenario.
Next week, it is expected, the present trial of Yury Dmitriev will come to an end. There are to be an exceptional four consecutive days of hearings between 4 and 7 July.
The validity of the charges will be decided in court. Beyond the courtroom many other matters are of general concern. One is the future of the Sandarmokh Memorial Complex. It is unlikely that any major physical change could be made to this unique memorial, which enjoys protected status from the Karelian government as a place of cultural and historic significance, but during the last two summers teams of diggers from the Russian Military History Society have excavated there.
“Unacceptable and inhuman methods have been deployed: pressure on Dmitriev’s adopted daughter; manipulation of the child’s consciousness in order to get her to testify against a person close to her,” say two hundred prominent Russians who have come out in defence of Yury DMITRIEV, writes Halya Coynash.
The authors of the appeal, posted on 28 October, note that the Karelian investigators and prosecutors were not merely unwilling to recognize that their behaviour and the charges against Dmitriev had been unlawful. They got the first acquittal revoked and then added even more serious charges, this time of ‘violent acts of a sexual nature’ which could carry a 20-year sentence.
On 19 August 2019, when the barbarous excavations of the Military History Society were well under way, a large group of students from the Moscow International Film School arrived at Sandormokh. They brought with them 16 unique plaques they had made themselves, listing those shot and buried there, from first Solovki transport and the prisoners of the White Sea-Baltic camp complex.
“Twenty years ago, it seemed to us that Sandormokh as a place and these acts of remembrance divided the present from the past,” said Irina FLIGE in August 2017, at the Day of Remembrance at Sandormokh. “Today, unfortunately, we must recognise that memories of the Great Terror have not become part of our [shared] memory …”
The previous year two historians at Petrozavodsk University had put forward a ‘new hypothesis’ as to who lay buried in the woods outside Medvezhegorsk; in the Karelian capital, Yury Dmitriev was spending his eighth month in jail.
It took years to locate Karelia’s largest killing ground of the late 1930s. Irina Flige’s account of that long, painstaking quest is described in her The Search for Sandormokh, which was launched in Moscow in July 2019. At the same press conference the proposed excavations by the Russian Military History Society were exposed and condemned. Meanwhile, Dmitriev, acquitted in April 2018, was on trial for a second time and once again incarcerated in Petrozavodsk’s Detention Centre No 1.