Timeline Two

June 2018 to 2021

Continued from Timeline One, 1997 to April 2018


14 June — DMITRIEV’s acquittal on charges of child pornography (Article 242.3) and perverted acts with a minor (135) overturned by High Court of Karelia.

Football World Cup opens in Russia.

28 June DMITRIEV re-arrested and again held in Detention Centre 1 in Petrozavodsk.

Further charges brought aganist DMITRIEV under Part 4 (b) of Article 132 (“Sexual Actions of a Violent Character”)

Sergei Koltyrn (1953-2020)

10 August — DMITRIEV returns to Detention Centre No 1 after a new psychiatric assessment (at Hospital No 6 in St Petersburg).

25 August — Russian Military History Society begins two weeks of ecavations in Sandarmokh

4 SeptemberPress conference about excavations addressed by Sergei Verigin and RMHS spokesman

22 September — Court extends DMITRIEV’s custody as measure of restraint

2 October — Museum director Sergei KOLTYRIN arrested “on suspicion of paedophilia” (Head of Karelian Memorial’s colleague accused of paedophilia, wrote Izvesitya that day)


(19 October to 22 July 2020)

19 October 2018First hearing in DMITRIEV’s second trial.

Moscow city authorities attempt to withdraw permission for “Restoring the Names” ceremony at the Solovki Stone.

29 October 2018 — “Restoring the Names” ceremony goes ahead in Moscow at the Solovki Stone, and in 19 other cities and towns across Russia.

Wall of Remembrance opened at the Kommunarka killing field near Moscow.

9 NovemberSergei Koltyrin turns down the services of Victor Anufriev

28 DecemberAnufriev interview with Radio France Internationale, “200 indecent questions”


JanuaryLegality of RMHS excavations at Sandarmokh called into question [13 March 2019]

27 January — Military parade in St Petersburg to celebrate lifting of wartime Leningrad Blockade

28 JanuaryDMITRIEV’s 63rd birthday

17 Mayhearing in Dmitriev trial

27 MaySergei Koltyrin sentenced to nine years imprisonment

17 June — Prosecution questions Natasha and her grandmother

23 July — Defence experts, two Moscow psychologists, questioned

25 July — Moscow press conference in defence of the Sandarmokh Memorial Complex at which Irina Flige’s new book, The Search for Sandarmokh, is launched

Memorial observers monitor the activities at Sandarmokh of the Military History Society

16 Augustnew excavations at Sandarmokh by Russian Military History Society

29 AugustFinnish archive rejects Russia’s “new hypothesis” about Sandarmokh

28 September — Petition signed by 200 prominent Russians, calling for the release of DMITRIEV

29 October — “Restoring the Names” ceremony in Moscow and in many other cities and commemorative sites

21 November — Petitions for DMITRIEV’s release by academics and researchers circulated in English and Italian


28 January — DMITRIEV’s 64th birthday; Anufriev expects verdict in late February. Visited in Detention Centre by Anatoly Razumov and daughter Katya who find him “in fine spirits”

DMITRIEV publishes Sandarmokh, A Place of Remembrance (Vol. 1)

Review of Irina Flige‘s The Search for Sandarmokh in January issue of the Novy mir monthly magazine

10 FebruaryProsecution expected verdict; defence called two more speakers, Professor Kirillov from Yekaterinburg and a female witness specialising in children’s issues

20 FebruaryHearing at trial postponed until 23 March due to DMITRIEV’s illness

27 February — Sceptical review of Verigin and Mashin, The Mysteries of Sandarmokh (86 pp.), by Irina Takala of the Russian Academy of Sciences

23 MarchLatest hearing in case, despite Covid-19 quarantine measures; custody prolonged until 28 June

27 March — Open Letter to head of Karelian High Court calling on him to “Free Yury Dmitriev on humanitarian grounds. The letter was translated into seven other languages and in the coming weeks attracted several thousand signatories

1 AprilDeath of Sergei Koltyrin in prison hospital

6 April — Lawyers call for detainees, including DMITRIEV, to be released before they catch Covid-19

Extensive interview with Anufriev published by Meduza news website

14 April — Court hearing

3 June — Court hearing. Postponed until 16th

16 June — Court hearing; custody extended for one month, not the usual three

4-7 July — Four consecutive days of hearings

7 July — Prosecution demand 15-year sentence for DMITRIEV

Dmitriev in 2018

8 July — DMITRIEV’s last words to the court, explaining his own background and urge to foster a child, like himself, from a children’s home

10 JulyOnline press conference about trial hosted by Memorial. Speakers include Razumov, Flige, Natalya Solzhenitsyn and Alexander Sokurov

13 July Lengthy article by Nikita Girin uncovers many aspects of both trials

22 July — DMITRIEV sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment

Waiting for the Appeal Hearings

3 August — Appeals against verdict and sentence lodged by all parties

5 August — People in over 80 towns and cities all over the world (in Bulgaria, Latvia, Ukraine, Scotland and Brittany among others) read out the names of those shot at Sandarmokh in 1937 and 1938.

Due to the Corona virus epidemic only a handful of people gathered at the memorial complex near Medvezhegorsk.

22 August — Exhibition about DMITRIEV “The Guardian of History” in St Petersburg

16 September — High Court of Karelia to hear appeals against sentence. Prosecution now asking for 13 years imprisonment.

18 SeptemberNatashadid not utter a single, unnecessary word

22 September — First hearing at High Court, postponed for a week at Victor Anufriev’s request: he is self-isolating. Judge Alla Rats asks for a further expert assessment of “those nine photographs”

28 September — Open Letter “Move trial to new jurisdiction” from over 200 prominent Russian citizens

29 September — Hand Court hands down 13 year sentence for conviction under Article 132.4 (b) and sends other charges back for retrial.

Letter after sentence from Yury DMITRIEV to Veronica Ivleva

30 September — “An outrageous decision“, Anufriev interview with Zoya Svetova

12 November — Taking into account the years and months DMITRIEV has been held in the Detention Centre Ihe is due for release after completing the three years and six months sentence imposed by Judge Merkov

24 Novemberfirst hearing in new trial. Custody extend for a further three months

3 December — Cassation appeal against High Court decision allowed by Third Cassation Court in St Petersburg. The case materials are transferred there.

10 December — International Human Rights Day. DMITRIEV is named a laureate of the 2020 Franco-German Prize for Human Rights; President Putin meets with his advisory Human Rights Council

13 December — Fourth anniversary of DMITRIEV’s arrest

24 December — (?) Next hearing in Petrozavodsk City Court



28 January — Yury DMITRIEV’s 65th birthday

16 February Third Cassation Court in St Petersburg left 13-year sentence unchanged

Victor Anufriev at Petersburg hearing

late February — current period of custody ends

30 March Memorial lawyers submit an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights


2 AprilDmitriev’s third trial in the Petrozavodsk City Court resumes