Yu.A. Dmitriev

Yury Alexeyevich Dmitriev (b. 1956 in Petrozavodsk) is a rights activist and local historian in Karelia (Northwest Russia). Since the late 1980s he has worked tirelessly to locate the execution sites of Stalin’s Great Terror and identify as many as possible of the buried victims they contain.

Dmitriev, 2008 Solovki (Meisterman)

Dmitriev at Derevyakenko village, Karelia (photo, Simeon Maisterman)

As head of the Karelian branch of the Memorial Society, Dmitriev is particularly noted for his part in the discovery of two major burial sites and their subsequent investigation. In the first days of July 1997, with members of St Petersburg Memorial, Dmitriev found the massive killing field of Sandarmokh, 12 kilometres from Medvezhyegorsk. Its burial pits contain over 9,000 of Stalin’s executed victims, representing 60 Soviet and other nationalities. A couple of months later, together with Memorial member Sergei Chugunkov, he identified the execution ground and burial pits at Krasny Bor, not far from Petrozavodsk.

As a result of Dmitriev’s lengthy and single-minded commitment to this task, Karelia’s past is better documented in this respect than almost any other part of the Russian Federation.

On 13 December 2016 Dmitriev was arrested on charges of making pornographic images of his adopted daughter Natasha. After months in custody under investigation his trial finally began on 1 June 2017.

More …

Yury Dmitriev (interview), “My Path to Golgotha”, Memorial (May 2015)

Anna Yarovaya, “The Yuri Dmitriev Affair”, The Russian Reader (1 March 2017)

Shura Burtin, “‘Gandalf’s’ Case”, Euromaidan Press (30 May 2017)

“Yury Dmitriev”, Wikipedia (July 2017 onwards)


address the 5 August 2016 Day of Remembrance gathering at Sandarmokh

(Dmitriev’s grandson Daniel stands to his right)