Vandals desecrate the memorial graves at Sandarmokh in Karelia


In the Medvezhyegorsk district of Karelia the memorial graves “Sandarmokh” which hold the remains of the victims of Stalin’s Terror have been desecrated, the newspaper “” reports, citing Interfax.

The human rights activist Yury Dmitriev who helped create the cemetery relates: “Vandals have marred the central monument of the Memorial, and broken from the granite foundation the 700 kilogram bas-relief “Execution”, erected in 1998 where the victims of the red regime are depicted facing execution”.

The three-layer bas-relief was created using the artist’s original technique and attached to the stone with iron pegs set in concrete, yet the vandals managed to rip it from the foundation of the Monument and hurl it on the ground.

The creator of the Monumment, a well-known Karelian sculptor Grigory Saltup has already send an official message to the prosecutor of Karelia. The artist believes that the bas-relief could have been destroyed by those hunting for nonferrous metals who in 1999 knocked a plaque made from bronze cuttings from the Monument. The vandals may have assumed that the bas-relief was also made out of the metal cuttings.

The Memorial Cemetery “Sandarmokh” is a monument of republic significance which is visited each year by thousands of citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania , Finland and other countries to honour the memory of those murdered during the Stalin Terror.

In the Sandarmokh Clearing in the Medvezhyegorsk district of Karelia during 1937 and 1938 prisoners from the Belbaltlag and Solovky Special Purpose Camp [SLON] were executed.  The confirmed number of victims whose remains lie in Sandarmokh is around 12 thousand people.

Information about the  Sandarmokh Clearing and the Cossack Cross in memory of the Ukrainian victims who lie there can be found at:

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