Conference of ‘Memorial International
On 17-19 December in the suburbs of Moscow the 5 thconference of ‘Memorial International was held. More than 100 delegates representing 85 regional organizations took part in the conference, including 13 representatives of Ukraine (from Kyiv, Kharkov, Lviv, Odessa, Lugansk, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolaev, Mariupol and Aleksandria). A large exhibition was organized showing the work of ‘Memorial. All in all, there were more than 20 stands, among them two about the work of Lviv and Lugansk branches. New publications were distributed. The WEB-page of ‘Memorial Moscow branch was demonstrated to participants. The page contained a great quantity of data on all directions of the societys work: historical, charitable and human rights protecting. Now Moscow members possess their own server and process the enormous body of information. Some other branches also have got WEB-pages, for example, the branches from Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Riazan. Unfortunately, Ukrainian organizations looked much more modest: most of them have not a single computer, to say nothing of e-mail or access to the Internet.
During the conference the old directorate reported on their activity for four years. The new statutes of the Russian and International ‘Memorial were adopted and the new directorate was elected. Now the charity activity will be excluded, since charity organizations have to be registered according to different laws. The activity in future will be focused at historical and human rights protecting directions.
The new directorate of ‘Memorial International is increased from 15 to 17 persons. 11 persons from the old directorate retained their positions, including the only ‘foreigner Evgen Zakharov. In the new directorate two more ‘foreigners appeared: Aleksandr Bukalov from Donetsk and Ruta Ozolinia from Riga. The Russian part of the directorate consists of eight Muscovites and six representatives of provincial regions: two from St. Petersburg and one from each of the following regions, Riazan, Perm, Ekaterinburg and Voronezh. The 15 thmember from Russia is the chairman of Russian ‘Memorial, a well-known human rights protector, Sergey Kovaliov.
The meeting was very friendly, because once close friends and confederates now live in different countries and meet mostly at such conferences. The ‘Memorial brotherhood is lasting! The participants planned some important international projects, in particular, creating the museum of victims of political repressions in the former political colony 36 in Kuchino (Perm region), development by common efforts of ‘Memorial sites and improving the circulation of needed information through e-mail. A special commission has been created, whose target is the historical and legal assessment of national liberating and other anti-Soviet movements on the territory of the former USSR. Ukraine is represented in the commission by Vasyl Ovsienko from Kyiv and Inna Fedushchak from Lviv.