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  2. The head of party «Yabloko» said she had found evidence of the illegality of excavations of the Sandarmokh memorial cemetery in Karelia

The head of party «Yabloko» said she had found evidence of the illegality of excavations of the Sandarmokh memorial cemetery in Karelia

Daniil Kuznetsov
Sergei Markelov
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The head of party «Yabloko» Emilia Slabunova said that the Russian Military Historical Society (RMHS) had not had the permission to conduct excavations at the Sandarmokh memorial cemetery in 2018. She came to this conclusion, having received report of the RMHS about the expedition. The document was published on September 24 in a community supporting arrested researcher of Stalin's terror Yuri Dmitriev on Facebook.

In February 2019, Emilia Slabunova appealed to the Russian Military Historical Society and asked on what basis the staff of the RMHS had come to the Sandarmokh memorial cemetery in 2018 and recovered the remains of several bodies. She received the answer only in September. It states that search operations were carried out in Sandarmokh, which, according to the politician, is illegal.

"The writing is on the wall that search operations, assuming another order of coordination, were carried out. Only one type of work allowed at the cultural heritage site (CHS) in the status of monument — for preservation of the CHS with all strict procedures and only by organizations having the corresponding license for this activity," Slabunova wrote on Facebook.

Talking to the correspondent of "7x7", Slabunova explained that the law on the cultural heritage protection does not include permission for search operations within such monuments as Sandarmokh.

— Everyone must take this into consideration, from cultural heritage protection specialists to the supervisory authorities, — said Slabunova. - Logic of laws assumes that the works were illegal. Search operations, according to the law, are necessary to coordinate not with the Karelian Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and the Administration of the Medvezhyegorsk District, but with the regional Ministry for Sports and Youth. I'm not a lawyer, but a politician, that's why I went to the Prosecutor's office. My constituents and experts of «Memorial» consider the excavations of RMHS to be illegal.

Emilia Slabunova said she was waiting for the report of the RMHS about the operations in Sandarmokh between 2019 and then would consult with lawyers.

Karelian archaeologist Alexander Zhulnikov in conversation with "7x7" confirmed that the permission of the Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage was not enough to conduct search operations. According to him, "it is required to conduct a state historical and cultural examination of the section, which implies that the act of examination is published on the Internet for the audience to learn, make suggestions, and comment." According to the archaeologist, there is no such document in public access.

In 2017, Karelian historian and Sandarmokh researcher Yuri Dmitriev got investigated, at first he was accused of making child pornography using the pictures of his adopted daughter. The case was dismissed in court, because the defense of Dmitriev proved that he had photographed his daughter for a report to the guardianship authorities. Later he was accused for the second time of abusing the adopted child, the application was filed by the custodian, grandmother of Dmitriev’s adopted daughter, he himself was deprived of parental rights. Dmitriev was put into detention center again on the second charge.

«7x7» published a special investigation with the evidence of the invalidity of some historians’ opinion that executed prisoners of the Finnish concentration camps were buried in Sandarmokh. The RMHS has been maintaining thus version during excavations of the memorial cemetery.

You can read a reportage of «7x7» about how the PHMS conducted the excavations.


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