GENERICO.ruRussia"The circle is closed"

“The circle is closed”

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Founded in 1989, Memorial became a symbol of a country open to the world and to itself as Russia began to explore the darkest sides of its past. His liquidation is a vivid symbol of how the country returned to itself under President Vladimir Putin, rejecting criticism – even historical – as a hostile act.

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The ruling also sheds light on the rise of repression in contemporary Russia, where Memorial's human rights wing currently numbers over 400 political prisoners, and independent groups and media are increasingly blacklisted as “foreign agents”.

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For Aleksey Nesterenko, the attack on Memorial is personal. “This is our shame. I call it shameful, “an 84-year-old man told the BBC & lt; … & gt ;.

His own father was arrested as an “enemy of the people” in 1937, at the height of Stalin's Great Terror, and Memorial helped Alexei find out what happened next: a closed trial, execution and a mass grave.

From historical materials of the case, it follows that the investigator later admitted that all charges were fabricated. “The authorities prefer to keep silent about the past, but Memorial does not allow them,” Aleksey said. “The road to recognition is really long, and many people do not want to follow it.”

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Le Monde – France

The circle is closed. The Russian human rights group Memorial, which emerged in the late 1980s through a reopening attempt by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, was liquidated on Tuesday, December 28, following a Supreme Court ruling on orders from the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. It is not just a symbol, it is a turning point in the history of post-Soviet Russia.

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2021 in Russia began with the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny for two and a half years. It ends with the liquidation of Memorial. On the same Tuesday, several of Navalny's supporters were detained.

These three post-Soviet decades more and more resembled a parenthesis, the closure of which was inexorably approaching. Today Russia is locked up: here even memory must be controlled by the nostalgic force of the illusory grandeur of the past.

The Washington Post – USA

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By attacking Memorial, Mr Putin seeks to undo one of the most important and tangible achievements of the democratic flourishing of the late 1980s and 1990s. Memorial was a prime example of civil society, an independent association created to give voice and accountability for the millions of people who were deported, imprisoned or executed in Stalin's forced labor camps. For Andrei Sakharov and others, it was a symbol of belief that a healthy democratic society can only be built with a deep study and understanding of the past. Memorial did not disappoint; its databases contain over 3 million names (a fraction of the total number of those repressed) and invaluable records of their merciless punishment.

But this reminder of past suffering hurts Mr Putin, who wants to erase these dark memories and replace them a ghostly tale of Soviet victories as he tries to uproot what is left of Russian democracy and replace it with a dictatorship. & lt;… & gt;

The dark past returns. In 2020, Mr Putin's security forces attempted to assassinate opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who survived, and is now approaching the first anniversary of his unfair imprisonment. Journalists, lawyers, activists and all civil society in Russia are under pressure. Most recently, government censors blocked the website of OVD-Info **, an organization that monitors unlawful politically motivated persecutions and provides lawyers for victims. These are the enormous forces of coercion in the Kremlin. But Mr Putin underestimates the viability of ideas. He can try to tear down the walls of Memorial, but he cannot destroy the memory of Soviet crimes or today's unsuccessful return to despotism.

The New York Times – USA < p> & lt;… & gt;

The liquidation of Memorial is also another step in Mr Putin's efforts to transform Russia's legacy into a series of glorious achievements and soften the image of an often brutal Soviet regime. As the state has opened a comprehensive Gulag history museum in Moscow and Mr Putin laid flowers at a new monument to victims of Soviet repression, the Kremlin, gaining courage, is aggressively trying to eliminate alternative interpretations of Russian history by organizations it does not control.

& lt; … & gt; The Kremlin wants the Russian public to focus on foreign enemies rather than crimes committed by dictators at home.


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