Public Protests as Authorities Destroy People’s Memorial in Kurapaty

svaboda org RFE:RL

On 4 April around 200 people gathered in Kurapaty to commemorate the victims of mass execution of 1937-41. Source: svaboda.org (RFE/RL)

On the morning of 4 April tractors began digging up 70 wooden crosses at the Kurapaty memorial site on the outskirts of Minsk. Police detained 15 activists that came out in protest. Later the same day around 200 people gathered in the Kurapaty forest to commemorate the victims of Stalin’s mass execution at the site, where over 150,000 people perished during the purges.

Today, more than 30 years after the discovery of the mass graves, Kurapaty still symbolises the most outrageous atrocities of the Soviet regime. Kurapaty has unleashed the potential social capital residing in Belarusian civil society and mobilised citizens to erect a people’s memorial, which civil society has preserved despite the hostility of the authorities.

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The 7th Congress Of Belarusian Studies Kicks Off In Warsaw

CongressToday the 7th International Congress of Belarusian Studies kicked off in Warsaw, this time in cooperation with Collegium Civitas. Previous conferences took place in Kaunas, Lithuania. The Congress remains one of the rare opportunities for academics working on Belarus to meet up and discuss their research.

I am excited about my tomorrow’s presentation on the social capital formation in the village of Alšany, south-west Belarus. I have already prepared my powerpoint slides.

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