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Muscovites Remember Victims Of Stalin's Purge

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- Activists gathered near the former KGB headquarters in Moscow to honor the memory of thousands of men and women executed by Soviet authorities during Josef Stalin's "Great Terror."

Speakers at the daylong ceremony at the Solovetsky Stone memorial on Moscow's Lubyanka Square read aloud the names, ages, occupations, and dates of executions of some 30,000 Muscovites -- only a small portion of the estimated 1 million or more killed by Soviet authorities in 1937-38.

Muscovites and others brought flowers, pictures of victims, and candles to the site of the Returning the Names commemoration.

The annual ceremony was organized by Memorial, Russia's oldest and best-known human rights organization.

Memorial has held the ceremony every year since 2006 at the site near the headquarters of the Federal Security Service, the KGB's main successor.

Ceremonies were also being held in other Russian cities.

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