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New Monument Unveiled To Russian Victims Of Stalinist Repression

"Farewell" moniment in Barnaul in memory of Soviet repression.
"Farewell" moniment in Barnaul in memory of Soviet repression.
BARNAUL, Russia -- A monument has been unveiled in the central Russian city of Barnaul to Soviet-era victims of political repression, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The unveiling ceremony on November 4 was attended by prominent political figures including Arseny Roginsky, a co-founder of the human rights group Memorial, and Vladimir Ryzhkov of the opposition coalition Other Russia, who represented Barnaul in the Russian State Duma from 2003-2007.

The monument stands on one of the city's main squares, on the site of a cathedral destroyed in the 1930s and next to the site of the headquarters of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs or NKVD, the secret police.

"I don't remember [another such monument installed] in Russia's heartland, in one of the three central squares of a large Russian city," Ryzhkov says. "So in that sense it is certainly a breakthrough, much to the credit of Altai Krai's public."

Official sources alone give the number of victims of Stalinist repression in Altai Krai, of which Barnaul is the capital, as some 150,000, of whom about 16,000 were executed.