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Tribute To The Deaf-Mute Stalin-Era 'Terrorists'

St. Petersburg has paid tribute to deaf-mute city residents who lost their lives at the height of Stalinist repressions.

In 1937, Soviet authorities charged 55 leading members of the Leningrad Association of Deaf Mute with creating a terrorist group allegedly acting in collusion with Nazi Germany; 35 were shot dead, the others were sentenced to 10 years in prison camps.

Vladimir Shnitke, who heads the St. Petersburg branch of the Memorial rights group, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that one of the victims, a deaf mute, was executed on charges of delivering an anti-Soviet speech at a rally.

A monument was put up today at one of St. Petersburg's cemeteries in memory of the victims.

Video of the memorial can be watched here.

-- Claire Bigg

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