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Belarusian Memorial To Stalin's Victims Near Minsk Vandalized

Vandalism at the Kurapaty memorial outside Minsk on November 9
A memorial to the victims of a Stalin-era purge near Minsk has been vandalized.

The Kurapaty memorial marks the area outside the Belarusian capital where at least 30,000 people were killed and buried in 1937-1941 by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, a forerunner of the KGB.

Vandals painted the letters "AKM" on what is known as "Clinton's Bench," which was presented by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The acronym AKM stands for the pro-communist organization Avant-Garde of the Red Youth.

The AKM's leader in Belarus, Dzmitry Kudranok, confirmed to RFE/RL that his people conducted the action "to mark the 95th anniversary of the Great October Revolution," that brought Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik Party to power in Russia.

Local citizens say they found leaflets on November 8 at the memorial saying, "Stalin was right!" and "We are AKM fighters!"

The pamphlet reads, "Stalin was right."
The pamphlet reads, "Stalin was right."
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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.