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Belarusians Hold Memorials For Victims Of Stalinist Repression


About 100 people gathered in Kurapaty, a wooded area on Minsk's outskirts that was used as an execution site by the NKVD.

Belarusians have gathered in Minsk to mark the 81st anniversary of the execution of more than 100 people, including 22 writers and poets, by the Soviet secret police.

At a memorial event in the evening of October 29, about 100 people gathered in Kurapaty, a wooded area on the Belarusian capital's outskirts that was used as an execution site by the NKVD secret police.

In a separate memorial, 16 people lit candles next to the Minsk headquarters of the KGB security service, the present-day successor to the NKVD.

Many of those executed overnight on October 29, 1937, were from the Belarusian intelligentsia. Between 600,000 and 1.5 million people fell victim to Soviet leader Josef Stalin's repression in Belarus, according to various estimates.

Similar memorials were being held in other parts of the former Soviet Union to mark an unofficial day of remembrance for victims of Stalinist repression.

With reporting by Reuters
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