Activists are gathering near the former KGB headquarters 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 out aloud the names, ages, occupations, and dates of executions of some 30,000 people killed by Soviet authorities in 1937-1938.
Muscovites and others brought flowers, pictures of victims and candles to the site of the "Returning the Names" commemoration, which began at 10:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. Prague time) and was to end at 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. Prague time).
The annual ceremony is organized by Memorial, Russia's oldest and best-known human rights organization, which is under pressure from the government.
On October 10, Russia's Justice Ministry appealed to the Supreme Court to close Memorial.
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.
Based on live broadcast by october29.ru