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Memorials Honoring Victims Of Soviet Repressions In Belarus Vandalized

Some of the vandalism discovered in Kurapaty
Some of the vandalism discovered in Kurapaty

MINSK -- The Investigative Committee of Belarus has launched a probe into the vandalizing of a memorial site at Kurapaty, a wooded area on the outskirts of the capital, Minsk, where at least 30,000 people were killed and buried by Soviet authorities in 1930s and 1940s.

On March 23, activists in Minsk discovered that at least two memorial stones at the site, including one honoring Jewish victims of the Soviet repression, were covered with anti-Semitic and other insulting inscriptions made with blue paint.

The discovery came after, 14 big crosses at the memorial site were discovered felled by unknown individuals on March 20.

The Investigative Committee said on March 25 that it had begun investigating the incidents at the site, which was used as an execution place by the Soviet NKVD secret police.

Since January 1, a memorial bench at the site known as "Clinton's bench," which was presented by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1994, has been damaged twice.

Between 600,000 and 1.5 million people fell victim to Soviet leader Josef Stalin's repressions in Belarus, according to various estimates.

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