Nine crosses were broken in the tract Haisy, 14 km from Vitsebsk, at the site of Stalinist terror executions. The place is also known as “Vitsebsk Kurapaty.
Members of the public initiative “Haisy” came to the place on the eve of Dzyady to take care of the graves of Belarusian citizens shot during the Stalinist terror.
“We were very unpleasantly struck by what we saw,” the activists wrote on the initiative’s Facebook page. “Of the 32 crossed previously set up at the graves, nine were broken, some were leaned against the tree, and most were lying on the ground.”
Activists note that this is not the first case of vandalism this year. In the summer, two crosses were also broken. One sign of mass shootings was cut off by welding, and the second sign had its plaque destroyed.
“Who dislikes the crosses and who destroyed them this year? One can only guess. <…>. People say that this crime was committed by order of the authorities,” write the organization’s activists.
Human remains were first found in the forest near Haisy in 2014. The bones were exhumed and buried a year later in a mass grave near the Luzhesna station.
The authorities did not support the proposal to bury the remains where they were found and declare the forest near Haisy a memorial area. Activists and relatives of the repressed created a memorial there. They put crosses, signs, and information signs in the area.