Unknown individuals brought down and broke fourteen wooden crosses that were set in memory of the victims of repressions in Kurapaty, a Stalin-era mass execution site near Minsk, politician Pavel Sevyarynets said on Facebook on Wednesday.
Hundreds of crosses were installed by Belarusian activists who felt it their duty to pay the tribute to the memory of the executed. It was not until 2018 that the authorities directed their attention to Kurapaty: an official memorial to the victims was erected at the order of the Federation of the Trade Unions. Back in 1989, the BSSR Council of Ministers signed a decree to perpetuate the memory of the victims in Kurapaty. In 1993, the memorial was granted the status of historical and cultural value of international importance. However, after Lukashenka came to power, the Kurapaty topic was silenced. Incidentally, over the last 25 years, the head of the country has never officially visited the place.
Unfortunately, barbaric acts have become a fact of life in Kurapaty. In February, the so-called Clinton’s Bench was demolished; it was presented by the then U.S. President Bill Clinton who visited the mass grave site in 1994. It has been vandalized about 20 times, but the Belarusian authorities have never traced committers.
Since late May, the group of Belarusian activists is protesting against ‘dancing on the bones’, i.e.the activity of Let’s Go And Eat restaurant in the vicinity of the mass grave under the passive eye of the local authorities. According to the protesters, its construction and opening at the very place was illegal. Activists first asked the authorities to interfere with the situation, and then decided to act independently. They are trying not to let cars to the territory of the restaurant. The Minsk police have already drawn dozens of protocols against activists who had blocked the restaurant that opened at the site of the massacre.