‘Poles, Germans killed people here!’ Attempted provocation near Stalin-era mass grave near Minsk?


Кацярына Андрэева падчас аднаго са стрымаў з пратэстаў у Курапатах

Defenders of Kurapaty, the place of Stalin-era executions near Minsk, keep protesting against ‘dancing on the bones’, i.e. opening a restaurant in the close vicinity of the mass grave.

On June 5, there were reports that notorious restaurant Let’s Go And Eat (or Bulbash Hall) would open its doors for visitors at 15:00.

Several dozen persons took part in Tuesday’s protest, including politician Paval Sevyarynets, activists Leanid Kulakou and Volha Nikalaichyk.

The protesters were chanting “Shame!’ and ‘Museum Is Not A Pub’. They also did not let some customers and delivery trucks pass, which resulted in the traffic police’s drawing protocols for the blocking of the road.

A bit later, a strange provocation-like incident took place. A middle-aged man came to the protesters saying that shashlik was being made for him in the restaurant. He shouted that it was the ‘Poles and Germans’, not the Stalin police NKVD, who executed people in Kurapaty. He behaved aggressively and there was a small fight.

Attacker (L), Pavel Sevyarynets (C), protester (R), Photo by Iryna Arakhouskaya/Belsat

For several days there has been a protest against the opening of a restaurant near Kurapaty. Activists first asked the authorities to interfere with the situation, and then decided to act independently. They are trying to block the arrival of cars with products on the territory of the restaurant.

On June 3, a memorial rally Day of Genocide Remembrance authorized by the city authorities took place in Kurapaty. It was dedicated to the anniversary of the discovery of the truth about mass shootings in the area during the Stalin times.

Kurapaty, a place on the outskirts of Minsk, is not just the national memorial and a mass grave of the victims of Stalinist repression; since 1993, it has been is a site of historical and cultural heritage. According to historians, 100,000 – 250,000 persons might have been killed there.

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In February 2017, the Belarusian activists began a long-term action in defense of the memorial protesting against the construction of an office building started a few dozen meters from Kurapaty. According to them, it is fraudulent as the building permission was granted when the area was considered a protected zone.

After two-week protesting in Kurapaty, the developer, Belrekonstruktsiya company, decided to take away its building fleet. The company ordered to minimize any works and take the machines away.


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