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Cross procession in Kurapaty (photo, video)
Raman Pratasevich, Euroradio
More than 100 people gathered in Kurapaty on the evening of April 4. Forest workers had dismantled 70 crosses there in the morning on the orders of officials. The people brought candles, prayed, discussed the developments and joined a cross procession. Police officers in plain clothes and uniform were nearby to watch them. People put candles near the crosses and left.
The dismantled crosses had been installed along the perimeter of a wooded area near the Minsk beltway where the victims of Stalin-era purges remain buried. There is also a people’s memorial in Kurapaty. According to official announcments, the crosses had been installed illegally. The activists who tried to protect the crosses were arrested. Many intellectuals and politicians have condemned the act. “A tractor dragging the crosses in the field is a scary sight,” Nobel Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich told Euroradio.