Russian Monument To Stalin’s Victims Highlights Fate Of Executioner

In the summer of 2004, a group of activists near the city of Saransk made a gruesome discovery: Some 500-700 corpses buried in shallow mass graves in a forest.

They were the bodies of victims of Josef Stalin’s Great Terror in the 1930s. According to local historians, the victims were Orthodox priests, Muslim clerics, local teachers, collective farmers, and workers. Their names are unknown because the archives of the Soviet and Russian secret police remain closed.

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