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Flabbergasted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-30-07 08:48 PM
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Putin visits memorial to victims of Stalinist Great Terror
Edited on Tue Oct-30-07 08:50 PM by Flabbergasted
Source: IHT

Putin visits memorial to victims of Stalinist Great Terror
By Sophia Kishkovsky Published: October 30, 2007

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday paid his first visit to a memorial and church built at a site where thousands of people were executed under Stalin's regime as Russia marked the 70th anniversary of the dictator's Great Terror and commemorated decades of Soviet repression that left millions dead.

The comments by Putin, a former lieutenant colonel in the KGB, underscored the mass killings that swept Russia from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution to Stalin's death in 1953.

"Those who were executed, sent to camps, shot and tortured number in the thousands and millions of people," Putin said. "Along with this, as a rule these were people with their own opinions. These were people who were not afraid to speak their mind. They were the most capable people. They were the pride of the nation. And of course over many years and today as well we still remember this tragedy. We need to do a great deal to ensure that this is never forgotten."

It was the first time Putin had joined the public commemorations of the killings.

Human rights activists have criticized the president for paying little attention to the abuses of the Soviet era. He created concern this year by endorsing a new history textbook that played down Stalinist repression and praised the former dictator for industrializing the Soviet Union and winning World War II.

The site of the commemorations Tuesday, Butovsky Poligon, is on the grounds of a pre-revolutionary estate on the edge of Moscow. It was a secret prison run by the NKVD, the KGB's predecessor, and is the burial place of more than 20,000 people who were killed during the height of Stalin's purges in 1937 and 1938. In that period, hundreds were sometimes shot there in a single day. Poligon translates as "shooting range."

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Meanwhile he cuts the number of international elections observers by 75%.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-30-07 08:49 PM
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1. It's official - and you heard it here first! Irony IS dead!
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TheLastMohican Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-01-07 11:24 AM
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2. How many international elections observers
follow US elections?


Maybe that's why nobody cared when Al Gore was robbed of the Presidency?
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