The expedition of the Russian Military Historical Society, coordinated by historian Sergey Barinov, began excavations at the Sandarmokh memorial graveyard where the victims of Soviet political repressions were buried. This was reported by a «7x7» correspondent on August 27.
The 90th Separate Special Search Battalion of the Leningrad Military District started excavations. Director of the Medvezhyegorsk District Museum Sergey Koltyrin told «7x7» that the expedition is excavating outside the memorial complex:
"Today excavations began outside the existing burial zone of Sandarmokh. We assume that there was either shooting or wartime traces. Now it is difficult to say, the work is well under way. This place was determined by the method of probing the soil. The graveyard ends behind the poles. When a researcher of repressions Yury Dmitriev worked here, he said that not everything had been fully studied."
The expedition has permission from the Republican Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects for the performance of research works. But according to the federal law No. 73 "On objects of cultural heritage", research on the territory of cultural heritage sites can be carried out only on the basis of historical and cultural expertise and with the availability of project documentation, which should be published by the department for the protection of cultural heritage sites.
The organizers of the expedition did not show any documents to the «7x7» correspondent. The news was not found on the website of the department at the time of publication. On August 24, the party "Yabloko" appealed to the law enforcement agencies asking to verify the legality of the search works.
Karelian archaeologist Andrey Spiridonov drew attention to the fact that in Sandarmokh there are no boundaries of sites of an early man and a memorial complex:
"At the moment about 20 archaeological sites of a federal level are known in the vicinity of Sandarmokh, which are referred to the periods from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic.
Excavations of the expedition of the Military Historical Society can coexist with the Stone Age human settlements.
The expedition have already raised the first human remains (of unknown origin) to the surface of the excavation site in Sandarmokh. The searchers suggest that they found the Red Army soldiers.
The Sandarmokh graveyard is a historical monument of regional importance. On its territory, besides burials of repressed people, there were sites of an early man of the Mesolithic age. The area is approximately 90 hectares. One of the pioneers in investigating sites of mass burial on the territory of Sandarmokh is the head of the Karelian "Memorial" Yury Dmitriev, accused of violent acts against a minor adopted daughter.
Daniil Kuznetsov, Sergey Markelov, photo by Sergey Markelov, «7x7»