Anna Yarovaya has gathered dozens of facts and opinions from Russian and Finnish scientists on viability of the hypothesis of new shootings at Sandarmokh. In her investigation, Anna answers questions about who and why is trying to change the history of burials in Karelia.
Anna Yarovaya about working on the investigation:
"The idea of writing about Sandarmokh was brewing... Brewing since the arrest of one of its discoverers, Yury Dmitriev in December 2016. Even then, there was an idea that the arrest and the criminal case of Dmitriev could be connected with Sandarmokh. But in order for the puzzle to evolve, it took time. The impetus towards starting work on the material was a round table in Petrozavodsk State University in the summer of 2017: two historians, doctors of sciences, said that in Sandarmokh, the place of mass executions of those who were repressed during the Great Terror of 1937-1938, Finnish troops could shoot and bury Soviet prisoners of war during the Great Patriotic War. The hypothesis about possible new facts of burials was based on declassified documents from the FSB archives. I got hooked on the fact that it was a one-sided game: the new hypothesis had no critics. It seemed unfair to me that the discussion of this topic began in the absence of Yury Dmitriev, the main specialist on Stalinist repression in Karelia. I decided to check into the matter so that the discussion was fair. When I received the documents, basis of the hypothesis, I realized that they really did not have facts of executions in Sandarmokh, and the assumptions of historians are more like conjectures or "order" than a serious scientific hypothesis. But why did they need this, if their scientific reputation was also on the line? These and other questions had to be answered. I began my communication with scientists, historians, specialists on the topic of repressions and executions. It was necessary to collect as many opinions as possible."
This is the second prize of "Redkollegia" for the editorial office of the online journal «7x7». In 2017, the jury awarded the journalist Elena Solovyova for material on the connection between nationalists and the Komi government.
The Redkollegia project is an independent award established by the Sreda Foundation charitable organization to support free professional journalism in Russia. According to its official website, the task of the award organizers is "to help those who keep high standards of the profession in Russia at a time when free and high-quality journalism is under pressure from the state, and the human rights to freely express their opinion and to have free access to information are systematically violated".
Sergey Markelov, «7x7»