Russians honour Stalin victims, urge release of graves researcher

Hundreds of Russians gathered in central Moscow on Sunday to honour the victims of Stalin-era purges, with many calling for the release of a jailed activist who researched mass graves. In an annual ceremony organised by the country’s oldest rights group Memorial, hundreds of people under grey skies and intermittent rain took turns to read from a long list of names of those killed during Joseph Stalin’s rule. This year’s ritual comes as Yury Dmitriyev, a respected Memorial activist who had researched and exhumed mass graves of Stalin’s victims, remains in custody on what supporters say are trumped-up allegations.

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