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Declaration by former Soviet political prisoners: "It is immoral to support the hypocrisy of the Russian authorities"

posted 6 Nov 2017, 01:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Nov 2017, 06:40 ]

30 October 2017

Source: Facebook page of Aleksandr Podrabinek. This translation was first published by the website of Vladimir Bukovsky and is republished here by kind permission. The statement can also be read in Russian on the website

Photo: Opening of the memorial to the victims of political repression in Moscow. Source:

As former political prisoners and participants in the Democratic Movement in the Soviet Union, we consider the opening in Moscow of a monument to the “victims of political repression” to be untimely and hypocritical. A monument is a tribute to the past, yet acts of political repression in Russia not only continue – they are increasing.

In sponsoring the opening of the monument, the present Russian regime is pretending that acts of political repression are a thing of the distant past: the victims of such political repression, therefore, may be commemorated. We believe that today’s political prisoners in Russia are no less deserving of our help and attention than the respect and remembrance we owe to the victims of the Soviet regime.

We cannot grieve over the past, while hypocritically closing our eyes to the present. We cannot divide the victims of political repression into those who have earned a monument and those whom we insincerely choose not yet to recognise. We must not participate in the commemorative events of a regime, which regrets in word the victims of the Soviet regime, but keeps committing acts of political repression and crushing civil liberties in Russia. We must not allow an authoritarian regime to open a memorial to the victims of political repression while it continues to act in a lawless and arbitrary manner. It is, at the very least, immoral to cooperate with the regime in this respect.

There is no doubt that a monument to the victims of political repression should be erected in Moscow. That can only happen, however, when there are no more political prisoners in the country, when their jailers and executioners have been punished, and when acts of political repression cease to be the subject of news reports, instead becoming a matter for historical study alone.

Alexander Podrabinek
Alexei Smirnov
Andrew Grigorenko (USA)
Arina Ginzburg (France)
Bohdan Horyn (Ukraine)
Vardan Harutyunyan (Armenia)
Vasyl Ovsienko (Ukraine)
Victor Fainberg (Paris)
Vladimir Brodsky
Vladimir Bukovsky (United Kingdom)
Vladimir Osipov
Gabriel Superfin (Germany)
David Berdzinishvili (Georgia)
Igor Guberman (Israel)
Igor Kalinets (Ukraine)
Iosif Zissels (Ukraine)
Kirill Podrabinek
Kuzma Matviyuk (Ukraine)
Lagle Parek (Estonia)
Levan Berdzinishvili (Georgia)
Levko Lukyanenko (Ukraine)
Mart Niklus (Estonia)
Mikola Gorbal (Ukraine)
Mikola Matushevich (Ukraine)
Miroslav Marinovich (Ukraine)
Mikhail Rivkin (Israel)
Mustafa Dzhemilev (Crimea - Ukraine)
Nikolai Ivlyushkin
Oles Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Olga Geiko (Ukraine)
Pavel Litvinov (USA)
Pavel Protsenko
Raisa Rudenko (Ukraine)
Sinaver Kadyrov (Crimea - Ukraine)
Tatyana Yankelevich-Bonner (USA)
Eduard Kuznetsov (Israel)
Yuriy Shukhevych (Ukraine)

NOTE: Unless otherwise stated the signatory comes from Russia.

Translated by John Crowfoot