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Russian Activist Charged Over Gulag Memorial Plaque

The 'Last Address' project plaque Yekaterina Zhelvatych

An activist in the northern Russia city of Arkhangelsk is being prosecuted for installing a memorial plaque on the home of a victim of Soviet repression as part of the “Last Address” project.

Dmitry Kozlov is being tried by authorities on Wednesday for attaching a plaque to the former home of Ivan Bezsonov who was arrested by Soviet authorities in 1938, journalist Sergei Parkhomenko wrote on Facebook.

Kozlov is the regional coordinator for the “Last Address” project, co-founded by Parkhomenko, which commemorates gulag victims by installing small plaques at the place where they last lived.

The plaques feature the names, occupations, dates of birth and death of the gulag victims and the date on which they were rehabilitated.

Kozlov is now facing charges for damaging a cultural heritage site, which is punishable with a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($3,300).

In his post, Parkhomenko criticised the charges against Kozlov, saying the house had been labeled as derelict by the authorities and there were plans to demolish it.

Parkhomenko said it was the first time a “Last Address” activist was being taken to court.

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