Lost transit

The itinerary features documentary accounts by relatives of the victims of Sandormoh, recorded in 1999 at the Day of Remembrance – as well as the memories of researcher Irina Fliege, recorded in 2020.

It is also the first time that documents from the investigation file of M.R. Matveev, a Leningrad NKVD officer, A.F. Shondysh, I.A. Bondarenko and others from the NKVD of Karelia are presented publicly in this volume. – where details of the treatment of convicts in the Medvezhegorsk detention centre and subsequent shootings in Sandormoh are set out.

To get to the route, look for the gate with the sign “Lost transit”.


S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky. Common view of Solovetsky monastery (from Babiy island) 1916.

In 1920 a camp for political prisoners was located in the Solovetsky Monastery. As a result of a fire in 1923 the main cathedral lost its domes and crosses, instead the towers were nailed up with planks. In 1997, the 500 ruble banknote displayed Solovki without the domes and crosses. The camp on the banknote was replaced by the monastery only 13 years later, in 2010.

500 rubles coin, 1997. Source

In 1937, during the Big Terror, quotas were lowered here, as well as in other places. The administration had to select about 1000 people for the trial by the Troika, which sentenced these people to death by firing squad. Then the quota was increased, a total of 1,825 people were selected and sentenced. The largest stage – 1111 – left for the mainland in October.

The ship

“Gleb Bokiy” steamship Source

Solovetsky prisoners were transported on the steamer Gleb Bokyi, named after one of the first Chekists who had been in charge of terror under Lenin. Bokiy was considered the curator of Solovki and was coincidentally shot just a week after the execution of the main part of Solovki prisoners. The steamer had by then changed its name to S.L.O.N., then to Nikolai Yezhov. Yezhov, who signed the decree beginning the Big Terror, was also shot, three years later.


From the moment of departure, the trail of the prisoners was lost. There were legends that the barge with them had been sunk, or that they had been sent to Siberia. The relatives were unable to find out anything. Enquiries were answered with the words “not listed”. It was a typical formulation for Solovki. At other places the answer was “10 years without the right for correspondence”. Like “not listed”, this always meant execution.


Veniamin Iofe. Source: Iofe foundation archive

In 1989 Veniamin Iofe and Irina Fliege, the founders of Memorial in St Petersburg, travelled to Karelia for the First Days of Remembrance and the opening of the Solovetsky Camp Museum. It was very small, but its appearance was symbolically important. Relatives of Solovetsky prisoners were also going there. They got acquainted on the train, told each other their stories. It turned out that the dates of death on the certificates were almost the same for everyone, within one week


After this, it took Iofe and Flige several years to find other details of this mass shooting. They constantly monitored the publications and in 1996 they found a reference to a folder with the materials of the Karelian execution trials in one of the new books. They requested the file from the NKVD’s archive in Karelia. The folder was given out grudgingly, they did not allow much copying, copies had to be cut up, and only scraps – the so-called “noodles” – could be taken away.

The trial of the executioners

From the testimony of one of the perpetrators of the shootings, N.N. Mironov. Source: Minutes of the court session of the Military Tribunal of the USSR NKVD troops of the Leningrad District. 24-26.05.1939. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigative Cases Fund. C.№11602. Vol.4. The sheet of the case is not fixed

The trial of the executioners, the transcript of which was in the file, was of a pharisaical nature. They were certainly not tried for shootings, which would have been impossible within the same firing squad system – only for abuse of power. It is likely that these officers had simply crossed someone’s path. The trial revealed the monstrous cruelty of the executioners in their treatment of the prisoners: they were beaten, strangled, bayoneted, carried fifty people in a truck, put in pits and shot


Yuri Dmitriev and witnesses of the excavations in the days of the Sandormoh discovery. July 2, 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

Sandormoh forest. July 2, 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

There was also specific information in the documents – a geographical point. One of the shooters mentioned the distance from Medvezhegorsk to the shooting range – 16 kilometres and the name of the nearby village. The researchers understood which road they were talking about. They soon set out to find it. Their expedition was joined by Yuri Dmitriev, who for his part had been studying the fates of repressed inhabitants of Karelia, as well as prisoners of local camps and political exiles. A couple of hours after Iofe, Fliege and Dmitriev arrived at the site, Dmitriev discovered subsidence in the soil and realised that these were execution pits. They began digging and found many remains, all with shot skulls.



The route uses documentary materials: banners from the festive demonstrations and parades of 1937-1938; banners from the late 1980s and early 1990s rallies; slogans from patriotic rallies and individual pickets from the turn of the century 2010s to 2020s; and banners from the “Monstrations” (2010s).

There are also posters with portraits of: Politburo members from the 1937-1938 rallies (Kliment Voroshilov, Nikolai Yezhov, Andrei Zhdanov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Anastas Mikoyan, Josef Stalin); posters with silhouettes of people – in memory of the repressed – from the Perm Memorial column from the late 1980s; and posters modelled on those of “Immortal Regiment”. We respect the memory of veterans of the Great Patriotic War, so we do not use real photographs: the faces are generated by a neural network within the project of the artist Pug Heel & Vip Zip. This artist is also the author of the soundtrack, which is based on the sound of Soviet newsreels from 1938-1937, as well as documentary recordings of rallies and demonstrations from the late 1980s to the present day.

Sandormoh is the place where thousands of people from all walks of life, classes and nationalities of the Soviet Union were executed. Next to writers, theatrical figures, scientists, officials, clergymen and politicians lie the workers and peasants in whose name the revolution was made. All these people represent 58 nationalities: Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Tatars, Vainakhs, Finns, Lithuanians, Poles, Czechs and many others. Against the backdrop of mass repression, it was especially important to maintain a sense of national unity. The 1930s were a time of grandiose gymnastic parades, during which toboggan slides, track and field equipment, ski-runs and even rag rink pools were paraded around Red Square. And in addition to the sporty ones, there were other wonderful elements of Soviet life, such as sunflower fields, merry-go-rounds, planets and power stations. All this impressive theatrical machinery was reminiscent of Renaissance mystery. In this context, it is not so absurd that the world theatre reformer Vsevolod Meyerhold, who was deprived of his theatre and his job in 1938, had to rehearse with students from the Lesgaft Institute in Leningrad in 1939 for their performance at a physical education parade. He was arrested during the rehearsals and shot in Moscow six months later.

Sports parade on Red Square. Photographer Sergey Vasin, 1938. Source

Sports parade on Red Square. Photographer Sergey Vasin, 1938.Source

Demonstration on Red Square on May 1, 1937. Photographer Ivan Shagin. Source

Common view of the parade on Red Square. November 7, 1938. Photographer Leonid Velikzhanin.Фото “Общий вид парада на Красной площади”, 7 ноября 1938, г. Москва – История России в фотографиях (russiainphoto.ru) “Pravda” newspaper. Jan 31, 1937.

Apart from the physical education parade, the grandiose parades of the 1930s were also held on 1st May, Labor Day, and 7th November, the anniversary of the October revolution. The 20th anniversary parade of the October Revolution coincided with the period of the most massive shootings of the Great Terror. On the banners were giant images of Stalin and his name, which was identified not only with major state achievements, successes and victories, but also with the simple word “happiness”. And in those same years his signature is classified as “secret” – on the execution lists (not all of them he personally signed, but many).

The debunking of the cult of personality in 1956 did not make the subject of repressions пa matter of public discussion. All the more so as the repression continued, albeit on a smaller scale. It was not until the late 1980s that one could talk about them openly. In the wake of perestroika, people who wanted to understand the experience of arrests and shootings and demanded their condemnation on a national and social scale poured onto the streets. “Our parents have no graves”, “I would like to name everyone”, “No to Stalinism” – all sorts of slogans floated in the crowds of many thousands. The creation of the Memorial Society became an urgent need, in order to close the door to violence to the state once and for all.

Speech by Sergei Kovalev at a rally on June 25, 1988.Source

Rally on March 5, 1989. Photo by Dmitry Borko.Source

Rally on March 5, 1989. Photo: Dmitry Borko. Source: http://prequel.memo.ru/

The column of the Perm Memorial at the May Day demonstration. Late of 1980-sSource

In the new Russia it seemed possible to develop a culture of rallies, public protests and freedom of speech, both in the press and on the street. It seemed in turn that the practice of parades and demonstrations was becoming a thing of the past. But since 1995, the Victory Parade, which had previously been held only four times in the fifty years since the war, has become an annual event. Since 2008, heavy military equipment began to take part in the parade. On May 9, 2012 Tomsk hosted the first “Immortal Regiment” parade, which later became nationwide. That year, 6 thousand people took part in it. A few days before May 6, 2012, Moscow hosted the largest rally against the presidential election results in the history of modern Russia, which ended up on Bolotnaya Square. According to various calculations, from 30 to 120 thousand people have taken part in it. More than 30 people received prison sentences. This was followed by an intensification of the fight against street protests in Russia. Gradually, the only possible form of street protest in Russia became a single picket. Since 24 February, the form of a picket has been retained but virtually guarantees detention.

The central branch of the Memorial Society in Moscow has been liquidated at the suit of the Prosecutor General’s Office. The liquidation process began in 2021 and was completed in spring 2022. The official reason for the liquidation was that a number of public materials were not marked as ‘foreign agent’, thus violating the law on foreign agents. At one of the last trials, the prosecutor said: “Why do we, the descendants of the victors, have to watch attempts to rehabilitate traitors and Nazi collaborators with impunity? Why, instead of pride in a country that won a terrible war and liberated the world from fascism, are we being encouraged to repent of our supposedly hopeless past?”

On May 9, 2022, more than 1 million people marched in Moscow for the “Immortal Regiment” action.

Never again

This route uses only documentary recordings: excerpts from the speeches made by participants at the Sandormoh commemoration rallies on 27 October 1997, 5 August 1999, 5 August 2013, 5 August 2014, 5 August 2015, 5 August 2016, 5 August 2017, 5 August 2018 and 5 August 2019.

To get out on the route, find the gate with the sign ‘Not to be repeated’. You will find this gate at the very end when you pass the rest of the routes and locations. It’s the last one. You can’t jump off this route, like the spiral of history.

On 27 October 1997 people gathered for the first time at Sandormoh to commemorate the dead. Most of them were those who had been searching for their relatives’ graves for 60 years. Old women – the wives of young men who had been shot – had found their husbands. Children and grandchildren found their fathers and grandfathers. Many local people accidentally read the list of victims that Yuri Dmitriev published shortly before the opening of the memorial in a Petrozavodsk newspaper. In those days not all the names of the victims were identified yet. Later Dmitriev added more names and new people found the graves of their relatives here. But the relatives of the Solovetsky prisoners had long been in dialogue with Memorial and followed their search in detail. The names of the prisoners were known in full.

High officials, representatives of the presidential administration, the leaders of Karelia and diplomats from various countries came to the opening of the memorial. Many gave speeches. The leitmotif of all the speeches was one thing: what happened here in Sandormoh must not happen again. The opening of the memorial is not only a remembrance of the victims, but also a testament to the non-repetition of violence.

October 27 is the anniversary of the first day of the execution of the inmates of the Solovetsky prison camp in 1937. In Sandormoh itself, the shootings started earlier, with the beginning of the Big Terror, officially counting down from 5 August 1937. Since 1998, this very day has become an annual memorial day in Sandormoh.

Every year the leitmotif is repeated in the speeches of all the guests: “Never again”. Every year it grows bitterer and bitterer.

Case D

Yuri Dmitriev is a researcher of political repression in the Soviet Union. Since the 1990s he has searched for the places of execution and burial of victims of repression from the inhabitants of Karelia and the inmates of Karelian camps. In 1997 Dmitriev joined the expedition of the St. Petersburg “Memorial” and discovered the execution pits of Sandormoh*. Over the following years, he continued to search for and clarify the locations of the shootings and the names of the victims. Karelian KGB officers themselves forwarded letters to Dmitriev from people who were looking for the graves of their relatives. The characteristic style of his letters gives an idea about the person. Here is one of them:

“Dear Kira Mikhailovna,

FSB workers have forwarded your letter to me only now.
By happy coincidence this very year on July 1 the place of execution of “Solovetsky prison camp”, which was buried for 60 years in deep woods of Karelia, was found.

The existence of this stage was reported to me by members of the St. Petersburg Memorial Research and Information Centre, who also handed over the lists of the stage.

In the record No. 81 under No. 119 there is Nabokov Mikhail Mikhailovich, born in 1897, the native of Omsk…

I know it is impossible to accept the grief of losing a dear and dear person, but as you are reading this letter, perhaps at this very moment, over the place where he and another seven thousand people executed by the Stalinist executioners in 1937-1938, the place of their last resting place, soft music is playing and fresh flowers are laying on all the 236 once secret graves.

Unfortunately, I have only now received your letter and, unfortunately, you did not give me your phone number which is why I was not able to contact you earlier.

On October 27, at 11 o’clock in Sandarmoh, on the sixtieth anniversary of the execution of Solovetsky Camp, there will be a “Penitential Day” action; church service for the dead will be conducted and a monument to all those killed by the communist executioners will be unveiled with a simple and quiet inscription: “People, do not kill each other…” and a separate plaque to Solovetsky Camp.

I will try to send you photos and press.

Sincerely, Yury Dmitriev”.

From 2016 to 2022, with a short break, Yuri Dmitriev was in a pre-trial detention centre in Petrozavodsk under investigation on charges of indecent assault of a minor and illegal possession of weapons. His case has been under investigation for almost six years. We cannot know the real details of the case, but we do know the details of its course. Two acquittals, the dismissal of the prosecutor and the demotion of the judge after acquittal, the review of the case, the indictment, the knowingly lenient sentence on the serious charge, the unexpected multiplication of that sentence by a factor of five. On 15 March 2022 the sentence of 15 years in a strict regime colony came into force.

Yuri Dmitriev on the day of the discovery of Sandormoh. July 1, 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

Yuri Dmitriev under investigation. Photographer Svetlana Kulchitskaya

Yuri Dmitriev under investigation. Photographer Svetlana Kulchitskaya

Yuri Dmitriev under investigation. Photographer Svetlana Kulchitskaya

* Флиге И.А. Сандормох: драматургия смыслов. СПб.: Нестор-История, 2019. С. 70.
** Дмитриев Ю.А. Место расстрела Сандармох. Петрозаводск: Барс, 1999. С. 289.

Key dates of Dmitriev’s case

December 13, 2016

  • detained

January 2017

  • interrogation of an eleven-year-old adopted daughter

April 11, 2017


  • production of pornography
  • indecent assault in relation to a minor
  • illegal possession of weapons

January 27, 2018

  • out of jail (signed a recognizance not to leave)

April 5, 2018

  • acquitted on all indecent assault charges
  • found guilty of illegal possession of weapons


  • restriction of liberty for 2 years and 6 months, of which he had already served most.

June 6, 2018

  • another interrogation of the adopted daughter of Yuri Dmitriev.

June 14, 2018

  • Supreme Court of Karelia overturned the acquittal.

June 27, 2018

  • detained

June 28, 2018


  • indecent assault in relation to a minor
  • illegal possession of weapons

November 18, 2018

  • Prosecutor for this case, Elena Askerova, resigned

November 23, 2018

  • Judge Marina Nosova, who challenged acquittal in this case, demoted

December 2018 – March 2020

  • proceedings in a new case

March 23, 2020

  • suspension due to Covid-19.

July 22, 2020

  • acquitted on all illegal possession of weapons charges
  • found guilty of indecent assault against a minor


  • restriction of liberty for 3 years and 6 months (considering the years of the criminal proceedings)

September 29, 2020

  • Sentence overturned by the Supreme Court of Karelia.
  • New sentence – 13 years.

From October 20, 2020

  • he compiles four complaints to higher authorities.

March 29, 2021

  • On behalf of Yuri Dmitriev, a complaint has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights.

October 12, 2021

  • The Supreme Court of Russia refused to review the case.

December 27, 2021

  • The City Court of Petrozavodsk stiffened the sentence – from 13 to 15 years in prison.

March 15, 2022

  • The Supreme Court of the Republic Karelia rejected the complaint of Yuri Dmitriev.
  • The sentence came into force.

March 16, 2022

  • Russia withdraws from the Council of Europe and since this date no longer complies with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.



Peter Edomski

The work “Cassations” is based on photographs of real people – victims of the “Great Terror”, who were, until recently, hidden in the grounds of the Sandormoh firing range.

Historical and memorial institutions today do not look to the past, but to the future. By structuring our present vision of the past they structure at the same time a future that looks to our present, shaped by what we know about our past and how we see it.

“Cassations” – appeal to the phenomenon of “post-memory”, describing the position that today’s generation takes in relation to the personal, collective and cultural trauma of those who lived before. Post-memories are events that we ‘remember’ (or would like to remember) only through stories, images or, conversely, through silences, secrets and efforts at oblivion. These events are transmitted on such a deep level that it is as if they themselves become full-fledged memories. Thus the post-memory connection with the past is not through remembering, but through the need and desire to “remember”. Through the engagement of imagination and creative mechanisms.

The deformed and traumatised – pictures in Cassations rely not so much on history, but on poetry, as a skill which perhaps historians need to master, if they want to tell the difficult story of the destruction of their own people.

We don’t remember. We are not proud.

Slava Ptrk

The artist uses a popular in contemporary Russia slogan, associated with the heroes of the Great Patriotic War: “We remember. We are proud.” The artist puts this slogan in the context of repressions, showing that the memory of repressions in Russia is not sufficiently comprehended, and this page in russian history is a cause for sorrow, not for pride.

The Last Hours

Yanina Boldyreva

Instructions: There are pages from the book scattered around the forest. Collect them all to gain access to the book.
This book is about the last days of people sentenced to death. It is very emotional and understandable without words. However, it has direct references to reality that need to be explained. At the beginning of the book I have placed a poem by Mykola Zerov, one of the representatives of the Ukrainian ‘shot renaissance’, who underwent torture in camps and was shot in Sandarmoh. The Ukrainian shot renaissance is a phenomenon long described but rarely mentioned in Russia. In the 1930s, during the Great Terror, a huge number of Ukrainian intellectuals were tortured, exiled to camps and shot, falsely presented as spies, nationalists or terrorists. Sandarmoh is the place where some three hundred Ukrainian writers, poets, teachers, artists and academics were murdered. This doesn’t take away from the fact that Stalinist repression affected Soviet citizens all over the Union, but now it seems important to me to say something about this side of them too.


Anonymous author

Instruction: Click on me!
There is an eye watching you through the peephole. It’s the eye of the firing squad. It’s as if he’s returning to Sandormoh to the scene of the crime. It is as if it continues to watch – now for you.

It is important for us to remember those who were the executioners. Not to dehumanise them and symbolically avenge them, but to understand how people turn into non-humans, how willingness to be part of the system or simple loyalty can kill the humanity in a person. We need to look them in the eye without fear. We need to find out how they lived their lives, how they separated “work” from their personal lives, how they babysat their children and grandchildren, what they told their mother about their work. What they dreamed about, if they could dream, and what they believed in, if they could believe in anything. They killed and tortured people out of fear of being in their victims’ shoes or out of resentment and bitterness


Nikita Seleznev

The image is inspired by ancient ossuaries – repositories of the bones of the dead. In the work, skulls cover the ruined head of a Soviet sculpture.

Impossible Monument

Lev Manovich

Let’s imagine that some of the world’s most famous architects were invited to design a monument for victims of Stalin’s repressions. The architects selected to present final projects in the competition are Zaha Hadid, Frank Gerhy, and Shigeru Ban. The monument will stand in the Sandormokh forest not far from the original 1997 modest monument.
We see familiar pine trees in each proposal renderings – exactly like in our real Sandormokh forest. The proposal of each architecture studio reflects their unique architecture language – dynamic asymmetrical shapes by Gerhy, fluid and complex forms by Hadid, and use of traditional materials such as bamboo by Ban.
I created these imaginary architecture proposals using Midjourney Image Synthesis AI. It was trained on millions of images from the web. It “learned” content, styles, and aesthetics of these images. The imaginary designs AI made reflect the styles of the famous architects that I chose. AI also placed these designs within a pine forest and created atmosphere and lighting that matches a particular time of a day (e.g. morning or evening) to show each monument in the best way.


Zlata Ulitina

Violence is always a chain. A single case gives birth to a pattern; violence works like an epidemic. It has different “incubation periods”: for example, institutional violence may seem dormant at some point. But the consequences of an earlier act of violence still manifest themselves one day, triggering another epidemic, a chain reaction. A crime against an individual escalates into a crime against humanity.

The great terror is a great epidemic, the pathogen of which has not been studied and consequently not been eradicated. And today we are again seeing outbreaks of the deadly contagion of violence.

A chain of domino bones – a chain of bones of murdered people who were mowed down one by one by the Soviet sickle. Now they are the grass of Sandormoh. Let the grass, as H. Miller bequeathed, be a lesson in morality. Let the green stalks of memory continue to sprout through generations. And one day they will outlast iron links of death-dealing chain.


Daria Dorofeeva

One of the prisoners of Solovetsky camp shot in Sandormoh – Alexey Vangaim. He was 56 years old. In the 1920s he set up the Weather Bureau – today’s Hydrometcentre. Vannheim was involved in the major geophysical projects of his time. But in 1934 he was arrested and sent to Solovki. In Moscow he was left with a four-year-old daughter. He tried to teach her from a distance, as he would have if he had been around. He collected flowers and leaves, made herbaria from them and sent them to his daughter, explaining how plants were arranged. So once glued on paper a dandelion in all stages of flower development. Vanheim was shot when his daughter was 7 years old. His efforts were not in vain. Eleonora Alexeyevna Wangheim became a doctoral candidate in geological-mineralogical sciences.

Circle 7

Anonymous author

Dante’s Divine Comedy describes the circles of hell. For tyrants and brigands is intended circle Seven. Hence the title of my project.

Even Solzhenitsyn resorted to comparing the totalitarian regime of the USSR under Stalin and the Gulag with Hell on Earth, titling his work In the First Circle. It is dedicated to the workers of the prison design bureaux, whose conditions of imprisonment were relatively mild. In my version of the 7th circle, I place the servants of the regime themselves, the NKVD officers, the minders, the executioners, those who were cogs in the machine of terror, and others. It is no secret that many of them became victims of the same system during the Great Terror. In a sense retribution has caught up with them in this life. I think that the life of a “chieftain” in such a system is not much better than that of a prisoner. A person is already immersed in an inferno of constant fear, mistrust, a feeling of vulnerability and total control, even if they are not aware of it and are formally at the top of the food chain. This is how their dehumanisation occurs, their descent into Hell begins while they are still alive.

The sculpture depicts the Guardian of Hell, a monstrous figure in a cotton wool jacket, who is tormenting human figures dressed in the same clothes. Jackets were worn both by prisoners in the northern latitudes and as part of the uniform of the guards in the Gulag system.

The demon is not so much an otherworldly force, as an image of the most inhuman system and the totalitarian barracks regime.

Serving as a warning to all who are enticed by the power of the “Strong Hand”.


Aleksandr Shishkin-Hokusai

The Flash

Aleksandra Gart

The head of a hero from the installation “Prayers and Heroes”

Andrey Kuzkin

Bread, salt, blood, metal, glue. 2016-2019

The Last Place


This is where the earth soaked in blood and became the last place for six thousand two hundred and forty-one people. Mark this place on your inner map and never forget it.

The bonfire is a traditional place of preservation and replenishment in video games. In the Sandormoh forest, bonfires lit executions. Here their smoke forms the number 1111 – the number of victims of the first Solovetsky stage alone. Conservation is not possible.


Anonymous author

A campfire is a traditional place for saving and replenishing health in video games. In the Sandormokh forest, bonfires illuminated executions. Here their smoke forms the number 1111 – the number of victims of only the first Solovetsky transit. Saving is not possible.


Yulia Fedulova


The image of Sandormoh is conveyed in simple graphics. The artist’s work is applied to the stone as an alternative version of the famous monument “People, do not kill each other”, erected here as one of the first in 1998.

Clear history button


Instruction: push the buttom

A symbol of mutual understanding

Ildar Yakubov

Ildar Yakubov’s video mapping is based on a speech given by the Consul of the Republic of Poland, Josef Skotolev, on the opening day of Sandormoh in 1997. He spoke of his fellow Poles, mostly Catholic priests, who were shot here. But he immediately stipulated that there should be no national, religious or social animosity in Sandormoh. The terrible experience unites everyone in a single human grief, and this feeling should be the pledge of mutual forgiveness for all of us, from very different countries. This was the hope of the Polish Consul Josef Skotoleff in 1997.

There were many priests among the Poles killed in Sandormoh. Polish priests had parishes in the territories of Ukraine and Belarus even before the revolution and continued to serve under Soviet rule. Many of them ended up in Solovki. And not incidentally: this camp was special, as all those who were considered to be the main ideological enemies were sent there. Sandormoh victims included priests of the Russian Orthodox Church up to bishops, Lutheran priests and more than 30 Catholic priests.

The Sandormoh memorial was unveiled on October 27, 1997 and a chapel was built in a week’s time. The chapel survives to this day. There are two aspects to its appearance: Sandormoh has not only Christians of various confessions, but also Muslims and Jews. On the other hand, the chapel has a special character, resembling a forest hut where people leave each other candles and matches. A memory book containing the names of all the victims of the massacre is kept here.

About the project

The Sandormoh online exhibition was created by the Iofe Foundation (St.Petersburg) with the participation of the Czech Memorial (Prague) and Gulag.cz to mark the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the firing range where in 1937-1938 5130 inhabitants of Karelia and inmates of the White Sea-Baltic prison camp and 1111 prisoners of the Solovetsky camp were murdered.

The historical section of the exhibition contains three narrative routes and two locations that reveal stories related to Sandormoh. These are the history of mass shootings which took place here in 1937-1938, the history of the search for the place which started in the late 1980s and the history of the perception of Sandormoh and political repression in Russian society. And these are the fates of people connected in different ways with this place and these events.

The art section of the exhibition contains 16 works by contemporary artists that reflect on the theme of mass shootings at Sandormoh and the repression as such.

The artists’ works and exits are lost in the space of Sandormoh forest. Wandering among the pines, unexpectedly finding objects and locations, each visitor walks his or her own path through the exhibition.

Design and developing: hptx
Courators: ***** ********, ________ ____

Sound design (Forest, route: Empire): sound artist Pug Heel & Vip Zip

Scientific work: Iofe foundation

How it works

We invite you to take a walk through the digital forest, created on the basis of a real forest tract – Sandormokh.

The virtual forest is endless, you can go in any direction.


To move, hold the arrows on your keyboard or the WASD buttons.

Hold shift to speed up a bit.

To control the camera, hold down the left mouse button and move it.


Walking, you will meet art-works – monuments. These are installations and works of art inscribed in the forest. Some of the works are interactive.

To see the signature for the work, hover over it.

Historical routes

Sometimes you will stumble upon a gate – go through it, this is the entrance to the historical route. There are three of them – “The Lost Stage”, “Empire”, “Will Not Repeat”. The routes are dedicated to historical episodes associated with this place.

Menu and points of interest

You won’t get lost, the menu on the right will serve as a guide for you.

In the menu you will find a list that shows locations and other objects located in the forest. The passed routes are crossed out, the passed Monuments are fixed by the counter. Try to find them all.

Endless route

The last scene you will find in the forest is “Never again”. It is endless, it is impossible to get out of it, just like jumping off the spiral of history. But you can always hit ESC to get out of any route back into the forest.

The Great Terror in Karelia and Solovki

On 3 July 1937 Stalin sent a telegram to Yezhov “On anti-Soviet elements” to be registered and shot. On 30 July Yezhov issued NKVD order No. 00447, which initiated the Big Terror. On August 5, 1937 the order came into force.

Directive No 863 of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks( 3 July 19371 SHIFTED TO SECRETARIES OF OBKOMS, KRAIKOMS AND THE NACKOMPARIUS Central Committee. Source:

Pursuant to the order, the execution verdict could be pronounced by a troika consisting of the chief of the local NKVD, the secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party and the procurator. Thus, the trial took place without the defence and without the presence of the accused, who might not learn of the verdict until after the execution.

From this point on the local NKVD began to receive quotas for executions. According to these quotas, the trial by the “troika” was to be carried out both in the prison camps and prisons, as well as for people, who had not yet been arrested during the “Big Terror”. In Karelia these were the inmates of the Belbaltlag, the deportees and the locals.

Quotas were also issued for the Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. From among the prisoners 1200 people had to be selected. Later the limit was increased by 425 people. Then another 200. These people were to be transported to the mainland and shot. The first stage – 1111 people – were put on a barge in October. The second – 509 people – in December. The rest were shot directly on Solovki. The exact place of execution and burial of 509 people from the second stage is still unknown. But the first stage was found.

Instruction No 189852 of 16.10.1937 issued by the head of UNKVD in Leningrad oblast (without the archive address). Published: Sanodormoh Memorial Cemetery. 1937: 27 October – 4 November. St.Petersburg: Memorial Research Center, 1997. p.166.

Report from Captain Matveev on the execution of a firing squad. Published: Sanodormoh Memorial Cemetery. 1937: 27 October – 4 November. St.Petersburg: Memorial Research Center, 1997. p.166.

Veniamin Iofe and Irina Flige

Veniamin Viktorovich Iofe graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Chemical Technology. From 1964 to 1965 he participated in the publication of the socio-political magazine Kolokol and was the author of articles on the prospects for political and industrial democracy in the USSR. In 1965 he was arrested and sentenced to 3 years in a strict regime camp, which he served in Mordovia. Having returned to Leningrad, he studied the history of opposition movements in Russia and published articles in uncensored collections.

In the late 1980s, the subject of repression quickly entered the public arena; it became a topic of discussion. There was a huge public demand for the subject. Iofe was one of the founders of the “Memorial” in Leningrad and St. Petersburg. He founded the Scientific Information Center, whose archive and library contain personal testimony and documents on the history of the Soviet terror, the Gulag, and the history of resistance to the regime.

One of the SRC Memorial’s flagship themes in St. Petersburg is the history of the Solovetsky camp, including the search for traces of the “Solovetsky prisoners”, who were transferred from the islands to the mainland in the fall of 1937 and disappeared without a trace.

V.V. Iofe died in 2002 and since then the Scientific Information Centre “Memorial” has been run by his widow Irina Fliege.

In the same train carriage

In June 1989 a group of people from Memorial was travelling in a train from Leningrad to Petrozavodsk. They were going to Solovki for the opening of a small museum dedicated to the camp.

Mostly there were children of Solovki prisoners in the group. But there were also wives, brothers, sisters, people of the same generation, who had outlived their relatives by half a century. All this time they were sending enquiries to the NKVD authorities. Now, for the first time, people with the same fate were together. Their relatives, who had served time in the same camp, might have known each other.

It was not just a discovery trip, but a meeting with the place where the years of imprisonment had passed, the last years of their loved ones. However, everyone hoped to learn something about the other place, the execution site. Not even the NKVD knew where it was.

On the train Iofe began to look at the new death certificates that had recently been issued to relatives to replace the old, thirty-year old ones. He saw that the dates of death were within a week. October 27, 2, 3, 4 November 1937. Iofe realised that behind these certificates there was one mass execution. Most likely, he surmised, this was the stage that was taken off the island in the autumn of 1937.


The certificates that Iofe examined were fresh, newly issued. Relatives reapplied to the KGB for them in the late 1980s, because with the emergence of Memorial and the first public investigations it became clear that the certificates from the late 1950s and early 1960s contained false information.

After Stalin’s death, a process of rehabilitation began for both the living and the dead. The living were released from detention. The dead were found innocent posthumously. The system itself began to revise its decisions. Prosecutors checked the cases and drew conclusions about their lack of merit. But the conclusions, internal and external, were different. In the internal correspondence of the organs, there was complete clarity on the fact of the executions. However, special instructions were issued (KGB at the USSR Council of Ministers No. 8сс of 24/УШ-1955, MIA RSFSR No. 3/7337 of 22/IX-1955) about stating a random date and random diagnosis as the cause of death in the certificates. Many relatives trusted this information for many years.

P.G. Penner’s death certificate with incorrect cause and date of death. 1957. Source: Iofe Foundation archive
Death certificate of P.G. Penner with the correct cause of death – execution – and incorrect indication of the place of execution (Leningrad). 1995. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

In the internal correspondence, one can hear the attitude to half-truths of those who reviewed the cases. For example, in response to a request from the wife of the prominent Ukrainian poet Nikolai Zerov, the authorities examined documents, learned that he had been shot on 3/XI-1937, and decided to indicate “that he died in prison on 13/X-1941 from paralysis of the cardiovascular system”. However, this decision, which the officer sends to his subordinates for execution, is not worded in the usual way, “HAS BEEN DONE”, but in the uncertain way, “HAVE BEEN DONE”. And, for example, the officer who dealt with the case of the four brothers: Mikhail Alexandrovich, Nikolai Alexandrovich, Alexander Alexandrovich and Vasily Alexandrovich Popov – already in 1963 considered it possible to directly announce to Mikhail Alexandrovich’s daughter the execution, but only verbally.

Internal NKVD correspondence about the answer to the enquiry of the poet’s widow, Nikolai Zerov. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

In the late 1980s and early 1990s a personal intonation of sadness and even guilt appeared in the official replies. “Understanding the depth of the tragedy that befell you and your family in connection with the groundless conviction of Daniil Zelmanovich Budnitsky, please accept my sincere condolences” – sounds in the official response of the head of the Secretariat of the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR in 1988 at the request of his daughter. This is especially noticeable against the background of the fact that such intonation was not present in all letters. Some confined themselves to a simple statement of the facts. “In connection with your statement I inform you that Valerian Lvovich Polishchuk was shot on the basis of the decision of the Special Troika of the UNKVD of the Leningrad Region of 9 October 1937. In the certificate available to you the cause of death of Polishchuk V.L. is incorrectly indicated. Military tribunal has no information about burial place.”

Official reply from the daughter of D.Z. Budnitsky with condolences. 1988. Source: Iofe Foundation archive.

Answer to the enquiry of V.L. Polishchuk’s widow. 1990. Source: Iofe Foundation archive.

Notification of false information in death certificate of V.L. Polishchuk. 1988. Source: Iofe Foundation Archive

16th kilometre

The authorities really had no knowledge of the location of the shootings. Impressive economic neatness forced them not to destroy, but to systematically preserve the personal files of the repressed, lists and protocols of the executions. However these documents never mentioned the place of execution or the place of burial.

Iofe constantly followed publications on the history of the repression. In 1996, former KGB officer E.Y. Lukin published a book entitled No Blood on the Executioners. Unlike the researchers, he had access to secret documents. From them, he tried to reconstruct the psychology of the executioner and understand how NKVD officers could carry out mass executions. In fact, Lukin justified the executioners by the fact that they were caught in the proper context and did their job, despite the fact that they personally shot several thousand people at point-blank range on false convictions. In 2022 the book was reprinted and presented at the Palace Square Book Salon.

Excerpt from the testimony of Mironov N.N., a participant in the shootings, with geographical details. Source: Minutes of the court session of the Military Tribunal of the USSR NKVD troops of the Leningrad District. 24-26.05.1939. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigative Cases Fund. Д.№11602. Vol. 4. The sheet of the case is not fixed.

Iofe found in Lukin’s book a reference to a criminal case in which the executioner of Solovetsky prisoners, Security Service captain M.R. Matveev was mentioned. They were soon able to obtain its release from the archives in the hope that this investigative file should shed light on the scene of the shootings. One of those involved in the shootings said that the team was afraid of the shouts of prisoners on the road, which on the long and crowded track could be heard by anyone. He also casually mentioned the length of the road – 16 kilometres from Medvezhjegorsk – and the name of the nearby village of Pindushi, where the car carrying the convicts had once broken down. From these details it became clear where to look.

Talking to local old-timers, the researchers learned that in those years there were rumours of shootings near the quarry. There was indeed a quarry on a road that matched the description, but at kilometre 19. The puzzle was put together when it was discovered that this road had been lengthened by a diversion in the 1950s, Modern 19th kilometre was the 16th kilometre in 1937.

Case #11602

The investigation file against the Sandormoh executioners played an invaluable role in uncovering the crime scene. However, the significance of this file is much greater. It provides us with details of the final days in the lives of the victims of Sandormoh. These details prove to be more frightening than a firing squad.

In 1938 a group of Karelian NKVD officers, headed by A.F. Shondysh and I.A. Bondarenko, were charged with abuse of power. They were accused of beating and torturing prisoners before they were shot. The case itself should be under no illusions. The men who personally murdered over 6,000 people were only accused of mistreating them before they were shot. These were internal intrigues within the NKVD. Unless someone for some personal reason wanted to eliminate Bondarenko and Shondysh, their brutality would have gone unpunished.

Shondysh and Bondarenko were responsible for executing the death sentences of Belbaltlag prisoners and residents of Karelia. In their testimony, they also involved an NKVD officer from Leningrad, M.R. Matveev, who had come to Karelia only once for one specific operation – the execution of the Solovetsky stage.

List of those who took part in the execution operation. Source: Case on the charges of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. et al. #11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

The conditional phrase, “fit for execution”, means admitted for execution. Source: File on the charges against Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. and others. №11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

A denunciation against Captain Matveev. Matveev objected to the content of this denunciation at the trial. Source: Case on the accusation of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. and others. №11602. Archive of UFSB in the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

Interrogation about the beater and the number of people in the isolation ward. Source: Case of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. et al. #11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

From the testimony of the executioners themselves, recorded in the court transcripts, terrible details follow. The prisoners were stripped down to their underwear, their hands were tied, their feet were tied, and then they were thrown at the bottom of a truck and driven away to be shot. In the “hand-binding room”, in the “leg-binding room”, in the truck and at the “place of execution” some were beaten or strangled. Most often it was those who had said something against them, or those who had shouted and exposed themselves; occasionally it was without cause. They were beaten with revolvers or specially made bats on the head, pierced with a specially made bayonet with a sharp end, and strangled with towels. As a result, some detainees were able to reach the firing pit by themselves, while others had to be carried to the pit. Afterwards they were shot in the back of the head right in the pit.

Testimony of a member of the firing squad, who carried people to the pit from the truck. Source: Case of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. et al. №11602. Archive of the UFSB in the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

Testimony on the murder of the convicts in the detention facility. Source: Case of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. et al. #11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

A detailed description of the removal and execution of prisoners in the testimony of N.N. Mironov. Source: Case on the charges of A.F. Shondysh, I.A. Bondarenko and others. #11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602

A detailed description of the removal and execution of prisoners in the testimony of N.N. Mironov. Source: Case on the charges of Shondysh A.F., Bondarenko I.A. and others. №11602. Archive of the Federal Security Service of the Republic of Karelia. Investigation Cases Fund. C. #11602.

Ivan Chukhin and Yuri Dmitriev

In the early 1990s, Ivan Chukhin, a former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and an investigator of particularly important cases, began to study the history of repression in Karelia. He left the Communist Party, joined the Democratic Russia faction, and became a member of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the State Duma of the First Convocation. Chukhin was one of the authors of the 1991 Law on the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression. He was also head of the Petrozavodsk branch of Memorial.

He managed to find protocols of both local, Karelian, execution verdicts and Moscow verdicts that came down for execution in Karelia. The verdicts concerned the prisoners of the Belbaltlag, as well as people exiled to Karelia or locals. He compiled tables, on the basis of which the Karelian Book of Memory – the lists of victims of political repressions in Karelia – was started. Chukhin knew the approximate locations of the various execution ranges, but the specific location was rarely established. Two months before Sandormoh was discovered, Ivan Chukhin died in a car accident.

Yuri Dmitriev became interested in Chukhin’s work and assisted him in compiling the lists. After Chukhin’s death, Dmitriev continued his work. Dmitriev subsequently did a lot of work to correct the lists. The lists of the repressed in Karelia alone that Dmitriev cross-checked are more than 500 pages long.
The combined work of Iofe and Fliege on the history of the Solovetsky stages and Dmitriev on the Karelian executions made Sandormoh one of the few execution ranges of the Great Terror where the names of all the victims were established.

Dmitriev met Iofe and Fliege in June 1997 in one of the Karelian archives. They invited him to join an expedition to search for the firing range at Kilometre 19.


The discovery of Sandormoh. 1 July 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

Soldiers involved in the excavation look at the uncovered remains of the victims of the shootings. July 1, 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

Yuri Dmitriev finding the remains of the victims of the shootings. July 1, 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

On 1 July 1997 Iofe, Fliege and Dmitriev went to the quarry at kilometre 19. They expected that the search could take about a month. A few hours after Dmitriev arrived, he saw a subsidence in the forest and realised that these were the outlines of execution pits. When they started digging, they came across human remains. All the skulls had been shot through. Veniamin Iofe gave the nameless place the name “Sandormoh”. That was the name of a nearby farmstead that had already disappeared on old maps.

It took several months to examine the remains and arrange the first memorial signs. On October 27, 1997, sixty years after the execution, people were able to visit the graves of their relatives. Since 1998, the regular Remembrance Day in Sandormoh has been August 5, the day the Great Terror began in 1937.

The Sandormoh Memorial was unveiled on 27 October 1997. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

Relatives of those shot at the unveiling of the Sandormoh memorial. Source: Iofe Foundation archive

This story is an important history lesson today. In the kilometre-long forests the men found exactly the place they were looking for. They were able to pinpoint to within a few meters the only spot where the executed lay. This shows that history is an exact science. Historical documents, when studied correctly, add up to a system and lead to tangible conclusions.

It is also evidence to the contrary. If a historical hypothesis does not find documentary support, it reflects not the subjectivity of history or the ambiguity of the topic, but a mere failure of research.

Sandarmoh in 25 years

Already in 1997, the first monuments began to appear in Sandarmoh. The image of the Old Believer Dove Cross was chosen. It has a historical connection with Karelia, where there are many Old Believers, and blends in gently with the forest: the pigeon posts are combined with the trunks of pine trees. Relatives of the repressed put up the dovecotes themselves, write their names on them, and hang photos of their relatives. Some pictures are hung directly on tree trunks.

In addition, a succession of national monuments erected by diasporas has emerged. These monuments reflect the wide geography of the Soviet terror and the national aspect of Stalin’s policies. In Sandormoh lie people of 58 nationalities. These are, firstly, representatives of the peoples of the Soviet Union who historically belonged to the Russian Empire. One of the hardest hit peoples at Sandormoh are the Ukrainians, about 300 of them among the 1111 Solovetsky prisoners alone. Because of this, one of the largest delegations at the Days of Remembrance in Sandormoh was the Ukrainians, who came from Ukraine by bus.

The list to the Protocol of the Special Troika No. 83. Executed on 03.11.1937. The beginning of the list of Ukrainians // Dmitriev Y. A. The place of memory of Sandarmoh. Petrozavodsk, 2019. С. 366. Sandarmoh memorial site. – Petrozavodsk, 2019 (“ImWerden”, Andrei Nikitin-Perenskii e-library)

After Crimea was annexed to the Russian Federation and military clashes broke out in Donbass, the Ukrainian delegation stopped coming to Sandarmoh. Since 2016, representatives of the Karelian administration began to skip the official ceremonies on 5 August. In late 2016, Yuri Dmitriev was detained on charges of indecent assault of a minor and illegal possession of weapons. He pleaded not guilty to these charges. During the 6 years of investigation he was twice acquitted and twice convicted, with sentences ranging from 3 years 6 months imprisonment to a final 15 years. Beginning in 2016, the investigation ended in March 2022. Dmitriev was sent to a high-security penal colony.

Also in 2016, the Russian Military Historical Society hypothesised that in addition to victims of Stalinist terror, there were Red Army soldiers lying in Sandormoh – victims of the Finnish military occupying Karelia during the Great Patriotic War. In 2019, representatives of the society re-excavated and exhumed the skeletons of several women and several men. At a press conference, they showed the finds, such as “an object similar to a military-style button, on which a star-like outline is clearly visible”. From this they concluded that the remains belonged to the Red Army. No documents confirming the hypothesis were produced. The fate of the exhumed remains is unknown. The official answer to the enquiry of the deputy of Legislative Assembly of Republic of Karelia Emilia Slabunova said that the remains are buried on Medvezhegorsk cemetery, but the administration of Medvezhegorsk wasn’t able to show the deputy the place of the burial. Relatives of the repressed sent a letter to various administrative institutions, such as the Ministry of Culture and the Government of Karelia, requesting that the remains of the victims of Sandormoh not be disturbed.

For 25 years now people have gathered in Sandormoh on 5 August. Previously, officials came. Heads of national diasporas and diplomats from many countries still come. And of course, the relatives of those executed come. In recent years they have been joined by those who have no family connection with the victims – the participants in the “Return of Names” campaign. The history of Sandormoh has never been limited to Karelia and Solovki. Today the public significance of Sandormoh is clearer than ever.


The “Slovo” Building

In the late 1920s Kharkov began to build a house with 66 flats specifically for writers and cultural workers. The house was shaped like a letter “C”, and was called Slovo (The Word). In 1930 it was occupied, and the flats were moved in by the top Ukrainian poets, writers, directors, actors and artists.

The “Slobo” building, 1930-th, Source: ProSlovo.com 

In 1933 the publicist and poet Mikhail Yalova was arrested and sent to Solovki. From that moment on there were continual arrests in the Slovo (Slovo). The inhabitants of 40 out of the 66 flats in the building were subjected to repression. Some were sent into exile, some to camps. Most were subsequently shot, some in Kiev, some in Kharkov, and ten in Sandormoh. Among them were the director and reformer of the Ukrainian theatre, Les Kurbas, the prominent playwright Nikolai Kulish and the writer Valerian Pidmogilny.

Valeryan Pidmogilny’s questionnaire of the accused indicating the address of the “Slovo” building. Source: Iofe foundation archive

Nikolay Kulish’s questionnaire of the accused indicating the address of the “Slovo” building. Source: Iofe foundation archive

The “Slovo” Building in our exhibition is a collective image. Its ten inhabitants are an outstanding, but small proportion of the executed members of Ukrainian culture. On the whole the figures here are of a different order: of the total number of 1111 people in the Solovetsky execution alone, about 300 are Ukrainians. Among them were those who had actually opposed the Bolsheviks before and after the revolution; and senior officials who had worked under the auspices of the Communist Party; and ordinary scientists and artists. This is one of the most seriously affected national groups in Sandormoh. For this reason, the Ukrainian delegation has been one of the most numerous at the Sandormoh commemorations for many years in a row.

Since 2014, the Ukrainian delegation has stopped coming to Sandormoh.

On 7 March 2022, the Slovo house was damaged during shelling in Kharkiv.

To reconstruct a fragment of the entryway, schematics collected by the creators of the ProSlovo.com / Budynok Slovo / Fotoraphy / Plani Budinku project were used

The walls of the entrance are decorated with fragments of the poems of Slovo (Ukrainian poets Andriy Paniv and Valerian Polishchuk, playwright Mykola Kulish and a fragment of the poem “Slovo” by the Kiev poet Marko Voronoi. They were all shot in Sandormoh.

См.: Yuriy Lavrinenko. Shot to Death: Anthology 1917-1933. Poetry – prose – drama – essay. Paris, Instytut Literacki, 1959. // Kyiv, Prosvita, 2001. 794 с. // K.: Smoloskip, 2007. – 976

the “Slovo” building. 2016. Source

the “Slovo” building. March, 7, 2022. Source: objectiv.tv

Detailed information about the “Slovo” building on a special Kharkiv resource: ProSlovo.com / Будинок Слово / Історія
An article about the work of Les Kurbas and Mykola Kulish, the largest figures of the Ukrainian theater, who lived in the “Slovo” building and were shot in Sandormokh: 2009_3-4_310-335_ermakova.pdf (sias.ru)
Several translations of the sonnets of the poet Nikolai Zerov, who lived in Kyiv and was shot in Sandormokh: Чистый четверг — Журнальный зал (gorky.media)



6241 persons

total number of people shot in Sandormoh

Of these:

5130 persons

— residents of Karelia and inmates of Belbaltlag, shot in Sandormoh during the Great Terror in 1937 – 1938

1111 persons

— were inmates of Solovetsky prison (Solovetsky camp), shot in Sandormoh between October 27th and November 4th, 1937

Solovetsky Prison (Solovetsky prison camp)

1825 persons

total number of Solovetsky prisoners sentenced to execution by the Special Troika of the Leningrad NKVD in 1937


— total number of Solovetsky prisoners, shot in 1937 in Sandormoh

1116 persons

— number of Solovetsky prisoners, who were to be taken out and shot in the first stage

1 person

died in Solovetsky hospital before being sent to be shot, 4 people were transported to other camps and NKVD prisons after being sentenced, all but one were shot later

509 persons

— were transported in second stage from Solovki and shot in an unknown place, presumably near Leningrad

200 persons

— had to be shot directly on Solovki, as they could not be transported to the mainland before the end of the navigation period

198 persons

— shot at Solovki

2 persons

— were executed later: against one prisoner execution was delayed due to her pregnancy (she was executed on May 16, 1938 after the birth of her child, the fate of the child is unknown), the second was transferred to the path of the White House, and was executed in Sandormoh on April 19, 1938

You can visit the full version of the exhibition from a computer or laptop