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Consent and agreement: hundreds of Minsk residents take part in volunteer cleanup in Kurapaty

Hundreds of Minsk residents came to Kurapaty on March 25, 2017 to clean the territory up. Consent and agreement is the keynote of this movement. A memorial of sorrow and remembrance as a symbol of nation unity is planned to be established here. Subbotnik (days of volunteer unpaid work on weekends) was held in Kurapaty on March 25.

There aren’t so many places in the world where one can here such argute silence. This silence is special in Kurapaty. Mass graves here were found at the beginning of the 1980’s. Nevertheless, scientists still cannot give the exact number of victims. It varies from seven to 250 thousand people.

Belarusians have always respected their history. On March 25, 2017 people who are not indifferent to Belarus’ past came to Kurapaty.

Kurapaty site has a special governmental status; it is included into the list of historical and cultural values.

Minsk residents:
Sometimes it is better for the society to do something, rather than shout out words or express emotions. You should always prove it by your deeds, what you want to do for the people. It will be the biggest contribution into Belarus, its society and history.

This place has been in demand lately. Nevertheless, experts agree that artificial political engagement must be avoided.

Pavel Yakubovich, chief editor of the Belarus Presidential Administration's institution "Publishing office of the newspaper "Sovetskaya Belorussiya":
Many people are buried there. It would be strange to continue pay off political scores. It is high time to reject all sorts of disagreements, contradictory positions and understand that today’s Belarus needs such a memorial of sorrow and remembrance.

It is immoral to dispute around crosses. It would be rational to pay tribute, regardless of nationality, religion and the circumstances of death.

Minsk residents:
If somebody wants to come here to pay tribute to the victims, then they should come to the memorial and not run around with flags and try to make a show out of it all.

Do parents take you to cemeteries? They are the same people, they are Belarusians.

The society supported the idea of establishing a memorial in Kurapaty. The place should turn into a national memorial. A competition on the design of a memorial in Kurapaty was announced in Belarus on March 25, 2017. 

Boris Svetlov, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus:
The results of the competition will be announced on April 25. It is a truly serious matter which corresponds to the modern needs of today, when it is absolutely necessary after so many years after these dreadful events, and not only connected with this place. On the whole, this full of suffering 20th century stands in need, so that we ingrain in minds of the future generations a taboo, a word, that this will never happen again in the 21st century.

President Lukashenko also supported the idea of creating a memorial in Kurapaty.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Some people think that Stalin shot people there, others think that fascists did. I suppose that it doesn’t matter who shot people there. Historians will find out within some time, and if they don’t we still need to do the main thing. These people, who died without any guilt there, must be memorialized. I ordered to create a thorough, not a giant and not the size of the Brest Fortress memorial there, a small chapel or something like that.

With the first spring warmth activists clean up territories all over Belarus annually. On March 25, 2017 many Minsk residents cleaned up areas by their houses, parks, squares.

Minsk residents:
Despite the cold weather, we warm up by cleaning the territories up.

Meanwhile, habitual silence returns back to Kurapaty. Some hectares of land, which are blood-soaked and remembers everything, were cleared through joint efforts of non-indifferent Belarusians.

Consent and agreement: hundreds of Minsk residents take part in volunteer cleanup in Kurapaty