On the night of October 29-30, memorable events and literary readings are held in Kurapaty every year. This is the night of remembrance of the victims of Stalinist repressions.


It is assumed that the locals nicknamed the white wildflowers that dotted the hill in the forest "kuropaty", hence is the name. In the summer of 1937, the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Yezhov issued Order No. 447, approved by Stalin, to repress anti-Soviet elements. Since then, the NKVD of the USSR has regularly sent to the Politburo of the Communist Party lists of persons subject to capital punishment in 19 cases out of 20. From 1937 to 1941, by order of Stalin, the NKVD officers shot the repressed residents of Belarus. According to various expert estimates, from 40 to 250 thousand people were shot in Kurapaty.


The National Historical Museum of Belarus contains many items found in graves during excavations in Kuropaty. One of the iconic objects found during the excavations is a comb with an inscription in Polish: “Ciężkie chwile więźnia. Mińsk 25 04.1940. Myśl o was doprowadza mnie do szaleństwa"(Difficult minutes of a prisoner. Minsk, 04/25/1940. The thought of you drives me mad). On the other hand, there is also an entry: "26 IV Rozpłakałem się - ciężki dzień" (26 IV Burst into tears - a hard day).


In the 90s, activists installed wooden crosses at the place of executions in memory of the victims. The first large seven-meter cross in Kuropaty appeared in 1989. It was called the Cross of Suffering. In 1994, US President Bill Clinton visited Kuropaty. The "Clinton bench" appeared there - a memorial sign that unknown vandals destroyed several times.


Earlier, Lukashenka said about the memorial in Kuropaty:

"What difference does it make who shot whom?"

On April 4, 2019, on the personal order of Lukashenko, the memorial was destroyed and the crosses were demolished.

 "Everything will be done to make this place look decent, but without any politics."


Nobel laureate, Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich strongly opposed the demolition of crosses in Kuropaty.

 "This is a crime. They put a piece of the official stone there and think that people near it will cry?"


In May 2019, in an interview with Belsat, which now sounds especially relevant, Svetlana Aleksievich spoke, among other things, about Kuropaty:

 “We live in the midst of violence. Today they are pulling out, throwing the crosses from the graves, the next day they are persecuting the gypsies, because it seemed to them that they were to blame for what happened to the deceased policeman. This is how they cover up their helplessness. Nothing unusual. As long as I can remember, we have always lived like this in our country. This is totalitarianism that is gaining strength. […] The crosses in Kuropaty, which fell, testify the fact that Lukashenko is losing ground under his feet. He is probably confused, he is vindictive [...] And his eternal instinct for a political animal, it starts to fail. [...] These Kuropaty, these crosses, when they were lying on the ground ... We asked many people in the streets - not a single person supported this. This suggests that the ground under his feet is receding ... "

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