Offerings for the Dead, Butovo, Moscow


Offerings for the Dead

To get an excuse for the sounds of guns in the middle of nowhere they claimed it was a firing range, but in fact it was an execution site. At the end of the 1930s more than 20 000 prisoners, mostly politicals, were shot & buried in Butovo forest near Moscow. The area was later filled with trash, sealed and guarded for a long time. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Russian orthodox church bought the place. The land was cleared, and soon unknown fates of thousands of innocent people began to unravel. Some names and fates, though, will remain a mystery forever. Nowadays there is a memorial to the victims of political repression in the middle of the mass graves. In orthodox tradition, people set food, drinks and small gifts to the graves of the loved ones, and same happens at Butovo memorial. It was Easter, so mourners had brought sweet kulich bread to the monument.


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