During Stalin’s purges, thousands of innocent people were taken twenty or so miles out of central Moscow, where they were shot and buried. Then they were forgotten. Some of the mass graves began to appear to daylight after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Butovo was the place to bury “common people” and priests, whereas “distinguished” dead were put into the grounds of former Donskoi monastery. Communarka was somewhere in between. Fallen politicians and members of intelligentsia were executed & buried there from 1936 to 1941. The area is now memorial cemetery, but nobody knows who lies where. Many “monuments” are nothing but Xeroxed portraits of the dead, duct-taped straight to the trees. But somehow that makes the place even more solemn – like some enchanted forest gone awry. This victim, named Markus Markovitis, died at the age of 33 in 1938.