The indictment of the public tribunal on consideration of crimes of Stalinism in Belarus
10.11.2008 | 06:27 |

Minsk, October 28, 2008

The public tribunal, consisting of:

   . Leonid Akalovich, Yakov Basin, Anatoly Bely, Anatoly Valahanovich, Marat Gorevoy, Igor Kuznetsov, Leonid Moryakov, Vladimir Romanovsky, Vyacheslav Sivchik, Zinaida Tarasevich, Sergei Hanzhenkov, Vladimir Khalip, Georgy Shtyhov, Vassil Yakvenk,

having considered in the sessions documents of the state and personal archives, materials of archival-investigatory cases, testimony of victims and eyewitnesses, other written and graphic sources, and also having attached materials of the public hearings "Crimes of Stalinism in Belarus", taken place in 2006-2008,

has taken out the following indictment.

In the 1920's - 1940's a considerable part of the population of the USSR underwent repressions. According to the official data, only in the BSSR more than 600 thousand people (by estimates of independent researchers - more than one million) were subjected to repressions.

In the first years after the establishment of Soviet power in the country there was carried out the extermination of entire groups of class lines: upper bourgeoisie, the imperial army officers, clerics, and wealthy peasantry.

   . Then the genocide policy was continued in national-cultural sphere. Oppression and liquidation of national communities, discrimination of national and religious traditions, destruction of historical monuments, museums and religious buildings, the triumph of great Russian chauvinism, the rapid urbanization and displacement of national languages from all spheres of life, including educational institutions and business, physical destruction of a considerable part of creative and scientific intelligentsia, - all these led to substantial destruction of national values, traditional religion and culture of the majority of Belarusian people, first of all, the titular nation - Belarusian's. This situation is not corrected till now.

In illusory attempt to create a new type of Soviet man forced assimilation and russification of ethnic groups, directed on destruction of their spiritual life, was imposed to the country.

Realization of the idea of immediate total collectivization of agriculture led not only to starvation and famine, the result of which were millions of lives, but also to a long-term mass robbery, destruction of the peasantry in general as distinctive, professional, cultural and spiritual enriched category of manufacturers.

Only in the BSSR more than a quarter million people were dispossessed. The authorities brought to poverty and destroyed at least 80% of profitable individual farms that led to undermining the basis of all agricultural production in Belarus which was not restored in the next 70 years.

The country, which was not prepared to fast rates of industrialization by all the course of historical process, paid millions of slaves on "Stalin communism building" for adventurism of its leaders.

In the late 1920's, having suffered serious setbacks in the state and cultural building, failing to attract the majority of the population of the huge country, the Bolsheviks began to assert their authority with methods of terror.

The best people of the country severely, without any fault were condemned on the forged judicial political processes. At the same time a system of punitive extra-judicial bodies was created. Penalties became display of unprecedented despotism in the world history.

Denunciations, mass arrests, tortures, executions, death of innocent people created the atmosphere of fear in the society, led to uncertainty in personal security, to feeling of total threat from arbitrariness of the authorities.

Results of repressive policy of the Bolshevist authorities are tragic: for a short historical period every eighth inhabitant of Belarus was imprisoned or camped out, every fifth was subject to discrimination, deprived the civil rights on such definitions as "a representative of a non-labor part" of the population ("indigent") or as a family member of the mythical enemy of the people - "spy and saboteur". In a number of settlements mass Soviet repressions claimed the lives of the people more than during the Nazi occupation.

For worthless, mad attempt of the authorities to force the population of a huge country to their knees, the weakened repressive Soviet state suffered terrible sacrifices during the Second World War - tens of millions dead, millions of prisoners of war, hundreds of thousands of collaborates and non-returnees from camps for displaced people.

The fear before own people forced Joseph Stalin to impose to the country another wave of terror after the war. "We have won the war, but the country should be held in mobilization readiness," - said the leader, having started preparation of "the final victory of socialism in the world".

For the Soviet Union it led to genocide of the seven deported peoples, the fight against "cosmopolitanism" and "servility before the West", spreading state Anti-Semitism in all the institutions of power. And the Lysenkov campaign, genetics and cybernetics defeat threw the Soviet science tens years away.

The enormous scale of repressions and their planned, system character; use of the tortures authorized by the state and improbable cruelty of sentences; closed legal proceedings and use of extra-judicial forms of punishment over people; transformation of mass media into a source of official propaganda of lie; escalation of atmosphere of fear in the society and suppression of the slightest forms of discontent and mistrust - all speaks about the deliberate anti-national policy of the Bolshevism with use of genocide and terror on all the territory of the USSR.

Physical and spiritual genocide, deleting of class distinctions of considerable groups of the population and the whole social classes, negation of spiritual pluralism and the statement of monopoly for ideology, the violent solution of social problems, devaluation of human life, multi-million casualties for the statement of communistic ideology, spreading of total surveillance and denunciation in the society, controlled justice, hypocrisy of the authorities in relations with citizens - the most typical features of the Bolshevism as the social and political phenomenon which confirmed the most extremist, inhuman form of the state in the country.

Founded such a state in the early years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks had never found the strength to move away from it until the last days of their dictatorship.

The 90th anniversary of the October revolution of 1917 and the 70th anniversary of the tragedy of 1937 are noted by release of a large quantity of the apologetic literature, films and TV programs justifying crimes of the totalitarian Bolshevist regime. The bloody lesson of the past has not been learned by children and grandchildren of those who became victims of the criminal power.

The public tribunal on consideration of crimes of Stalinism in Belarus:

ascertains that formation of constitutional state is impossible without fair trial of descendants over the state criminals;

underlines the importance of continuing to perpetuate the memory of the victims of Stalinism and wide public discussion of its consequences so that the society will come to comprehension and repentance for voluntary or involuntary participation in villainies of the totalitarian regime.

The charters of the Nuremberg and Tokyo military tribunals, the Geneva Convention of 1948 "About the prevention of crimes of genocide and punishment for it", the national legislation establish the international criminal responsibility of persons guilty of genocide crimes, regardless of their social status as well as regardless the fact whether the genocide takes place in peacetime or in wartime.

The trial over genocide and those responsible for its execution can be carried out in any country-participant of the Convention or the international criminal tribunal created for this purpose by the agreement of states.

This crime has no limitation period.

Stalinism should not have chances of revival. A country that cannot or does not wish to condemn openly the errors of its recent past, is doomed to their repetition in the future.

Leonid Akalovich, priest, student of local lore


Yakov Basin, historian


Anatoly Bely, historian


Anatoly Valahanovich, historian


Marat Gorevoy, journalist


Igor Kuznetsov, historian


Leonid Moryakov, writer


Vladimir Romanovsky, born in GULAG


Vyacheslav Sivchik, human rights defender


Zinaida Tarasevich, from a family of the repressed.


Sergei Hanzhenkov, repressed


Vladimir Khalip, film director


Georgy Shtyhov, historian

Vassily Yakovenko, writer

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