Moscow blocks commemoration of Stalin victims at city square

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow authorities have refused permission for an annual commemoration of Stalin-era political repression victims to be held in Lubyanka Square outside the former KGB headquarters and the event’s organizers have objected to a proposed alternative site.

For the past decade, the historical and civil rights group Memorial on Oct. 29 has conducted a 12-hour reading of the names of people shot for political reasons during Stalin’s time. The event has been held at the Solovetsky Stone, a boulder from the islands that held the prison camp that gave rise to the Gulag system.

The neighborhood administration said Saturday that construction work prevented the event at the location this year and proposed moving it to the “Wall of Grief” monument to persecution victims.

A Memorial statement called changing the ritual’s location “outrageous.”

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