Memorial was founded in 1988 by, among others, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, who himself lived for years under house arrest for criticizing the Soviet authorities. She devoted herself to investigating and documenting crimes committed in the Soviet Union.
In the 1990s, the Center for Human Rights also began investigating the atrocities of the war in Chechnya, where rebels fought the Russian army for secession. Recently, Memorial spoke about the war in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are militarily fighting for independence from Ukraine, with active help from Russia.
It is widely believed that all these things infuriated the Kremlin. The fact that the violation of the law on foreign agents played a secondary role during the trial was clarified: the charges came from Ingushetia, a small republic in the Russian Caucasus, where three versions of the monument were found without the obligatory indication of the designation ‘ foreign agent’.
In addition, the prosecutor argued in court that Memorial had denigrated the “war heritage of the Soviet Union.” He said: Shall we, the offspring of the victors, repent and be ashamed instead of being proud of our glorious past?
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