Belarusian Internet users have identified a married couple who had a fight with defenders of Kurapaty on June, 13.
Defenders of Kurapaty, the place of Stalin-era executions near Minsk, keep protesting against ‘dancing on the bones’, i.e. opening the restaurant Let’s Go And Eat in the close vicinity of the mass grave. Activists first asked the authorities to interfere with the situation, and then decided to act independently. They are trying to block the arrival of cars with products on the territory of the restaurant.
Russian citizens Stella (Elena) Chirkova and Ivan Ermakov, who permanently reside in Minsk, reportedly hit two persons with a car, but no one was severely injured. According to the duo, they just came to have a dinner in the newly-opened restaurant. However, their behaviour turned to be a bit provocative.
Stella Chirkova is an author, blogger, editor and life coach. Once she appeared as a TV presenter of a cultural show on Belarus-3 TV channel. The woman is rumoured to be interested in satanism. In turn, her husband Ivan Ermakov is a vocal supporter of Josef Stalin, Bolshevism and the Soviet system. Although they moved from Moscow to Minsk many years ago, he often criticises the Belarusian state and the Belarusian national idea on social media. According to him, it is the Nazis who executed people in Kurapaty. The couple is also engaged in the logistics business.
Ermakov, who was driving a Mazda, failed to stop before the protesters who were picketing the restaurant Let’s Go And Eat. Two people suffered minor injuries. One of them, Yauhen Batura, states that the Russian citizen bumped into two people:
“I have small bruises. When protesters began to express outrage (in front of witnesses, 10 persons and two traffic police officers), he began to swear, put his put to the floor, and even drove on one of us (Vasil) on the hood for a metre or so. Even the police were in shock.”
After the incident Batura started to livestream on Facebook. The video shows that the Mazda has a Moscow registration. In also features Ermakov asking the picketer about their political views and reproach them for ‘not working’.
According to Radio Liberty, the traffic police drew a report for violation of traffic rules upon the driver. At the same time, five Kurapaty defenders are likely to be punished for impeding traffic.
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Kurapaty, a place on the outskirts of Minsk, is not just the national memorial and a mass grave of the victims of Stalinist repression; since 1993, it has been is a site of historical and cultural heritage. According to historians, 100,000 – 250,000 persons might have been killed there.