• The New York Times

Kremlin Closes Russia's Most Prominent Human Rights Group

December 29, 2021


[Image Source: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times]

Cited article by Valerie Hopkins and Ivan Nechepurenko, The New York Times


HRRC strongly stands in support of accurate portrayals of history; attempts to silence the accounts of those histories often support future human rights abuses. Independent organizations that archive past injustices are pivotal in supporting human rights for all.


Article Summary


The Kremlin ordered the closure of Russia's most prominent human rights group, Memorial. The group, Memorial International, was pivotal in cataloguing and discussing the repressive actions of the Soviet Union. The organization's documentation gave many who experienced traumas and abuses the opportunity to speak out about how they suffered. By documenting the historical human rights violations at the hands of the government, the archival role that the organization played in contemporary Russia has caused a negative response from the Kremlin.


The Russia supreme court ordered the parent company of Memorial, Memorial International, be closed. Following that order, the Moscow City Court ordered Memorial's Human Rights Center to be closed as well. Both these actions have been denounced by Memorial, who claims that these orders are political and which they intend to appeal. Critics state that these actions are consistent with Putin's push to whitewash the country's history and reframe the image of contemporary Russia.