20 February 2020, Thursday, 8:51
The Wait Is Nearly Over

Mikalai Statkevich Lit Memorial Candles At Execution Sites Near Slutsk


The former political prisoner and presidential candidate in the elections – 2010 visited the village of Piatnitsy near Slutsk for the day of commemoration of the dead, Dziady.

Mikalai Statkevich came to the grave of his grandfather, killed by Hilfspolizei men, and also the places execution of Belarusians by chekists. He writes about that on his Facebook account.

“Last Saturday I and my brother visited the native settlement [zastsenak] of Piatnitsy by Slutsk, – the politician told. – I would rather say, we visited what has left from it. A ‘zastsenak’ is a settlement of impoverished szlachta, nobility. It looks like a village, but houses are a little bigger. And they are situated in a circle. There is one entry road to the “square”. This could probably give advantages for defence. But now, as in thousands of villages, there is no one to defend there – no one lives in Piatnitsy. There is more life at our ancestral cemetery, where my paternal grandfather Pavel, killed by collaborators, is buried. There are many new graves among the old ones. It is very strange to see so many tombstones with your own surname.”

Besides, the brothers also visited the grave of their maternal grandfather Symon, who was assassinated in Slutsk NKVD prison in January 1938.

“He was rehabilitated posthumously in 1957. I was able to learn about the date and place of killing only before the elections in 2010. I could not get to the place where my grandfather is buried then. Yesterday me and my elder brother Aleksandr, who had arrived from Lviv purposely, we finally visited this place,” the politician said.

There are several places near the town of Slutsk where NKVD servicemen shot people. Together with a local history expert Anatoly Balakir, Statkevich visited the memorial sign not far from mass execution sites, and they lit candles in the places of massacre.