Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Butovo - the killing ground

This is the cosy, intimate little church which has been erected near the gate of the Polygon. Across the road is a large, more modern church which was completed this year, and is shown below. The lady in the photograph would not let me enter until she had finished sweeping the steps. There were no other visitors on the occasion I went to Butovo. In side the church was, to my taste, very beautiful.

But, for all the archaeological work that has been done at Butovo, it is not known just how extensive the mass graves are. It is known that some extend outside the fence of the current memorial park, out into the forest which used to surround the area. Today, there are modern houses all around, and the threat apparently exists that some will be built onto of as yet undiscovered mass graves. Below is picture of one of the graves which extends outside the fence, into the as yet undisturbed woodland. But given the rage for building in and around Moscow, and the money at stake, how long will this place stay undeveloped? The relationship between history and the present/future in modern Russia is such that cottages will probably conquer any conscience about the catastrophes of the past.