In March, the public became aware of an action where cartridges containing soil from the burial grounds of Red Army soldiers in 12 countries were placed in the Russian Armed Forces’ main church.
The soil came from graves in Abkhazia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, the United States, Ukraine, France, Estonia, Mongolia, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia.
The action is part of a larger project organized by the Russian Ministry of Defence, entitled „A handful of memories“, in which the organizers plan to bring soil from 40 countries. So far, the organizers claim soil has been collected from 24 countries.
Capsules have already been placed or are planned to be placed in other countries. For example, in early March, a capsule of soil was laid on a mass grave in Khoyniki, Belarus. On May 9, there is a plan lay capsules with soil at the All Saints Church in Minsk.
A “Handful of Memories” is part of a larger effort called “Memory Road” which aims to spread Russia’s new vision of historical events around the world.
In Estonia, the soil was collected by the Coordinating Council of Russia’s compatriots, whose representatives claim the soil was collected from the mass graves of Red Army soldiers and officers in Tallinn, Narva, Narva-Jõesuu, Valga and Maardu. Soil was also collected from the burial sites of the victims of Kiviõli and Klooga concentration camps as well as the Juminda Peninsula.
In 2020, Russia will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, of which Propastop has previously written about the propaganda endeavours related to the event.
Photo from the website of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn