Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday paid a visit to a memorial complex dedicated to those people who died at a north Siberian Gulag.
Putin, an ex-KGB employee, laid flowers at the Norilsk Gulag memorial complex and spoke to former prisoners, who told him that up to 500,000 people had passed through the camp between 1936 and 1953.
Some 16,000 people perished in the camp.
The premier noted that this was not the first time he had visited the memorial complex.
“It’s not the kind of thing you forget,” he commented.
Norilsk, like other large cities in Russia’s Arctic, was built by Gulag prisoners, and Putin said that he had reminded the management of Norilsk Nickel, the main employer in the city, of this at a meeting earlier in the day.
“What a cost,” he said.
During the Stalinist purges, millions of people were executed on fake charges of espionage, sabotage, anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in Gulag labor camps in Siberia and the Far East.
MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti)