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Russian Activist Fined For Plaque Commemorating Soviet Purge Victim

A court in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk has fined a local activist for placing a plaque commemorating a victim of Soviet persecutions on a house that has protected status.

The Lomonosov district court in Arkhangelsk ruled on August 16 that Dmitry Kozlov must pay a fine of 15,000 rubles ($250) for endangering the wooden house, which is listed a building of architectural heritage.

Kozlov's lawyer Maksim Olenichev said the ruling will be appealed.

In July, Kozlov, who is a coordinator of The Last Address project in Arkhangelsk placed a plaque with persecution victim Ignaty Bezsonov's name on the house where he lived and from which he was taken away by Soviet Interior Ministry officers and later shot.

The project was launched in 2014. Activists place plaques with names of the victims of the Great Purge launched by the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the 1930s on the houses where they lived before their arrests.

The city body protecting historic buildings accused Kozlov of "endangering an object of cultural heritage" and sued him.

Activists of The Last Address say the old wooden building is dilapidated and is expected to be demolished.

Russia's presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights urged the governor of the Arkhangelsk region, Igor Orlov, not to bring the case to court.

With reporting by Interfax

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