At left is a map of mass graves at Butovo, Russia.
At this stage, even those of us who are not linked into the pop music scene will have heard of the Pussy Riot trial in Russia. There has been much said about what is happening in Putin's Russia, the place of the Russian Orthodox Church in the new Russia, it's relationship with Putin and what this might mean in connection with the trial and sentencing of Pussy Riot's members.
Wikipedia says this:
The three detained members of Pussy Riot are recognized as political prisoners by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (SPP). Amnesty International named them prisoners of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities”.
Perhaps they are prisoners of conscience. Perhaps not. But before anyone actually names them martyrs for a cause, I thought I would draw attention to what real Russian martyrs are like - ones who didn't remain prisoners of conscience for very long at all.
Steve Hayes is my oldest internet Friend. We have been in touch via the intertubes since the last century! Steve lives in South Africa, a place of martyrdom and prisoners of conscience, and is a Deacon in the Serbian Orthodox Church. He has just published this sad but interesting post. Indeed, we should remember the Butovo massacres .... lest we forget and lest we forget, as Russia changes its face to the world once again, the extent to which Mother Russia can persecute its own.