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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gulag Survivors In Need

Leaders of a group representing 100, 000 survivors of Soviet gulags pleaded for help Wednesday, saying they are tired of seeing "big crocodile tears", but not a gram of grain or a single sausage.


Seeking 500, 000 rubles from the government so their group can open an office and assist fellow-survivors, three elderly men said they are part of the "brotherhood of the gulag" who face acute needs this winter.


"We survived the terror during the years of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev", said Nikolai Numerov, president of the International Association of Victims of Repression.


Last winter, the organization received 310, 000 rubles for the 43, 000 gulag survivors in the Moscow area and eight tons of foodstuffs from church groups in the Canada and the United States. "This year we have nothing", Numerov said.


Numerov, a deputy in the Supreme Soviet, said he has appealed to the president's staff and the Supreme Soviet for funding for the association.


He said he sought aid through several Western embassies in Moscow and wrote to charities in Germany, Japan and France, with no response.


Yakov Konstantinovsky, a member of the association, said the group decided reluctantly to appeal to the media after realizing "we can no longer hide behind the shield of non-politics. Unfortunately, also, we are now in the habit of holding out our hand for aid".