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2019.07.17 10:29

Mission Siberia departs for Kazakhstan after being denied Russian visas

BNS2019.07.17 10:29

Participants of the annual Mission Siberia are set to leave for Kazakhstan from Vilnius Railway Station on Wednesday.

The 16 participants will depart on a ten-day expedition to tend graves of deportees and political prisoners. However, they had planned to go to Russia, but the country refused to issue visas for a second year running. Same as last year, Kazachstan was chosen as the alternative location.

Read more: Russia refuses visas to Mission Siberia participants

Once there, Mission Siberia participants will look for the graves of Lithuanians and will try to meet with the diaspora and the descendents living there, and will also visit derelict Soviet camps.

Around 20,000 Lithuanian could have been imprisoned at the Karlag Gulag labor camp, and around 5,000 Lithuanians still live in Kazakhstan.

Some 130,000 people were deported from Lithuania in 1940–1953 after the Soviets occupied the Baltic country; the total number of deportees during the Soviet occupation stands at around 280,000 people.