In keeping with the current re-writing of history in present day Russia, the burnishing of the GULAG has started. On August 16, 2016, the administration of labor camp IK no. 31 for women in the Komi Republic, in the northern part of Russia, organized a celebration in the memory of the founding of that camp in 1937 as part of the larger Ust-Vym Camp.
In a solemn ceremony, a NKVD order to build the Ust-Vym Сamp, dated August 16, 1937, and signed by NKVD Commissar Nikolai Yezhov, the organizer of the Great Terror in 1936-38, was read aloud. A memorial plaque was placed at the entrance of the present camp with the following inscription:
On August 16, 1937, on this site the construction of a penal colony (Camp no. 19, Vodorazdellag-Mikunskaya) was begun. This memorial plaque was installed as a sign of respect of and gratitude to the first builders and employees, the creators of the colony.
During the construction of the Camp no. 19, prisoners lived in tents, while the NKVD administration and employees, in caravans. In 1938, there were 9,500 inmates in the whole Ust-Vym Camp, and of them, 7,000 were political prisoners. Later the population in those camps reached 15,000-25,000 inmates. In 1952, Camp no. 19 became Special Camp no. 12 (Vodorazdelny) for political prisoners, and in 1952-53, there were approximately 1,200 inmates in it. In 1954, it was included in the larger Koslansky Correction Labor Camp. There is no memorial to the victims of Camp no. 19.
In contrast to this event, on October 24, 2016, the last statue of Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union, founder, was taken down in the city of Novorod-Sevrsky (Chernigov Region). The city mayor put up the statue on sale for a million hryvnias (about $39,508,500). Money from the sale will be used for the beautification of the central part of the city, including the construction of a fountain. If a buyer is not found, the local authorities will send Lenin’s statue to a smelter.