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The Man on the Cross

A man is crucified on the cross near the Moscow Ring Highway. The man is located a bit on the side of the Highway. That’s why I haven’t immediately noticed him. But when I have seen him I feel I must stop. But it is almost impossible because of the traffic in the Moscow Ring Highway. The intensive vehicular flow is carrying me away. But I cannot forget the man on the cross. Who is he? Why is he there?

Gradually day by day I begin to forget the man on the cross. But by chance I am driving this place again. I see him. He is like a penetrating shot directly in my brain. I cannot pass away. I have stopped. I have come to you, The Man on the Cross.

(Photos are clickable)

The inscription on the stone pedestal answers the question «Why?»

The inscription on the stone pedestal: “Here there were camps with repressed people who built Moscow Canal. The most of them were killed. Here they lived, built, and were buried.”

The above nameplate answers the question “Who?”

The inscription on the nameplate: “The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called”

The monument shows martyrdom sufferings of the holy apostle Andrew the First-Called who was crucified on the cross. It’s a symbol. The repressed in the 30th people built the Moscow Canal under the Stalin’s regime here. There used to be their camp here. The repressed people lived, built, were killed and buried here. Now the 76th km of Moscow Ring Highway runs here. The Moscow Canal flows nearby. The monument was erected on the 13th of December 2006.

“Sometimes frazzled and exhausted repressed people fell down the Moscow Canal pits with their wheelbarrows. They used to crash down and to dip into unhardened concrete. Sometimes they were buried inside the concrete being still alive.”

Archival photos. The inscription: the Dmitlag, the NKVD, the USSR

The Dmitlag was one of the biggest camp unions from 1932 to 1938. It was located in Moscow region. The Stalin’s regime established the Dmitlag to use the free labor of prisoners for the Moscow Canal construction. Thousands of prisoners and repressed people worked and were killed in the Dmitlag, which was named after the city of Dmitrov nearby.

Now the Moscow Canal connects the Moscow River and the Volga River. The Moscow Canal supplies water to the city of Moscow. The Moscow Canal operates eight hydroelectric power plants. The system of canals (including the Moscow Canal) connects five seas (the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of ​​Azov, and the Black Sea) from the far north to the far south of the former Soviet Union. That’s why Moscow is called The Port of Five Seas.

The Moscow Canal continues to play an important role in the life of modern Russia. Now, few people remember the Dmitlag victims while sailing by a pleasure boat on the Moscow Canal.

Archival photos

Archival photos

Archival photos

“Here there were camps with repressed people who built Moscow Canal. The most of them were killed. Here they lived, built, and were buried.”

The monument of the crucified holy apostle Andrew the First-Called was created on the initiative of the well-known Russian songstress Vika Tsyganova and her husband the sculptor Vadim Tsyganov.

Archival photo. The monument was erected on the 13th of December 2006. Vika Tsyganova and Vadim Tsyganov are on the photo on the right.

The crucified man at Moscow Ring Highway produces an extremely strong impression and gives a very important personal experience. The impression becomes tragic and existential if you dive into the Russian history even very little. It’s highly recommended to stop driving and to look at The Man on the Cross even if you are in a great hurry.

Text by Igor Shiryaev. Photo by Igor Shiryaev and Larisa Shiryaeva. Archival photos sources: http://www.martyr.ru and http://www.mepar.ru

Dear readers!

This article presents my personal view. I don’t pretend I tell you any kind of absolute objectivity.

I love Russia and I love Russians. My personal slogan is “I love! I know! I tell!”

I’m very sorry for my bad English. First of all I try to tell you about lovely Russia, about the Russian mind and way of thinking. I don’t pretend I speak correct and fluent English.

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Yours sincerely
Igor Shiryaev

The Internet mass media Different View. 10.08.2014