World

Individuals killed in Soviet repressions remembered in ceremony at former KGB headquarters

  • Maria Arutyunian, 59, warms hersef as she waits to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Maria Arutyunian, 59, warms hersef as she waits to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • People queue to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    People queue to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • People warm themselves as they wait to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    People warm themselves as they wait to light candles and read out names of victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges at the Solovky Stone monument in Lubyanka Square, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. On the eve of the Day of Victims of Political Repressions, marked in Russia on Oct. 30, people gather at the memorial, a giant slab of stone taken from a Soviet labor camp in the Solovky Islands, to commemorate the thousands of victims of Soviet-era political repressions. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

On the square outside the former headquarters of the KGB in Moscow, Russians have been reading the names of victims of political killings in Soviet times.

The ceremony Thursday, stretching over 12 hours, comes on the eve of the national day for remembrance of victims of political repression.

Each participant is given the names of two people to read aloud. But the scale of such executions was so enormous that there isn't enough time to read all the names.

Historians estimate a million or more were killed just in the infamous1937-38 purges under Josef Stalin.

Another demonstration was held in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where about 200 activists gathered and protested that repression continues under authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.