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Mission Siberia team leaving for expedition to Russia

  • 2017-07-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

VILNIUS  – The 16th expedition of Mission Siberia will depart from the Vilnius railway station on Monday evening to travel to far Russia.

The team of 16 young people will this year travel to the Irkutsk area to arrange cemeteries in Tulun and Nizhneudinsk districts, as well as meet deportees from Lithuania still living in Siberia.

Raminta Kezelyte, the spokeswoman for the project, told BNS that the maximum plan was to tidy up to 15 cemeteries.

"But everything will depend on the possibility to travel. We think that it is realistic to arrange between seven and ten cemeteries," said Kezelyte.

Over the 12 years of Mission Siberia expeditions, over 100 Lithuanian cemeteries have been cleaned up.

Since 2006, more than 12,000 young people from Lithuania have applied for the difficult trips on the paths of Lithuanian deportees.

After the Soviets occupied Lithuania, around 130,000 people were deported from the country between 1940 and 1953.

The deportee lists included elderly and ill people, disabled people, pregnant women, children, and babies. Some 5,000 Lithuanian children died on their journey to deportation sites.