Lithuania's 17th Mission Siberia expedition leaves for Kazakhstan
Mission Siberia'18 participants are going to the Central Asian country after the Russian embassy refused to issue them with visas in late June, less than a month before their planned departure to places of deportation of Lithuanians in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk.
Two 12-strong teams will begin their journey in Karaganda and will then take different routes, with one going to Balkhash and the other to Dzhezkazgan, the organizers said.
The participants of the mission will try to find the graves of Lithuanians in urban cemeteries, and Lithuanians or their descendants who still live in Kazakhstan.
Around 20,000 political prisoners from Lithuania were held in several tens of Gulag camps in what was then the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
The teams are scheduled to return to Lithuania on July 29.
Over 150 Lithuanian burial sites in Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan been cleaned up since the launch of Mission Siberia expeditions back in 2006.
Some 280,000 people from Lithuania were sent to forced-labor camps or deported during the Soviet occupation period.