One of the largest mass burials in Ukraine was found in Odessa in the south of Ukraine, the Institute of National Remembrance of that country reported. The victims shot by the NKVD were sent to the death pits.
“The scale of the burials of the NKVD victims in Odessa is shocking,” wrote the southern branch of the Institute of National Remembrance of Ukraine. At the moment, only after carrying out works in one of the sectors of the former NKVD special facility “Tatarka”, at least 29 graves have been found (as of August 23). These are the pits where the executed Odessa Jews, victims of communist terror, reads the IPN communiqué.
The Ukrainian editorial office of Radio Swoboda emphasized that up to eight thousand of the shot inhabitants of Odessa – Ukrainians, Russians, Germans, Moldovans, Poles and representatives of other nations – may be buried in this mass grave.
The graves are currently being located, the number of victims of repression is not listed, but it can already be said that this facility is one of the largest in Ukraine – added the Institute of National Remembrance.
“Research is ongoing to determine the scale of the repression and the area of the grave”
The Ukrinform agency wrote that a group of volunteers found the first six graves of the victims of the mass repression of the NKVD in the years 1937-1941 on the premises of this facility at the beginning of August. A further 23 graves were later discovered.
A group of researchers are looking for burial sites, define their boundaries and estimate the number of victims’ remains, Ukrinform reported. Then, after the court’s decision, forensic medics and other specialists are to commence the exhumation work, in the presence of the police and the prosecutor’s office.
“Research is ongoing to determine the scale of the repression and the area of the grave. Later, a decision will be made – whether the exhumation, DNA analysis and re-burial of the victims will take place, or whether a memorial park will be created on the site of the mass grave – after the funeral ceremonies in accordance with all denominations” – he said On Radio Svoboda, the head of the southern branch of the Institute of National Remembrance of Ukraine, Serhiy Hucaluk. The final decision is to be made by an inter-ministerial committee at the Ministry of Culture, most likely next year, indicated Radio Swoboda.
“We will probably locate all the death pits this year”
Oleksandr Babicz, one of the researchers, emphasized that the work is hampered by electric cables that are chaotically distributed on the site. According to him, it can be assumed that the burials are also located in the nearby military unit.
“Probably this year we will locate all the death pits and on this we will stop the work until the next year. Later we will decide who will deal with the re-burial. Usually one day of work is needed for one victim (…) And there are about 8 such people. The area of the Odessa grave is 4.7 ha, and Bykowni – where work has been underway for 11 years – 5.3 ha, ”Babicz told Radio Swoboda. About 150,000 victims of communism of various nationalities, including several thousand Poles from the Katyn list.
In Odessa, “the bodies lie in 3-5 layers. (…) The pits are 2 by 2.5 meters, some are longer. The remains start somewhere at a depth of 1.6 meters. At the beginning, the dead were covered with soil a little, then they were covered waste “(construction waste) – the historian continued.
Radio Swoboda explained that the talks about the mass grave revived after the recent scandal. In February, the Odessa city authorities offered this area to members of the garage cooperative in exchange for the plot they are currently occupying. The land under the garages was to be used by Odessa airport. The decision was frozen after the case got loud.
Main photo source: Wikipedia