All photos: Yuriy Rylchuk, Ukrinform
On 24 March 2018, 134 bodies of victims of Soviet terror in the west-Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk were given a proper burial, Ukrinform reported.
The victims were killed during the Communist terror of 1939-1941. They were discovered in the summer of 2017, when, while laying cables along the street, engineers stumbled upon several human remains. Judging by certain features of the burial site, scholars tend to believe that the remains belong to victims executed by the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs – Soviet secret police organization from 1934 to 1946-Ed.). The bolsheviks used to bury their victims in ditches and hollows, without bothering to dig a deeper pit, which is why the remains were found so easily.
“Research on the spot continues, which is why the discovered graves are not the last ones. Our Christian duty is not only to preserve the memory of those events, but honor those who suffered from the Communist regime,” Ihor Kinash, head of the internal policy department of the Ivano-Frankivsk city council, said during the re-burial ceremony.
After a burial ceremony performed by local priests, the bodies were buried at Demyaniv Laz, a mass burial site of victims of Soviet killings committed in the wake of the Nazi takeover of Stanislaviv (modern Ivano-Frankivsk) in 1941. At least 524 local Polish and Ukrainian captives (including 150 women with dozens of children) were shot by the NKVD and buried in several mass graves dug by the prisoners themselves in a small gorge outside of the city.
- 134 bodies of NKVD victims unearthed in Ivano-Frankivsk
- Mass graves of victims of political repression discovered in Ivano-Frankivsk