In Odesa, the first stage of work on the investigation of political repression victims mass grave in the area of the 6th kilometer of the Ovidiopol road was completed. According to various sources, the number of people buried in this place is one of the largest burial grounds of repressed and executed people, and it ranges from 5 to 20 thousand people.
To date, the investigation on the 4.76 hectares site has been completed, according to documents received earlier from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. A total of 29 burial sites was discovered. At this stage, it is impossible to name the exact number of people buried in each of them. Gennadiy Trukhanov, the Mayor of Odesa, emphasised during his visit to the site, that the first stage of work was fully completed and will be continued:
“The next stage is to obtain the necessary documents for the exhumation and further reburial of human remains, as well as to continue investigation of the site, which is located on the territory of the former military unit and is a private territory nowadays”.
Work at the site will be suspended until spring, and the found burial sites will be preserved in compliance with all norms and requirements. As the historian Tatyana Samoilova said, the geodetic survey was carried out before the preservation was completed, and thus, an accurate diagram with geodetic references for each of the 29 objects will be created:
After the geodetic survey was carried out, all the bone remains of the executed people were left there, in the pits, so that they could be analyzed during the complete exhumation. The pits were covered with the same soil that had been removed earlier. Also, the benchmarks were installed. The future investigation will involve a large stage of bone remains and personal belongings research”.
During the first stage of excavations, the searchers also found many artifacts and personal belongings of the victims of terror: shoes of the repression victims, personal items such as combs and toothbrushes, buttons from outerwear and underwear, coins dating from the thirties of the last century. Initials were found on one of the artifacts: now experts are working with archival materials to identity the former owner.
“We will use every chance to restore justice. If after so many years we can bury the remains of the brutally murdered people and, perhaps, even find their relatives, we will definitely do this. When a totalitarian regime lost a sense of proportion in achieving its goals and destroyed its citizens, this should be a lesson to draw conclusions from. It is unacceptable to keep silent about it,” Gennadiy Trukhanov said.
After receiving permission for exhumation, specialists will begin the procedure for identifying the human remains in order to rebury the victims of Stalin's repressions in the future.