Death pits with thousands of NKVD victims found in Odessa

One of the largest mass burials in Ukraine was found in Odessa in the south of the country, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINM) reported. The victims were shot by the NKVD.

After work was carried out in only one of the former NKVD special facility “Tatarka” sectors, at least 29 graves were found (as of August 23). According to the UINM press release, these are the pits where the executed inhabitants of Odessa, victims of communist terror, were buried.

The Ukrainian editorial office of Radio Swoboda emphasised that most likely up to 8,000 Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Germans, Moldovans, and representatives of other nations were shot there.

The graves are currently being located with the number of victims of repression not listed. However, it can already be said that this facility is one of the largest in Ukraine.

According to the Ukrinform agency, a group of volunteers found the first six graves on the premises of this facility at the beginning of August. A further 23 graves were discovered later.

The NKVD was originally Established in 1917 tasked with regular police work and overseeing the prisons and labour camps later on it was transformed into a kind of secret police also conducting ordinary public order activities. It is mostly known for carrying out mass executions on political prisoners.