Pervomaisky settlement [C] Burial ground of Colony No 1 | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Pervomaisky settlement [C] Burial ground of Colony No 1



Date of burial
Show Map
Chuvashia, Alatyr district, Pervomaisky settlement
Access in a populated area
Private or specialised transport
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Camp (prison) burial ground
Current use
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Regional / Republican
Not protected
Фотография 2009. Источник:
Фотография 2009. Источник:

In 1930, Corrective-labour colony No 1 was set up in the Alatyr district by the Chuvash Republic NKVD. The inmates worked, for the most part, in the timber industry and related workshops. Among the prisoners were many priests and monks, over 80 of whom died in the camp. They were buried in a wooded area in individual and common graves. The exact number buried there is unknown.

In the 1950s, after the camp closed, the Pervomaisky settlement arose on the same site. In the 1990s a road was built across the burial ground. Today a narrow strip, 30-40 metres wide, along a wooded valley is all that survives.

In 2007, an archaeological investigation was carried out in the area on the initiative of hiero-deacon Josif (Klyuchnikov), secretary of the Cheboksary Diocesan Commission for the Canonisation of Saints. In 2009, a commemorative cross was erected and consecrated at the site. Made of wrought iron, it crowned the cupola of one of the town’s churches until the 1930s: thereafter it was concealed by residents of Alatyr and saved for posterity.


According to the Unified State Register of the RF Ministry of Culture (Oct. 2023) this status of the site had been upgraded and it now has Republican/Regional protection.

Books of Remembrance

Chuvashia. A Book in A Book in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression (3 vols. 2009-2017) contains 7,756 biographical entries of those sentenced to death or sent to the Gulag.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
3rd Sunday after Trinity
Commemorative Service
Diocese of Cheboksary and Chuvashia
clergy and parishioners, inhabitants of Pervomaisky settlement
Annual event (since 2013)
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
Part of the burial ground (30-40 metres wide) has survived; subsidence indicating graves is easily seen
not defined
not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Alatyr district administration. [Added to Unified Register, 212131342980005, October 2023, "place of interest".]
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

A. Beglov, “A cross on the graves of our New Martyrs”, Vestnik tserkvi (Church Herald), Moscow, No 18 (415), 25 September 2009

S. Migulova, “Where the blood of the innocent was shed …”, Alatyrskie vesti, 23 July 2013


Reply from the Alatyr district administration (№ 824 of 9 April 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)

Reply from the Chuvash Republic Ministry of Culture (No 05/23-2249 of 6 May 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)