BIISK [C] Burials in NKVD building courtyard | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

BIISK [C] Burials in NKVD building courtyard



Date of burial
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Altai Krai, Biisk district, Biisk, 2 Kirov Street
Access in a populated area
Public transport
On foot
The memorial was moved in 2012. Its current address is 26 Dinamovskaya St, Biisk.
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Current use
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Regional / Republican
Фотография 2011 года. Источник: Архив НИЦ «Мемориал»
Фотография 2011 года. Источник: Архив НИЦ «Мемориал»

During building work in early 1990 burials of those shot during the Great Terror (1937-1938) were discovered in the courtyard of the former Altai Krai NKVD building at 2 Kirov Street by plant operator Vladimir Bulakh.

Oral testimony about executions and burials in this location had long been in circulation. After an appeal by the Biisk Memorial Society the prosecutor’s office opened an investigation. The uncovering of the burials began on 22 May 1990 in one corner of the courtyard and continued for three days. The work was supervised by the regional Internal Affairs department; the digging was carried out by soldiers and a forensic expert in pathological anatomy was present all the time. The remains of 68 individuals were raised from a pit three metres deep. There were two bullet holes in the back of each skull, the second being the “insurance” shot. The shootings are thought to have taken place in 1937-1938.

The work was brought to a halt following complaints from neighbours that cracks were appearing in their building since the excavation was close to its foundation. Part of the remains, therefore, were not exhumed. Items found during the excavation (fragments of shoes, spectacles and buttons) were passed to the V.V. Bianchi regional museum. The remains were reburied on 30 October 1990 at the Voznesenskoe cemetery [22-06] with the support of the city’s Memorial society. A wooden cross was erected that day and a monument was added in 1994.

In 1991 a granite memorial was placed where the remains were found with the following text on an attached plaque: “This stone is in memory of the innocent victims of the totalitarian regime, shot here in the courtyard of the NKVD building. We vow never to forget”. In 2012 the memorial was moved to the recently completed chapel of Russia’s New Martyrs and Confessors on Dinamovskaya St, built in memory of the victims of repression.

The memorial is protected as a site of cultural heritage at the regional level.

Solemn ceremonies are held on 30 October each year, Remembrance Day for  the Victims of Political Repression, first in the courtyard of the building at 2 Kirov Street and then at the Voznesenskoe cemetery. A mass for the dead is performed at the Stone of Sorrow.

Books of Remembrance

Victims of Political Repression in the Altai Krai (7 vols. 1998-2005) includes biographical entries on 46,200 individuals who were shot or sent to the camps between 1919 and 1965.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
Biisk City department for public relations
Public, clergy
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
have not survived
not established
Within the confines of the courtyard
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under control of the Biisk City administration. [Decree of the Altai Krai Legislative Assembly, No. 169, 28 December 1994; United Register, April 2020, 22-106115.]
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

“Places of unbearable suffering”, in V.L. Sosnovsky, Notes, Biisk, 2002 (203 pp)

“Burials in the former NKVD courtyard of those executed in Biisk”, Virtual Museum of the Gulag [retrieved, 27 May 2022]


Reply No 972/01-15 (dated 18 March 2014) of the Biisk City Administration  to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)