SEVERODVINSK [C]** Yagrinlag cemetery No 1 | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

SEVERODVINSK [C]** Yagrinlag cemetery No 1



Date of burial
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Arkhangelsk Region, Severodvinsk city district
Access outside a populated area
Public transport
Private or specialised transport
On foot
7 kms along the Kudemskoe Highway, 150 metres on left before it crosses Shirshima River
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Camp (prison) burial ground
Current use
Burial ground and/or commemorative site
Cultural and/or educational purposes
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected
Фотография 2011 года. Предоставлена Г.В.Шавериной
Фотография 2011 года. Предоставлена Г.В.Шавериной

One of the largest burial sites of Yagrinlag was on the outskirts of Molotovsk (today Severodvinsk). Historians estimate that between 10,000 and 20,000 are buried here. After the camp closed the burial ground was abandoned and since 1974 the land has belonged to the Severodvinsk Forestry Concern. During construction work in the 1970s and 1980s human remains were repeatedly uncovered; they were removed and dumped at the city rubbish pits.

From May 1989 onwards, activists of the Severodvinsk Sovest (Conscience) society, with the help of the city’s inhabitants, gathered the remains exposed on the ground and on 20 October 1990 they were reburied in five coffins in a mass grave in an empty section of the city cemetery. A memorial “To the innocent victims of Yagrinlag” was erected and a square created. In 1991, an exploratory group (“In the Name of the Fallen”) from Velsk found individual burials in coffins, dated 1942.

On 30 October 2011, a monument was erected on the memorial square to L.H. Kopp (d. 1950; see photo), the first technical director of Severodvinsk, who died in Yagrinlag. Every summer Sovest activists gather more remains that have surfaced during the year and add them to the mass grave in the cemetery. In 2013, a commemorative wooden cross was erected in a remote part of the cemetery.


With a small population in pre-Soviet times, Sudostroi (Shipbuilder) grew to become the town of Molotovsk; it acquired municipal status in 1938 when its population passed 12,000. As Severodvinsk, with over 192,000 inhabitants (2010), it is today the second largest city in the Arkhangelsk Region.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
13 April
Commemoration of the founding of Yagringlag
Severodvinsk branch of Sovest society
The people of Severodvinsk
Annual event
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
City administration, Severodvinsk branch of Sovest society, Youth Centre, Association of explorers "For the Motherland!"
City administration and people of Severodvinsk
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
Subsidence indicating location of burials; human remans come to surface every year
About 2 hectares
Not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land belonging to the Severodvinsk Forestry Concern
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

“Only our people lived here. And our people beat their own”, Vecherny Severodvinsk, 21 October 2010 [retrieved, 27 May 2022]

“Yagrinlag in the lives of people and the city” website [retrieved, 27 May 2022]

“Yagrinlag cemetery No 1 (Shirshima)”, Virtual Museum of the Gulag [retrieved, 27 May 2022]


Reply № 240115/686 (10 April 2014) from Severodvinsk culture & public relations department to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)