During the Civil War, sources indicate, hostages and prisoners from the Borisoglebsk concentration camps (of which there were 4 in the 1920s) were shot near Chigorak village by the Matryoshkin Gully. Subsequently executions took place there in the 1930s and those shot in the town’s prisons were also buried there. According to archival documents no less than 90 people, including Orthodox priests, were shot there during the 1930s. (There is also mention of almost 400 executions, of whom more than one hundred were clergymen.) Local historians believe that many more were shot there since those sentenced to death were transported to Chigorak from the neighbouring Tambov and Saratov Regions. Those shot were tossed into the pits of the abattoir. In 1946 a spring appeared next to the execution site, and it was revered as a holy source.
Thanks to the priests of the Borisoglebsk deanery in 2003 a commemorative cross was erected at the place of execution. Since 2005 there is a religious procession with crosses and banners to the memorial area early each year on the Day of Russia’s New Martyrs and Confessors. A chapel was consecrated there in 2011. There is a memorial plaque on its external wall (“In memory of the victims of repression in the 20th century”) and inside an exhibition of photographs and the names of priests and parishioners executed during the years of repression. A similar exhibition about repression in the district has been created in the Znamenskoe Church in Borisoglebsk.
There is A Book in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression in the Voronezh Region (3 vols. 2014-2017); Voronezh Memorial Society has computerised 7,582 biographical entries for those shot or sent to the camps and has also published a two-volume Stalin’s execution lists for the Region.
|Nature of ceremonies
|Organiser or responsible person
Feast of Russia's New Martyrs and Confessors
Borisoglebsk deanery (Orthodox Church)
annual event since 2005
|State of burials
have not survived
“Chigorak village. Execution and burial site”, Virtual Museum of the Gulag [retrieved, 27 May 2022]
Reply by the Voronezh Region Administration (№ 21/11-807 of 30 April 2014) to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)
Reply by the Borisoglebsk urban district administration (№ 1192 of 28 March 2014) to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)