Kirensk [C] Reburial of the executed | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Kirensk [C] Reburial of the executed



Date of burial
1938 [1991]
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Irkutsk Region, Kirensk, Khabarovskoe cemetery
Access in a populated area
Public transport
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Visiting hours
when graveyard is open
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Current use
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Regional / Republican
Фотография 2013 года. Источник:статьи/общество/мы-помним-вас-жертвы-политрепрессий.html
Фотография 2013 года. Источник:статьи/общество/мы-помним-вас-жертвы-политрепрессий.html

In 1991 the remains of 83 bodies were found at the former NKVD building [38-46] on Sovetskaya Street. A search had been carried out on the basis of testimony by a former NKVD employee in Kirensk who said that detainees had been shot in this building during the Great Terror.

After opening up the brick floor the investigators found human remains indicating they had met a violent death. Thanks to the particular climatic conditions clothes, footwear and documents of the dead had been well preserved. This enabled the identification of 26 of those sentenced to death by decision No. 30 (15 May 1938) by the Special Troika of the Irkutsk Region NKVD.

The Kirensk town executive committee set up a commission to organise the reburial of the victims. A list of names and short biographies of the 26 known victims was published in the Sovetskaya molodyozh newspaper. After specialist analysis was completed, the remains were reburied on 26 May 1991 in a common grave in the town (Khabarovskoe) cemetery. On the mound in the centre of the grave a wooden Orthodox cross was erected; below memorial plaques carried the names of the victims. A few individual memorials have been placed at the foot of the cross, presumably by relatives of the victims.

Books of Remembrance

The incomplete Book of Remembrance, Victims of Political Repression in the Irkutsk Region: in Remembrance and as a Future Warning (8 vols. 1998-2006), includes 25,800 biographical entries on those shot or sent to the camps.

The Memorial database (2021) lists 10,609 who were shot in the Irkutsk Region during the Great Terror and 5,624 who were arrested in 1937-1938 and sent to the Gulag.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
Kirensk town administration
town administration, inhabitants of Kirensk
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
The reburial site is in good condition
4 square metres
the burial area is surrounded by metal railing
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Kirensk town administration.The common grave is listed as a recently discovered site by the Irkutsk Region Centre for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

B. Slepnev, O. Kontysheva and P. Migalev, “Kirensk, an island city in which it is not easy to live”, Kopeika (Irkutsk), 22 October 2004

A. Belevich and Yu. Shvanenberg, “The secret of the Lunar King’s Dacha”, Irkutsk University faculty of philology and journalism website

“The reburial in a mass grave of those shot in Kirensk”, Virtual Museum of the Gulag [retrieved, 8 June 2022]

Reply from the Kirensk municipal district administration (29 April 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)