KIROV cemetery [C] Burials of the executed | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

KIROV cemetery [C] Burials of the executed



Date of burial
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Kirov Region, Kirov, Proizvodstennaya Street, Mezrinsko-Petelinskoe cemetery
Access in a populated area
Public transport
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Current use
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status

In the 1930s and 1940s, there were secret burials in various parts of the Mezrinskoe (Petelinskoe) cemetery of those who died or were killed in the city’s prisons or who were executed. Subsequently new burials were made in most of these plots and there are reports that during their excavation the remains of other bodies with bullet holes in their skulls were repeatedly found, and also fragments of clothes, boots and personal items dating back to the 1930s and 1940s.

Local historians believe that these secret burials are spread out over a wide area and given the density of the burials in the cemetery several thousand victims could lie there. No official investigations were carried out to establish where the executed were buried. In 2000, the cemetery was closed, and no new burials have since been made there.

In the early 1990s the city authorities placed a memorial stone in the cemetery with the inscription, “1937-1953”. In 1997 a wooden cross was erected next to the stone and the plaque on the memorial was replaced with another reading “To the victims of political repression”. In October 2002, the wooden cross was replaced with a metal cross bearing a sign that reads, “May they be numbered with the saints and their memory last from generation unto generation”. Funds to pay for the cross were provided by the Kirov Region administration and donations by children of those repressed (more than 200 people). The memorial was designed by Vyatka artist Alexei Kuznitsyn. In 2007, a memorial complex was created nearby made up of six marble plaques bearing the names of the executed.


On 30 October 2022, about fifty people gathered in Kirov in remembrance of the victims of political repression, reported Idel-realiya. Permission was given to hold the event but no official attended the gathering, nor did any priest conduct a requiem mass for the dead at the cross in the Mezrinskoe (Petelinskoe) cemetery.

Books of Remembrance

A Book in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression (6 vols. 2000-2004) includes biographical entries on 17,000 who were shot or sent to the camps.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression (Religious Service for the Dead)
Kirov City administration
City administration, the Association of Victims of Political Repression, members of the public
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
have not survived
Not defined
Not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Kirov City administration; the site is managed by the city's directorate for transport and maintenance
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

Ye. Pyatunin, “The … Petelinskoe cemetery: hundreds shot with a bullet in the back of their heads”, Vyatsky nablyudatel, 1996, No 40, June [retrieved, 27 May 2022]

Ye. Pyatunin, “The secret of the Vyatka executions”, Nezavisimaya gazeta (Moscow; online version), No 050 (1621), 24 March 1998

Decision of the Kirov City Duma (No 6/25 of 28 August 2002) “The erection of a memorial to the victims of political repression”.


Reply by the Kirov Region Administration, № 4501-06-04 of 12 May 2014, to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)

Reply by the Kirov Region FSB (№ 1/1076 of 27 July 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)


“A meeting was held in Kirov to commemorate the victims of Stalin”, Idel.realiya, 30 October 2022 [retrieved 26 October 2022].