Kirovsk town graveyard [C]* Forced settlers | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Kirovsk town graveyard [C]* Forced settlers



Date of burial
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Murmansk Region, Kirovsk, Apatity-Kirovsk highway, town cemetery
Access in a populated area
Public transport
Private or specialised transport
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Deportees’ graveyard
Current use
Burial ground and/or commemorative site
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected
Фотография 2012 года. Источник:
Фотография 2012 года. Источник:

In 1930 “special settlers”, for the most part dekulakized peasant families, were sent to build the Apatite combine and the town of Khibinogorsk (pop. 10,000 in 1930; renamed Kirovsk in 1934). In the early 1930s the death rate among the exiles was high. They were buried in a plot next to the Apatity-Kirovsk highway at the 16th kilometre. Subsequently, the site became the city cemetery. Burials from the early 1930s have been partially preserved. The total number buried there has not been established; the names on surviving grave-markers are preserved in lists of forced settlers.

In 1989, the Khibin branch of Memorial erected a wooden cross in memory of the victims of political repression at the graveyard. In 2005, a stone monument was erected next to the cross on 30 October by Memorial in memory of the forced settlers who died in avalanches in 1935 and 1938. Both memorials form part of the same commemorative area.

The monument bears an epigraph from Paley Kovalevsky’s Letter from a forced settler: “A day shall come when I’m no longer here / that people will remember and pity us, / innocent labourers.” 

NOTE By 1989, Kirovsk had a population of 43,526. It has since declined [2011?] to 28,625.

Books of Remembrance

Volume Two of the Murmansk Region Book of Remembrance, 1930s-1950s (2005, 413 pp) deals specifically with the 29,000  forced settlers and deportees sent to the Kola Peninsula. The Memorial online database (2021) names 2,147 who were deported to Kirovsk and 296 children of forced settlers who were born there.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression
Khibin Memorial Society
Memorial, Kirovsk administration
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
Early 1930s burials partially preserved
Not established
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
The burial is on land under the control of the Kirovsk municipal district
Sources and bibliography

[ Original texts & hyperlinks ]

Khibin Memorial society, The part played by special settlers and prisoners in opening up the Khibin area: A book of memoirs, Apatity, 1997

Ye.V. Vasilyeva, “Burial sites in the Kirovsk-Apatite district of the Murmansk Region: their history and present condition”, Proceedings of the Kola Research Centre (Russian Academy of Sciences), 2010, No 2


Virtual Museum of the Gulag, “The mass grave of special settlers at the 16th km cemetery (on the Apatity-Kirovsk highway)” [retrieved, 28 May 2022]

Letter from Irina Flige, director of RIC Memorial (No 1231 of 25 March 2014) to Marina Kovtun, governor of the Murmansk Region {in English}

Reply by the Kirovsk town administration (№ 01-845 of 18 April 2014) to a formal enquiry from RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)