Lipovchik Woods [C]* Execution & Burial site | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Lipovchik Woods [C]* Execution & Burial site



Date of burial
Show Map
Oryol Region, Livensky district, Lipovchik Woods
Access outside a populated area
Public transport
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Current use
Cultural and/or educational purposes
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Not protected

During the Great Terror the inhabitants of the Livensky and other districts of the Oryol and Kostroma Regions who had been condemned to death were shot and buried at the Lipovchik Woods. A burial containing the remains of six bodies was accidentally discovered in October 1963 by history teacher O.L. Jakobson and his pupils during an excursion. They reburied the remains. Subsequently the Oryol Region KGB uncovered documents confirming that executions and burials had taken place at Lipovchik and a witness to the shootings was found. The exact numbers shot then has not been established; the names of 423 victims are known.

On 17 December 1992 a memorial to the Victims of Repression (designer, A.S. Nikitin) was opened at the site. It is composed of several elements: a pillar with an Orthodox cross and an inscription “To the victims of Stalinist repression, 1937-1938”; 28 marble plaques bearing the names of those shot; and a wooden cross-golubets. A noticeboard by the road through the wood carries the text: “The Lipovchik memorial marks one of the places where Communists killed people in 1937-1938. Each year a Service for the Dead is held here at midday on 30 October, the Day in Commemoration of the Victims of Political Repression”.

In May 2013 the notice board was damaged by unidentified vandals. In 2015 it was restored. The memorial complex is in need of repair: some of the plaques bearing names need replacement – only 196 of the 423 names are now legible. The foundations of a chapel dedicated to Russia’s New Martyrs and Confessors were laid in May 2016 next to the memorial area.

Books of Remembrance

Requiem, A Book in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression in the Oryol Region (5 vols. 1994-2001) contains 11,900 biographical entries for those shot or sent to the Gulag; the fifth volume contains lists of the dekulakized and deported.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
30 October
Remembrance Day for the Victims of Political Repression (religious procession from the town of Livna)
Incumbent of St George's church, Livna
Clergy, parishioners, nuns and Sunday school pupil
Annual event
Nature of area requiring preservation
State of burialsAreaBoundaries
not preserved
not determined
not delineated
Administrative responsibility and ownership, informal responsibility for the site
On land under the control of the Livensky district administration. The Livna town administration is responsible for the landscaping of the memorial area. Periodically volunteers tidy the territory. Since 1992 the Lipovchik Woods have been registered as a monument of nature of regional importance (popular celebrations are regularly held there).
Sources and bibliography

[ original texts and hyperlinks ]

V. Barabanov, O. Jakobson, The Livensky district is a part of the Russian land, Oryol, 2007

O. Jakobson, “The living must remember the dead”, On the banks of the Bystraya Sosna, Livna, 2002, Issue 12

G.V. Ryzhkin, Livna horizons: notes and sketches, Oryol, 2000

“The foundations of a chapel have been laid in Lipovchik”, Uyezdny gorod, 1 June 2016

Reply by the department for culture and archives of the Oryol Region (№ 772 of 21 March 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)

Reply by the Livensky district administration (№745 of 26 March 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)

Reply by the Livna town administration (№ 2314 of 22 July 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)