Kolpashevsky Yar (c) Mass burials of executed | Russia's Necropolis of Terror and the Gulag

Kolpashevsky Yar (c) Mass burials of executed



Date of burial
Show Map
Tomsk Region, Kolpashevsky district, ravine, bank of river Ob
Access in a populated area
On foot
Visiting Hours or Restrictions
Type of burial
Secret interment of executed
Current use
Ceremonial events
Presence of memorials, etc.
Protected status
Regional / Republican
Фотография 2005 года. Источник: Архив НИЦ «Мемориал»
Фотография 2005 года. Источник: Архив НИЦ «Мемориал»

Kolpashevsky Yar, the high bank of the Ob river within the Kolpashevo town limits, is the site of mass burial for those shot or who died in the NKVD prison for the Narymsky district. From 1932 to 1944, before and after the Great Terror (1937-1938), executions were also carried out there. Those shot were buried in pits in a designated section of the prison courtyard.

In May 1979 the river changed course. The burials were washed away, and the remains were carried downstream. To prevent publicity the authorities destroyed both the remains and signs of the burial. In 1990, in response to a joint statement by Tomsk and Novosibirsk Memorial Societies, the Chief Military Prosecutor opened a criminal investigation into the desecration of the bodies, but it was closed in 1992 “for lack of a corpus delicti”.

According to the Tomsk Memorial Society 4,000 people were executed in Kolpashevo during the Terror. In 1990 one list of 1,445 names was handed to the Kolpashevo museum from the Novosibirsk Region KGB. Memorials placed on the river bank in 1990-2000 were also washed away. In the early 2000s a foundation stone was laid in a square in Kolpashevo, bearing the inscription, “Here will stand a memorial to the victims of repression in the 1930s-1950s”.

Books of Remembrance

Human Suffering: A Book in Remembrance of those from the Tomsk Region who were Repressed in the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s (5 vols. 1991-1999) contains 20,800 biographical entries on those who were shot or sent to the Gulag. The Memorial database lists almost 10,000 who were shot in the Tomsk Region during the Great Terror.

DateNature of ceremoniesOrganiser or responsible personParticipantsFrequency
Commemorative Services
From time to time
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 Kolpashevsky district administration. A rediscovered site of cultural heritage, minute of the expert commission convened on 29 May 1997
Sources and bibliography

[ Original texts & hyperlinks ]

V.M. Zapetsky, Kolpashevsky Yar, Novosibirsk, 1992 (128 pp)

Archive of the Kolpashevo district museum


Reply from information & public relations department of the Tomsk Region (№ 17-293 of 13 May 2014) to a formal enquiry by RIC Memorial (St Petersburg)