Researchers excavating the former prison in Lutsk, Volyn Oblast, Ukraine, discovered a mass grave containing remains of 107 individuals executed by NKVD on 23-24 June, 1941.
The bodies were found on the grounds of St Brigita Monastery, built in 1624, which burnt down in 1845 and was turned into a prison in 1890. The researchers state that the individuals were murdered by shots from Mosin and Nagan guns as holsters were found lying in the pit long with corresponding bullets.
The Lutsk prison functioned until the 1960s and was governed by different countries: Russia, Poland, the USSR, Nazi Germany, and again the USSR. Fleeing the Nazi offensive in 1941 the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) officers executed more than 3000 people on the grounds of the neighbouring monastery. The individuals were mostly political prisoners, including priests, doctors, intellectuals, peasants and burghers suspected of cooperating with Ukrainian nationalist organizations.
Researchers state that the bodies were buried in a burial pit made by a bomb. The crater measures 5 metres in diameter and is 2 metres deep. So far 107 bodies were exhumed, including remains of several women. Among the personal belongings were the remains of civilian clothes and shoes, combs, toothbrushes, razors, and a cigarette case. The researchers believe it is only one of many mass killing sites to be found in future excavations in the site.
(after Euromaidan Press)