The initiator of the excavation and further exhumation of the found remains is the Odesa Mayor Office. The Culture Ministry has issued to the municipality special permission for holding such works.
Odesa City Head Hennadiy Trukhanov during the visit to the object has underlined the importance of these works for relatives of repressed people and for the history of Odesa: “We would like to show today how at a certain time people lost human disguise and killed without charge or trial and it is important to know about these events and show what happened when the totalitarian regime lost the sense of proportion and did not consider its own people to reach its goals. These researches should be completely held and we should answer the question – whether it is the burial site, or execution site or the scene of a crime committed in Odesa”.
The search parties were formed by specialists from Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, and Odesa. People hold works manually with shovels. Earlier, the help of 400 trucks was needed to clear the wasteland from the garbage.
Head of the workgroup from the municipality Oleh Bryndak reported that the workgroup analyzed the archives before the beginning of the digging and as of today, the approximate list of people, who could be executed in 1937-1938, is present. Moreover, the requests were filed to the archives of Romania, Poland, and the Russian Federation to specify the list of all repressed people in the Odesa region. Preliminary, their number makes about 40,000 people. Some of the executed people, over 8,000 people, could be executed right at the Tatarka special object.
According to the historian Tetiana Samoilova, the people repressed in 1937-1938 were buried right in the garbage: “The most horrible thing is that there was the old territory of the city landfill and the height of cynicism that took place at that time that the graves were dug in the garbage and people were thrown there or executed there, and they were covered by the same garbage. Even after death, people were buried at the landfill”.
During the holding of the first stage of the excavation, the scavengers found many artifacts and personal belongings of the victims of the terror. The shoes of repressed people were discovered, both women, and men. The personal belongings from brushes up to toothbrushes. The buttons from the outer clothing and underwear, as well as coins of the 30s of the 20th century.
The works under the control of the Odesa Mayor’s Office will be held for a month until all places of the mass grave are found and preserved until spring. After receiving permission for exhumation, the specialists will start the identification of the remains to rebury victims of the Stalinist repressions. More than a thousand of the body remains from this necropolis are already put to rest at the western cemetery. In the future, the Mayor’s Office considers the issue of the organization of the memorial complex at the site of the mass grave of the victims of NKVD.