In the Ukrainian city of Odessa, mass graves containing the remains of thousands of people were discovered while working at the airport. They were killed during the Great Purge under then-Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the 1930s.
Currently, 29 graves have been identified with the remains of approximately five to eight thousand people. It concerns a site of approximately five hectares near the Odessa airport. The numbers could still go up.
The victims are residents of the region who were executed between 1937 and 1939 during the Great Purge under Stalin by the NKVD, the secret police of the Soviet Union and the former KGB. Identification becomes almost impossible because documents related to the purges are classified and kept in Moscow. Moreover, there is a dispute between Ukraine and Russia.
Ukrainian historians estimate the number of citizens executed or imprisoned in the gulag camps during the Great Purge in the hundreds of thousands.
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