Bykivnia
How grave robbers, activists, and foreigners ended official silence about Stalin’s mass graves near Kiev
in Human remains and identification

The chapter will show how both the Soviet authorities and the leaders of independent Ukraine attempted to block real investigation and commemoration at the hamlet of Bykivnia, where the NKVD buried murdered bodies from 1939-1941. The chapter will look into how their attempts failed due to pressure from within—grave robbers and activists—and, especially, without—Germany and Poland. Following this account, details about the little-known Nazi and Soviet exhumations at the site will be examined.

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Human remains and identification

Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’

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