Bykivnia


About ten kilometres northeast of Kiev lies a wooded area called Bykivnia and here a thousands of people buried who were murdered by the Soviet security police NKVD, including a large number of Polish officers. By March 1940, Stalin and the politburo had approved an NKVD’s plan to assassinate about 22,000 Polish officers, officials and police officers captured by the Soviet Union in connection with the Red Army’s occupation of eastern Poland in 1939. When the Germans occupied Kiev, the graves were discovered and used in German propaganda. When Kiev was liberated (reoccupied) by the Soviet Union, the Soviets in turn accused the Germans of the murders and mass graves. How many were buried in Bykivnia is currently difficult to calculate and numbers between 30,000 to 200,000 occur.

Current status: Monument (2011).

Location: 50°28'18.2"N 30°41'49.1"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Bykivnia has not received the same attention and recognition as Katyn, despite the fact that the Polish officers, non-commissioned officers, police officers and officials were murdered on the same order. The mass graves are scattered over a large area of the forest and there are hundreds of crosses placed as symbolic grave markers.

Follow up in books: Urban, Thomas: The Katyn Massacre 1940: History of a Crime (2022).