History A number of graves were found in Ukraine, believed to contain the remains of thousands of victims of Stalin’s persecution

The remains of about 5,000 to 8,000 people were found near Odessa Airport in southern Ukraine.

In Ukraine local authorities said on Wednesday they found the remains of thousands of people in more than 20 graves near Odessa airport. The finding was reported by the news agency AFP.

The mass discovery of the bones of about 5,000 to 8,000 people is one of the largest in Ukraine.

Local director of the Institute of National Memory of Ukraine, historian Sergei Gutsalûk estimates to AFP that the remains belong to those executed by the Soviet NKVD between 1937 and 1939; Stalin victims of persecution.

According to Gutsalûk, other mass graves have been found in the area in recent years.

Tombs was found when the country was surveyed when planning the expansion of the airport. According to Gutsalûk, the number of victims may increase as the excavations progress.

The nationality of the victims or the crimes for which they were sentenced to death are not known. According to Gutsalûk, it would be impossible to identify the victims, as the documents during Stalin’s persecution are secret and are kept in Moscow.

“These documents will never be given to us during the current Russian administration,” Gutsalûk tells AFP.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been extremely weak since Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014 and began supporting armed separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainians historians estimate that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were imprisoned or executed in Gulag camps during the persecution of Stalin in the 1930s.

One of the most famous places of execution is the forest near the village of Bykivnia near Kiev, where tens of thousands of victims were buried between 1937 and 1941.

Millions of Ukrainians also died in the Great Soviet famine of 1932-1933, which Ukraine considers a genocide organized by Stalin.

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