On September 9, 2019, a group of historians from Germany, the USA, the Netherlands and Ukraine visited the National Historical and Memorial Reserve Graves of Bykivnia. The group was accompanied by a Ukrainian historian, doctor of historical sciences, head of the department of modern history and politics of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Georgy Kasyanov.
Tetiana Sheptytska, Deputy General Director for Scientific Work of the Reserve, acquainted European colleagues with the milestones of the Reserve and the scientific and exhibition activities of the institution in recent years.
She also gave a guest lecture tour, dedicated to the history of the appearance and functioning of the NKVD USSR secret special section in 19, 20 quarters of Bykivnya forest. In particular, about the Ukrainian SSR specifics of the implementation of operational order No. 00447 "On the repression of former kulaks, criminals and other anti-Soviet elements", the so-called “Limits”, the activities of judicial and extrajudicial bodies, etc. Tetyana Sheptytska outlined the main charges that were brought against citizens during the Great Terror, spoke about the methods of investigation by Soviet repressive bodies, and mentioned individuals from the Bykivnia martyrology. Tetiana Sheptytska noted that today the names of 18.5 thousand people buried in Bykovna have been indicated on the walls of the memory of the International Memorial to the Victims of Totalitarianism 1937-1941, however, the search and establishment of the names of the repressed continues.
During after-tour communication with colleagues we managed to discuss a wide range of issues - especially the work with the NKVD archives, the search and the difficulty of processing oral evidence about Bykivnya, the problems of the Reserve’s stock work, the formats of its cooperation with Polish or Russian researchers.