A comprehensive survey of sites by the ESJF in the Volyn’ region of NW Ukraine has revealed the perilous state of cemeteries in the region.
In total, 58 sites were surveyed by the ESJF, of which 30 were visited and described for the first time. Only 16 of the cemeteries have been at least partly preserved, with 42 sites (72.5%) destroyed with no visible traces of the cemeteries preserved either during the Nazi occupation, the Soviet period, or subsequently.
Of these 42, 16 cemeteries have been built over and the remaining 26, the sites – without gravestones – can be preserved in some way. Only three cemeteries in the whole Volyn’ region are fenced.
To date, the results from the survey in Volyn’ represent some of the lowest figures recorded by the ESJF for cemetery preservation in Ukraine in particular and indeed across Eastern Europe in general.
The trend shown in this region is common, though worse to similar regions in Western Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. In total, it is likely that 39 of the cemeteries can stil be saved cemeteries through urgent protection and fencing projects.
Among them are the Old Cemetery in Lyubeshiv, the New Jewish cemetery of Turyysk, the cemetery in Torchyn, and others.