Thursday. 28.09.2023

A World War II mass grave containing the remains of an estimated 8,000 people has been discovered in a forest in Belarus, the Prosecutor General's Office in the capital Minsk announced on Thursday.

Experts found remains of bones, clothing, shoes and ammunition, which are now to be examined.

The grave is located near a military training area not far from the capital Minsk.

According to the prosecutors, civilians and soldiers from the Minsk region were brought to the site between 1941 and 1944 and shot. They were buried in holes up to 5 metres deep.

"Shots and screams had been heard in the neighbouring villages," it said, adding that a large number of bullet casings were later discovered near the site.

Remains of 38,000 people

The Prosecutor General's Office estimated that there could be as many as seven mass graves containing the remains of 38,000 people in the surrounding area.

Specialists from the Ministry of Defence were involved in the search, it added.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 resulted in the deaths of some 27 million people.

In the territory of present-day Belarus alone, around a quarter of the population lost their lives in the conflict.

Previously unknown World War II mass grave discovered near Minsk