Iahidne Concentration Camp


National Museum of the History of Ukraine, str. Volodymyrska, 2
03.04.2023 → 01.01.2025
Price: 100
Discount price: 50

Iahidne Concentration Camp

With this project, the museum tells about one of the terrible crimes of the russian occupiers against the peaceful people of Ukraine, about the life and death of people in the horrifying basement of death.

Iagidne is a Ukrainian village near the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, 12 kilometers south of Chernihiv and 140 kilometers north of Kyiv.

In the first days of the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, the russian military captured the settlement. After occupying the village, they forcibly drove the local population to the school's basement, which became a real concentration camp. For almost a month, 368 people, including 69 children, were held there. The youngest child, who was together with other hostages in a room with a total area of 197 square meters, was a month and a half, and the oldest person was 93 years old.

On the upper floors of the village school, the occupiers placed their headquarters. The russian invaders used the residents driven to the basement as human shields, covering themselves with hostages from the Ukrainian artillery.

For almost a month, more than three hundred hostages were held in inhumane conditions. Because of the limited basement space, people couldn’t even lie down to rest, which could only be done in turn. There was a catastrophic lack of air. Many were suffocating, food and water were limited, and some people in the basement had no warm clothes. In these terrible conditions, people began to die. The inner side of the entrance door to the basement became a kind of calendar. Every day the prisoners marked another terrible day they had lived. To the right of the exit, was a list of the dead, which at the time of Yahidne's release, consisted of 10 people. On the left, was a list of seven names of those who were shot.

The exhibition, built on the stairs between the fourth and third floors of the museum, resembles a descent to the basement. You can see photos from the peaceful life of the school, and drawings created before and after the occupation. Toys that distracted children from the horrors of war and other things people used in the basement. Cans of food left by the russian occupiers and items from a completely burnt house in Iahidne.

The exhibition project was created in cooperation with the Dobrobat volunteer construction battalion, which helps the victims restore housing in the de-occupied territories.