: Cossack cemetery restored in Odesa
Politics14:16 Mar. 28, 2016

Cossack cemetery restored in Odesa

Local historians say Odesa is undoubtedly ancient Ukrainian city

An old Cossack cemetery in Odesa is being restored. Thanks to the help of locals, the graveyard is undergoing a massive face-lift. Residents have already cleared the grounds from shrubs and weeds. They have also recovered several dozens of tombstones.

Historians say, mentions of Odesa's ties to Ukrainian history were always contrived during the Soviet times. Now that Ukraine is independent it is crucial for the city to reclaim it's Cossack connections.

Last names engraved on these tombstones paint a clear picture of Odesa's Cossack history. Archaeologists discovered this cemetery along with a book records. That book is a written testament that successors of Ukrainian Cossacks are buried on these grounds.

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Serhiy Hutsaliuk, researcher: "With the help of this book we can easily tell that all these last names are of ancient Ukrainian origin. Basically, people that are buried at this cemetery took part in key events of not only Odesa's but Ukraine's history."

Families of these Cossacks were an integral part of the city's development. Many worked in the mines, digging stone for the buildings of Odesa.

Taras Honcharuk, Odesa National University History Professor: "By working with somewhat soft type of stone, they've managed to keep their traditions, especially when it comes to tombstones, that is reflected in the construction of the stone crosses we see here."

Alim Korvatsky who's a local historian says by studying the history of Odesa and its region he has noticed many discreptencies.

Alim Korvatsky, Odesa region historian: "Odesa is an ancient Ukrainian town, there's no way Russian Empress Ekaterina was the founder of it."

There are more than fifty similar graveyards throughout the region of Odesa. Most of them, however are destroyed or demolished. This cemetery is one of the best kept but it has yet to get a status of a national historical landmark.

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