Tiraspol, Transnitria, October 11, 2021
The remains of 450 victims of political repressions from the 1930s were unearthed during archaeological excavations at the Tiraspol Fortress in Transnitria recently.
Among the discovered remains was a body showing signs of incorruption. Skin is still visible on the skeleton in some places and hair on the skull. And while the hands on remains found during such excavations are often not preserved at all, the hands on the given remains were not only preserved, but also fixed in a distinct position, reports the Transnitrian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Through the eyes of faith, one can see that this person was likely making the Sign of the Cross when he died, blessing those who killed him, explained Igor Chetverikov, senior researcher at the Archaeology Research Institute of the Shevchenko National University of Kiev, who headed the excavations.
Such incorruption is often a sign of holiness, Chetverikov added.
After studying archival documents and lists of those sentenced to execution, historians came to the conclusion that the remains belong to a man executed on October 11, 1938—Flora Ignat Iosifovich, who was born in 1867 in the village of Baitaly, located in Ukraine today. DNA samples were taken from the remains and a search is underway for Iosifovich’s relatives to confirm the identification.
Archival documents describe Iosifovich as “A Moldavian, non-partisan, from the Kulaks, a collective farmer before his arrest. A former churchwarden, he gathered believers around him. He was a member of a counterrevolutionary espionage insurgent organization. He was preparing for an armed uprising, and conducted anti-Soviet agitation.”
On Sunday, October 10, after 83 years, the incorrupt remains were reburied near the powder cellar of the Vladimir Bastion of the Tiraspol Fortress by His Eminence Archbishop Savva of Tiraspol and Dubăsari.
“Today we have fulfilled our Christian duty, having served the funeral for the deceased, solemnly seeing him off with prayers,” Abp. Savva commented.
The other remains found during the excavations will be reburied in a mass grave at the memorial complex for victims of political repression, located near the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors.