1961 Kurenivka mudslide

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Kiev Kurenivka Mudslide Monument

The 1961 Kurenivka mudslide took place on March 13 in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev (then part of the Soviet Union).


The mudslide started when the dam securing the loam pulp dump of a brick factory near Babi Yar failed after rain, releasing large volumes of pulp down the steep hill of the modern Olena Teliha Street. The slide immediately hit the lower-located Kurenivka neighbourhood, including residential area, the Krasin Tram Depot, several industrial buildings and a cemetery, as well as automobiles and trams on its way. The total volume of pulp in the vicinity of the streets of Kirilivska - Novokostiantynivska was up to 600 thousand m³ and the depth of up to 4 m. While an official report indicated only 145 fatalities, a recent historical account estimates 1,500.[1]

Recovery operations continued for days, but no official notification of the tragedy had been published by the Soviet authorities. Recovery operations were led by the battalion of 120 Detached Engineering and Anti-gas Regiment of Local Anti-Aircraft Defence troops, Soviet Army, Kiev Military District, led by the Hero of the Soviet Union Kharchenko Ivan Ustinovich. The events taking place in Kurenivka were strictly censored by the Soviet Government. In order to cover up the scale of this disaster, many of the people who died were buried in different cemeteries in Kiev and its nearby towns with different dates and reasons for their death in the government records, no public remembrance activities were allowed and Soviet Troops were sent to clear all visible consequences of the disaster.[2]

As a result of the subsequent investigation, several construction engineers and managers responsible for the dam’s design and maintenance were accused of criminal negligence and convicted.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smoliy 2012, p. 18.
  2. ^ "The Kurenivka tragedy". www.visitkyiv.travel. Retrieved 2019-08-21.


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