One of the tragic pages of Babyn Yar is the shooting by the Nazis of prisoners of war - sailors of the Pinsk flotilla in January 1942.
The Pinsk military flotilla heroically defended the approaches to the Ukrainian capital on the Dnipro River and on land in July-September 1941. After the Soviet troops withdrew from Kyiv, in the evening of September 19, 1941, a detachment of sailors was formed near Darnytsia, consisting of two battalions, a separate company and an officer's company. The detachment included personnel of ships, headquarters and rear units of the flotilla.
On the morning of September 20, 1941, the personnel of the Pinsk military flotilla formed the day before under the command of Captain 2nd Rank Brahman had its last stand. The sailors counterattacked, breaking through the fighting formations of German troops near the village of Ivankovo, Boryspil district.
However, after the Germans used reserves, under pressure from the overwhelming forces of the enemy, the sailors were forced to retreat to Borispol. The battlefield was covered with bodies in black naval uniforms. According to locals, war veterans and archival data, more than 200 sailors died.
Those of the sailors who were lucky enough to survive continued their battle in the encirclement. Together with army units, and then in small groups or even alone, they sometimes broke through the enemy's rear to the front line to join the active fleets and flotillas and continue the fight against the invaders. Some were unable to break through the enemy order and continued to fight underground or in guerrilla units. But some of those wounded and exhausted unarmed fighters were taken as prisoners.
The exact number of sailors executed in Babyn Yar is still unknown. There are some eyewitness accounts, and there are many myths. Kyiv resident Gorbacheva testified that in the winter of 1942, 65 Red Navy prisoners were shot in Babyn Yar. And Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Mykhailo Koval claims that on January 10, 1942, Nazis executed in Babyn Yar about 100 sailors and commanders of the Dnieper detachment of the Pinsk military flotilla.
During these winter days, the National Historical and Memorial Reserve "Babyn Yar" annually honours the memory of sailors who died in battle and were shot in Babyn Yar. The employees of the reserve hold lectures, exhibitions, visit memorable places.
On February 24, 2021, the photo exhibition “Pinsk Military Flotilla in Defense of Kyiv 1941» was opened. On this day, Andriy Tkachuk, Olena Shepetyuk, Mykhailo Gutor, Volodymyr Kornelyuk and David Chubinashvili honoured the memory of sailor
heroes by bowing to the graves of those who rest in the military and civilian cemeteries of the Lukyanov necropolis