Preliminary results of the international expedition in the Carpathians

55 found soldiers, more than 1,000 items of unexploded ordnance, many artifacts of the First World War.

Diaries of search military-memorial expedition "International Memory Watch "Cheremkha-2016" ("The Carpathians-2016"). Day 6 (27.08.2016).

The morning of day 6 of military memorial-expedition "International Memory Watch "Cheremkha-2016" ("The Carpathians-2016") started a little later than as usual. All members of the expedition, rested and satisfied, woke up at 8:00. Because outdoors rose the sun of the last working day of the expedition. The last breakfast, the last meeting, invigorating cold shower with mountain water, the whole atmosphere slowly filled with sadness.

Tasks for today were less, but all of them were very responsible. The searchers had to finish search works and exhumation of previously found remains of soldiers, to put the cross at the cemetery of Austro-Hungarian soldiers which they have restored earlier, to conduct a memorial service on this occasion and huge cameral (fixation and inventory of the artifacts) and anthropological work (the examination of the remains and their preparation for reburial).

The cross was made of wood by the hands of our searchers. On it there was installed a memorial plaque of Union People's Memory NGO.

A part of searchers under the direction of the archaeologist and anthropologist began to sort out and clear away the remains of the soldiers. Then the remains were put in separate coffins to the deposition.

In the future they will be given for temporary storage to the local Board bodies before obtaining the permission for burial from the governments of Austria and Hungary.

All found artifacts were washed and fixed in the photo.

While the group of searchers worked in the deposition, the leadership along with a media team set up the equipment for photo- and video shooting, finally a quadcopter flew.

The memorial service started at 4 p.m. All searchers changed into the form and together with the priest and the choir climbed to the plain to the burial sites. The service was joined by local residents. 

During the service, father Stepan, the local priest, talked about the connection of generations, the destruction of life during the war, about the power of spirit and faith that can save a person.   

Probably, it's in such moments that one can see a single male tear. Single, but the most sincere. Every searcher, when finding a deceased soldier, embraces with his fate, trying to return him his name. And feelings will not disappear untill the case will not come to the end.       

For a split second it seemed that each of searchers, worrying about the fate of the deseased soldiers, had begun thinking about his own…

Half an hour later the memorial service came to the end. Everybody was coming back to the camp. The official closing ceremony of the expedition was waiting for us.

And again everybody for the nth and the last time in the same staff lined up in front of the headquarters. In the form, with smiles on the faces and a little sadness in the eyes.

On the Watch end all participants were congratulated by Yaroslav Alexandrovich Zhylkin, Chairman of the Board of Union People's Memory NGO. He noted the work of each of the search groups and awarded with paper of honour and commemorative medals "For participation in search expedition" all participants of the expedition.

Evgeniy Nikolayevich Kukoverov, Head of the expedition in the Carpathians, also said the words of thanks. He summed up the Watch results and wished all searchers even more discoveries.

There took place a solemn raise of the expedition's flag and the performance of the Ukrainian state anthem.

The last evening of "Cheremkha-2016" search expedition ended the next morning. At first there was a delicious festive supper. After a while everybody gathered around the campfire, sang songs, talked to one other, exchanged contacts and promises not to forget each other, the time spent here, and most importantly, his (her) calling. 

One should note that for 6 days of the expedition, the searchers managed to find and exhume the remains of 55 soldiers (preliminary, from them the remains of 2 soldiers of the Russian army and the remains of 53 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army), more than 1,000 items of unexploded ordnance, a lot of museum artifacts of the First World War.    

We are sure, the searchers will have a lot of work here.

So we don't say goodbye to the Carpathians, we say, "See you later! In 2017".


22 – 28 August, 2016 within the administrative boundaries of such urban-type settlements as Kosov, Verkhovyna, Vorokhta of Ivano-Frankivsk Region, urban-type settlement of Yasinia of Transcarpathian region and in the area of the ridge of mount Kukul NGO “Union “People's Memory” is holding a search military-memorial expedition “International Memory Watch “Cheremkha-2016” which is dedicated to the centenary of the battle for the Carpathian passes. The event is hold with the support of the State service of Ukraine for veterans of war and participants of anti-terrorist operation in partnership with Ivano-Frankovsk and Transcarpathian regional state administrations. 

Under the auspices of Union People's Memory NGO in search operations are involved: Obelisk AYOS, Obelisk SS (Glukhiv town), ARMHH Platzdarm, Search-Dnieper HSO (Dnieper City), Search-Dnieper HSO (Kryviy Rih City), Kakhovka MHC, Makovka-Brody LRHEA, Search-West NGO, Volyn antiquities, etc.

During the expedition there are planned works on search of unknown places of burial during World War I, studying and examination of the discovered objects, the exhumation of the remains of the deceased servicemen, a solemn burial of the remains in specially designated memorial areas, exchange of experience and strengthening cooperation of search organizations of Ukraine. Besides, there will be the restoration of the military cemetery at mount Kukul which is connected with the events of 1916. Besides Ukraine, the centenary of the World War I which is also called Great is celebrated by commemorative events in the countries whose citizens participated in the armed hostilities during the World War I (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland).

Additional information: +38 093 757 7565 or +38 050 974 83 41.

© D. P. Naydiuk

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