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Relatives of WWII victims receive capsules with Kara Sea water
© RIA Novosti. Valery Melnikov

Relatives of WWII victims receive capsules with Kara Sea water

The administration of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area has presented the relatives of sailors and passengers of the BD-5 (White Sea-Dikson) convoy that was sunk by a German U-boat during World War II in the Arctic with capsules containing water from the depths of the Kara Sea, the Area Governor's press service reports. The meeting with ten descendants of the deceased sailors was held at the Governor's reception office.

"Relatives of the convoy's crew and passengers received capsules filled with water from the depths of the Kara Sea where their ancestors perished. The relatives presented administration area Governor Dmitry Kobylkin with their valuable personal effects that will be displayed at a museum," the press service said in a statement.

In 2012, the autonomous area supported the idea of locating the final resting places of the sunken Arctic convoy vessels. "Over the years, we have conducted a unique underwater expedition on the bottom of the Kara Sea, we have located the common grave, identified the bodies of the deceased, set up a chapel on Bely Island, buried the human remains with military honors and perpetuated the memory of these participants in historical events," the press service statement explained.

"It was long believed that no hostilities had been conducted in the Yamal Peninsula and in the Arctic, and that the entire Ural Federal District was located far behind the frontline. We have rediscovered these unknown episodes of our glorious regional history with the help of real patriots, people who feel responsible for preserving the memory and history and who regard this as an affair of honor," area Governor Dmitry Kobylkin said at the meeting.  

The BD-5, convoy consisting of the steamship Marina Raskova, the icebreaker/steamship Alexander Sibiryakov and three minesweepers, was sunk in August 1944 60 nautical miles from Bely Island. The German attack claimed 378 lives.