Upon instruction of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, the Orel Regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia has carried out a preliminary investigation based on declassified materials provided by the Orel Regional Directorate of the Federal Security Service. Its results provided grounds for initiation of a criminal case into shooting of civilians.
According to the investigation, as a result of an inspection of the scene of the incident on a site in a forest near the village of Peshkovo, Znamensky District, Oryol Region, twenty-eight human skeletons with damage to bone remains, including in the form of gunshot wounds, were found and seized, which indicates that the victims were violently killed in a generally dangerous way. According to archival data, during the Great Patriotic War, a German punitive detachment was created, commanded by a former Red Army officer nicknamed "Hetman" who surrendered to captivity. Together with him, several other former Red Army soldiers entered the detachment. According to the information received, they directed the executions of civilians in the villages of the Znamensky District of the Orel Region in 1942, including the elderly, women and children.
The Nazis occupied of the Orel Region during the Great Patriotic War from October 1941 to August 1943. During this time, according to incomplete data, the Nazis killed over 80 thousand civilians - women, children and the elderly. Over 200 thousand people were deported to hard labor in Germany.
At present, investigative and procedural activities aimed to collect and consolidate evidence, are in progress.