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. While an official report indicated only 146 fatalities, a recent historical account estimates 1,500.
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. No public remembrance activities were allowed.
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.