Insignia of Chuguyev

  Chuguev is accepted to have been founded in 1638. It was at that time that a numerous Cossacks detachment that had rebelled against Polish oppression lead by hetman Yakov Ostryanitsa was defeated in one of the battles and consequently fled to the left-bank part of Ukraine. The Belgorod voivod made them settle in Chuguev and assigned them the task of building fortifications to protect southern borders against Crimean Tartars' incursions. In 1641, 400 strelets and Cossacks were moved here, and later in 1696, fifteen hundred Kalmyks. Among the people that were moved here convicts, criminals sentenced for hard labour, Prussian prisoners of war (captured during the Seven Years' War). Chuguev citizens were dubbed accordingly that is using a term meaning "people gathered from different places".

The people were engaged in farming, cattle-breeding, fishing, beekeeping. A "king's vineyard" was set up over the territory of 5450 hectares. There were vast mulberry plantations around Chuguev at that time. The finest silk woven from the silken threads of Chuguev cocoons were supplied to the Tsar's court. Honey and wax from the state run apiaries where Chuguev Cossacks worked were sent to Moscow. Near Chuguev, in Pechenegy, Tsar's hunting lands were set up with such animals as deer, roe deer, wild boar, bears. Chuguev made wares - phaetons, carriages, coaches - were popular in Moscow and the new northern capital St Petersburg. Really talented people ran their business on the generous Chuguev soil.

From 1817 till 1858, the town was the centre of six military districts organised under order of Alexander I. The Chuguev regiment was billeted here. The Repins family were part of the military citizens, too. The future great artist's father - Yefim Vasilyevich Repin served a private soldier of Chuguev uhlan regiment. He excellently carried his duties, had battle honours, took part in campaigns in Persia, Turkey, Moldavia, in the Caucasus, in the Crimea. This was how 27 years of military service had gone by. The whole burden of responsibility for the household was on the mother - Tatyana Stepanovna - a strong-willed and clever woman with noted for her kindness. During the time of military campaigns of the regiment she bore the brunt of carrying out the necessary duties, sewing commissioned coats, bringing up four children. Now there is a monument on her grave made according to the sketches of Ilya Efimovich Repin.

Since it had been made the centre of military settlements, Chuguev's general outlook and layout started rapidly changing. Vineyards, apple and cherry orchards were cut down, clay-walled huts with thatched roofs were knocked down. Officers' mansions, warehouses, a schools for military staff's children were erected in their place in Dvoryanskaya street. In Soldatskaya, Nikolayevskaya, Nikitinskaya streets new one storey stone houses for military staff sprang up like mushrooms. They were so much alike with their three windows looking out onto the street and their triangular pediments that as I. E. Repin used to say ironically even pigeons often made mistakes identifying the household. The houses (every single house a defence position) were joined together by brick walls that had recesses underneath which could serve as embrasures. In one these houses where the Repins used to live the re is now a Repin museum. The opening ceremony was held in 1969, during the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the great artist's birthday. The are a number of authentic works by the great artist on exhibition in this museum, some memorable rarities. The parlour of the Repins house was reconstructed. The museum gives the idea of what the life of the military citizens was like.

Gvardeyskaya street leads to the central town square. There used to be a palace behind the park, where the Tsar would stay on his visits in order to attend military parades. At this point the hill goes steeply down to the watercourse of the Seversky Donents river. From the top of the hill there is a magnificent view over the blue line of the river, the green of the vast forests of the Chuguev area. Far to the East one can barely see the buildings of the village Malinovka, the very place that the popular operetta movie tells about. This movie by B. A. Alexandrov is called "The Wedding in Malinovka". The script was created by L. A. Yukhvid, an author from Kharkov, in 1937.

In 1819, the central square of Chuguev became the site of reprisals against the citizens of the military settlements, who dared rebel against the tyranny and purposeless soldier drilling. The rebellion spread like fire over the territory with population of more than 28 thousand people, the military settlements of Volchansk, Zmiyov, Bazalevka, Grakov, Pechenegy, and was threatening to spread further over other Russian provinces. The government troops ruthlessly suppressed the rebellion, 2003 participants of the rebellion were arrested, including officers, 257 people were subjected to the lethal punishment of 12 000 rod lashes. The reprisals were carried out by none other than Arakcheyev. But the spirit of the rebels was not crushed; the parents who parted with their children going to execution entreated them not to beg for mercy. The events in Chuguev were indirectly included in the plot of Gogol's work "Taras Bulba".

In the northern part of the square situated a strict three storey building. It's formal purpose is emphasised by smooth white walls, small ledges, the absence of stucco-works. It was corps, divisional, and district headquarters of the military settlements. Later it became the military topography college, where I. E. Repin used to study. Right next to the building there is a tower with a clock and a landing that provides a panoramic view of the whole town. It is interesting to note that the general building schemes for the military settlements were developed by well known Russian architects V. P. Stasov and A. P. Brullov. Many of the buildings are now listed buildings. The most interesting of the buildings of that time is Pokrovsky cathedral situated in the western part of the square. On the southernmost end of the square there is a two storey building - an example of Russian classicism in architecture. Gvardeyskaya street which begins from the square is a market stalls site surrounded by a gallery behind a 17 arch arcade. The street goes down to Krasnych Bortsov square. There is a Culture palace building in the square where there is an arts school named after I. E. Repin. Next to the Palace there is a bronze Repin bust - a beautiful monument by the outstanding sculptor M. G. Manizer (erected in 1956).

Since the railroad was constructed in the 19th century, industrial establishments begin to emerge in Chuguev, the workforce begins to increase. A wheel-drive plant was transferred here from one of the Baltic states. The workers of this plant became a nucleus of a bolshevism organisation in 1916. On 16 December 1917, communist power was established in Chuguev. One of the streets is named after B. P. Zhadanovsky, who was a well known revolutionary. During the Great Patriotic War the population were defending their native town, displaying great heroism. About 6,000 people went to fight in the war, and more than two thirds of them fell in battle. Hundreds were given orders and medals. Three people - V. N. Balakin, A. I. Zinchenko, V. P. Komendant - were given the titles of Soviet Union Heroes. Four people - M. P. Zozula, V. M. Mishchenko, M. I. Fursov, V. I. Litvinov - chevaliers of complete Orders of Glory. This is why one of the central streets of the town was called Gvardeyskaya. The Chuguev citizens memorialised the defendants of the country and their native town by building a memorial site in the park of Glory.

By the 1980's Chuguev became an important industrial, transport, and cultural centre. Here were functioning plants producing high precision equipment, fuel equipment, the "Hydrozhelezobeton" plant, and one of the oldest industrial establishments of the town - the furniture works. A slaughterhouse, a dairy, big hothouse farms, farm complexes supplied Kharkov with their produce.

The 1990's were a period of radical change in economic life of the town, accompanied by decline in production.

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