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Description of Izhevsk
Izhevsk is the 20th largest city in the Russian
Federation, a large administrative, industrial, commercial,
scientific, educational and cultural center of the Volga region and
the Urals, the capital of the Udmurt Republic. Forms the urban
district of the city of Izhevsk.
Izhevsk is famous defense
and engineering industries. He bears the unofficial title of the
“arms capital” of the Russian Federation, and the title of the city
of labor glory. In 2010, Izhevsk won the 3rd place in the Rosstroy
contest “The most comfortable city of Russia” in the I category.
History of Izhevsk
The pioneer settlements on the territory
where modern Izhevsk now stands were founded by Udmurts in the 5th
century. There were two fortified settlements situated on the banks
of the Karlutka River. Later, this territory joined the Khanate of
Kazan. In 1552, Russia conquered the Khanate and, in 1582, Ivan the
Terrible conferred the lands by the Karlutka and Izh Rivers on
Bagish Yaushev, a Tatar morza. The quit-rent had been imposed on the
Udmurt population ever since. The Yaushevs owned the land until the
reign of Peter the Great.
September 15, 1757, Count Pyotr Shuvalov, owner of seven factories
in the Urals, bought land in the Kama Region and got permission from
Empress Elizabeth to build three ironworks there. In those days,
ironworks were powered with steam, and wood was the only heat energy
source. For that reason it was decided to build one of the plants on
the forest-rich land near the Izh River and make iron bands and
anchors of cast iron here. Another ironworks was built on the Votka
In April 10, 1760, serfs from neighboring villages and
artisans from other Shuvalov's plants began dam construction under
the direction of Alexey Moskvin, a mining engineer and a trustee of
Shuvalov. This date is considered to be Izhevsk's foundation date.
Construction proceeded at a slow pace. The serfs were unhappy with
being taken from their villages, with arduous duties and regular
physical punishment. As a consequence, rebellions were often
In 1762, Shuvalov died. The factories went to his
son Andrey. In accordance with the ukase of Catherine the Great
dated November 15, 1763, all Shuvalov's ironworks including one in
Izhevsky Zavod lapsed to the Crown for debts. Since that time, it
has been under the authority of the Collegium of Mining, an
institution in charge of the mining industry in Russia. The
ironworks on the Izh and Votka Rivers were called Kama Plants.
In 1763, construction of the dam and ironworks was completed and
the first bloomery iron was smelted. As a result of the dam
construction, one of the biggest reservoirs in Europe was formed.
Near the ironworks, the settlement was built. This settlement was
named Izhevsky Zavod, meaning "the plant on the Izh" in Russian.
First time, the ironworks made palm-wide iron bands from three
to six meters long. These bands were supplied to Moscow for the
Kremlin renewal. The iron from Izhevsky Zavod was used for
construction in St. Petersburg.
October 1773, the news of the popular revolt against Catherine II on
the Yaik and the manifestos of Yemelyan Pugachev reached Izhevsky
Zavod. The Cossak passing himself off as Peter III proclaimed
liberty for serfs and called for killing nobles and factory owners.
This had the backing of the serfs and artisans. So Colonel Feodor
Wenzel, the manager of the Goroblagodat and Kama plants, and Aleksey
Alymov, the manager of Izhevsky Zavod ironworks, were forced to
escape to Kazan.
On January 1, 1774, a detachment of the
Yemelyan Pugachev's rebel army came into the town. The rebels
destroyed the ironworks, burned its office buildings, and wrecked
the houses of the managers. They demolished the food depot and
distributed the food to the people. The ironworks money was sent to
the staff of the rebel army, near Ufa. The serfs were freed. Some of
them joined the detachment. Iron production stopped for a while. In
April 1774, Pugachev's army fought losing battles everywhere and was
forced to leave Izhevsky Zavod. The managers returned and cowed
serfs and artisans into submission, forcing them to pledge
allegiance to Catherine the Great. A list of workers who had joined
the rebel army was compiled for future reprisal.
In spite of
opposition from the forces of Wenzel and Alymov Brothers, Pugachev's
army occupied the town again on June 27, 1774. The crowds hailed
Yemelyan Pugachev. He dealt with the complaints of serfs and workers
for two days. Forty-two persons, including Wenzel and Alymovs, were
executed. On June 29, Pugachev left Izhevsky Zavod and set out for
Kazan. Many workmen of Izhevsky Zavod joined his detachments and
fought selflessly in last battles of the Rebellion, which was mostly
crushed by early September 1775. In spite of defeat of the rebel
army and execution of its leader, separate bands of rebels continued
resistance. New managers of the ironworks suppressed serfs and
brought back artisans by force, cracking down on the bands of
The ironworks was restored and began to function by
the end of 1775. The former order was reinstated. The forced
laborers weren't interested in boosting productivity and the
practice fell into decay by the 19th century.
Arms factory foundation
In 1800, Emperor Paul I ordered an
arms factory built in the Urals in view of a mounting threat from
Napoleonic France. Andrew Deryabin, a mining engineer, chief of
Goroblagodat, Perm, Kama and Bogoslov plants, chose the site for the
new plant. He saw several places in the Perm and Vyatka governorates
and concluded that the most suitable place for plant foundation was
Izh Zavod. It occurred to him to turn the ironworks into the armory.
Alexander I approved of Deryabin's project and construction
began on the arms factory building on June 10, 1807, considered the
year of Izhevsk's second birth.