Mozdok, Russia

Mozdok (Osset. Мæzdæg) is a city in the Republic of North Ossetia - Alania. It is the second largest city in the republic. The name of the city comes from the Kabardino-Circassian "mez degu" (mez - "forest", degu - "dense"), and in translation means "dark forest". To date, most of the Terek's floodplain forests have been cleared.



The name of the city comes from the Kabardino-Circassian "mezdegu" (mez — "forest", degu — "deaf, dense"), and in translation means "deaf (dark) forest". By now, most of the Terek floodplain forests have been reduced.



Mozdok Fortress

In 1757, during the reign of Peter III, the Board of Foreign Affairs presented its opinion on "Ossetian affairs" to the Senate. The Board expressed a negative opinion about the resettlement of Ossetians, as this was in violation of the Belgrade Peace of 1739 with Turkey. The Board proposed a new project for the resettlement of Ossetians, according to which they were allocated land on the Russian border line. A fortress design was also prepared. The Board of Foreign Affairs proposed to name the fortress "Ossetian". According to him, the fortification, while remaining Russian, was supposed to consist of Ossetian Christians, immigrants from mountainous areas.

In 1759, one of the princes of Malaya Kabarda, Kurgoka Konchokin, was baptized (new name — Andrei Ivanov (Konchokin)) and moved with his baptized subjects to the Mezdoga tract. From among the displaced, mainly baptized Kabardians and Ossetians, the mountain Mozdok Cossack team was created, numbering slightly more than 100 people.

After the palace coup in the summer of 1762 and the accession of Catherine II, the government began to pursue a more decisive foreign policy in the North Caucasus. The Board of Foreign Affairs presented the report again. Now the Board has decided to name the fortress "according to the tract". According to the Board, the fortress was supposed to perform political and economic functions in addition to military ones. It was proposed to forgive the church and establish an Ossetian spiritual commission headed by Georgian Archimandrite Pakhomiy there. The Senate has prepared a report on the resettlement of Ossetians, Ingush and Kabardian owner Kurgoko Konchokin to the Mozdok tract. In October 1762, the Senate sent a report to Catherine II, which indicated the allocation of the Mozdok tract for the settlement of the baptized Malokabardinsky Prince Kurgoko Kanchokin and the need to build a fortress there. Catherine II instructed the commander of the Kizlyar fortress, Major General Nikolai Potapov, to strengthen the Mozdok tract on the Terek. The construction of the settlement and a small fort was initially entrusted to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Gak.

On July 17 (July 28), 1763, a detachment of Russian troops consisting of 287 regular troops and Cossacks under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Gak arrived at the Mozdok tract to establish a new fortress. As V. A. Potto noted, by this act Russia laid the "cornerstone of the conquest of the Caucasus." The construction of the fortress was carried out from 1763 to 1765. The main population of the forstadt at the fortress were Georgians, Circassians, Ossetians, Armenians and Greeks.

The Kabardians, who demanded to demolish the fortress from their land, more than once besieged and destroyed the military fortification under construction. However, the arriving detachments of Russian troops each time strengthened the fortress and complicated access to it by building ditches and canals.

In 1770 Mozdok became a city.

In 1770, 517 families of Volga Cossacks were resettled in the suburb, after which the Mozdok Cossack regiment of the Terek army was created. Among them was Yemelyan Pugachev, who was elected by the Cossacks as a military chieftain. Later, he was arrested by government officials and from 1771 to 1772 was held in Mozdok prison, from where he escaped.

In 1774, negotiations were held in Mozdok between representatives of the Empress and the elders of the Ossetians, as a result of which Ossetia became a subject of the Russian Empire.

In the 1780s, a highway called the Georgian Military Road was laid between Mozdok and Tiflis (through the Vladikavkaz fortification founded in 1784).

Mozdok was a small town, but it pulled together all the threads of Russia's ties with the peoples of the North Caucasus, and this was its main significance. For a long time, being the most advanced Russian outpost to the Caucasus Mountains, Mozdok attracted the local population who came here for the purpose of trade and in search of protection from the oppression of their princes or the revenge of blood relatives in their homeland. For this reason, in particular, Mozdok differs from other cities of the North Caucasus in its diverse national composition.

In 1778, Lieutenant General Alexander Suvorov visited Mozdok with an inspection of the Azov-Mozdok line of fortifications.



In 1785, the Caucasian Province was established. Mozdok fortress was elevated to the status of a city, which was determined by the center of one of its 6 counties — Mozdoksky.

According to 1803 data, 4097 people lived in Mozdok (without garrison troops), including Russians — 436, Armenians — 1411, Georgians — 811, Ossetians — 451, Circassians — 429. The population of the city lived in closed national communities and strictly adhered to their customs. The communities were governed by elected officials. It is no coincidence that the first school "for children of Ossetians and other mountain peoples" was opened in Mozdok in 1764, and the first Ossetian printing house was opened in 1770. The children of elders and city owners were accepted to the school.

By the end of the XVIII century, Mozdok had become a major trading and administrative fortress city along the entire so-called "Caucasian Military Line" — from Azov to Kizlyar. In 1794, there were 101 trading establishments in the fortress city. Residents of Cossack villages brought grain, flour, vegetables to Mozdok; Ossetians — cheese, butter, burkas, cattle, wool and other goods; mountain peoples — cattle, handicrafts and fruits; Georgians — fruits, tobacco, tea, wine, etc.

The first quarter of the XIX century is the heyday of Mozdok. Its trade, economic and cultural significance at this time goes beyond the Mozdoksky district. Due to its favorable geographical location, it is becoming one of the main economic and political centers of the North Caucasus.

Back in 1823, the Dubinin brothers, serfs, built one of the world's first oil refineries in Mozdok, where they began producing kerosene from oil. The Dubinin brothers' activities did not receive the necessary support, but the plant existed for about 20 years. During this time, he gave many thousands of pounds of kerosene, which was exported to different regions of Russia and even to Moscow.

Later, the largest soap-making, distillery and other factories in the North Caucasus at that time were built in Mozdok. Since 1799, Mozdok fairs have been widely known among the highlanders, their existence confirming the capitalist influence on the socio-economic life of the population of the Caucasus with its patriarchal and tribal way of life. At the fairs, one could meet Russian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Armenian and other merchants who traded a variety of industrial and agricultural goods. Here, more actively than anywhere else in the Caucasus, there was a trade in horses of different breeds.

The city, as an outpost in the Caucasus, attracted many advanced people of that time. Prominent figures of Russian culture A. S. Pushkin (his pen contains the lines: "I'm not a rider to Mozdok anymore"), L. N. Tolstoy, M. Y. Lermontov, A. S. Griboyedov and others stopped here on their way.

However, Mozdok's heyday was short-lived. Due to the laying of a shorter route from Russia to Georgia in 1825 (through the village of Yekaterinogradskaya), that is, due to the transfer of the route from the right bank of the Terek to the left, the economic importance of the settlement began to fall. This was also caused by the fact that some Ossetians moved from the mountains to the plain, and movement along the left bank of the Terek River became less dangerous. The change in the direction of the highway, and consequently the economic situation of the city, has significantly undermined trade, which was once the pride of Mozdok. In 1837, the Mozdok district chief wrote that the position of the city was very unfavorable, since "the great highway going to Tiflis had been moved."

From the mid-1830s Mozdok began to gradually decline. In 1835, the Mozdok fortress was officially abolished. Its garrison was stationed in other cities and fortresses of the Caucasus. In the middle of the XIX century, the decline of the city's population began to be observed. Some revival of its economic activity was observed in the 1860s, in the first years after the abolition of serfdom.

On November 29, 1866, the provincial town of Mozdok was transferred from the Stavropol province to the Tersk region.

In the 1870s, Mozdok was dealt a new economic blow by the construction of the Rostov-Vladikavkaz and Beslan—Petrovsky railway through Beslan. These roads finally left Mozdok aside from the main cargo flows. The old postal routes that passed through here have lost their former economic importance, since most of the goods now began to arrive directly at railway stations (Cool, etc.), bypassing Mozdok.

Since 1899 Mozdok has been the center of the Mozdok department of the Tersk region.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the city's population declined again from 16,456 in 1903 to 14,655 by 1913. By this time Mozdok had lost the importance of a city and became a settlement. At the same time, the improvement of Mozdok was characterized as "very primitive". The entrances and streets of the city were in a neglected state. There was no electricity, running water, sewerage, pavements, sidewalks. The city was illuminated by rare kerosene lanterns. Urban transport consisted of several cabs. The only bridge across the Terek was in disrepair. Education and health care were at a low level. There was only one real school in the city, two parochial schools, one medical center, and two paramedics. They all eked out a miserable existence.

In 1909, the Vladikavkaz Railway Company began technical research on the construction of the Cool — Mozdok — Kizlyar railway line with a transfer bridge to Gudermes.

In 1913, the railway was laid to Mozdok. The railway line (Cool — Mozdok — Gudermes) brought some revival to the life of Mozdok, but it could not significantly change the economy and culture of the city, since the First World War began in 1914.


The Soviet period

On 25.01/07.02.1918, under the leadership of S. M. Kirov, the First regional congress of the Terek peoples opened in Mozdok, which played a major role in strengthening Soviet power in the national regions of the North Caucasus. It was attended by 400 delegates. The provisional Terek People's Council was elected (Chairman — E. S. Bogdanov). Having been defeated, the Cossack elite left the congress. At the suggestion of S. M. Kirov, the Congress adopted a resolution to convene the second session of the Congress in Pyatigorsk.

On March 18, 1920, Mozdok finally became Soviet. In 1923, Mozdok was approved as a city within the Stavropol Territory.

During the pre-war five-year plans, a lot of economic activity unfolded here. By 1926, industrial production had been completely restored. In 1930, new bridges were built across the Terek and a narrow-gauge railway connecting Mozdok with Malgobek. In 1932, the RSU (Repair and construction department) was founded in the city and an oil loading ramp was built, the Mayak and Iskra brick factories were reconstructed, their total capacity increased to 30.5 million bricks per year. Small artisans and artisans were united in commercial cooperatives. The first small power plant with a capacity of 100-120 thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity per year was built. The city streets have received electric light. The trade turnover grew rapidly. The improvement of the city developed rapidly, the urban grove expanded, and the stadium opened. In 1936, a cultural park named after him was laid out on the site of Aldatov Square. Kirov and the greening area of the city was created.

During the years of the pre-war five-year plans, the cultural level of the city has significantly increased. A number of new schools were built, a network of kindergartens expanded, a 100-bed hospital and a city polyclinic were opened. Despite all these achievements, Mozdok in the pre-war years still did not reach the level of an industrial city and cultural center that it had before.


The Great Patriotic War

On July 25, 1942, Wehrmacht units launched an offensive from bridgeheads in the lower reaches of the Don. The offensive was led by Army Group "A" (commander — Field Marshal V. List). The Soviet troops, unable to contain the blow, retreated to the south and southeast. On August 23, 1942, Mozdok was occupied by Nazi troops. The occupation lasted four months.

On January 1, 1943, Soviet troops launched an offensive operation. On the same day, the German command, seeking to avoid encirclement of its troops in the North Caucasus, began to withdraw them under the cover of strong rearguards from the Mozdok area. The offensive of the Northern Group of Troops of the Transcaucasian Front did not develop. On January 3, Soviet units began to pursue the retreating Wehrmacht units. On January 3, 1943, Mozdok was occupied by Soviet troops.

Mozdok suffered a lot during the occupation period. The total damage caused to the economy and industry of the city, according to the calculations of the emergency district commission, amounted to more than 81 million rubles, including housing and communal services - over 25.5 million rubles.

It began with the restoration of industry and urban economy. Already in 1943, all previously existing enterprises were operating in the city.

In the spring of 1944, Mozdok was transferred from the Stavropol Territory to the North Ossetian ASSR. On March 1, 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree "On the inclusion of the city of Mozdok in the Stavropol Territory into the North Ossetian ASSR." The reason for this decision was stated in the document: "To satisfy the request of the Council of People's Commissars of the North Ossetian ASSR and the regional Committee of the CPSU (b) to include the city of Mozdok with adjacent settlements in North Ossetia." The city itself became the administrative center of the newly formed Mozdok district as part of the North Ossetian ASSR. In order to ensure the connection of the Mozdok district with the rest of the territory of the North Ossetian ASSR, the eastern part of the Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR was also annexed to it.


Post-war years

In the post-war years, a number of important new industrial enterprises were built in Mozdok: a dairy, a bakery and others. The economic infrastructure began to develop at a significant pace. In 1959, the construction organization of the Selstroy system was established, and the number of vehicles increased.

In 1960, the Tersko-Kumsky Canal was laid 5-6 km north of Mozdok, the construction of which had a positive impact on the city's economy, as enterprises providing the construction and operation of the canal (PMK-2 and PMK-5, automobile industry) were located in it.


Recent history

In 1995, the 429th Motorized Rifle Regiment was stationed in the city.

Currently, Mozdok is the third largest and most populous city in the republic and a major center of the food industry.



The city is located on the left bank of the Terek River, in the central part of the Mozdok district. It is located 95 km (by road) and 84 km (as the crow flies) north of the city of Vladikavkaz.

The area of the urban settlement is 17.50 km2. From west to east, the city has a length of about 6 km, from south to north about 6.5 km.

The city is located in the flat forest-steppe zone of the republic. The terrain consists of relatively flat areas. The height fluctuations are insignificant. In the southern part of the city there is a chain of bumpy hills. The average altitude in the city is about 130 meters above sea level.

The coastal zone of the Terek River is occupied by riverine forests protected by the State Forest Fund. To the south of the city in the valley of the Terek River is Victory Park (oset. Uælachiza bælasdon). To the south-east of the city stretches the largest forest in the area — the Alborovsky forest (oset. Alborty bælas).

The hydrographic network is mainly represented by the Terek River. Dammed lakes are located south of the city in the valley of the Terek River. To the north of the city there are canals — Tersko-Kumsky and its branch Burunny. To the north-west of the city there is a lake — Karskoye.



The city is located in a semi-arid steppe climate zone (Cfa according to the Köppen climate classification). Summers are hot, and temperatures in July and August rise to +36°C and above. Winter is mild with average January temperatures around +1 °C...-3°C. Stable snow cover is not formed every year. Most often, snow falls for several days and melts in a short time. It is extremely rare for frosts to -20 °C, the city's infrastructure is not designed for such temperatures. The average annual precipitation is about 550 mm. In the period from April to July, there are heavy rains with hail, in August, dry winds blowing from the Caspian lowland are frequent.



Food industry enterprises: winery, meat processing plant, bakery
Pulp and paper industry: cardboard factory
Meat processing enterprise "Bogachev's Meat Yard"
Railway station
Curtain factory — Mozdok Patterns (JSC)
Biopreparation Plant
The garment factory
In the district, the main role in agriculture is played by grain cultivation, viticulture, melon farming, and beekeeping. Currently, the economy is in complete stagnation or degradation.



The highways of regional importance "R-262" Stavropol — Mineralnye Vody — Mozdok — Kizlyar — Krainovka and "R-296" Mozdok — Chermen — Vladikavkaz intersect in the city.
The Mozdok railway station of the North Caucasian Railway is located on the territory of the city.

Public transport and taxis run inside the city.

Intracity — buses (3 routes):
№ 1, № 2 (102), № 3 (103), № 4 (104), № 5, № 6 (106), № 7, № 8 (108), № 9, № 10, № 111, № 112, № 113, № 114, № 115.


Aviation base

n the north-west of Mozdok, in the immediate vicinity of the city, there is a military airfield (strategic aviation base of the Russian Air Force), which was actively used during the first Chechen war and the anti-terrorist operation in Syria.



12 secondary schools,
20 kindergartens,
Mozdok branch of Vladikavkaz Mountain State Agrarian University,
Glinka Children's Music School,
Art School
Mozdok Museum of Local Lore
Mozdok Children's Art School,
Children's and Youth Sports School No. 1
Children's and Youth sports School No. 2
Mozdok centralized library system, which includes 4 urban and 21 rural libraries.
Mozdok Agricultural and Industrial College
Mozdok Mechanical and Technological college "Quantorium"



The Russian Orthodox Church
Assumption of St. Nicholas Church (oset. Madymair of the Dzuar Family). The former temple of the Armenian community
Chapel in honor of the Holy Great Martyr and healer Panteleimon at the district hospital. Chapel in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. It was built in 2004 on the territory of the hospital that was blown up in 2003

There are two mosques in the city

Presbyterian Christian Church
Church-parish in Mozdok

Evangelical Christians
Church-parish in Mozdok