by Konstantin MERINOV, Editor-in-Chief, Ugreshskye Vesti Newspaper, Dzerzhinsky
One of the country's leading R&D institutions-the SOYUZ Federal Center of Dual Technologies-is located within a stone's throw from Moscow-right behind the Ring Motorway which runs around the capital. It was on that historical site, called Ugresha (from the Old Slavonic word meaning "warming") that the Muscovy Prince Dmitry Donskoi founded the Monastery of St. Nicholas in the grateful memory of his victory over the Tatar hordes of Khan Mamai in 1380.
The historic monastery was destined to have a truly eventful and dramatic history. Jailed there was the schismatic leader, Archpriest Avvakum (1620/1621-1682) and it was used in the Time of Troubles as the residence of the notorious False Dimitry II (?- 1610) - pretender to the Russian throne and Ms accomplice Marina Mnishek. Later still the cloister was used as a jail for the participants of the "Copper" (Medny) (1662) and then "Streletsky" (1698) (of the streltsy palace guard) riots. The monastery was an established place of pilgrimages of Russian tsars. After the Socialist Revolution of 1917 the place was chosen for a collective farm called Labor Commune named after Felix Dzerzhinsky (the head of the Soviet Secret Police). Over the years the workers' settlement continued to grow and received the status of a town, named Dzerzhinsky.
The 1930s saw a dramatic industrial boom of the place which was chosen for factories of industrial ventilators and electrical equipment, radio equipment and a factory of machine tools which were all surrounded by residential quarters for the workers. Also built in Dzerzhinsky in those years was a sports stadium, a workers' club and technical schools.
1940 marked an important turning point in the history of Dzerzhinsky. It was chosen as the site of an ammunition factory which produced shells for the 82 mm and 120 mm mortars and shells for the famous Soviet Katyusha multi-rail rocket launchers. ... Read more