History of Cherkassy

Cherkassy municipal arms Cherkassy - is one of the most picturesque Ukrainian city with the population over 300 thousand people; it is located approximately in 180 kilometers to the south from Kiev, on the right bank of Dnepro. It is the administrative, economic, scientific and cultural centre of Cherkassy region.

The territory of present Cherkassy was populated 40 000 years ago during paleolith epoch.

In VII - III centuries B.C. the most part of steppes of Dnepro region were occupied by Scythians. On those lands of Dnepro region the kernel of east Slavic tribes was appeared, who formed Kiev Russia.

The first mention of Cherkassy refers to 1394 when it was strengthened by the city on southern boundaries of Kiev land. In due course the edge became a part of Old Russian power, an original advanced post on the way of aggressive nomads which made attacks from southern steppes on those Slavic lands.

In XIV - first half of XVII century population of Cherkassy suffered from the Tatar-Mongolian invasion, battled against the Turkish-Tatar yoke, against oppression of the Lithuanian feudal lords and Polish szlyachta.

Before liquidation of Kiev princedom (in 1471) Cherkassy was included into its structure, and after liquidation - in structure of Kiev voivodship, the Great Lithuanian princedom. From XV century, the city became the centre of Cherkassy starostvo. There was constantly a head, the deputy of the big Lithuanian prince, and after Ljubljana Union of 1569 - the Polish king.

In XV century in Cherkassy region there were first settlements of Cossacks, and Cherkassy became their powerful strengthening in struggle against Polish szlyachta, attacks of Turks and Crimean Tatars. (They were called cherkassy under the city name round which Cossacks lodged, however, in Russian documents of XVI-XVII centuries all Ukrainians were named cherkassy). For protection against enemies, Cherkassy castle was built. In the beginning of XVI century, the castle was strengthened. In 1532, it helped to sustain a 30-days siege of Crimean horde. In 1549, the new more powerful castle was erected. It was on a high mountain near Dnepro. The city was built round the castle. It had also strengthening: a jail with two gates.

Cherkassy citizens actively participated in peasant-Cossack revolts of the end of XVI - first half of XVII century. In May 1593 near Cherkassy, severe fight of insurgents group under the guidance of K.Kosinsky took place. Cherkassy region played considerable role in liberation war of Ukrainian people against Polish magnates in 1648-1654 . Documents and material exhibits of museum of local lore tell about events in edge during liberation struggle under the guidance Bohdan Khmelnitskiy. Cossack flag and a copy of first letter of Bohdan Khmelnitskiy written in Cherkassy on June 8, 1648 to Russian tsar Alexey Mihayovich with the request for reunion of Ukraine with Russia are reserved.

Under the Andrusovsky contract (1667) Cherkassy again shifted away to Poland again. In condition of national oppression exasperation and strengthening of feudal dependence, the peasant revolts were spread out. Peasants' march-off against Polish-szlyachta oppressions in Cherkassy region, known as "Koliiyvshina" was one of large revolts of XVIII century in Right-bank Ukraine.

In 1793, the city became a district city of Russian empire, its Kiev province that positively affected the city development. The considerable industrial enterprises started to arise; the greatest were tobacco and tissue factories. The trade reached appreciable development in the middle of XIX century. Every year once a week, there were seven fairs, and markets in a city. The cargo turn of landing stage on Dnepro grew. Cherkassy became one of the main reloading points of wood who was alloyed from northern areas across Dnepro. Economy development promoted city growth. Building of Cherkassy was conducted under the plan of 1815 which provided creation of quarters with direct streets.

In second half of XIX century, after reform of 1861, building of railways in Cherkassy the industry started to develop; there were, in particular, sugar refining plant, mechanical factory, some tobacco factories.

When in Russia powerful revolutionary march-offs began, in March 1905 workers of Uman printing houses, bakeries of iron factory striked; in May - June workers of Shpola and Cherkassy sugar factories.

In February 1917, bourgeois-democratic revolution won in the country. Natives of edge (A.Homenko, Y.Shkyrya, I.Zaslavsky) took part in struggle against autocracy in Petersburg. In May - June 1917 the work of Bolshevist organizations became more active in Cherkassy region.

In November 1922, Smelyansky sugar factory started up, one year later ten more sugar factories started to let out production.

During the Great Patriotic War Cherkassy were occupied by the enemy for 834 days. For that time Hitlerites caused huge damage to the city, having destroyed almost all industrial enterprises and over 3 000 buildings. From the middle of 1941, territory of Cherkassy region became an arena of bloody battles. Defensive fights on that front site were conducted by 26-th, 6-th, 38-th, 12-th army, and also by Dneprovsky group of Pinsky military flotilla. Commanders of armies and Dneprovsky military flotilla were: lieutenant general F.Kostenko, I.Muzychenko, D.Rjabyshev, major general P.Ponedelin, rear admiral D. Rogatchyov. 

On December 14, 1943, Cherkassy was released from fascist aggressors by armies of 2-nd Ukrainian front after fierce fights.

Restoration of the destroyed economy began. In the end of 1949 industrial enterprises of Cherkassy reached a pre-war level of production.

Modern Cherkassy - is one of the most considerable industrial centers of Ukraine where are developed mechanical engineering, chemical, easy, the food-processing industry are developed.

In Cherkassy there are three higher educational institutions (Cherkassy State University of Bohdan Khmelnitskiy, Engineer- technology Institute, Business Management Institute), a number of average special educational institutions, design-research establishments, 2 theatres, radio-and a television centre, some big libraries, museums, sports constructions.

Names of great Ukrainian poet T.Shevchenko, outstanding Ukrainian actress M.Zankovetskaya, Ukrainian playwright I.Karpenko-Karuy, Russian writer K.Paustovsky, Ukrainian composer K.Stetsenko, Ukrainian poet and the public figure P.Tychiny and many others are connected with Cherkassy. There lived and created Les Homin, poet Vasil Simonenko.

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