In the north of Armenia, about…

In the north of Armenia, about 20 km west of Stepanavan, there is a Russian village of Kuibyshevo (Urasar), about which even the ubiquitous Google does not know. The village was founded in the middle of the 19th century as a military garrison of the Russian army and recruits with families from the central part of Russia immediately began to move here. As you remember, military service in Russia lasted 25 years and today this scheme would be called « contract ». The goal was to consolidate Russian power in Transcaucasia, especially in the areas adjacent to the border with the Ottoman Empire.
A very unusual « military » church has been preserved in the village, as well as several now abandoned barracks and many traditional Russian rural houses. However, there are no Russians left in the village these days, most of them left the village and Armenia as a whole shortly after the Spitak earthquake. The second wave of Russians left in 1992-1994 and as far as I understand, today only Armenians live in the village, and they are also gradually leaving. All this is of course sad.You can get from Yerevan to Sevan quickly along the main highway, but it’s boring! It’s much more fun to choose another road leading through Arzni, Bjni and Hrazdan. There is a beautiful gorge, hot springs gushing directly from the ground and an ancient fortress.

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