Return home. Photo report from Starobelsk

At the end of the 16th century, the territory of modern Starobelsk began to be settled by runaway peasants and Cossacks from Right-bank Ukraine. The tsarist government issued allotments to fugitives in exchange for patrol service. This is how the Belskaya Sloboda appeared.

Stella at the entrance to the city
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

The LPR People’s Militia threw out the Ukrainian army and the nationalist battalions from Starobelsk on March 2, 2022. Until its liberation, the town had been the fiefdom of the punitive Nazi armed units of the Aidar battalion (organization banned in the Russian Federation).

Local residents continue to share their stories about the “rampant” activities of the Ukrainian Nazis. Several remaining “monuments” dedicated to “fighters for the independence of Ukraine” also speak of this.

Only the foundations of one of these monuments remain. On this foundation, there was a strangely shaped stone, painted in a poisonous blue and yellow color.

The foundation of a monument
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

The second was covered with a cover by the administration of Starobelsk. At the same time, the installation reminiscent of the presence of the Kiev regime in this city were neatly separated from the black granite foundation.

Covered installation
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

As May 9 approaches, the liberated town is painted in its natural colors. The bas-relief on the Taras Shevchenko House of Culture, saved from marauding hands, has been restored and painted red.

Taras Shevchenko House of Culture
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

Preparations for the celebration of May 9 in Starobelsk are in full swing. Flowerbeds are being planted, monuments are being restored, one of which is a monument dedicated to the heroes of the revolution. It is called “Stonemasons of the New World”.

Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution “Stonemasons of the New World”
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

But the main attraction of the city, which is now undergoing all the stages of restoration, is a monument dedicated to the first Starobelsk partisan regiment.

The history of this partisan regiment goes back to 1917. Then, at the invitation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic [a Ukrainian state declared by the Ukrainian nationalists after the Great October Socialist Revolution. Its independence was purely nominal, and the government was dependent on the Central Powers. Read also Chapter I of Ukrainism – translator’s note], the Austro-Hungarian boots stepped on the Russian soil.

On April 26, 1918, when the Germans occupied Svatovo, the Ukrainian 5th Army under the command of Kliment Voroshilov was forced to retreat to Millerovo. At the end of April, a small group of Germans entered Starobelsk. On the second day the main units of the Austro-Hungarian army came, and in the evening there appeared the detachment of the “Hetman Skoropadsky’s State Army”, so they became the masters of life in this district.

Arrests, terror and mass looting began. An unbearable tax was imposed on the local population. Every day cars with food took away flour, grain, meat, eggs, sunflower oil to the railway station in Svatovo. Horses and cattle were herded in herds.

After such barbaric treatment, the villagers rebelled and formed a partisan detachment.

Monument to the first Starobelsk partisan regiment
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

From the first days of the Great Patriotic War residents of Starobelsk built their lives the front-line way – they fulfilled military orders and worked 13-15 hours a day.

On July 13, 1942 Starobelsk was occupied by Nazi invaders. They shot all the underground communists in the city, but the residents of Starobelsk did not surrender.

About 4,000 local residents heroically fought on the fronts, 1,018 people fell in the fight against the invaders, and 894 returned disabled. More than 2,000 soldiers of the Red Army who were born in this area were awarded state decorations for their heroism and courage.

To the fallen during the Great Patriotic War
Vyacheslav Yakovenko © Rossa Primavera News Agency

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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