Tarusa has the status of a natural and architectural reserve, but this cannot protect it from the encroachments of the "aliens".
Lyudmila Butuzova, Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil
Unlike other scenic spots around Moscow, Tarusa is lucky. The natural landscapes of the city and its environs, which inspired the 19th century artists Polenov and Borisov-Musatov, remained not only in paintings. “And not in Tarusa itself, of course, is a delight for those who come here, - writer Yuri Kazakov explained the phenomenal attraction of these places. - And the beauty is all in nature around her. The city on the high bank of the Oka was inscribed in the surrounding landscape by the architect Nikitin back in the 18th century. The town planning plan of Tarusa was approved by the Empress Catherine the Great herself in 1777. The city was built from the Oka upward along the central axis from west to east. The queen singled out a meadow on the opposite bank as a specific sight of the city. The Oka embankment forms the border of the city, further the river, meadows and forests. For 240 years, the species has not changed.
But the city has been in a fever for the past couple of months. The “Astro Energo Sintez Institute” aura cleansing office has set eyes on Tarusa . In Moscow, she is engaged in bioenergy practices - for money she charges the weakened energy of clients for success. I planned to visit Tarusa with a “health-improving project in the context of ecology and environmental protection”. The city administration was not initiated into these plans at all, so as not to receive a full rebuff ahead of time.
To implement this project, General Director of Astro Energo Sintez Karen Gevorkyan decided to involve State Duma Deputy Nikolai Valuev. Why the choice fell on Valuev, Gevorkyan himself cannot explain. But back in February, he sent Valuev an appeal with a request to help “in transferring a plot of 30 hectares of agricultural land to the category of“ recreational activities ”. The applicant indicated that it was a site “occupied by“ hay-making ”on the banks of the Oka River, south of the ZOUIT border, which the company would like to“ improve ”with commercial properties. The first appeal remained unanswered, the deputy was not up to it. But Gevorkian did not give up and sent his request again, providing it with a more detailed description of his love for the environment.
This message reached the addressee, and at the end of July Deputy Valuev sent a deputy request on his letterhead to the governor of the Kaluga region Shapsha and attached Gevorkyan's letter. Now they learned about this plan both in Kaluga and in Tarusa.
- They climb and climb, - Ruslan Smolensky, the acting head of the Tarusa district administration, is outraged. - You are at the door, they are at the window. Who offers bribes, who intimidates with connections... I never get tired of being surprised: seemingly cultured people: they travel abroad, admire the safety of ancient cities, their attitude to nature. They will get to Tarusa - their ancient city, Oka, picturesque expanses - and only one thing is in mind: oh, how much empty space you have - let's build it up. We sew it off, regardless of ranks and titles.
The Kaluga governor sent a request to Tarusa. The answer was not long in coming.
"The right bank of the Oka River, on which the site is located, is part of the city of Tarusa, and any interference with the landscape that has developed over the centuries will have a negative impact on the visual perception of panoramas from the left bank, the natural landscape of the territory, its ecological status and historical and cultural uniqueness," wrote in his refusal, Roman Smolensky.
Enterprising cleaners of human auras decided to chop off 30 hectares of state land, on which, according to the order of the Ministry of Culture No. 2221 dated September 30, 2016, it is possible to build only ecological parking lots and repair engineering communications. It says in black and white: "It is prohibited to allocate new plots for the placement of capital construction projects, including individual residential development".
- Tarusa district is the smallest district in the region. 43.6% of the territory is covered by forests. 39.4% - farmland. Actually, all life is concentrated along the Oka and Tarusa rivers. Lands of settlements make up 9.2% of the district's territory. Therefore, since the time of the great Paustovsky, there has always been a struggle against the destruction of the natural environment, - says RUSLAN SMOLENSKY.
Kaluga Governor Shapsha replied to Deputy Valuev that, they say, by order of the Ministry of Culture, meadows cannot be built up, and the local administration is categorically against this plan.
- Of course, against! And our government is against it. The district in a categorical form responded to the region on this issue, especially since the district has submitted an application to the Ministry of Natural Resources to recognize this territory as a specially protected natural area, - Sergey Manakov, a deputy of the Tarusa district council, told the "NI" correspondent.
In fact, Deputy Valuev is a member of the Working Group on Specially Protected Areas, and the Kaluga Region is his district.
- Who is Valuev? State Duma? But what is it... - Natalya Gramolina, the chief keeper of the Polenovo State Memorial Reserve, was worried. - I will urgently call the governor of Kaluga - we need to drive these aliens. Have you already driven? But it still alarmed me. We are side by side, and every time we have to fight for the reserved land. No, in Tarusa they do not take it away like that, and there Smolensky - these numbers do not work with him. In Polenovo, illegal land transactions have caused a lot of trouble - there are fewer and fewer landscapes at the entrance to the estate, and tourists have more and more opportunities to admire how well we are able to build country villas.
It seems that Nikolai Valuev himself did not understand what kind of story he was drawn into. After the conversation with the correspondent of "NI", he was greatly alarmed. I called the governor in Kaluga, but did not get through - he has elections. Having received the answer, he calmed down - "for this purpose, the deputies forward the citizens' appeals to the localities in order to get a clear explanation of the situation."
Tarusa has rich experience in defending her interests. Here, more than a dozen fans were expelled to build a shalman before their eyes. With fierce resistance from the career mafia, all sand quarries in the district were closed. The head of the administration is pleased:
- They are trying to open them - we do not give them, they broke off this business.
We have created an Architectural Council - it provides big problems for developers who are trying to get involved in historical buildings at random.
- The composition is very authoritative and professional. And you want to build, as in Somalia - that is, at random. Do not even try with us, the public will raise the rack, - says Ruslan Smolensky.
- This is not just a landscape, but a historical landscape associated with the names of famous writers, artists and musicians. I have no idea how you can invade here. We are not only protecting our interests. Everything was preserved for people, for future generations. History is not a textbook. There must be a place where a person never feels lonely, - explains Ksenia Savoskul, founder of the Tarusa Heritage Foundation.
On the Oka embankment there is a monument to Marina Tsvetaeva and Bella Akhmadulina. These are the places of Pasternak and Paustovsky. Here, in the Tarusa district, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov lived and gathered impressions for the Duel, and in his House with a Mezzanine the Bogimovo estate is described with photographic accuracy. Alexey Tolstoy visited Tarusa. The pianist Svyatoslav Richter loved to work in a small house on the Oka, which he bought from a buoy-keeper. Now there is a charitable foundation named after him and a creative laboratory. Andrey Tarkovsky, Varlam Shalamov and Iosif Brodsky ... Tarusa, being 101 kilometers away, sheltered Soviet dissidents: Kronid Lyubarsky, Anatoly Marchenko, Larisa Bogoraz, Alexander Ginzburg, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Lev Kopelev and Raisa Orlova.
For every 10 thousand of the indigenous population in Tarusa and the surrounding area, there are 20 thousand summer residents from Kaluga and Moscow.
- Many summer residents gradually become permanent residents of Tarusa and vice versa, Tarusians - Muscovites. Accordingly, the environment is not a provincial town, but a mixture of metropolitanism and provincialism. And cultural life has always been here, - says Ksenia Savoskul.
Polenov's example is before the eyes of the Tarusians. At the behest of officials, the right bank of the Oka once became the Tula region. The power is different, and there are more scandals. Letters go to the same Duma that because of the security zone people are not allowed to build.
- All this territory is included in a huge area, which is determined by the order of the Ministry of Culture on the landmark "Polenovo". True, this is a rather scandalous project, because there the Ministry of Culture imposed excessive and completely unreasonable bans on the development of territories. In my understanding, this is an open scam on the part of the Ministry of Culture. However, they even jumped out to the other side of the Oka. Moreover, this is all quite far from the Polenovo estate, about 7 kilometers from this meadow, - says Maxim Perov, professor at the International Academy of Architecture.
But for the residents of Tarusa, it is important that the state protects not only hectares, but also the view from the windows of the city.
- The order requires the preservation of compositional and species connections and panoramas, the preservation of the natural and man-made environment and other components of the subject of protection of the historical settlement. It is important. According to Polenovo, it is prohibited for all objects to be located in the water area along the Oka coastline at a distance of 50 meters, any economic activity related to soil pollution is prohibited, tree felling is prohibited, except for the formation of the main sectors of the survey, - says Alexander Airapetov, a member of the Union of Moscow architects.
In the city of Plyos, Ivanovo region, the requirements are even stricter than in Tarusa and Polenov. For the Tarusians, this is a role model. Therefore, they applied for the recognition of the territory of the city and the region as a specially protected area. Until then, you need to fight off the invaders.
It is hard to believe that LLC UCDO IC Astro Energo Sintez has even the slightest financial ability to carry out the construction project that they are aiming at. Last year, according to the financial statements at SPARK, the office was absolutely unprofitable. The loss for the year amounted to RUB 992 thousand. The owner of the company for cleansing the karma of simple-minded citizens Svetlana Aleksandrovna Bazhenova, however, has experience in the development business - she worked as the general director of Kaliningradskaya Zemlya LLC.
General Director of Astro Energo Sintez Karen Gevorkyan does not particularly hide the fact that he is not working for his office.
“We are an educational organization, and another organization will build, they made a project and sent it to the regional administration”, - he told the correspondent of “NI”. But who is behind them, Gevorkyan did not specify. They say they themselves will call and tell. But no one called and said.
The Tarusians will have to prepare - it was only intelligence. It is hard to believe that those who sent these "educators" will calm down. There are countless examples of this. In 2011, a scandal erupted with the development of the Borodino field. With incredible efforts, the attack of the raiders was repelled, but after 8 years history repeated itself - and the head of the administration again spoke about the poor owners of the land on which they could not build anything. Since 2005, social activists and local authorities have tried to protect Yesenin's homeland - Konstantinovo. In February 2019, the government of the Ryazan region introduced the museum-reserve to the Rosreestr, and three months later the Ryazan regional court overturned this decision, satisfying the claims of individuals Anastasia Vasilyeva and Vladimir Morgunov. There is no doubt that very serious people were behind them.
For Ruslan Smolensky, the meaning of the struggle is not to lose the harmony of a small Central Russian town.
- Any building in the meadow will kill historical views. We are all against it. If something happened, there would be a social explosion of such force in Tarusa that I cannot vouch for the consequences.
Deputy Valuev got involved in this process and proposed, together with Governor Shapsha, to check the shop of miracles "Astro Energo Sintez" for corruption. Any means will be good, the main thing is to save Tarusa!