Griboedov’s estate is no longer under state protection

Another scandal is flaring up in Russian culture: the authorities of the Smolensk region have deprived the Khmelita estate, the family estate of the great Russian playwright and diplomat Alexander Griboyedov, of the status of a specially protected natural area. The document bears the signature of the governor of the region Alexei Ostrovsky, who, by an evil irony of fate, is the namesake of another great Russian playwright.

What prevented the Smolensk authorities from the status of a “ specially protected area” of the estate?

Here is an excerpt from the response of the regional department for natural resources and ecology of the region: “… it was revealed that in this territory there are no scientifically based, especially valuable natural sites and landscapes, which is the primary basis for creating a specially protected natural area.” Of course, officials did not present any “scientific justifications” that “there are no especially valuable natural sites and landscapes in this territory”, which were outraged by this decision.

And in general – what are “especially valuable landscapes”?

What kind of scientist is able to prove that the mountain peaks praised by Lermontov are “more valuable” than the boundless Ukrainian steppe that Gogol admired so much? Are the low-key Ryazan landscapes lovingly described by Yesenin of any value to science? The ruins of the Brest Fortress, watered with the blood of its defenders?

If the Smolensk officials do not have enough “scientific justifications” for the value of the area where the playwright grew up, who gave humanity a unique play, a great diplomat who died a soldier’s death to the last phrase, then the “scientists” who devalued these landscapes can throw in a couple more facts.

Maybe “science” will be interested in the fact that another great man was born in the same area, who died a heroic death for the Fatherland – Admiral Nakhimov.

If the brave admiral is not enough, we can recall that another, no less brave commander, Field Marshal Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812 and the defender of Sevastopol, played a wedding in this estate – a participant in all military campaigns of Russia in the first half of the 19th century.

Well, if this is not enough, then we can recall the heroic battles that the soldiers of the Red Army fought here in 1941, breaking out of the Vyazemsky cauldron.

In a word, even with a cursory glance at these places, we see that they are of considerable value to historians.

Once the building of the Russian embassy in Persia and the brave Vazir-Mukhtar (as the Persians called Griboedov) was defended by a detachment of Cossacks. They did not betray the Russian diplomat in a foreign land, fighting for him to the last breath.

And in the homeland, it seems, the Smolensk officials “surrendered” him, depriving the native places of the writer of state protection.

Who among any serious scientists somewhere in the periodical press spoke about the fact that at one time these places were given the status of a specially protected area in vain? At least the author of the article did not find any authoritative opinions on this matter on the Web. Or maybe the “scientists’ conclusions” that these landscapes are of no particular value “for science” are just bureaucratic fiction?

By the way, the answer contains one more passage: “The assignment of a territory to a protected area requires the establishment of a protection regime and imposes significant restrictions on the life and activities of the citizens who live there. For example, laying and connecting engineering networks in such places is very problematic, which the locals complained about more than once.”

Again, who complained, to whom complained, which “locals” are incomprehensible, if the same “locals” made a fuss about this strange “cancellation”? They are also perplexed about the fact that the reserve has lost its conservation status, because it is difficult to conduct communications to the neighboring village: “The village is at a distance of several kilometers from Khmelita, the fields around are huge – lead communications, I don’t want to! Most likely, someone urgently needed these territories … “

A petition appeared on the Internet in which caring citizens turn to President Vladimir Putin with a request to help preserve the monument. As of Sunday, January 29, 2022, almost 1,500 people have signed it.

According to the authors of the petition, instead of saving and preserving the unique property, it is being systematically destroyed.

“In violation of the current legislation, the hunting farm “Hunting Traditions” is openly operating on the territory of the protected area, poachers shoot moose right on the grave of Admiral Nakhimov’s mother, the authors of the petition say. At the site of the burning of the inhabitants of the village of Pekarevo, at the end of 2020, stationary hunting towers were installed, dismantled only after the intervention of the Vyazemsky Interdistrict Prosecutor’s Office in March 2021. In the summer of 2021, a shooting range was arranged and equipped, from which uncontrolled extraction of animal resources is carried out in one of the fields of the famous Vyazemsky cauldron, where the remains of the fallen Soviet soldiers lie, the authors of the petition say on the VKontakte page.

And if this is so, then the true reasons for the adoption of the decree by the governor of the Smolensk region, Ostrovsky, begin to look somewhat different.

Khmelita is located just two hundred kilometers from Moscow. The places once rich in game have become rather scarce, since there are a lot of bored moneybags in Zlatoglavaya, and there are not so many hunting grounds around the capital city.

And then suddenly such a gorgeous landscape of 240 square kilometers with quails and elk, suddenly ceased to arouse all interest in science!

One can imagine how happy the metropolitan nouveaux riches were delighted with such a chic gift from the Smolensk governor Alexei Ostrovsky, and how grateful they are to him now.

“Life is given to a person once and it must be lived in such a way that it is not excruciatingly painful for the aimlessly lived years …” (Nikolai Ostrovsky)

True, in this story there was one unpleasant nuance for the author of a dubious document. The head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Alexander Bastrykin, became interested in her – and by no means from the point of view of shooting woodcocks with a rifle. He instructed the regional administration to conduct an audit on this issue and keeps its progress under control.