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Military cemetery in Fort-Shevchenko.

Travel center Mangystau.

“The establishment of fortifications in the Orenburg Kirghiz steppe, as the most important measure for strengthening Russian influence in it, was done on the initiative of Obruchev. Before him, there was only one Novoaleksandrovskoe fortification in the steppe, founded in 1834 on the northeastern coast of the Caspian Sea, near Mertvago Kultuk, at the beginning of the Kaidak or Karasu gulf, with the aim of curbing neighboring nomadic tribes and opening the nearest trade relations with Khiva; but, due to an unfortunate choice of location, it could not acquire any significance, neither on land nor at sea"

A. Maksheev. "Travel across the Kyrgyz steppes and the Turkestan region." 1896.

Walk from Aktau to Fort-Shevchenko.

The military cemetery is located on the outskirts of the northeastern part of Fort Shevchenko, 617 meters southeast of the Armenian Church and 688 meters at the city's repression monument in the Tupkaragan district of the Mangistau region.
It may have been abandoned by people, but God has not forgotten the Christian cemetery located in the vastness of Tupkaragan. According to the stories of the local population, the soldier's cemetery, or as it is also called the military one, in the first years after the founding of the Novopetrovsky fortification was located on the side of the Kurgangantash, below the fortress wall.
The fragments of the first burials have been preserved there. The main part of the burials was moved in the middle of the 19th century to the valley, to the left of the Khiva road. A drawing by Taras Shevchenko (1850) has survived, which shows only five graves at a military cemetery, the graves of ordinary soldiers, officers and their family members.
T. Shevchenko's drawing depicts the burial of 1852, which belonged to the commandant of the Novopetrovsk fortification Anton Maevsky, G.Uskov's predecessor. The commandant provided all kinds of assistance and support to the exiled artist. It was he, Mayevsky, who sent Taras to the Karatau expedition, freeing him from the strictest supervision and officer authoritarianism.
The sharp-domed obelisk at Mayevsky's grave was built of wood, so time did not save it for posterity. Only the stone foundation has survived, as well as fragments of stone blocks. A photograph of a military cemetery taken by photographer Rogonov in 1931 with the caption:
"An Orthodox cemetery in the valley behind the fort, half-covered with sand, the graves of military personnel, including the commandant of the Mayevsky fortification", has been preserved in the funds of the Fort-Shevchenko Museum.
This suggests that this monument still existed in the 30s of the XX century. The monument to the commandant Uskov's son, Dmitry, once erected in this cemetery, today is carefully kept behind glass walls that shelter the dugout from the sun and snow, in which Taras Shevchenko lived and worked. At the request of the commandant's wife, Agata Uskova, the artist personally designed and supervised the production of this monument.
Judging by the inscriptions, many were buried in the cemetery from the families of the first settlers: the Sukhorukovs, Kuznetsovs, Belunins. The remains of the Belovs' tomb have been preserved. The attention of parishioners is attracted by the inscriptions with the Old Russian "yat", as well as the very content of the inscriptions, which also have their own characteristics corresponding to those times: “Everything that was precious in this world for me, my soul is priceless, everything here was hidden by Mother Earth. 1907 Ryumkov ".
Or another: “Osip Kobilkov, 1871, 44 years old: the Creator wanted to separate you, spouse, dad and son, and without you we were orphans left to cry and be sad for centuries. Oh, peace be with you! In a sad hour we will come to rest here on the grave, where your dear ashes rest, we will come to cry and breathe."
Among the many graves there is a burial with the inscription: "The body of the priest of the Peter and Paul Church, Mikhail Popov, who died on September 10, 1871, was buried." On one grave there is an inscription: "ZOOOLOGIST.
Serdyuk Stepan Yakovlevich, 1901." Apparently, Stepan Yakovlevich was a well-known specialist in his field, since even his skill was captured in stone. Not far from the entrance to the cemetery there is a chapel built by a fish merchant, Zakhar Kuzmich Dubsky, at the grave of his son, Mikhail.
At one time, Mikhail graduated from the Astrakhan Theological Seminary, but did not become a priest. He left for St. Petersburg and tried himself in the philological field, wrote stories. Then suddenly decided to become a doctor and transferred to the veterinary faculty.
Then he became interested in Marxist After the revolutionary events of 1905, he left his studies and returned home to the village of Nikolaevskaya. Because of his deteriorating eyesight, he abandoned the idea of ​​healing and decided to take up gardening.
He disappeared all day in his father’s garden. In 1907, at a ball at the diocesan school, he met Antonina Grigorievna Yastrebova who later became his wife.She worked as an elementary school teacher in the village. In 1912, Michael, returning from Persia, where he was on business, caught a bad cold. It so happened that Mikhail got into a heavy rain.
At the same time, he considered it necessary to provide his raincoat tent to strangers. He came to the village of Nikolaevskaya seriously ill and died in January 1913. One of the relics of the early XX century is this monument.
Not far from this burial, an even older grave was discovered, on June 5, 1880, of “the widow of Daria Nikitichna Dankova, who died at the age of 78”. Many tombstones have long since fallen from stone pedestals, and funerary inscriptions have been washed away by wind and rain.
Thus, the names of the dead, possibly worthy sons of their Fatherland, are erased forever, and the names of the deceased are unlikely to be restored. But the gravestone inscription is not only evidence of someone's life and death, but of an entire era.
One way or another, but for all peoples, according to tombstones and burials, the peculiarities of culture, architecture, building art of a particular time were determined. Here, too, crosses carved from stone, statues decorated with aiguillettes speak of the belonging of these monuments and gravestones to the era of tsarism.
Along the road, ten meters from the cemetery, cars, loaded with bricks and other building materials, scurry non-stop. As they say, life goes on. Not all the bricks that now rest in the back of passing cars become part of history. And those that rest in the form of tombstones in the cemetery are of special concern to living people.
And then the wind-hard worker and rain-not a miss will wash away the last traces of an entire era. Sometimes the military cemetery is called simply Russian. Although, judging by the inscriptions, both Russians and Armenians and Germans are buried there, a little further away are Jewish burials.
P.S. Maevsky Anton (Anthony) Petrovich. He died in 1853. Commandant of the Novopetrovsk fortification on the Mangyshlak Peninsula in 1848 - 1853 Lieutenant colonel. In 1841 he was awarded an insignia for 15 years), was awarded the Orders of St. Anna 4th degree (1828) and 3rd degree (1829), for his deeds he received the highest gratitude with the issuance of monetary 1844 - in the amount of a half-year salary), was promoted to major in February 1848.
The geographic coordinates of the military (soldier's) cemetery in Fort Shevchenko: N44 ° 30'38.67 "E50 ° 16'19.01"

Authority and photo:
Natalia Zaderetskaya "Tupkaragan - the cradle of Mangystau".