Kirovograd (Kropivnitskiy). Part 1: Bolshaya Perspektivnaya.

The newly renamed Kropivnitsky is a strange city. A small regional center (224 thousand inhabitants), it is located in the middle of Ukraine, and at the same time incredibly far from everything. Like neighboring Kremenchug, from which I got here through Chigirin, shown in the last part, it stands on the border of historic Little Russia and Novorossia, and was founded outside the first but before the second, and its founders were Serbs. Over a hundred years, it has changed five names, setting, it seems, an absolute record among the post-Soviet cities: Elisavetgrad, Zinovievsk, Kirovo, Kirovograd, and finally Kropivnitsky. Here is the absolute Novorossiya in terms of architecture and history, but the absolute Right-Bank Ukraine in terms of contemporary realities, except for the language, which in Kropivnitsky, in contrast to the region, is predominantly Russian. And the main thing is that it is a surprise town: at first sight, it seems to be one of the dullest and poorest among the regional centers of Ukraine, and that is even more surprising to find a town, worthy by its attractions and appearance of any Ivano-Frankivsk town.

For me, Kirovograd (then Kirovograd) was the last regional center of Ukraine I visited. I will tell you about it in three parts, the last in this Ukrainian series, and in the first we will walk along the main street Bolshaya Perspektivnaya, a couple of times deviating from it to the left, to the fortress of St. Elizabeth, lying beyond the Ingul.

Kirovograd region on the map of Ukraine is a peculiar subspace. It does not belong either to the Center or to the South, neither to the West, nor to the East, neither to Cossack Malorossia, nor to capitalist Novorossia. In the Middle Ages it was a kind of “neutral ground” between, on the one hand, Kievan Rus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and, on the other hand, Byzantium, the Golden Horde, and the Ottoman Empire. The Cossacks were in no hurry to come here, afraid of the Tatars, and the Tatars were afraid of the Cossacks. But both were weakening year by year, but the Russian Empire was approaching its halfway point. And in 1751 an Austrian colonel Ivan Horvat, who, contrary to his surname, was a Serb, came to the Russian envoy in Vienna and asked whether the Russian crown needed desperate guys who were ready to live in an undeveloped land. Among the Serbs there was a counterpart of the Cossacks – the Berechars, and despite a certain freedom, not all of them were tempted to live under the Catholic monarchy. So in the southern steppes appeared Slavnoserbia on the Seversky Donets and the New Serbia on the Ingul and Bug, centered in Novomirgorod, which was protected from the south by a number of fortifications, closed to the closed in 1754 fortress of St. Elizabeth with the Russian-Cossack garrison. The project did not justify itself – dashing Serbs are not so much guarded the border, as robbed the caravans between the Crimea and Poland (underbelly of which then was this area), and even Poland itself on the other side of the border, when in 1764 ascended the throne of Catherine II ordered to investigate, it turned out that the Serbs here is almost three times less than the number, but money from the budget of the autonomy received on all. But it was not the first and not the last experience of resettlement of the Orthodox peoples in the south – I have already written about the Greeks of Nizhyn and Sloboda Ukraine, and the Empress, apparently with the mistakes of Novoserbia gave the start to a larger project of Novorossia. Fortress of Elizabeth, however, did not go anywhere, Sloboda under it remained almost the nearest Russian (except Cossacks) settlement to the Black Sea, and in 1775 it became a district town Elisavetgrad, in 1803 included in the province of Kherson. The latter I once called the California of Tsarist Russia, and grew out of it eventually 4 regions (Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Kirovograd) and one unrecognized country (Transnistria). In 1869 the railroad Kharkov-Odessa passed through it. By the beginning of the twentieth century Elisavetgrad flourished – with its 60 thousand citizens, the Elworthy brothers’ factory, which worked for the whole country, and the electric streetcar system launched in 1897.

Kropivnitsky is a very compact town, and half of it, like some Alma-Ata, stands on a clearly visible slope, only not of mountains, but only on the banks of the Ingul River, which flows into the “city of unemployed shipbuilders” Nikolaev. Across the river, the former Kirovograd is cut by a powerful railroad, which separates “that” and “this” side, by sensation, stronger than the river itself. In the northern part, behind the railway, there is a huge bus terminal next to the airport, and the most impressive entrance is from the north, through a lush pine forest. The first thing that catches your eye from the very outskirts is cleanliness, in terms of which Kirovograd could challenge any city in Western Ukraine. And when you enter the historic center, you are already surprised by how beautiful it is here:

Both the first and second shots were taken on the street with the funny name Bolshaya Perspektivnaya, the main axis of local Podol – a district with that name is certainly more modest here than in Kiev, but definitely more interesting than in Poltava. The name Bolshaya Perspektivnaya was given back in 2011, while during the Soviet times it was Marx street, but not Kirov street, and most likely it was given this name even before the renaming of the city to Kirovograd. In general, the mess of renaming here is impressive: The “autocratic” name, of course, had no chance under the Soviets, and in 1924, during the distribution of “name” toponyms to the old Bolsheviks, Elisavetograd in honor of its native Evsei Radomyslsky became by his party pseudonym Zinovievsky. Ten years later, however, Grigory Zinoviev suddenly turned out to be an enemy of the people, and the city of his name, without thinking twice, was “rededicated” to Sergei Kirov. The latter in the Soviet toponymy in general was second only to Lenin, and only among the cities I know former and current Kirov, Kirovsk, Kirovo, Kirovka, Kirovograd, Kirovokan (Vanadzor), Kirovobad (Ganja), often even in several instances, and in good faith this list lacked Kirovilinna, Kirovpils, Kirovienai, Kirovoreshti, Kirowi and Kirowalas. Zinovievsk and Kirovo were part of the Odessa region, and in 1939 the city became a regional center, and was apparently renamed Kirovograd for solidity. The history of the current renaming everyone knows: the overwhelming majority of the population was against renaming in general, and if it was for it, it was in Yelisavetgrad. Frankly, the memory of Elizaveta Petrovna, whose favorite was the Ukrainian Alexei Razumovsky, who did not forget to think about his small motherland, could be respected, but – “away from Moscow! Back in 2015, out of 45 thousand respondents, the vast majority of 4 thousand against the pathetic minority of 35 thousand who supported Yelisavetgrad voted for the option of Ingulsk, which, however, still did not pass. In 2016, after my visit, the Verkhovna Rada announced a compromise name, Kropivnitsky, after the famous Ukrainian playwright, and renamed the city without any deliberation. But I was still walking around Kirovograd, and here I am sure that the majority of opponents of renaming have seen this Kirov in a coffin and do not even really know who he is – it was just not about him.

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The caryatids in the shot above belong to the former Severskaya Hotel (1907), now the Treasury Department. The shot before last and its entire façade next door to the old bank (1902). The vast Heroes of Maidan Square, which of course was once Kirov Square, opens the Yelisavetgrad Podol. In front of the dismal regional administration, in front of those facades, there is also a stump of not Illich, but Myronych (1936), which was quite interesting both externally (photographs of the Heavenly Hundred are hanging in place of bas-reliefs) and historically: once it has been knocked off its pedestal – under the Nazis. I do not know what kind of tent stands in front of it, as well as whether it is still there:

But the national activity itself is very noticeable here. Kirovograd turned out to be by far the most “vyshyvanko” city I saw on that trip, maybe not counting Kyiv. I do not know what was the reason for that – the high level of patriotism or the fact that this is the middle of nowhere and that the wave had subsided earlier in other places.

Eventually ranmarou dotted the i’s in the comments: I just happened to be on Vyshyvanka Day, which takes place the third week of May on Thursday, and at this time people, who by the call of the heart, who by the dictates of their superiors dress up in vyshyvankas.

The shot above was taken on the parallel Pashutinskaya Street, where we will turn off from Bolshaya Perspektivnaya several times in this post. And Heroes of Maidan Square is located in such a way that it’s interesting to walk down literally any street departing from its corners. To the right will go in the second part, up in the third, but from the upper left corner departs Yakov Pauchenko Street, named after the architect who built much of the beauty of this area:

Just beyond that is Cascade Square with a long-drained fountain:

Opposite which is the stunningly beautiful early twentieth-century home of merchant David Barsky:

Since 1929, it has been home to the Museum of Regional Studies, which is reminded of the stone women, but also of historical Novorossia – for me, the stone women by the museums have long been its clear marker.

On Pashutinskaya Street is a hospital in the late 19th century building of the Goldenburg water cure clinic, which was a private clinic for the rich in what was then Elisavetgrad, equipped with the latest medicine:

Pashutinskaya Street lodges:

This is non-paradic Yelisavetgrad, but the house on the corner is clearly much older than the surrounding riot and was built as a “model” according to some long-standing master plan:

Below the Barsky House and the Goldenberg Healing House, the Choral Synagogue, founded in 1889, and in my opinion one of the largest and most beautiful in Ukraine, also meets. Jews in Elisavetgrad accounted for nearly 40% of the population, and the neighborhood to the east of the square seems to have served as a Jewish quarter:

Opposite the synagogue is the house of Sergei Meitus (1899), a Jewish businessman who kept another private clinic. His son, Yulius Meitus, became a famous composer under the Soviets. His house is now occupied by a music school, and the synagogue has been returned to the Jews and, in addition to its basic functions, houses a Jewish museum and club:

If you turn 180 degrees in the scene from the shot above, the view from the title shot is revealed. This is Victor Chmilenko Street, Moskovskaya Street before the revolution, and under the Soviets Dzerzhinsky Street, renamed in honor of the activist from the Heavenly Hundred. It crosses Heroiv Maidan Square at the lower left between the Soviet Shoe House (1961) and the modernist building with a striking snake on the façade, which was built in 1911 for the electrical goods (!) store “Provodnik”.

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Below is the Institute for Advanced Study of Teachers from the 1960s:

On the site of the most luxurious in “pre-capitalist” semi-military Elizavetograd, the early 19th century General Elken’s house:

Equally for the sake of the mighty Stalinist City Council (1954) was wasted.

. Assumption Cathedral (1788-1801), the largest temple in Novorossia at the time of its construction, moreover, in the style of Elizabethan baroque, so appropriate in Elisavetgrad:

Near the City Council there is a monument to Alexey Pashutin (2009), the mayor from 1876 to 1905, under whom Yelisavetgrad reached its heyday. In general, about district cities with “father-mayors” of that epoch it is high time to make some generalizing post.

And opposite is still the same architectural fireworks.

Below the City Council, the Central Square is hung with posters:

Behind which I turned onto Preobrazhenskaya Street. At the corner of Pashutinskaya Street is the former Riga Hotel, across from the dirty and noisy market:

Behind which is now the largest Transfiguration Cathedral in the city (1813), which was built as a mono-confessional cathedral – in addition to the Granitschars, Old Believers, primarily chaplains – a kind of transitional form between popovtsy and nepopovtsy (more about them here) were actively resettled to Novoserbia. A few communities converted to monotheism succeeded in building a cathedral:

The temple courtyard was locked. but behind the gate I saw a grandiose pysanka:

And a pretty courtyard with a belfry and chapel. To all appearances, the church still belongs to “schismatics,” only not Old Believers, and “national Orthodoxy” in Ukraine, but this impression is deceptive – at least now it is listed as belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate.

And just across the street is a miniature St. Vladimir’s Church (1795) with a very Great Russian “octagonal on the square” look:

It stands in the street Tarkovsky. but not Andrew, but Arseniy, his father-poet, who was born in Elisavetgrad. The lower part of the street, however, is a gloomy working-class suburb, where, in May 2016, memorial plaques to revolutionary fighters were still hanging on the houses:

Back on Bolshaya Perspektivnaya. There’s even an Art Nouveau Central Department Store:

One of the last on the street is the luxurious Art Nouveau house of Shpolyansky (1887), now occupied by the art museum:

Near the banks of the Ingul, there is either a promenade or a square with a memorial to Chernobyl victims, most impressive of all because of the inscription on the plaque. “Chernobyl” in Ukrainian means wormwood:

A view from the bridge over the Ingul to the left, toward Nikolaev. As is often the case, the beautiful old town faces the river with Soviet boxes and old factories:

By wide bridge we leave Podol – on that bank lies a former fortress with the suburbs, and the first street from the river is not accidentally called Upper Permskaya – of course, after the regiment that stood there. Perspektivnaya Street is continued here by Sobornaya, so familiar in post-Maidan Ukraine, which divided the historic suburbs of Perm (left) and Greece (right).

Just over the bridge is the former Greek Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (1812), which was the main church after the loss of the Assumption Cathedral. Even its murals were made in the late 1980’s. But the temple was closed even from the yard, and I did not have a better shot:

Further along Verhnyaya Permskaya, before the war, there was a streetcar depot. Yelisavetgrad was the first district town in the Russian Empire to start running a streetcar (in 1897), the fifth in the country after the provincial cities of Kiev, Nizhny Novgorod, Kursk, and Ekaterinoslav, as well as the fifth within the current borders of Ukraine after Lvov and Chernovtsy. Alas, the streetcar system was completely destroyed by the war, after which it was never rebuilt:

By the one-story houses it is well seen that the center of the city with the abolition of the fortress was safely shifted to Podol, which originated as one of the suburbs:

And again, the “syndrome of the West Bank” – pre-revolutionary, in general, prewar here is much worse preserved than on the “Podol” bank, and it has many Soviet patches:

At the intersection of Sobornaya and Verkhnyaya Permskaya Street there is an old District Court (1845), now also a court of appeal. Over the whole Kirovograd center, on both sides of the Ingul, dominates the skeleton unfinished building, known locally as the Falling Tower, which became such long before the Maidan (exact dates not found), due to some errors in construction: the high-rise began to bias, and builders have not seen fit to fix something, and the city is apparently waiting when it will fall down.

The Tourist Hotel is a more pious dominant:

But my hotel “Yelisavetgrad” is in a huge shopping mall “Portal”, finished in 2000s long construction of the concentrated hall, built in 1980s. The hotel is quite small, inexpensive and very cozy – it is always very frustrating when you return there late at night and have to leave early in the morning.

And after turning off near “Portal,” you can go deeper into St. Elizabeth’s Fortress. Once the main military base of the South, a land military port on the edge of the Wild Field, it never participated in serious wars and was abolished back in 1784 with the liquidation of the Crimean threat. But in the city blocks you can still see a kilometer long 12-beam star of its 6 bastions (Trinity, Alexis, St. Andrew, Alexander Nevsky, Archangel Michael and Catherine) and 6 ravelins (Anna, Natalia, John the Baptist, Pechersk Stars, Nicholas and Fedor), crossed by the busy Ushakov Street:

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The ramparts of the outer fortifications. At the entrance to the fortress, on Predtechensky Ravelin – a cross in memory of the victims of the Holodomor. and mysterious circles like UFO landing traces (which is not surprising, if near Permskaya Street):

The fortress had three gates – Vsekhsviatskie (to the Ingul, now gone), Trinity (south) and Predtechenskie (north), facing the city and therefore has now become the front entrance. Here meet the cannons of the 18th century – with the abolition all guns were removed to Kherson fortress, thus marking a new outpost of Novorossia, but two cannons remained in Elisavetgrad as a memory. View from Andreevsky bastion to Alekeevsky bastion:

There are only two sites in the depths of the fortress, which is actually a park. To the right of Ushakov Street is the Pantheon of Glory war memorial:

I’ve never been able to figure out when it was built and who rests in its various sectors, but it’s more of a necropolis than a monument:

The main monument, though, is impressive:

So is the stand recently added to it with photos of those who died in the ATO. Small Kirovograd lost more than 120 people, in percentage terms even more than Dnipropetrovsk. I don’t know exactly what units are based here, but it is definitely one of the most war-torn Ukrainian cities outside of Donbass.

On the other side of the street is a hospital, which seems to include heavily rebuilt in the late 19th century fortress buildings – a chancellery, headquarters, kitchen, pharmacy, barracks. Where is what – alas, I do not know:

The main buildings of the fortress have not survived anyway – the wooden Trinity Church, dismantled in 1812 and transported to Rivne, where it was already assembled in a different appearance as the Nicholas Church, and the General’s House with a 3-story tower, which once literally hung over the one-story town. While the fortress was active, it was visited by Suvorov and Kutuzov, and even by Yemelka Pugachev, in general, the color of the Russian-Turkish wars.

The last element of the former fortress is the cemetery at the Catherine Bastille, eerie in its restraint mass graves of victims of fascism, which are actually buried trenches similar to Paneriaisky pits or ravines of Babi Yar. There are such graves in many cities, but usually the Nazis preferred to commit their atrocities in the woods and gullies somewhere outside the city, but in Kirovograd, the old bastion was good enough.

Flowers on the graves:

In the next part we will return to Podol, walk along other merchant streets to another military object of imperial antiquity.

UKRAINE and DONBASS 2016 Torn Map. Overview and table of contents. Two sides of the same war – see table of contents. DNR and LNR – see table of contents. Vinnitsa, Zaporozhye, Dnieper – see table of contents. Kievan Rus – see table of contents. Little Russian ring – posts will be. Chernigov. Dytynets’. Chernigov. Okolny Grad, Tretiak and Predgradiye. Chernigov. Boldin Hills. Chernigov. Miscellaneous. Novgorod-Siversky. City. Novgorod-Siversky. Monastery. Putivl. Land of Goryuns. Sumy. Center. Sumy. North of the center. Sumy. South of the center. Romny. A city with strange geometry. Trostyanets. The last castle of Ukraine. Akhtyrka. Poltava. Sobornost street. Poltava. Center. Poltava. Outskirts. Poltava. On the traces of the Battle of Poltava. Kremenchug. City on two banks. Chigirin and Subbotov. How it all began. Kirovograd (now Kropivnitsky). Bolshaya Perspektivnaya. Kirovograd (now Kropivnitsky). Streets of the old city. Kirovograd (now Kropivnitsky). Suburbs. Kiev before and after Maidan – the posts will be.


Kirovograd (Kropivnitsky) is a city in central Ukraine, the administrative center of Kirovograd region and Kirovograd district, an industrial and cultural center, a road junction, a railway station on the Znamenka – Pomoshna line, and an airport.

Kirovograd is situated on Predneprovskaya upland, in a valley and on the banks of the Ingul River (a tributary of the Southern Bug), where Sugoklei and Bianki rivers flow into it. The area of the settlement is 10.3 thousand hectares. The population is 254 103 inhabitants (according to the data of census of Ukraine of 2001), together with other cities subordinated to Kirovograd City Council – 262 543 inhabitants.

The city was founded in 1775, in the middle of the XIX – beginning of the XX centuries, Yelisavetgrad had its “golden age” – the industry developed, the culture blossomed, in particular the first Ukrainian professional theater was opened there.

In 1939, the city became the center of Kirovograd Region. Now the industrial complex of 250,000th Kirovograd has about 70 enterprises, the city has a developed social infrastructure, numerous educational and cultural institutions.

The twin city is Dobrich (Bulgaria).


The city was originally named Yelisavetgrad after a fortress that was founded in 1754. The fortress was named after St. Elizabeth. In 1784 the fortress was abolished.

The former names of the town:

  • Until August 7, 1924 – Elisavetgrad (from the name of the fortress of St. Elisabeth);
  • August 7, 1924 – December 27, 1934 – Zinovievsk (in honor of the Soviet politician G.E. Zinoviev)
  • December 27, 1934 – January 10, 1939 – Kirov (in honor of Soviet political figure S. M. Kirov).

On January 10, 1939, during the formation of the Kirovograd region, the name of the city was changed to Kirovograd. This was done to distinguish it from the already existing Kirov region, and to avoid confusing the city with Kirov – the former Vyatka, and Kirov – the city of Kaluga region. At the same time, since G. Zinoviev was declared an enemy of the people, the name “Zinovievsk” was not mentioned in the Soviet sources. They wrote that the city was called Yelisavetgrad until 1934.

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At the end of the 1990s, a movement for the return of the original historical name began in Kirovograd. In 2000 the referendum on returning the historical name Elisavetgrad was held, but the question of renaming failed to pass – 70% of Kirovograd citizens believed that it was not necessary. In 2008 it was decided to hold a new referendum on the issue that was combined with the extraordinary elections to the Verkhovna Rada, but the Ukrainian president canceled the decree on the re-election and the city referendum was not held.

Within the framework of the adopted law of Ukraine “On the prohibition of propaganda of communist and national-socialist totalitarian regimes,” during 2015 the city and respectively the region must be renamed. In October, at the same time as the local elections, a survey of citizens was conducted, according to the results of which out of the proposed options for the new name Yelisavetgrad, Blagomir, Eksampay, Kozachyn, Zlatopol, Kropivnitsky, and Ingulsk, the historical name was overwhelmingly preferred. These options were sent by the City Council to the Verkhovna Rada, which should decide on the renaming of the city.


Excavations of tombs are also carried out within Kirovohrad – for example, in the 2000s there was found the almost undamaged cart during the excavations in Kirovohrad Cosmonauta Popova street.

In the XVI – the 1st half of the XVIII centuries the lands of modern Kirovohrad and the adjacent territories were the possessions of Zaporizhzhya Sich.

In 1854 there were 2,323 Jews and 4,750 Christians living in the city, and at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries Jewish population of the city reached almost 50%.

The history of Kirovograd is directly linked to the foundation of Elisabeth Fortress.


Elisavetgrad emerged from the Fortress of St. Elisabeth, founded to protect the newly founded Serbian colonies from Tatar raids. The Empress Elizabeth’s decree to Colonel Horvat, irreplaceable chief of New Serbia, was signed on January 11, 1752, and the fortress itself was founded on June 18, 1754. Three thousand Ukrainian Cossacks were transferred to the fortress. Before that, in these places lived Great Russian dissenters, who fled to Turkey and Poland after they were forced by decree of Elizabeth to cede their land to the Serbs. However, soon after the new decree, they returned and formed a settling New Cossack regiment, which, together with the same withdrawal to the settlement of the Malorossiysk regiment, was the garrison of the fortress, which guarded the colonists in New Serbia from the Tatars. Great Russian petty bourgeoisie, who settled among the dissenters, formed the petty bourgeoisie, or Prigrad, sloboda of the New Cossack Regiment. The first commandant of the fortress was appointed Brigadier Alexei Ivanovich Glebov. In 1764 in the fortress was established a customs office, and the local townspeople were allowed to enroll in the shops; in the next year the fortress became the center of Yelisavetinsk province of the newly formed Novorossiysk province, in it was founded a provincial brothel. With the beginning of the Russian-Turkish War of 1768-1774, the fortress unexpectedly approached the Crimean Khan Kerim-Giray (January 7, 1765), but he did not dare to attack. In 1775, in connection with the provincial reform, with the decree of 14 February 1775 the fortress and the surrounding suburbs got the status of town Elisavetgrad – the center of the newly formed district of Elisavetgrad in Novorossiysk province. At this time the city had already more than a thousand buildings and a few thousand inhabitants (according to the data of 1782 – 4720 inhabitants). In 1784 (after Crimea was annexed) the fortress was abolished.

The fortress, which became the center of the new city, was located on the high right (western) bank of the Ingul. The fortress had six earthen bastions and in its center was a square with the Trinity cathedral church and the Generalitetny house – a rectangular building, surrounded by a gallery, which had a stepped three-tier tower with a dome in the middle. The Church and the Generalitatny dominated over the city, which consisted of one-storeyed adobe houses. Later the city was systematically built up according to a regular plan, thus creating an image of a “new” city contrasting with the chaotically developed older settlements. Initially, around the fortress there were three estates: to the north, beyond a small ravine on the banks of the Ingul, a sloboda of soldiers, called Greek or Bykov (named after Captain Bykov, who lived there); to the east, the suburb of Perm, on the site of Perm camps (that is the camp Perm Dragoon (Karabinerny) Regiment, caused in 1754 for the protection of working men and eradicate haidamaks). Soon the building spread to the low left bank of the Ingul, where a district called Podol appeared. These three estates were surrounded by retrenchment and formed outskirts. Outside the forstadt there were estates: Kovalevka, Balka, Sloboda Cossack Regiment and the New Cossack Regiment. The main street of the city was called Bolshaya Perspektivnaya; in the middle of it was a square with a market, tavern, butchers’ shops and public buildings. On it was also located the Cathedral of the Assumption. Having lost after the annexation of the Crimea military importance, the city simultaneously gained an economic one. After all, the city was at the crossroads of important routes from the Black Sea coast inland Russia, and before the founding of Odessa, Kherson, Nikolaev in general was the only significant settlement in the southern Ukraine, subsequently remaining an important point on the road from these cities inland areas. In 1796 there were 4 brickyards, 4 tanneries, one candle factory, 2 dairy factories, one soda factory. Every year four fairs were held.

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In 1784-1795 years Elisavetgrad was the center of Elisavetgrad district of Ekaterinoslav governorship, 1795-1797 – of Voznesenskoye governorship, 1797-1801 – of Novorossisk province, in 1802 – of Nikolayevskaya province, in 1803-1828 – of Kherson province, and during 1829-1864 years; – the center of military settlements in the South Ukraine (there was a military town in the city), finally since 1865 – again the district center of Kherson province.

In fact this time – third third of XIX – beginning of XX centuries became the golden age of Elisavetgrad. Alexander Pashutin (1878-1905) became the head of the city.

The economic growth of the city went hand in hand with the cultural development. Thus, the capitalistic market relations developed rapidly in Elisavetgrad, first of all in the agrarian sector. A significant role for the economy of the city was played by the commissioning of the railroad Kharkiv-Yelisavetgrad-Odessa (1868-1869), in a few years the city from agrarian turned into an agrarian-industrial. Workshops and factories for repair and production of agricultural and related equipment were built, in particular, the launching in 1874 of the company of the British Elworthy Brothers was epochal, which is destined to become the flagship of local industry, the Red Star.

In the city, just behind the capital cities of the empire, electric streetcar, telephone station, telegraph, water mains (in 1893) were launched, and at the end of the century there were more than 20 gymnasiums, colleges, seminaries, male and female schools, in particular, the first (from 1870) institution of secondary education in the city – Yelisavetgrad Zemsky real school. Yelisavetgrad was actively rebuilt, acquiring a European appearance, and in 1882 it became “the cradle of Ukrainian drama” – the first Ukrainian professional theater was opened in the city, which employed prominent Ukrainian cultural figures Mark Kropivnitsky, Ivan Karpenko-Kary, Maria Zankovetska, Nikolay Sadovsky and others.

In 1897 there were about 61.5 thousand people in the city (Jews – 38%, Russians – 35%, Ukrainians – 24%).

The first decades of the XX century passed in Elisavetgrad under the sign of increasing social tension against the background of military campaigns and economic complications. Particularly great anxiety gripped the region after the October Revolution. During the Ukrainian revolution in 1917-1919 the power in the city repeatedly passed from one political power to another (Central Rada of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, Austro-Hungarian Bolsheviks, Grigoryev, Denikin) – for example, for 2 months Elisavetgrad was the administering power of the UPR Lowland, but with the defeat of the Ukrainian liberation movements Elisavetgrad finally went to the Bolsheviks. The latter occupied the dilapidated Yelisavetgrad, much of the population of which in search of salvation moved outside the city. During the civil war and the first years of Soviet power in Yelisavetgrad were used Yelisavetgrad’s own money.

Soviet time

Since 1923 the city was a district center of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1924 the city was renamed in Zinovievsk, from 1932 it was included in the Odessa region, from December 1934 it was renamed in Kirovo, and with the new renaming in January 1939 to Kirovograd became a regional center.

During the Great Patriotic War, on August 5, 1941 the city was occupied by German troops. During the occupation, almost all the Jews were shot in the town. To commemorate this, a sign was placed near the Kirovograd synagogue during the time of independence. During the first year of the occupation, the German authorities tried to use the Ukrainian national forces in their own interests. Some streets in the city were renamed. Instead of the monument to S. M. Kirov, a cannon was installed. The city was liberated from Nazi invaders on January 8, 1944 as a result of Kirovograd offensive of the Soviet troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front.

After the World War II Kirovograd turned into an important center of light and machine-building industry with a definite (historically and geographically formed) orientation on agriculture. In particular, the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) agricultural machine plants, the Gidrosila (hydraulic pumps), the Radiy (radio components) plant, the Drukmash (typewriters) plant, etc., were operating at their full capacity.

In 1960-1980, Kirovograd continued to develop its economic base, and the population of the city doubled again. At that time, the modern urban infrastructure was generally designed, and in the 1970s, with the construction of the Ingul embankment, the long-standing problem of flooding the city’s coastal area was solved.

Nezavisimaya Ukraina

In the 1990s, Kirovograd experienced a socio-economic crisis, although in difficult economic conditions the city managed to maintain the public utilities and transportation infrastructure, medical and educational industries.

After 1991, the issue of renaming Kirovograd escalated – local intellectuals and members of the general public repeatedly addressed such proposals and petitions to city officials. In 2000, a local referendum on renaming was held, but the renaming was not supported. In October 2008 the City Council of Kirovograd decided to hold a repeat local referendum on the return of the name “Elisavetgrad” (1754-1924) to the city, simultaneously with the extraordinary elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. By that time, the idea of such a referendum and renaming was supported by deputies of the influential factions of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions. However, the referendum was not held.

After the adoption of the law “banning propaganda of communist and national-socialist totalitarian regimes” on April 9, 2015, within 9 months, the parliament or local authorities must decide on renaming Kirovohrad.

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