Chelyabinsk region is one of the few Russian regions where residential places bearing Russian or Bashkir names can be seen side by side with district centers and settlements going under the names of European capitals. The South Ural alone has Varna, Paris, Berlin and Leipzig of its own. They are all located in the southern parts of the region where Varna and Nagaybak districts are situated. Their appearance is inseparably linked with the history of the South Ural Cossacks. During the 19th century the fortified boundary line was transferred from the lands in the upper reach of the Ural River far inland toward the Kirghiz-Kaisak steppes. Over 30 military posts were established at settlements in that area within a short period of time. Many of those were first identified by sequence numbers: first, second, third, etc. As directed by the order issued under the Orenburg Governor-General V.A. Obruchev in 1843, all new Cossack settlements were to be given names in honor and memory of the events of the country’s military history and the battles in which the Orenburg Cossacks had actively participated. Thus emerged this peculiar kind of war glory memorial on the South Ural map which now features towns and villages sharing the same names with cities, towns and villages in both Central Russia and abroad, such as Paris, Berlin, Borodino, Kassel, Leipzig, Tarutino, Fère-Champenoise, etc.
The village of Varna is the administrative center of Varna district of Chelyabinsk region. It is located in the south of that region, 217 km south of Chelyabinsk, on the river Nizhny Toguzak. It is named in honor of the winning of the Bulgarian fortress Varna by the Russian troops during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829. The highest ranking officers of the Orenburg province and the high-ranking Cossacks army officers actively participated in many battles. Thus, when the point at issue was the names they wanted to give their new settlements, they resolved to use the name of Varna, in order to pay tribute to Russian soldiers and officers killed there during the war and to eternalize their memory.
Paris and Fère-Champenoise
Paris is a village in Nagaybak district of Chelyabinsk region and the administrative center of the Paris rural settlement. The village was established in 1842 as a fortified strongpoint of the Cossack army by the Nagaybaks representing a small ethnic group that had been formed after the christening of Tatars during Anna Ioannovna's reign. They emerged victorious from the Patriotic War against Napoleon in the capital of France in 1814, and returned home after the end of the campaign.
In 2005, a mobile phone tower was opened in Paris of Chelyabinsk region. The cell tower manufactured at the Zlatoust Steel Production Plant is a 50 meter reduced copy of the Eiffel Tower. It became a sightseeing attraction in the Nagaybak district.
The Nagaybaks gave the name of Fère-Champenoise to the present-day administrative center of the Nagaybak district. The village of Fère-Champenoise is situated on the river Gumbeyka (a left tributary of the Ural River) in a steppe zone 55 km north-east of Magnitogorsk and 210 km south-west of Chelyabinsk. Upon the termination of military operations, the Cossacks had been quartered in the Paris suburb with the same name.
Berlin is a village in Troitsk district of Chelyabinsk region. It is part of the Nizhnesanarsky rural settlement. It was established in 1842 as a military post at the settlement of the Orenburg Cossack Army. The name was given to commemorate the storming of Berlin in 1760 during the Seven Years' War (1756—1763) and in 1813 during the War against Napoleon.
In the forest-steppe zone near the village are established the Troitsk Wildlife Reserve and the Troitsk Training and Experimental Forestry intended as a basis for biology students of the Perm State University, to be used for the nature reserve supervision purposes and for the practical training of students.
The village of Leipzig is located in Varna district of Chelyabinsk region within the Leipzig rural settlement area, 21 km north of the Varna Village. It is situated in the Russia-Kazakhstan borderland area, on the left bank of the Verkhny Toguzak River. The village was established in 1842. Cossacks from the inland Cossack villages and the Kalmyks of the abolished Stavropol Kalmyk Army were the first settlers there.
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