«There are corners on our earth so beautiful that each time you - visit them they give you a sense of happiness». These words the renowned Russian writer Konstantin Paustovsky devoted to the Crimea are assented to by anybody who has been here but once.
The Crimea. Precisely when did the peninsula got for the first time this name which is Turkic for «moat, rampart», the scholars argue about to this very day. One thing is certain: it is not casual. On the comparatively small territory (a mere 26 thousand sq km) washed by the Black Sea and that of Azov there are plenty of ramparts and moats overgrown with the hoary feather-grass and other remains ol human hands’ creations as well — from the first stone implements to the medieval fortresses. Suffice it to mention such arhaeologica! and architectural monuments as Tauric Chersonesus, Neapolis Scythian, the Kerch lapidarium, the Sudak fortress, the •cave towns, the Bakhchisarai, Alupka, Livadia palaces-museums. With every reason the Crimea can be called the open-air complex museum.
From time immemorial the sunny peninsula boasting an advantageous geographical position has been attracting man with beneficial natural conditions, climate in particular. Here the unique geological structure accounted for an inimitable «gamut» of reliefs and soils, flora and fauna, outcrops of some rich mineral deposits. It is impossible to tell how many times did the Crimean soil glow red not with the spring carpets of poppies but with human blood.
At the foot of the rocks where the blue waves have been lapping for ages, in the valleys of the mountain rivers and amid the Crimean steppe, the stooping Neanderthal man and fleet-footed? Cro-Magnon settled, the ferocious Tauri and freedom-loving Scythian built of stone their fortifications, the venturesome Greek colonist and ruthless Roman legionary created harbours in the cosy bays. For more than three centuries the Turkish and Tartar feudal rulers held sway over the country.
The raids of the Tartars with the aim of capturing slaves- and loot, gairting tributes and ransoms were the horrible tragedy of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish peoples. Over the period of the Livonian War — from 1558 to 1583 alone the Russian State underwent the devastating inroads twenty times. Nor did the- inroads cease later on, in the 17th-18th cc. The retaliatory campaigns to the Crimea were being realized by the Zaporozhye and Don Cossacks. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1768—1774 the Crimean Khanate ceased to be the vassal of Turkey. But its throne was shared by two khans: Shagin-Girey who adhered to Russia and Devlet-Girey a henchman of Turkey for whose support it hastely landed its forces in the Crimea. In response the Russian Army marched to the peninsula lead by Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov. He managed to consolidate the influence of Russia in the Crimea without resorting to hostilities what helped Shagin-Girey realize his intentions of joining the peninsula to the «All-Russian Power».
The Defence of Sevastopol of 1854—1855, the unvanquished territory of the Revolution — the battleship Potemkin, the Perekop-Chongar operation in November, 1920, the battles of the Great Patriotic War — the second heroic Defence of Sevastopol, the Kerch- Feodosia landing operation, the feat of the underground garrison of the Adjimushkai quarries in Kerch, the assault of Sapun-Gora during the liberation of Sevastopol from the Nazi invaders in 1944, the powerful partisan movement in the enemy’s rear are inseparable from the concept «the Crimea». There are two hero-cities on the peninsula — Sevastopol and Kerch. Their feat is our pride and our memory.
The post-war labour feat of the Crimea’s residents is likewise unforgettable. Just one example: in May, 1944 the «Report on the Nazi Crimes in Alushta» was drawn. It stated that the invaders had demolished in this little town 134 buildings out of lp8 — the whole of resort recourses. In Sevastopol amid total ruins there stood less than a dozen buildings that were fit to house offices or be used as temporary dwellings.
It was solely owing to the aid of the fraternal republics ol the whole Soviet country that pre-war accommodation capacity of sanatoria was restored within the unprecedentedly short period — it took not more than five years: the towns and villages destroyed by the enemy, factories and plants, orchatds and vineyards were likewise rapidly re-created.
During the post-war Five-Year Plan periods the traditional branches of the Crimea’s economy—viticulture, cattle-breeding, horti- ¦cultre, tobacco-growing, cultivating hard and strong wheat, producing essential oils, mining and metal-working, light and food industries, wine-making were being intensively developed.
The North-Crimean Canal, the decision on whose construction was adopted twenty years ago, has changed the aspect of the north-western part of the peninsula beyond recognition. The course of the Dnieper became 403 kilometres longer and the arid Sivash steppe was turned into one of the richest oases in the country’s» South. The first section of the canal has been put into operation, the second one is being completed. But even by now the produc tion of grain has trebled, that of feed crops doubled, while the vegetable produce has increased one and a half time.
The first section of the canal has brought water to 185 thousand 'hectares of steppeland. The second one which is under construction will add 80 thousand hectares. With the completion of the third section another 87 thousand hectares of dry land will be fully provided with water. That means that a half of the arable land will become an area of the guaranteed yields, the problem of the drinking water supply will be entirely solved in the zone.
Over the past years the enterprises of big chemistry have become quite common in the Crimea, the ship-building, metal working, electro-and radio-lechnical industries are being successfully developed. The «Chernornorets» (Black Sea Sailor) self-propelled floating crane with hoisting capacity of up to 100 tons and the three dimes as powerful «Bogatyr» (Giant) created in Sevasto pol are very popular in many countries. The shipwrights of Kerch have finished building a series of supertankers with a displacement of 180 thousand tons and launched the first in the world absolutely clean tanker «Pobeda» (Victory) with double bottom and boards which does not require deep-water jetties though its displacement is no less than 90 tiiousand tons. The automatic canning lines put ¦out by the Simferopol plant are called in dozens of foreign countries automatic canneries, the painted enamel kitchen steel-ware, the drilling installations are exported to the various parts of the world from Kerch and Feodosia respectively. Towards the beginning of the grape harvest of 1981 the production of 25 horsepower grape-harvesting combines mounted on the self-propelled chassis was started in the Crimea. The new machines consume three times less fuel than the popular American and French models and in no way are inferior to them in productivity.
In the beginning of the 11th Five-Year Plan period the construction of the atomic electric station commenced in the Crimea; its first unit will generate operating current by 1985. Not far from it the first in our country helio electric power station is being erected. In 1981 the second runway was put into operation at the Simferopol airport, making it possible for all the types of transport planes to land and take off. To the ocean gates of the Crimea — fishing ports of Sevastopol and Kerch, to the international passenger port of Yalta, the new deep-w-ater harbour of the model All-Union children resort of Eupatoria has been added.
And this is significant. Exceptionally great importance is attached to the resorts of the Crimea. They are served by tens of thousands of people practically every other person able to work in the Crimea whose population totals 22 million. One third of them are engaged in agriculture, the others work and live in the towns but all they are in one way or another concerned with serving health-building establishments which accommodate annually more than 6 million guests coming for rest and treatment including 100 thousand foreign tourists.
Who of the Soviet people rest and get treatment in the Crimea? The statistics affirms that 55 per cent of the accommodations are granted to workers and collective farmers, 35 per cent to engineers, technical and office workers, 10 per cent to pensioners, students and other citizens. As is known the cost of voucher in our country does not exceed the average monthly pay of worker, besides, 90 per cent of the vouchers are issued free of charge or on favourable terms.
The happiness of people is in the happines of children. Therefore the very first days of Soviet Power on the South Coast of the Crimea were marked by the creation of tiie children’s resort which accommodated the sick and famished children of Moscow and Petrograd. The clear evidence of the Party and Government’s care of the solely «privileged ciass» in our country — the children — is the fact that every summer over 100 thousand Young Pioneers and schoolchildren from the different Union’s republics spend their vacations at 1901 Young Pioneer camps of the Crimea.
Of particular importance for the further perfection of treatment and organization of rest is the Soviet Government’s decision «On the Approval of the Resorts’ Status». This document regulates the procedure for conducting construction, reconstruction and extention of the network of healthbuilding establishments on the peninsula which in accordance with the sociologists’ prognoses will accommodate in 20—25 years twice as many holidaymakers. In this connection the general plan for development of all the Crimea’s resort zones has been adopted. It stipulates the protection of natural resources now being used or in reserve, the creation in the Crimea of the National Park, the construction of new beaches and shore- protecting structures. A lot has been done in this respect but every day puts forward new tasks. It is no accident, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev said in his speech at the 25th CPSU Congress:
«...It is possible and necessary, comrades, to help nature open its vital forces more fully. There is a simple and known to everybody expression «the flourishing country». So they call the lands where the knowledge, experience of people, their affection, love for nature really work wonders».
The scope of the resort construction in the Crimea is one of the concrete manifestations of the Soviet way of life, a real guannt of the right of the Soviet people to rest and treatment written down in the Constitution of the USSR.
Travel around, enjoy leisure, get to know more of the Crimea. And be active in helping the Crimean people to protect the monuments of history and culture, all the riches belonging to us, preserved and created by the multinational Soviet people.
A good journey!