Makhachkala: how citizens become citizens

February 7, on the page of the head of the Republic of Dagestan in social networks, a fresh publication. News related to the construction of the historical Park-Museum “Russia — my story”. “After a broad public debate, which took place on this occasion for the first time, I have decided to allocate for the construction of the station under the prospectus of Imam Shamil. Moscow developers of the project approved this site as a most satisfying building regulations historic Park,” wrote Ramazan Abdulatipov. And those last couple of weeks he lived in a wild strain, a sigh of relief and began to call and congratulate each other.

The publication of the President was confused by one paragraph: “Some people have decided to be promoted at the expense of the project, forcing the situation and misinforming people said that the historical Museum will be built in the Park of Lenin Komsomol”. Which meant Ministers and the press service of the head of Dagestan out of his mind, and the battle of citizens with the power did not exist.

Museum of high fire risk

Makhachkala is a city of barbaric, rabid development. Citizens are accustomed to an uncontrolled chaotic urban planning, which is something demolished and dies. Under construction in the Park children’s entertainment center at some point degenerates into a three-storey restaurant, green area is reduced every year. Including through the construction of “cultural objects”.

In mid-June of 2016 Republican mass media published the information that in Makhachkala plan to open a Museum Park “Russia — my story”, which will be presented to mediainstance, panoramic theaters and projection screens designed to strengthen historical knowledge and to spread patriotism. It was also reported that the Park Museum will take a fair amount of the Park named after Lenin Komsomol — the oldest, and in fact generally the only Park of Makhachkala. The fact that the project is joined by another 9 regions and it is under the patronage of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and thanks to the support of the head of Dagestan Ramazan abdulatipova, meant that the decision cannot be revised. In the Dagestani segment of social networks poohali, scolded the government and diverted to other stimuli.

And very few were interested in: what exactly, is the operator of the Museum, the Fund for humanitarian projects?

Rurik children

In November 2016, the head of administration of Makhachkala, Musa Musayev conveyed part of the Park leased for 49 years non-profit Fund “Russia — my story. The City Of Makhachkala”. The founder of the Fund, in addition to native once for Musayeva of the Ministry of construction of Dagestan, is a Fund for humanitarian projects from Moscow.

On the official website stated that the Foundation carried out four projects, three of which are dedicated to the Rurik and Romanov, the fourth — the history of Russia from ancient times to the present day. The Foundation also released two mobile apps that, as expected, called the rurikids and the Romanovs. But the main asset of the Fund is the fact that his exposition “Russia — my story. 1945-2016” in the Arena on 4 November last year was attended by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Who has proposed the creation of Museum’s branches in the regions. Coordination of the work entrusted to the management of public projects of the presidential Administration, where the Deputy responsible for “strengthening the unity of multinational people of the Russian Federation”, is a former President of Dagestan Magomedsalam Magomedov.

The partners Fund is the administration of the President of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Patriarchate, Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation and the Moscow government. The idea belongs to Vladimir Putin’s Confessor Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), which in the Patriarchy is responsible for culture and the Fund chairs the Advisory Council.

In respect of the Dagestan model of Museum was supposed to complement the “Dagestan’s block”. Its development is entrusted to a team of specialists. Their names are not known; what is included in the exhibit is also not known. But the recent history of the memorial “Ahulgo”, allows you to make some assumptions.

Recall that in January 2017 in the Untsukulsky district of Dagestan, took place the opening of the memorial complex “Ahulgo”. It was built in memory of one of the most dramatic events of the Caucasian war — the battle for the strengthening of Ahulgo. At the opening of the complex, Ramazan Abdulatipov said in a speech, the meaning of which was to ensure that the blood spilled by Russian soldiers and mountaineers, sanctified “historical unity and brotherhood of the peoples of Russia”. However, both the idea and its implementation has caused a number of serious issues.

“The victory of Russian troops in Ahulgo is only the first stage of a bloody war. Ahead peak power of Shamil in the 1840s, his victory and, accordingly, a major defeat of the Russian troops, says the historian, senior researcher at the Center for Caucasus and regional security MGIMO Vadim muhanov. — The restoration of historic buildings and monuments will serve the cause of reconciliation and harmony is more than a memorial or a Museum-Park. The steps of the local administration aimed at personal PR, can lead to a new escalation of the conflict.”

The memorial complex “Ahulgo” opened on 20 January. Source: Municipal formation “the village Untsukul”. If he is a memorial and a copy of the panorama is Franz Roubaud “Storming aul Ahulgo” satisfactory, gallery, where, among other portraits there is a portrait of Vladimir Putin astride a white horse, was seen by many Dagestanis as an attempt to please the Kremlin. And the fact that it was served as the perpetuation of the memory of Imam Shamil, had made a strategic blunder almost an insult.

There is reason to assume that all mistakes “Ahulgo” would be repeated in the Dagestani unit of the Park-Museum “Russia — my story”. After all, the Russians proposed the story with a catch.

Candidate of historical Sciences, researcher of the Institute of Oriental studies Patimat Tanaeva asks “Who are the authors of the “textbook of Russian history”? The idea takes us back to the middle ages, when the Bible depicted on the walls of temples, for the illiterate. But there was a sacred text, to move away from the plot impossible. And here decorative history, designed to inspire visitors of Patriotic devotion to the glorious past and a sense of belonging to a great “historical Russia”. The keynote — the millennial tradition of the Russian state is inviolable thanks to the Orthodox faith. And the government supported it, is sacred and inviolable. Here you can talk about specific applying the historical knowledge, the manipulation of consciousness. But not about history as science.”

About Vanaraj about yourself

It is unlikely that they go all the subtleties and knew that the Museum offered.

Most likely, the first few people thought about what they could lose along with the Park. But then came the realization: the Park is not only trees or a place where you can walk with your child, but also part of a citywide historical memory.

One of the shocks that started this process, was published on 20 January in the Republican weekly “Draft” appeal. Everyone was invited to 14 o’clock on January 29 in the Lenin Komsomol Park is a tourist trip. “Come with children and parents, bring friends and girlfriends. We want you — your generation — remember this Park what it is today: big and beautiful, with tall trees. And maybe said goodbye to him.” And the people came. With children. Some with their grandchildren. Came and the police apparently believed that the walk turn into an anti-government rally.

The guide Yana Martirosova said: “I knew that would be the police, but never imagined it would be so much. Never took the tour under escort. But then I relaxed, the main thing that people came. So Park they need. I was talking about the brothers Arkady and Nikolai, who in 1909 arrived in Petrovsk (formerly known Makhachkala) to continue his father, the brewer, Peter Weiner. The place allocated to them by the city authorities was waterlogged, the scourge of the Petrovsk — malaria decimated the people. And they are for draining soil planted here the garden which was called Vagnerovsky or Wenerski, and then became fleet Oilers, then of the Lenin Komsomol. After the tour, the people began loudly to resent the upcoming logging and there was a risk that we will start to disperse. But we journalists “Draft” managed to defuse the situation”.

The attack on the Park did not start today. It was gradual. Since the Soviet era from the Park, was cut out the pieces to construct ideologically significant objects — a monument to the Soldier-liberator, military Museum and walk of fame. Ironically, these objects were to promote the same goals that were discussed and the project “Russia — my story”. Namely, “to capture the minds of young people to develop Patriotic education and to attract to the study of history.”

Victor A. Chigirik, architect and meticulous local historian wrote many times about the fact that the Park named after Lenin Komsomol may die. According to him, the felling of the trees under the memorial to the Liberator Soldier has already caused the entire complex of the Park ecosystem, a severe blow. About the same in his memoirs about the old Makhachkala, says journalist Andrei Melamed: “the Murder of the Park began, when thoughtlessly, barbarously cut down trees and put up a monument to the liberator Soldier. Upset the balance. Tell that at the time Vaneri hired an architect and he copied our fleet of almost Versailles. In the Park the streams flowed, rivers, and above them hung bridges”.

A they older I remember what was Wenerski Park, say that this was a completely different world, grass everywhere, and trees, and there were pheasants, rabbits were carried out.

The garden with fountains, grass, and galloping in her hares are long gone. And the power of protest apparently due not only to the fact that someone has encroached on the Park, but how it was done. If the previous developers have chosen to Park on the sides and rear, these came a cavalier the only owners and had a backyard, and the place is well-kept and Central, directly at the main entrance to the Park.

“People of our Tsar” against #Parkas

One of those who attended the farewell walk was Arsen Magomedov, head of the law firm “Magomedov and partners.”

“I met so many friends, surprisingly from completely different worlds. With others met in the wording of “Draft” where we went to discuss the situation. There we a bunch of strangers turned into an action group. Exchanged phone numbers, I created a group on Batcape and agreed on further actions. Next was paperwork, it was discovered that everything happened with a lot of violations there are no open public hearings, was no trading, the site was just loaned to Dagestan Fund “Russia — my story” by order of the President. We created a petition to appeal to Putin on the website Change. org, has filed a complaint to the Prosecutor and sent to court where required to acknowledge this transmission is illegal.”

After the “final walk” events unfolded rapidly and in multiple directions simultaneously. The initiative group began patrolling the spaces under construction. They were joined by residents adjacent to the Park houses. Was on duty even at night. From the front looking out over the Park, Magomed Gadzhiev, and if the group in Matsapa appeared the message “Dig!”, it instantly spread on social networks, people are frustrated and they went to the Park.

And here happened something amazing that probably should be included in the urban chronicle. For some time, all religious, national, territorial, political and other differences were forgotten. To protect the land area of 1.05 hectares and 65 marked for felling of trees stood the Sufis and Salafis, liberals and Stalinists, indigenous citizens and in large numbers. A correspondent of one of the state media, said, “I Have a task to write superpositional material. But I will not.”


This activity and the growing outrage could not go unnoticed. Appeared the first publications that mention the events in Turkey, Taksim square and Gazi Park. On the website of the municipality of Makhachkala has information about the project, which was first openly announced that the land plot allocated by order of the Head of Dagestan, and the amount of 140 million, which will leave the budget for the construction of the complex. A day later the same hall was held a public hearing and scattered on social networks a video with the speech of the Deputy of the district Assembly Sagri Magomedova, has proved that in the slender ranks of the officials with people who are able to go against a direct order from the top.