Izjevsk är huvudstad i delrepubliken Udmurtien i Ryssland och har cirka 630 000 invånare. Staden ligger väster om Uralbergen vid floden Izj. Staden har en omfattande vapenindustri och det var här som Michail Kalasjnikov konstruerade och tillverkade automatvapnet Ak-47. År 2006 besökte Venezuelas president Hugo Chávez staden och tillkännagav en beställning av gevär.
From 1984 to 1987, the city was called Ustinov (Russian: Усти́нов). The city is a major hub of industry, commerce, politics, culture, and education in the Volga Region. It is famous for its defense, engineering, and metallurgy industries. Izhevsk has the titles of the Armory Capital of Russia and the City of Labor Glory.
The pioneer settlements on the territory where modern Izhevsk now stands were founded by Udmurts in the 5th century. There were two fortified settlements situated on the banks of the Karlutka River. Later, this territory joined the Khanate of Kazan. In 1552, Russians conquered the Khanate and, in 1582, Ivan the Terrible conferred the lands by the Karlutka and Izh Rivers on Bagish Yaushev, a Tatar morza. The quit-rent had been imposed on the Udmurt population ever since. The Yaushevs owned the land till the times of Peter the Great.
On September 15, 1757, Count Pyotr Shuvalov, owner of seven factories in the Urals, bought land in the Kama Region and got permission from Empress Elizabeth to build three ironworks there. In those days, ironworks were powered with steam, and wood was the only heat energy source. For that reason it was decided to build one of the plants on the forest-rich land near the Izh River. It was planned that iron bands and anchors would be made of delivered cast iron here. Another ironworks was built on the Votka River.
In April 10, 1760, serfs from neighboring villages and artisans from other Shuvalov’s plants began the dam construction under the direction of Alexey Moskvin, a mining engineer and a trustee of Shuvalov. This date is considered to be Izhevsk’s foundation date.
The construction was going at a slow pace. The serfs were discontent with being separated from their villages, with arduous duties and regular physical punishment. As a consequence, rebellions were often excited.
In 1762, Shuvalov died. The plants went to his son Andrey. In accordance with the ukase of Catherine the Great dated November 15, 1763, all Shuvalov’s ironworks including one in Izhevsky Zavod lapsed to the Crown for debts. Since that time, it was under the authority of the Collegium of Mining, an institution in charge of the mining industry in Russia. The ironworks on the Izh and Votka Rivers were called Kama Plants.
In 1763, construction of the dam and ironworks was completed and the first bloomery iron was smelted. As a result of the dam construction, one of the biggest reservoirs in Europe was formed. Near the ironworks, the settlement was built. This settlement was named Izhevsky Zavod, meaning “the plant on the Izh” in Russian.
First time, the ironworks made palm-wide iron bands from three to six meters long. These bands were supplied to Moscow for the Kremlin renewal. The iron from Izhevsky Zavod was used for construction in St. Petersburg.
In October 1773, the news of the popular revolt against Catherine II on the Yaik and the manifestos of Yemelyan Pugachev reached Izhevsky Zavod. The Cossak passing himself off as Peter III proclaimed liberty for serfs and called to kill nobles and factory owners. This calls had the backing of the serfs and artisans. Thereby, Colonel Feodor Wenzel, the manager of Goroblagodat and Kama plants, and Aleksey Alymov, the manager of Izhevsky Zavod iromworks, were forced to escape to Kazan.
On January 1, 1774, a detachment of the Pugachev’s rebel army came into the town. The rebels destroyed the ironworks, burned its office buildings, wrecked houses of the managers. The food from the demolished depot was distributed to the people, the ironworks money was sent to the staff of the rebel army in the environs of Ufa. The serfs were let go home, some of them joined the detachment. Thus, the iron production was stopped for a while.
In April 1774, Pugachev’s army fought losing battles everywhere and was forced to leave Izhevsky Zavod. The managers went back to the town. They cowed serfs and artisans into submission and forced them to pledge allegiance to Catherine the Great. The list of workers who had joined the rebel army was made for future reprisal.
In spite of opposition from the forces of Wenzel and Alymov Brothers, Pugachev’s army occupy the town again on June 27, 1774. The crowds hailed Yemelyan Pugachev. He dealt with complains of serfs and workers for two days. Forty-two persons, including Wenzel and Alymovs, were executed.
On June 29, Pugachev left Izhevsky Zavod and set out for Kazan. Many workmen of Izhevsky Zavod joined his detachments and fought selflessly in last battles of the Rebellion, which was mostly crushed by early September 1775. In spite of defeat of the rebel army and execution of its leader, separate bands of rebels continued resistance. New managers of the ironworks suppressed serfs and returned artisans by force. The bands were cracked down.
The ironworks was restored and began to function by the end of 1775. The former order was reseated. The forced workers did not hold an interest in productivity raising and fell into decay by the 19th century.
Arms factory foundation
In 1800, Emperor Paul I ordered to build an arms factory in Urals considering mounting threat from Napoleonic France. Siting was given to Andrew Deryabin, a mining engineer, chief of Goroblagodat, Perm, Kama and Bogoslov Plants. He saw several places in the Perm and Vyatka Governorates and drew a conclusion that the most suitable place for plant foundation was Izh Zavod. It occurred to him to turn the ironworks into the armory.
Alexander I approved of Deryabin’s project and arms factory building began on June 10, 1807. Thus 1807 is considered the year of Izhevsk’s second birth.
There was a shortage of manpower at the new factory. Staff vacancies were filled by serfs, workmen from Urals mining plants and recruits. Armorers were transferred from other arms factories and employed from Europe, mainly from Denmark and Sweden.
The population of the settlement grew quickly so that by the end of 1808 there were more than 6,000 inhabitants. Because of housing requirements, people had to build their houses after work, at night. Houses were made from wood found in forests near the factory. At the same time, workers built new barracks for the soldiers and housing for factory employees, officers and officials, the hospital, schools and other social facilities.
The settlement was built according to the master plan. Architect Feodor Dudin was an author of this plan and a director of all construction works. The principle of an urban grid was the basis of the new master plan. Wide and straight streets crossed side streets running perpendicular to them. Their accurate network formed small rectangular blocks.
On May 18, 1810, a major fire burned in Izhevsky Zavod. 174 houses, the warehouse, and two wooden churches were destroyed.
After the fire, implementation of Dudin’s plan began. The houses were made of pinewood logs. As a rule, a house consisted of two izbas, joined together with an inner porch. Houses of the poor consisted of one izba. Armorers and officials erected two-storied and five-wall log houses. There were 15 streets in Izh by the 1820s.
In 1812, Izhevsky Zavod was divided into three administrative parts because of growth in population and territory.
In 1816, there were 1,710 houses, 8 factory stone buildings, a prison, a cemetery, a stone church and a school in the settlement. The population was 8,324.
In the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s, a number of large stone building was erected. St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built between 1818 and 1823, and visited by Tsar Alexander (who considered Alexander Nevsky his patron saint) shortly after its completion. Other noteworthy large stone buildings which still remain from that era include the Arsenal (1823–25), Public Offices (1843–45) and house of contractor Egor Novikov. All improved Izhevsk’s appearance.
By 1850, the settlement had more than doubled, to population of 19,163. Its territory was about 6200 square miles. 3499 buildings were wooden, and 27 others, including three churches, were made of stone. The settlement had 1066 wells.
Izhevsky Zavod after the Emancipation Reform of 1861
On February 19, 1861, Emperor of Russia Alexander II carried out the Emancipation Reform. On October 9, 1865, Berg-kollegia apprehending the prospective cost increase leased the Arms Factory to the Partnership of Industrialists.
In 1866, serfs of the Factory received their liberty according with 1861 Emancipation Manifesto and got self-government. Izhevsky Zavod was divided into two volosts: Nagornaya and Zarechnaya, or Zareka. Each volost had its board of administration and consisted of rural societies. Rural society was headed by a starosta, selected in the gathering. There were seven rural societies in Nagornaya Volost; Zarechnaya Volost consisted of four.
Administrations of volosts reported to the Board of Sarapul Zemstvo. They were led by volost starshinas, elected for three years. Volost administrations were in the charge of duty acting and tax payment by people. They issued passports, managed improvement of territory and other local affairs.
Administrative and police oversight was carried out by the factory administration. Besides the administration delivered documents of title to land and house. The ponds, pastures and hayfields were turned over to the armorers and artisans.
The abolition of serfdom aggravated property inequalities between the inhabitants of Izhevsky Zavod. Well-to-do sections of population were the factory management, skilled armorers and artisans, administrative professionals, officials, clergy and merchants. Such stratification had an influence on view of the settlement. The labor were driven out of Nagornaya Part and settled in boggy Zareka. At that time, Koltoma, another working-class locality, grew.
In the early 1870s, there were about twenty private stone buildings in Izhevsky Zavod. In Zarechnaya Part all houses were made of wood.
Civic life depended on government contractual works. In the years of war or army re-equipment, the quantity of orders grew. There was an increase in the workforce size and people’s earnings. After the order was filled and wages were cut, most of the workmen left the Arms Factory. As a result, the settlement fell into decay to the next government contractual work.