I walk down the street and feel the pain and steadfastness of the residents of the village of Bilogorodka.
The village is 22 km from Kyiv. It was loud here in March 2022, but they didn’t get here.
The natural border was the river Irpin, the defenders and the power of the ancestors and the spirit of this city. Now the village is overcrowded. Life goes on, but everyone remembers that there is a war. The road leads me to Lytopisnaya Krynytsia.
The inscription takes me back in time to the events of 997. The ancient struggle with the Pechenegs is reflected in the legend of “Belgorod jelly”. This legend is imprinted on a red stone. A large cross stands on top of the mountain. It tells how the Pechenegs, taking advantage of Volodymyr Svyatoslavich’s absence, besieged Bilhorod. Famine began in the city. On the advice of a resourceful townsman, the residents dug two wells, lowered a tub of jelly into one of them, and honey into the other, and treated the invited Pecheneg ambassadors with them. Believing that the land itself feeds the people of Belgorod, the Pechenegs lifted the siege.
A spring flows next to the well.
The well is under the mountain. Today it is a mountain overgrown with grass and shrubs, several meters high.
And 1000 years ago, these were the walls of a fortified settlement. Belgorod was one of the points in the system of defense against attacks by nomads. He is mentioned for the first time in the annals under the year 980; at that time, the city and the surrounding lands were in the personal possession of the Grand Duke of Kyiv Volodymyr Svyatoslavych, the princely palace was located here. In 991, a fortress was built in Belgorod, and the city became one of the strongest outposts in the defense of Kyivan Rus against nomads. Belgorod was the place of residence of the bishop and the temporary residence of the Kiev princes. The remains of ancient Belgorod are well preserved. Prince Volodymyr is remembered by a monument in the center of Belogorodka.
The monument is installed on one of the ancient ramparts. The modern track cuts through the shaft. But the shaft is visible from both sides. Until now, one can see its powerful fortifications on the bank of Irpen – a deep moat and a rampart 10-12 meters high, which had a rather complex construction of wooden log cabins filled with raw bricks. A moat and rampart surrounded the city, which covered an area of more than 120 hectares.
Bilhorod was one of the largest cities of Kievan Rus and in terms of its size exceeded such ancient Russian cities as Chernihiv, Pereyaslav, Ryazan, and was not inferior to many medieval Western European capitals.
And now it is a big village.
The village is pleasant, with good roads, shops and everything you need for life. If it weren’t for the war, it could be said that happy people live here.
And now you won’t see many smiles on the faces of residents.
Battles that decided the fate of the Kyiv state took place more than once under the walls of Belgorod. The second unsuccessful campaign of the Pechenegs, who were defeated here by the wives of heroes Alyosha Popovych and Yan Usmoshvets, is told in the chronicle under the year 1004. In 1136, a battle with the Polovtsy took place under the city walls, during which the latter were defeated.
I was told by the residents of the village that the Russian troops did not reach several kilometers to Belogorodka. In February and March there were continuous cannonades, the roar of artillery. Drones flew in. But the military spirit of Kievan Rus and the strength of the place itself helped the people to persevere and not let the enemy go.
Materials used are from the site of the Belohorod Territorial Community
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