Myths and Facts

A myth or a fact?: The greatest river in Europe is the river Oka, not the Volga.

It is known that the Volga is the greatest river in Europe. Perhaps, it was called so because the Volga is much wider than the Oka in the place of their confluence. But according to the hydrology science a river must be named after an inflow which is longer, has a larger basin and brings more water with itself. The Russian scientist Vladimir Polevanov gives the following definition of the word “source” of the river: “Source of the river is the longest way done by the drop of water from the highest part of the longest inflow to the river estuary”. The place of confluence of the Oka and the Volga is situated in Nizhny Novgorod and is called “strelka”. According to the datas taken from the encyclopedia “Around the World” the length of the Oka river till the confluence is 1498,6 km, the length of the Volga is 905 km. It means that the Oka is 600 km longer than the Volga till the place of their confluence. According to the other datas the Oka is only 230 km or 187 km longer than the Volga, but anyway it is longer. The height of the Oka source is 226 m, the height of the Volga source is 228 m (nearly the same), the river basins are the same: the Oka has 108 inflows, the Volga has about 200 inflows, but along the whole length (the length of the river Volga is 3531 km.)

Thus, the part of the river from Nizhny Novgorod to the Caspian sea must be called the Oka. The Oka is the longest river in Europe.

The fact: The river Oka is worth to be respected!

The fact: The Guinness Book of Records and American ecological organisations has included Dzerzhinsk into the top ten of the dirtiest and the most life-threatening cities in the world for several times.

The anonymous writers recommended to evacuate all the people from the town immediately. This information was a great surprise to the citizens of Dzerzhinsk who knew that those facts were far from being true. No doubt the air can’t be perfectly clean on the territory with lots of large chemical plants, but the  town itself is situated far from the industrial area. Moreover the town was built with regard of the wind rose, the direction of the current of the river Oka and other natural factors. By the way, Federal agency of Hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring has made up a list of the dirtiest cities of Russia. Dzerzhinsk is not among them. Probably, Dzerzhinsk must be grateful to myths for such doubtful reputation.

The fact: Dzerzhinsk is considered to be the capital of chemical industry.

That is true. Dzerzhinsk is one of the main centres of chemical industry in Russia. Different chemical products are produced here: mineral fertilizer, caprolactam, synthetic corundum, plastic, chemicals, fatty alcohols and others. Dozens of large chemical plants were built in Dzerzhinsk on a small territory.

The myth: Dzerzhinsk is a very polluted town, where the average age of men is about 45 years old.

Pollution is not the main reason for the reduction of the men’s lifetime. On the one hand, in the middle of the 1980s a lot of enterprises didn’t work, employees were fired, on the other hand all life values people got used to were changed. People were at a loss, they didn’t know what to do and how to live. Some of them died of committing suicides, others of alcohol. Many of the men left the town looking for a job in other regions. That was the reason for the reduction of the men’s lifetime at the end of the 1990s. Fortunately, these times are in the past. Nowadays new plants are being built, trading, transport, new activities are developing. The town is flourishing and changing.

The myth: The air in Dzerzhinsk is terribly polluted because of constant chemical emissions.

The industrial area is situated to the east of Dzerzhinsk,  the direction of the current of the river Oka  is from the west to the east along the town. Thus, the wind rose always has the eastern direction and carries all chemical emissions to Nizhny Novgorod. That’s why the citizens of Nizhny Novgorod don’t like our town and often call it...

The fact: Dzerzhinsk is often called “Dust”.

Some years ago there was a plant in Dzerzhinsk that produced smelly pesticide against domestic vermins. It was called dust, from the English “dust”. So the winds carried not only chemical emissions but also a terrible smell to Nizhny Novgorod.

The myth: There are no fish in the river Oka near Dzerzhinsk. If you catch something, it’s dangerous to eat such fish.

Firstly, fish in the river Oka is always in motion and go down to the river Volga and to the Caspian sea. There is always a great amount of fish here. Secondly, the most dangerous chemical plants were closed many years ago. After that crayfish and starlet appeared in the river. Besides, all the chemical plants are situated downstream to the east of the town, so in case if some fish is poisoned by chemical emissions, such fish are caught not in Dzerzhinsk.

The fact: Fresh fish is sold in the markets of our town every day.

Not every city in the midland of Russia can be proud of having fresh fish in the supermarkets: bream, pikeperch, sheatfish, sabrefish, chub, roach, perch, burbot, tench. We recommend you to taste our local pikeperch and sheatfish!

The fact: Dzerzhinsk is considered to be not only the capital of chemical industry but also the centre of military industry. During the Great Patriotic War every second bomb was produced in Dzerzhinsk.

The plant named after Sverdlov – is one of the oldest military factories in Dzerzhinsk. It is the leader in producing explosives and ordnances. 

The fact: Dzerzhinsk is famous not only for chemicals produced here but also for its people.

Our town can de proud of its sports achievments, especially in sambo and judo. Retyunskih, Krivorotov, Volosov are the names of honored coaches of Russia and Soviet Union. They brought up a great number of world champions, among them is Zyaki Umyarov – many time world champion, European champion and champion of Olympic Games in sambo. Besides, we are greatly proud of Evgeny Sharonov – the famous goalkeeper of the water Polo national team of the USSR, Dmitry Kokorev – triple Paralympic champion in swimming, Michail Kozlov – many-time champion of Russia, World Cup champion, Japanese Cup champion and Oyama Cup champion in karate Kyokushinkai. Besides our fellow citizens have shown great results in athletics, speed skating, table tennis, fencing, boxing, wushu. Igor Egorov – the famous referee of Russia, Valery Popovitch, Dmitry Cheryshev started their career in Dzerzhinsky football team “Khimik”. Anatoly Kerzhakov – the father of the best footbal player of Russia – also lived in Dzerzhinsk and played in “Khimik”. Nowadays boys and girls from Dzerzhinsk become winners of the regional football championships and All-Russia tournament “Kozhany myatch” (Leather ball).

The fact: The area of landscaping in Dzerzhinsk is more than  850 (!) acres, it is about twenty square metres of greenery for each citizen.

That is the best result among the other cities of our country. People who come to Dzerzhinsk for the first time are greatly surprised by the greenery and natural beauty of the town which is known as the centre of chemical industry. The great amount of greenery works as the lungs of the town and cleans our air. Dzerzhinsky forestry occupies more than 28 thousand acres. There are a lot of  pine forests. You can’t but admire the beautiful oak forests in Zhelnino, Reshetikha and Dubki. Volodarsk and Pyra are famous for their birch woods and oak groves. Near the rivers you can see alders, willows and aspens. Most of the forests and meadows are related to the protected area.

The fact: Our forests are full of mushrooms and berries – wild strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, lingonberry, cranberry, rosehip, hazelnuts.

The best places for gathering mushrooms and berries are situated to the west of the town. The biggest colony of herring gulls, about 7000 birds, is in the village Krasnaya Gorka (Red Hill) Volodarsky region. Besides there are lots of  lilies of the valley in the forests. These flowers are listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. The largest and the oldest oak grove is also situated in Krasnaya Gorka.

The fact: Dzerzhinsk is situated in the centre of the valley of two great rivers of Russia.

The river Klyazma flows into the river Oka in 35 km to the west of Dzerzhinsk, the Oka flows into the Volga in 35 km to the east of the town. There are dozens of rivers in this region: the Oka, the Klayzma, the Sejma, the Remna, the Osovets, the Yura, the Krugovitschi and others. Not far from here there is the Lukh which flows into the Klyazma and is famous for its canoe route. In the forests we can find remarkably beautiful lakes: the Cheremisskoe, the Purkhma, the Pyrskoe, the Bortschachje, the Dolgoe, the Zavod, the Eight Svetlykh Ozer (Light Lakes) – they were called so for their amasing clear water, here you can see rare plant species: cloudberry, the English sundew and others.

The fact: There is an omen in Russia: if a man, who was thought to be dead, is actually alive, he will have a long and happy life.

Dzerzhinsk has been declared dead at least three times. But the town is alive, healthy and strong. According to the omen the life of our town will be long and prosperous!