Рудник Кочубея - штольни
One of the mine adits (Photo taken by Dnipro Stalker)


Kochubeevsky adits (Kochubeyevsky mine)

Abandoned iron ore mine – Kirovograd region, Ukraine.

Kochubeevsky mine (or Kochubeevsky adits) is a historical industrial site in Ukraine. Located on lands that once belonged to the noble Kochubey family, one of the oldest and most influential dynasties in the history of the state. To get to this interesting place, it is most convenient to start your journey from Krivoy Rog. The trip will take about half an hour from the city center (Terny bus station) by any minibus in the direction of Zheltye Vody to the village of Annovka. When entering the village, you must stop and turn right near the monument to Ataman Kostya Stepno-Goluby (monument coordinates: 48.2339513, 33.4610778). There is no need to go to the village center. After 30–40 minutes, at a slow pace (3 kilometers), you can reach the object.

Past – adits as an industrial facility

Discovered in 1904 to extract iron ore from a single, narrow seam. Its thickness is only 1.5-3.0 m. The quarry worked intermittently and did not last long. For 1904–1906 Only 39 thousand tons of ore were brought to the surface, and in 1913–1914. even less – 11.5 thousand tons of ore. The mine has been closed since 1915. The adits have a length of 185 m, a maximum depth of up to 35 m. Outside, it has a narrow shape with steep rocky and steep slopes. Nearby there is an old dump, open deep ravines and 5 adits.

The length of each is approximately 250 meters. Limonite shale was mined there manually, using hand tools, and the ore was transported by trolleys. After the second launch attempt, they began to use dynamite. The unfortunate location, low thickness and poor characteristics of the ore-bearing layer did not allow it to withstand competition with other mines. The owner twice tried to restart the facility for industrial use, twice suffered serious damage and abandoned his plans.

Вход в штольни
Entrance to the adit (descent)
На дне рудника
At the bottom of the mine

Who is the owner of the Kochubey mine?

The owner’s father (Prince Sergei Viktorovich Kochubey) was elected leader of the nobility of the Poltava province. Mother – Countess Sofia Alexandrovna Benkendorf. The paternal grandfather (Prince V.P. Kochubey) served as Minister of Internal Affairs, and the maternal grandfather (Count A.H. Benkendorf) commanded a separate gendarmerie corps. Nepotism and cronyism succeeded in the Russian Empire.

He received his education at home, in 1878 he passed the exams at the Mikhailovsky Artillery School and began military service. Since 1879, he was in the Cavalry Regiment and received the rank of second lieutenant; six months later he became a cornet of the guard. Six years later he was promoted and received the rank of lieutenant; after six years of service, a new promotion – captain captain. Then he served as a captain (1894), from 1894 as an aide-de-camp and from 1898 as a colonel. He received the rank of general in 1899 and was assigned to the Post of His Imperial Majesty. In 1911 he finished his service and resigned.

Kochubey was one of the most famous and wealthy land owners in the Poltava province. But he lived permanently in St. Petersburg on Furshtatskaya Street and owned a large mansion. The house was built according to Meltzer’s design during 1908–1910. In 1892–1894 he served as adjutant to Tsarevich Nicholas, in 1890–1891 he accompanied him on trips to the countries of the East. In 1899-1917 he headed the Main Directorate of the Ministry. During the February Revolution he was arrested by sailors, but by order of Kerensky he was released. Immediately on April 19, 1917, he resigned from service and moved first to Kyiv and then to Germany. He died and was buried on December 4, 1923 in Wiesbaden.

Kochubey had a fairly large family. His wife, Princess Elena Konstantinovna Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya, daughter of Prince Konstantin Esperovich Beloselsky-Belozersky, died in 1944 in Paris. Princess Elena Kochubey did not respect social life and lived in Dikanka on a historical estate near Poltava. Son Victor (b. 1893), trained in the Corps of Pages. After the October Revolution he lived in France and America and died in 1953. Daughter Nadezhda (b. 1894) was married to Count Tolstoy, who died in 1967. The youngest daughter Sophia (b. 1896) emigrated to Constantinople and died there of typhus in 1920.

В копальне
In the mines
Inside the mine

Traitor relative

Sergei Viktorovich Kochubey’s ancestor Semyon Petrovich Kochubey wrote denunciations against Hetman Ivan Mazepa. In 1708, when Mazepa chose King Charles XII as an ally during the Great Northern War and rebelled against the Russian Empire. Kochubey took part in joint activities with other loyal servants of the Russian Empire against Mazepa.

Kochubey wrote letters and secret denunciations to the Russian tsarist authorities, where he presented information about the actions of Mazepa and his alliance with Sweden. The father converted to Orthodoxy, abandoning the faith of his ancestors, the son betrayed his leader – this is how genes influence people’s behavior. His letters contributed to the creation of a negative image of Mazepa in the eyes of the russian government. This contributed to Peter I’s decision to destroy the hetman’s authorities and the Black Sea Cossacks in Ukraine after Mazepa’s defeat in the Battle of Poltava in 1709.

The traitor died in 1710 (there is a version that the Cossacks punished him), he was hated in the Sich and was not “favored” in the empire. After the destruction of the hetman system, Semyon Petrovich Kochubey did not receive the political influence he expected.

Today – adits as a platform for a movie

The adits have been empty for over a hundred years. Few people knew about their existence; even the ubiquitous children did not often run there to do their business. Probably, they would have been completely forgotten, and nature would have completely destroyed traces of human intervention over time. But in 2016, this place was chosen for the filming of a film based on Andrei Kokotyukha’s novel “Red”.

The filmmakers built a 35-meter-long wooden staircase into one of the adits (it is currently in poor condition). According to local legends, there is the longest adit leading under Krivoy Rog, and in it there is an underground lake. Although such evidence is a consequence of the rich imagination of local residents and their desire to attract attention.

Filming continued from 2016 to 2017, with local residents participating. The adits played the role of mines in the Gulag archipelago; according to the scenario, political prisoners and elements of the criminal world worked here. The main character of the film, who fought for a free Ukraine in those years, raised a prisoner uprising against Stalin’s executioners.

Внутри штольни
Inside the adit
В одной из штолен
In one of the adits

The future – adits as a tourism object?

Local residents dreamed of including the adits in one of the tourist routes. An appeal was made to the director of the regional tourism department, and an analysis of the situation began. However, at present there is a war for the survival of Ukraine, the state is defending itself from russian invaders. All these plans have been postponed for some time in the future, but for now independent tourists visit the adits. This is a great place not only for active travel, but also for reminiscing about the past and thinking about the future.

It is special because it is located practically in the middle of a field, and can only be reached by a dirt road. This gives the mine an individual charm: the landscape makes it an extremely remote place, separated from civilization. To enjoy all its beauty, you need to have a powerful flashlight and, if you are ready to overcome the difficulties of descending and traveling underground, special clothing.

More details in the video

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