There is a unique little-known corner of nature with an old Russian sonorous name - Rdeysko-Polistovsky area. It is located at Pskov and Novgorod regions, on the left bank of Lovat river. At the present time its Rdeysky part belongs to Holm and Poddor districts of Novgorod region while the Polistovsky part belongs to Bezhanitsky district of Pskov region.
There is a lot of bogs throughout the south Ilmen area, with the Polistovo-Lovatskaya raised bog system being the biggest. Despite its lack of arable land Rdeysko-Polistovsky area has been inhabited since long ago. At the turn of the 2nd Millenium Slavs selected for settlement the shores of large lakes Polisto and Tsevlo. They also inhabited the banks of rivers Pylka, Tsevla and Polist’. Ancient Slavic roots in the geographical names of these places serve as evidence of Slavic settlement history.
Most of the settlements were created on river banks and lake shores due to lack of land suitable for agriculture. The population of the villages was large but substantial wetland area was not at all settled.
Rdeysko-Polistovsky area became a partisan movement zone in the World War II. Inhabitants were dispossessed by a punitive expedition in the autumn of 1942. That was the first forced exodus from these people’s home lands. A lot of houses and outbuildings were burned.
After the war had ended people began to return to their homeland. Some unknown force pulled them back to endless marshes. Polistovsky and Hlavitsa areas were rebuilt and electricity was set up. Alas it was too late, and the second exodus, this time of a free will nature, had started. Hundreds of island villages and Polisto lake villages were deserted and erased from the face of the earth. Now only printed publication references can tell the story of this once rich and densely populated region.
This piece is only a small part of the region’s history. The present Bezhanitsky and Locknyansky ditricts have a very rich history with a lot of mysteries, legends and remarkable places. Polistovsky Reserve staff with the support of NPI FLEG II project created "Porubezhniy Kray" (“Border Area”) website as the Bezhanitsky and Loknyansky ditricts’ sights information resource. Its main goal is to spread the knowledge of Pskov region’s amazing history to the masses.
Please visit our "Porubezhniy Kray" website to discover something new!