25 The Last Villager of Leonidovka

The Last Villager of Leonidovka


Desolation and silence, lapsided electric poles and shabby houses prove that the village was abandoned long time ago.

The road to the village goes through a shallow gulley which can be crossed only by an off-road vehicle in case of rough weather.

In winter the road is covered with snow and can be cleared by local citizens if they need to report to the authorities that there is another deceased person in the village. There is no shop, gas, water and telephone.

In summer people from the city come to this place to have a rest and the place wakes up slowly.

In winter the village is inhabited only by old people the number of which is getting decreased every year. There were two of them last winter. And only one old lady will be staying here in the coming winter.

Her name is Valentina. She is the only person left in the village. She is 82 years old who never complains about her health. Every summer she is visited by her sister who helps her to plant vegetables and about the house.

Sister went back to the city two weeks ago, the neighbors are packing their things as well and very soon Valentina will stay alone waiting for the spring to come.

She says she likes the place as she was born here. She used to have a flat in the town nearby but sold it to stay in her native place.

Last winter she had a neighbor, another old lady who died in spring. She isn’t afraid to live here and says that local authorities clean snow from her house to the railway station, so she can go to the shop and buy products she needs.

Neighbors are saying that they are ready to leave their apartments in the cities and stay in the village if only water, gas and electricity were available. They also ask to build a road that would connect the village to the shop, pharmacy and hospital. Are they asking too much? Only 2 kilometers of the road and the village will be alive.

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25 Responses to “The Last Villager of Leonidovka”

  1. ayaa says:

    Pity. Another perfectly good way of life, going to waste on a large-scale.

  2. geoff says:

    Valentina, what a lovely name. I think she is content with her life, but somebody needs to be near her.

  3. raaa says:

    Could someone show this vilage on the map?
    Where is it?

  4. George Johnson says:

    Most people do not like to leave their homes. Not that this is that “bad”, but no matter how bad it is, people just don’t like to leave. Like the people of Ethiopia. Can’t grow food, no water… people dying all day long. But still, don’t want to leave.

  5. EngrishBob says:

    It really isn’t worth putting a road to it. There will be nobody left soon.

  6. Unknown says:

    I think it’s 54°23’40.73″N 53°32’27.45″E

    but not sure.

  7. perristalsis says:

    The locals could:
    1) Declare the village a living historical monument.
    2) Show an ongoing effort to restore it to different time periods, say 1864, the year of it’s birth, and 1940, the zenith of population boom.
    3) Charge admission to visit.
    4) Charge to camp long- term in the area.
    5) Form a “Save our Heritage” committee to direct the village’s future direction and establish credibility of the issue.
    5) Seek state subsidies to get the project underway- governments are more amenable to group pressure just to to keep them quiet…I could go on, but it’s up to the locals if they really want this to happen.

    • Hirsh says:

      They could, but there is nothing historically significant about this place nor is it anything special as far as a tourist attraction. There are slowly dying out (and already dead) villages all over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine etc. etc. just like this one.

  8. alcanal says:

    So sad.

  9. Osip says:

    Good God! No one lives here because of the contamination from the chemicals weapons stored and everywhere abandoned in the territory of Leonidovka! This is enormous nasty hole.

  10. eneils says:

    Valentina’s old face has thousands of stories in all those wrinkles. Some good, some bad, bless her heart.

  11. putin says:

    There are several places with that name, but by the description of it, my best guess is here. http://maps.google.com/maps?rlz=1C1GPCK_enUS414US414&gcx=w&q=Leonidovka&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl&authuser=0

  12. yojimbo says:

    There are 7 different Leonidovkas showing up in a Google Earth search and it does not say what Oblast this Leonidovka in so for sure I ca not say.3 are in Russia and the rest in in Kazakhstan.

    I am guessing it is this one:Lenidovka,Republic of Bashkortostan,Russia.

    It that it is not too far from a larger town and this old village is a few miles away.It seems that the woman maybe has some sort of physiological reason for staying there.At least some people are willing to help her.

  13. (r)evolutionist says:

    Refuge from the insanity of the city.

    • yojimbo says:

      I think not it is in a rural region obviously the city that she lived in for a time is nothing more than a small town.Like I said she has some physiological attachment to this place and cant leave.

  14. todd says:

    Shes brave

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