Administrative center: Urussu
Area: 759.1 sq.km
There is a picturesque place in the south-east of Tatarstan. Hills surround it on the one side, and wide fields and woodlands, on the other. Like a small blue ribbon, runs a leisurely river. On its hilly banks, stands the village of Yutaza.
The rayon got its name from one of its geological sites — cave Kerez Tishik ("honeycomb hole") on the Zapadny Ik River. It indeed resembles a huge honeycomb — a large karst area is full of natural holes and craters that absorb all the water from the surface. Two neighboring villages are aptly named Tuymazy ("insatiable") and Yutazy ("swallowing"). The rivulet of Yutazinka gave its name of the village, its main street and the local train station. Until the start of the 20th century, the area was covered by dense and impenetrable woods. Forests and land belonged to the local landowners Vdovin, Denisov, Dvornikovy, Dietrich, Tabenko, Semenov and Bobrov.
The construction of the Volga-Bugulma railway gave a huge boost to the development of rural life. In 1911, the Yutaza train station appeared, including the terminal proper and two water towers. The station saw its first train in 1914.
The first settlers in the area were the Mamayev, Kozyrev and Sharipov families. Their houses formed the village’s main street, named after the river Yutazinka. During the spring high water, the river overflowed its banks and flooded the area, including even the village.
A local landowner helped the settlers by building a canal with a dam and a two-storied mill on it, and the flooding ceased. With the establishment of the Soviet regime, wealthy landowners fled their homes, leaving the farmers to fend for themselves.
In 1919, the former estate of August Franzevich Tabenko in the village of Ik was reorganized into the Zarya (“Dawn”) commune, later destroyed by Kolchak’s army. In 1920, after the defeat of Kolchak, the Lenin commune was started at the farmyard previously owned by a landowner named Denisov. In 1923, the commune took part in the All-Russian Agricultural Exhibition and was ranked 9th nation-wide. The communards’ prizes included a Fordson tractor, a 12-row disk drill and a library of 500 books! With the help from the authorities, the commune managed to build a nursery and a club.
What amazes you in Yutazy is how well people remember the names of all their ancestors. History has preserved us the names of first immigrants of the 20th century, who built their house by the Aptrazyak Spring: Ahmadysh and Hasansha Davletshin.
Zalyakai Zabirov, Galiulla Ahmetov and their families moved to Yutazy at about the same time. By 1929, about 20 families from the village of Akbash had resettled in Aptrazyak Street.
With the start of forced collectivization, Aptrazyak Street was renamed Vakhitov Street and became the center of the newly established Nur kolkhoz (collective farm). 22 farmsteads from the village of Apsalyamovo merged to form the Hezmet artel (farm of joint ownership), which was later transformed in the K.Ye. Voroshilov collective farm. Its first leader was Timerhan Hanipov.
It is interesting to recall that until mid-20th century one of Yutazy’s main streets bore an unusual name for a Soviet village: Landowner Iskandarov Street. People of Yutazy treasured the memory of a landowner who once built a beautiful mansion on this spot. The center of the village was its market square, later reorganized into Kolkhoznaya (Collective Farm) Street... Other streets preserved the names of the past leaders and great figures of the Soviet Union: you can now take a walk down Kirov or Sverdlov or Chkalov Street, or remember your childhood while passing along Pionerskaya (Young Pioneers Street).
The rayon’s administrative center, the township of Urussu, appeared on maps in 1947, when the Urussinskaya power station has been built. Its name derives from a nearby village. Immediately after the discovery of oil Tuymazinsky rayon, Bashkir ASSR, in 1938, the tiny Urussu station was used as the transport hub for geologists and surveyers. In the midst of World War II, the village Shugurovo (just across the Bashkir border) became the first place in Tatarstan where oil was discovered, starting the oil rush. The new industry needed a massive source of energy, larger than the diesel pumps and power trains available. A decision was made in favor of a permanent power plant which was to be built in a new township erected to serve the needs of energy supply. Thus Urussinskaya power station was born, built in the shortest possible time. Its first energy was generated in November 1944. The new power station allowed Tatarstan’s oil industry to skyrocket to No.1 in the Soviet Union.
Old-time residents will tell you that the first local teacher was a wife of the station master. A well-educated woman volunteered to teach the basics of literacy to farmers’ children. Soon, a school was set up in the Dietrich farm. In 1938, the village school was promoted to comprehensive. In 2008, the Yutazy School celebrated its 70th anniversary. Many teachers and graduates from around Russia and the world were invited to the jubilee party. Among them were scholars and scientists A.Z. Bikulov, A.Sh. Hanipov, Z. Nasyrov, I.S. Gaisin, K. Yahin, I.S. Kateyev, well-known Udmurtian journalist Zakuan Nuretdinov, winner of international competitions Ruzalin Bakiyev, Meritorious Teacher of the Republic of Tatarstan and writer I.S. Bikbulatov, Honored Doctor of Bashkortostan T.H. Mussina, Meritorious Worker of Agriculture Asgat Abdullin and many others.
In August 1969, an obelisk was erected in Yutazy to honor the victims of World War II. Its constructors put a time capsule inside the monument with a message “to the generation of the 21st century”. The letter is to be opened in 2017, when, as the authors had hoped, the country would have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. Soon we will be reading their message...
In 1963, Fandas-aga Hafizov continued the tradition of exploring new lands, moving together with his wife Sajid Khanum to new, previously uninhabited location. As time went on, others followed him, and a new neighborhood arose. It now features a veterinary hospital in the street originally known as Veterinarnaya, but recently renamed after Albert Kamaletdinov, a soldier killed in Afghanistan. One of the resients of Sverdlov Street is Nasim Ahmetzyanov, whose father Ismagil Hafizov is depicted on the monument to Mother in the rayon center.
Today the rayon lives and develops at its own pace, remembering the past and dreaming of the future. People of Yutazy honor the traditions and celebrate holidays together. Yutazinsky rayon is famous for its kumys (mare's milk), which is considered curative. During the Sabantui season, many people come here to shop for kumys.
The rayon now has its central hospital, a culture center, new shops, schools and a library. The famous Tatar poet Sibgat Hakim, once on a visit to the rayon, was impressed by its beauty and dedicated a poem to these lands. This was the birth of a song, Yutazy, which often opens the local festivals and celebrations.