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Тамбовская область
The Bezdushny kust (The Soulless Bush)

The Bezdushny kust is a natural middle-aged fern forest with subordinate species of linden, ash, elm maple trees understory of various shrubs. The Bezdushny Kust natural boundary together with the Repny Kust boundary nearby are included into the unique natural plantations of the island part of Rasskazovskoye forest.

Rasskazovskoye forest plantation is a kind of completely disappeared watershed forest-steppe forests of the northern type. In 1988 the two forests were given a status of a specially protected areas and botanical monuments of regional significance. The total area of both natural boundaries is about 100 hectares.

Besides the significant natural value, the Bezdushny kust boundary is also known in the region for its legendary ancient history. This place is full of many legends and myths.

The name of the forest itself is rather eloquent. The Bezdushny Kust (Soulless Bush) is the place where one can "lose his soul" or lose your life. In the olden days untill the very 20th century, the area around the modern Rasskazovo town was abundant in gangs of bandits. The trade route passing through the Bezdushny kust was the one attracting them.

Even until now one can find the remnants of the old salt road connecting Russian principalities with Astrakhan.

According to one of the legends, famous bandit Kudeyar was the one in charge of the Bezdushny Kust area. However, ethnographers cast a doubt on this legend but prove as a fact that the grove was once a place where a detachment of Emelyan Pugachev's troops made a stop. Quite a long predatory history of this place caused a number of rumors about the buried treasures hidden somewhere under the roots of oaks. The more ancient history of the natural boundary is even more curious. Archeologists believe that long before the Christianization of Tambov region, the Bezdushny Kust was the place of pagan sanctuaries, where some ritual and cult objects of the pagans could be found, possibly even credence tables and burial grounds. This superstitious fear was the reason first Russian settlers avoided settling near these places.

«Novy» state farm, Rasskazovo district, Tambov region
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