Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky

Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the city of Dolgoprudny
Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the city of Dolgoprudny

In 2012, on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the city, a monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky was erected in Dolgoprudny (along with two others – Cinderella and the pirate Silver). The author of all of them is the Belarusian sculptor Vladimir Zhbanov. Lieutenant Rzhevsky is one of the most popular heroes of anecdotes on sexual, alcoholic and “pun” themes. But where did it come from?

Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the city of Dolgoprudny

History

For the first time, Lieutenant Dmitry Rzhevsky appeared in the poem “Pets of Glory”, written in 1940 by A.K. Gladkov. The next year, a musical performance “Once upon a time” was staged based on this poem. And in 1962 E. Ryazanov filmed it, but under the name “Hussar Ballad”. It was then that the whole country learned about the dashing hussar lieutenant.

In Russia, the noble family of the Rzhevsky is known, descended from Prince Rurik himself. The Rzhevskys, whose surname is named after the city of Rzhev, are mentioned in the annals of 1315.

Yuri Yakovlev as Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the film 'Hussar Ballad'
Yuri Yakovlev as Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the film ‘Hussar Ballad’

An unambiguous prototype of the lieutenant who took part in the Patriotic War of 1812 does not exist. There were several Rzhevskys, but all of them were not lieutenants. The Volgograd writer Y. Voitov believes that Nikolai Ashinov, a native of Tsaritsyn, who lived at the end of the 19th century and was known as an adventurer and patriot, could become the prototype of Rzhevsky. He came up with the idea that he landed on the territory of what is now African Somalia with a Cossack landing, founded there “the African Cossacks with the village of Moscow” and said that from now on these lands are under the jurisdiction of the Russian crown. “This could have been done only by a true … Lieutenant Rzhevsky.” – writes Voitov.

But all this is speculation and legends. The lieutenant is a collective image, but this does not in any way affect our love for him.

Dolgoprudnensky Rzhevsky is not the first, it is a copy.

The first was the monument to the lieutenant in Pavlograd, erected in the early 2000s (by the same V. Zhbanov). And this despite the fact that it was not he who served in the Pavlograd hussar regiment, but Shurochka Azarova. The monument immediately became popular, especially among the female half. They say: if you touch the hussar’s mustache with your hand, your husband will have a mustache, and if you hold on to another place, you will get pregnant faster. Judging by the polished “other place” of the lieutenant in Dolgoprudny, this tradition took root here too. And another copy of Rzhevsky stands in Kursk, where people called him “the lost hussar.”

Some sources indicate that another lieutenant is in Minsk. I declare with full responsibility – he is not there! Apparently, the sculpture was moved from Minsk, but where – to Pavlograd, Kursk or Dolgoprudny?

Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky in the city of Dolgoprudny
Monument to Lieutenant Rzhevsky
Lieutenant Rzhevsky in Kursk
Lieutenant Rzhevsky in Kursk
Lieutenant Rzhevsky in Pavlograd
Lieutenant Rzhevsky in Pavlograd
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