At the Shadow of Communism

The village of Dzoragyugh, which lies around 120 km due east of Yerevan, Armenia's capital, has a history stretching back over 1,000 years. A small ruined church and hermitage on the edge of the village date back to the 9th century and attest to the centuries of human habitation on the shores of Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in the Caucasus and a geographical feature that has a special place in Armenian history. The village has two schools, three working churches, a cultural centre and a disused limestone mine. During Soviet times, villagers worked in agriculture, animal husbandry and bee-keeping. Post independence, however, the country's economy has struggled to break out of the Soviet network and diversity beyond the subsided industries that employed a large proportion of the working population. Dzoragyugh is now a typical example of the post-Soviet reality in Armenia - a poor, struggling community of mainly elderly people which sends its best and brightest abroad to make money and send back much needed remittances. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Armenian village of Dzoragyugh has a thousand-year-old background and four thousand people. Most of the village's men migrate to cold regions like Russia and Siberia to work and send money to their families.

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