Єшкуль / Яшкюл
View of Kalimullin Square in the city's centre, with the Shutsk mountains in the background
|• Mayor||Khunbish Nokhaev (MZ)|
|• Total||341.2 km2 (131.7 sq mi)|
|Elevation||16–171 m (52–561 ft)|
|• Total||676,715 (+1.3%)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (Western Euclean Time)|
|General Postal Code(s)|
712001–712009, 712011, 712015, 712020–712035, 712037, 712040, 712047–712054, 712057–, 712061, 712068, 712081, 712096
Yashkul (/jaʃ:kʊl/, Soravian: Єшкуль; Yeshkul, Zalyk: Яшкюл; Yaşkül) also known historically as Eshkul (1870–96; 1988–2006) and Novokvasisk (1896–1988) is the provincial capital and largest city of Zalykia. With a total metropolitan population of 676,715 as of 2020, it is also the 16th largest city in Soravia. Yashkul is situated on the Kvasy river, just to the west of the Shutsk mountains.
Early records indicate that Yashkul was settled in the 14th century by Zalyk settlers working under the Crown of Pavatria as part of the Great Western March. For most of history, it was a rural farming town that relied on local wheat crops and fish from the river for sustenance. During the First Soravian Civil War, much of Yashkul participated either directly or indirectly in the war. As Soravia industrialised in the late-19th century, thousands of people migrated into Yashkul for industrial work at its large mills situated on the river. The city was granted city status in 1870, and by 1890 the population had grown to over 100,000. The city's growing size, coupled with growing concern of illiteracy in Zalykia and the promotion of Soravian in the region, prompted the government of Eduard Olsov to officially rename the city to Novokvasisk in 1896.
After provincial borders were redrawn by the ZVNP in 1924, Novokvasisk was selected as the new administrative capital for Zalykia, after the province's historical centre, Nurmgö, fell under the jurisdiction of neighbouring Terekhivka. During the Great War, the city was a large produce of industrial weaponry for the Soravian Army, and after the war continued to grow its status as an industrial centre in western Soravia. Many rural migrants from elsewhere in Zalykia migrated into Novokvasisk for work after Tozulyak's agricultural reforms in the 1950s and 1960s. During the Sostava War the city fell under the control of Tagai Chulgetei's Fathers of Zalykia, and his assassination in the city is what many historians attribute to the end of the war. In 1988, the city was renamed to Eshkul, and was renamed again by Zalykia's Grand Khural to Yashkul in 2006.
Yashkul is one of Zalykia's oldest continually inhabited cities. It is connected to the rest of Soravia on land by the S15 motorway and Soravian gauge rails. The city's central station serves as a hub for rail travel to Zalykia and north-western Soravia. Soravian airline Aeronovo operates year-round flights to the city's Novorespubliky Airport, a two-runway airport with plans for jumbo jet capacity by 2025. Despite its status as one of Zalykia's premier cities, its population growth is declining as a result of substantial youth immigration to eastern Soravia and elsewhere in Euclea.
After the Battle of Usaanbalsan effectively ended the independence of Zalykia, many estranged soldiers of its armies were left with no line of work to continue. With no land afforded to them by the Duchy of Pavatria, many simply joined ranks within the Pavatrian army or retreated to a rural agricultural lifestyle like their ancestors. With extensive knowledge of the terrain, however, some soldiers turned to the Pavatrian crown for work. Known as baruns (not to be confused with barons), some ex-soldiers participated in the Great Western March by charting the Zalyk steppe and settling cities along the Kvasy and Sarpa rivers. First mentioned in the 14th century, Yashkul was one of these cities settled by the baruns.
Despite sitting on the Kvasy, Yashkul remained a rural town for the plurality of its history. Pavatrian and later Soravian monarchs prioritised the development of cities such as Nurmgö and Yanuvka, as they were closer and easier to exercise central power over. Seeing no significant developments in the town, Yashkul continued on as a small fishing and farming village, often tending to travellers and explorers heading further west.
In 1671, the locals built the first khotkhongazar in Yashkul, and in 1683 it was granted town status. Yashkul's rich fish hauls from the river popularised it among Soravian fishermen, especially due to Yashkul's smaller size, which had kept the river fairly free of construction which would otherwise affect marine migratory and breeding patterns. Omul, a common catch from the Kvasy river in Yashkul, sports the scientific name coregonus eshkolus, named after the city.
Barracks were built in 1715 to support forces in the Ten Years' War, and after the war's conclusion and Soravia's emergence as a primary global power, the town developed more extensive from affluent migration as well as retiring military personnel, attracted both by rural lifestyle and natural landscapes of the river and mountains.
The city's population and prosperity was massively effected by the First Soravian Civil War in the late 1850s. Many able-bodied young Zalyks served under the armies of Altynbay Kalimullin (who gives his name to the city's central square) and the Seven Province Union. Others who remained in the town sometimes farmed and fished for the soldiers who would return to the town, and some even sent produce to the frontlines. As the country exited the war under the new presidency of Eduard Olsov, it began rapidly industrialising. Yashkul's location made it perfect for water-powered mills, many of which were built in the city between 1860 and 1870. The population exploded as migration from across the country flooded into the town, and the government granted it city status as Eshkul in 1870, a name that was eventually replaced by the more widely known Novokvasisk in 1896. In 1888, the city was connected to the rest of Soravia by rail.
The city was affected greatly by the Great Collapse, as Soravian exports collapsed with a lack of buyers. During the 1910s, some industrial mills were abandoned as worker's began to strike and some returned to rural, farming lifestyles. The decision by Tadeusz Czyzewski to allow police to seize produce and stock to prevent hoarding was proposed heavily by rural populations in Soravia, including those living in Novokvasisk. Separate strikes occurred in Novokvasisk as part of the Great Strike of 1914. By 1915, the strikes had mostly subsided and the mills gradually began to repopulate with personnel to work them. Some mill workers and farmers started work at Yashkul's industrial military factory when it opened in 1921, producing a large amount of military equipment for the country's army. Its new production capacity gave the city the affectionate nickname of Temurkhot ("iron city") among the Zalyk populace. In 1924, the ZVNP designated Novokvasisk as the capital of the new province of Zalykia, and the town's khotkhongazar was converted and renovated into what eventually became the Grand Khural in 1944.
Novokvasisk saw little conflict during the Great War, minor Ravnian bombing raids occasionally reached the city, which damaged some buildings, but its distance from the frontlines made it relatively safe. Wartime devastation was seen predominantly in its demographic – many young mill workers were conscripted into the army throughout the war, some of whom never returned to the city. Between 1925 and 1935, the city's population declined by 18%. Now the largest city in Zalykia, as well as the provincial capital, however, Novokvasisk saw heavy migration from rural Zalykia, both for industrial work and better quality of life. On the outskirts of the city, Novokvasisk still supported a substantial agricultural demographic, and many Soravian soldiers from the war chose to move to the city in the 1930s. Tozulyak's agricultural reforms, which denied rural farmers the guarantor of state-led routes to sell and export their stock, also increased migration into the city.
The city was damaged extensively during the Sostava War, and was a hotspot for the rebel Fathers of Zalykia movement. Frequent urban and guerrilla conflicts erupted in the city between Zalyk rebels, led by Tagai Chulgetei, and government forces. In 1983, the PDP successfully assassinated Chulgetei in the city, bringing an end to the conflict both within the city and throughout the country. In 1988, the city was renamed to Eshkul as part of a wider trend of de-Sorification in Zalykia, and the name was changed once more to its current name, Yashkul, in 2006.
Yashkul's geography is dominated by the Shutsk mountains in the east, which tower over the city. While the city itself was founded away from the mountains, urban sprawl has seen the city expand to the mountain's base, with construction beginning even at heights of up to 200 metres at the base of the mountains. The Kvasy river and its valleys also run through and surround the city itself.
The city is located at the north-eastern tip of the Great Western Plain that stretches across most of Zalykia. It is 162 km (100 mi) from the nearest chartered city in Soravia (Novaydar and 876 km (544 mi) from the capital Samistopol. The nearest international border to the city is with Ravnia, which is 437 km (272 mi) to the south.
The city is divided into 17 khosetug, which serve similar administrative purposes to districts in other Soravian cities. Each khoset elects their own official that represents them at an official capacity at the city's Khural. The khosetug of Yashkul are:
Yashkul's climate is similar to much of Zalykia and western Soravia, experiencing consistent rain throughout the year, very mild summers and extremely cold winters. In winter it can regularly reach below –10°C (14°F) in the winter and above 35°C (95°F) in the winter. The city experiences roughly 2500 mean hours of sunshine per month, though it is much lower in the winter and much higher in the summer months. In winter, it can snow for weeks on end, with snowstorms sometimes occurring in the city.
|Climate data for Yashkul (1986–2016 normals, extremes 1910–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.4
|Average high °C (°F)||3.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−26.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||39
|Avg. rainy days||12||11||11||11||10||11||8||7||10||11||13||14||129|
|Avg. snowy days||11||11||7||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||9||44|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||88||100||164||211||282||314||341||316||261||204||114||75||2,470|
The main industry in Yashkul is that of military manufacturing. The city has a history of manufacturing military aeroplanes and jets for use in the air force. More recently, the city has also began to manufacture and export aerospace parts, including parts of rockets, buggies, lunar rovers and other spacecraft.
The majority of the city's population are employed by the secondary-sector, but a rapidly increasing tertiary and quaternary-sector workforce and market is seeing many people become employed in services and research. In particular, the city is a hub for natural research, and its location next to the Shutsk mountains, on the Kvasy river and near the rural Zalyk landscape makes it an incredibly biodiverse region for animal and plant life.
Energy in Yashkul is provided from a number of different places. The main source of energy for the city is 822KW hydroelectric dam that sits on the Kvasy river around seven kilometres south of the city. With construction beginning in 1966 and the dam being fully operation by 1971, it is the fifth largest dam in the country, and the largest in Zalykia.
Other energy sources include the Ruzhino-Sagarovka Nuclear Power Plant Station, one of few nuclear power plants still operational in Soravia after many were closed down in the 1990s and 2000s. It is located 56 km (35 mi) south-west of the city between the villages of Ruzhino and Sagarovka. In more recent times, solar panels have been installed in and around the city to capitalise on Zalykia's extensive hours of sunshine throughout the year.
Yashkul is connected extensively to Soravia's roads, rails and air network. As a hub of transport in Zalykia, it serves the role as a gateway to the region, and thus has significant infrastructure to deal with hundreds of thousands of travellers on a daily basis. The S15 motorway connects Yashkul to Ut Sala and Sarul to the west and Krachki and Uzyn to the east.
The city is also connected with standard Soravian gauge rails, the standard rail gauge for much of western Euclea. Train services are available to almost anywhere in the country from Yashkul Central Train Station, the city's main station located in the city centre. Yashkul is especially major as an exchange hub for tourists travelling by train, as it has direct connections to many resort cities on the Zalyk coast, including Khosheut, Gashun, Ermeli, Sarul and Chaltau ba-Khudo, as well as more minor lines connecting smaller towns across Zalykia.
Soravian state-owned flag carrier Aeronovo conduct regular flights to and from Yashkul's Novorespubliky Airport, the city's only airport. Airlines with codeshare agreements with Aeronovo also conduct semi-frequent flights to the city.
Trams are also a popular method of transport around the city itself, with routes connected the city centre to important institutions such as the University of Yashkul and the Yashkul Institute of Natural Sciences. Buses connect almost all of the city with regular and frequent stops and many routes, and also conduct journeys outside of Yashkul to nearby cities. Other localised forms of transport include marshrutkas, trolleybuses and some of the city is connected by YMMTS, Yashkul's monorail system.
Despite its location, Yashkul is often renowned for its heavily Eucleanised and Soravianised culture, which reflects in its art, cuisine, music and way of life.
The largest museum on Zalyk culture, artefacts and history is located on Rakivka Street in the Lekhovtseoy khoset, housing centuries worth of culture stretching back to the first migrations in the 10th century. The city is also known for its comparatively old architecture, often dating back to medieval times. Some old buildings in the very centre of the city (most of which are located on the river) are left standing, but most were demolished as the city industrialised, with only their ruins left today.
Yashkul is also a notable centre for zadany in the country, with multiple zadany clubs operating throughout the city. Its professional team, Yashkul Zadany Sports Club, plays in Soravia's national league. Yashkul ZSK play their home games at the Slobodishche-Voyevodsk Arena, located in the eponymous town around three miles west of the city.
Famous Soravian musician Makar Ilin was born and grew up in the city. Ilin was most well known for his role as the lead singer of Stavka Cherez Sertse, a Soravian punk rock and post-punk band that emerged in the 1980s. Ilin also led other avant-garde projects such as Funktsionalizm, as well as an illustrious solo career in acoustic folk music and a side project in psych rock collective Ilin i Tarasova. More recently, artists such as Bayna Erdniev, Tasha and Longpovelia have emerged from the city.
Twin towns – sister cities
- Orov, Kriklivets
- Ivnitsa, Lushkina
- Semerinka, Lushkina
- Vydryche, Myrutyn
- Bologovka, Samistopol
- Chaltau ba-Khudo, Zalykia
- Yalmta, Zalykia