The village of Zhilichi. Bragin district of Gomel region
Only six streets make up the village of Zhilichi. The architecture of this village is quite simple. Almost all of the houses are wooden mansions. While wandering, one can even come across so called “self-made izbas” or thatched houses made from clue. To tell the truth, they are all ruins now. By the way, you will find ruins everywhere here. Almost all the majority of young people have moved to the districts or the regional center of Grodno, and there are few accommodated houses or farms left in the village.
There are about 50 people living here, so one store is enough to enjoy some shopping in spite of the fact that it is open only 2 hours a day. A lot of native people work at the local farm where they take care of cows, calves and horses. The paved road is a special luxury here; it stretches for only 250 m.
The village of Zhilichi faces the Dnieper, some time ago there was a quay “Babki” or “Grannies”. Oil ships used to land here, sometimes 5 times a day, so people could get to Kiev, Gomel or Kamarin. The time passed, nothing remained of this quay, only picturesque landscape. Just fishermen sail here from time to time.
Most of roads are earth ones, except for those 250 meters of paved-roads leading to the bus station. The motorway to Bragin runs from here, then it goes to Holmech` or Hoiniki. It is 125 km. far from the regional center of Gomel. Once a week a scheduled bus takes local people there.
It didn’t use to be a small village long ago
In the 18th century, Zhilichi became known as a village located in Rechitsa district of Minsk Region. The landlady Kobylitskaya owned this estate of 1782 acres. It is known, that, at the end of the 19th century, there was a school and a shop for bread storage there. In 1908, about 20 years later, the territory of Zhilichi belonged to Dzherazhitskaya Volost.
From the beginning of the 20th century until 1960s, the total population exceeded 500. The village was quite large and it had its own council called Zhilichskij. First, the village was a part of Bragin Raion Rechitsk District and later, since 1927, it has changed into Gomel District.
In 1930s, the villagers run collective household a workshop, a mill, grain cracking tools and a forge.
From everyday routine to havoc
During the Great Patriotic War, the village of Zhilichi suffered tragic fate: German warriors burnt it down in October 1943. The villagers had to run into forests to escape violent punishment. They managed to save their lives hiding in dugouts made in seconds. Nevertheless, fascists killed one of the villagers. Soon, when the Red Army forced the Dnieper in this neighborhood, Sergeant Mahov, the Hero of the Soviet Union, died here.
Chereshnev, the commander of the troop, which distinguished itself during the battle near Zhilichi on October 17, 1943, was honored this rank too.
In 1992, the evidence of military actions of those times was found not far from the village – a battle tank T-34. It was fixed up in Bragin to commemorate the events of the Great Patriotic War.