Serhetabat, Turkmenistan

Serkhetabad city is situated in the south of Mary veloyat of Turkmenistan on the Kushka River. The city’s population amounts to about 15,000 people. Serkhetabad obtained the status of a city in 1967. The city gained its official name in 1992.  The city lies not far from the Mary-Kandagar route. 

In the place of the modern city, there was a frontier fortress Kushka built by Russian soldiers in 1890. It was a boundary outpost, protecting the most remote borders of the Russian Empire from Afghani tribes. It should be noted, that the Kushka Fortress was the extreme point of the Russian Empire, which fact was commemorated with a 10-m high cross established in the fortress on one of the high hills in honor of 300-anniversary of the House of Romanov.

The Kushka Fortress was built on the bank of the river with the same name. The place was chosen not coincidentally. Along with an important strategic role, the river valley was suitable for farming, so soon next to the fortress there appeared a settlement which became a city within a century. The fortress itself occupied a large territory in the middle of the valley. Permanent defenses were built around the fortress, which transformed into a small military city by the beginning of the XX century. It consisted of quarters, supply rooms and military supply depots and officers houses which formed several streets. The center of it was occupied by a small Orthodox Church.

The fortress history in the Soviet time was also full of events and interesting. In 1917 the fortress garrison was lending support to the Tashkent workers, and in August 1918 it gave a battle to a White Guard detachment. The Kushka defense was one of the most heroic episodes of the fight between the Red Army and White Guard in Central Asia. In honor of heroic actions of the Red Army, the Monument to the Soviet Soldier to commemorate the victory was erected in the city.