Konotop (Конотоп) is a city in northern Ukraine within the Sumy Oblast. Konotop is the center of the Konotop Raion (district), and is located about 129km from Sumy, the Oblast capital. It is host to Konotop air base.
During the beginning of the 17th Century
, Ukrainian Cossacks
were first based in that area. The settlement was first mentioned in 1635
in various documents as Novoselitsa
. In 1642
a Polish fortress was built in that place named after the river Konotopka
. Probably the river disappeared, and another one was created, Yezuch. The fortification became a key point in the struggle against the Moscow state. Some historians suppose that Konotop was inhabited even before the Tatar-Mongolian invasion. A legend says that during the Tatar cavalry movement in this region many horses and warriors drowned in the swamps, that's why the area was named "Konotop" - a swampy land or a horse-ford where horses drowned.
There is another legend about the origination of the name. According to it, there was an accident with tsaritsa (queen), whose carriage and escort got stuck and drowned in this swampy land. The tsaritsa was rescued, but her possessions and guards were lost. She asked, "what is this place, where horses drown?" So it was called Konotop.
In 1659 the Battle of Konotop took place near the city, in which Poles, Crimean Tatars, and Ukrainian Cossacks lead by Ivan Vyhovsky defeated Russian-Ukrainian forces. In 1782 Konotop was granted municipal rights.
Economy and Transport
Konotop is an important mechanical engineering center, food production center, and an important transportation center. Various railroad connections from Konotop are: Bakhmach
, and Bryansk
. The city has a tramway
, which is the smallest city in the country with its own tram system.