Artek (camp)
Artek is a Young Pioneer camp
Young Pioneer camp
Young Pioneer camp was the name for the vacation or summer camp of Young Pioneers. In the 20th century these camps existed in many socialist countries, particularly in the Soviet Union....

 near Gurzuf
Gurzuf or Hurzuf is a resort in Crimea, Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea.Gurzuf is a former Crimean Tatar village, now a part of Greater Yalta. It was made famous by Alexander Pushkin who visited the place in 1821. The famous ballet master Marius Petipa died here...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. It was established on June 16 1925 on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 in the town of Gurzuf
Gurzuf or Hurzuf is a resort in Crimea, Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea.Gurzuf is a former Crimean Tatar village, now a part of Greater Yalta. It was made famous by Alexander Pushkin who visited the place in 1821. The famous ballet master Marius Petipa died here...

 located on the Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

n peninsula, near Medved Mountain, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. The camp first hosted only 80 children but then grew rapidly. In 1969 it had an area of 3.2 km². The camp consisted of 150 buildings, including three medical facilities, a school, the film studio Artekfilm, three swimming pools, a stadium with a seating capacity of 7,000, and playgrounds for various other activities. Unlike most of the young pioneer camps, Artek was an all-year camp, due to the warm climate.

Artek was considered to be a privilege for Soviet children during its existence, as well as for children from other communist countries. During its heyday, 27,000 children a year vacationed at Artek. Between 1925 and 1969 the camp hosted 300,000 children including more than 13,000 children from 70 foreign countries. After the breaking up of the Young Pioneers
Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union
The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer...

 in 1990 its prestige declined, though it remained a popular vacation destination.

Soviet era

Artek consisted of a total of ten smaller camps. Each of them had its own name: Morskoi, Lazurny, Kiparisny, etc. Four of these camps (Rechnoi, Ozyorny, Lesnoi and Polevoi) made up the notable Pribrezhny complex of Artek built between 1960 and 1964. The group of architects, led by Anatoly Polyansky, that designed Pribrezhny was awarded the USSR State Prize
USSR State Prize
The USSR State Prize was the Soviet Union's state honour. It was established on September 9, 1966. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the prize was followed up by the State Prize of the Russian Federation....

 in architecture in 1967.

Similar distinguished pioneer camps were maintained by several Soviet republics, e.g., Orlyonok
Orlyonok was one of the main Soviet Young Pioneer camps and is currently the main Children's Center in Russia.Orlyonok's name is taken from the title of a popular Young Pioneer song "Orlyonok" about a 16-year old Red Army soldier about to be executed by enemies.-History:The Orylonok camp was...

 in Russian SFSR and Zubryonok on Byelorussian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was one of fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union. It was one of the four original founding members of the Soviet Union in 1922, together with the Ukrainian SSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic...

In East Germany the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation
Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation
The Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation, consisting of the Young Pioneers and the Thälmann Pioneers, was a youth organisation of schoolchildren aged 6 to 14, in East Germany...

 built a pioneer camp similar to Artek in 1952 at Werbellinsee north-east of Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...


Notable visitors

In July 1983 Artek was visited by peacemaker Samantha Smith
Samantha Smith
Samantha Reed Smith was an American schoolgirl and child actress from Manchester, Maine, who became famous in the Cold War-era United States and Soviet Union...

. Among honorary guests of Artek were:
Ahmed Ben Bella
Ahmed Ben Bella
Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella was a soldier and Algerian revolutionary, who became the first President of Algeria.-Youth:...

 (1964) Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

 (1969) Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

 (1979) Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 (1961) Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

 (1979) Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

 (visited each year in 1961-1967) Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 (June 12, 1955) Einar Gerhardsen
Einar Gerhardsen
was a Norwegian politician from the Labour Party of Norway. He was Prime Minister for three periods, 1945–1951, 1955–1963 and 1963–1965. With 17 years in office, he is the longest serving Prime Minister in Norway since the introduction of parliamentarism...

 (June 16, 1965) André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

 (Summer 1936) Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 (1985) Nazım Hikmet
Nazim Hikmet
Nâzım Hikmet Ran , commonly known as Nâzım Hikmet , was a Turkish poet, playwright, novelist and memoirist. He was acclaimed for the "lyrical flow of his statements"...

 (1952) Modibo Keïta
Modibo Keïta
Modibo Keita ; was the first President of Mali and the Prime Minister of the Mali Federation. He espoused a form of African socialism.-Youth:...

 (1965) Urho Kekkonen
Urho Kekkonen
Urho Kaleva Kekkonen , was a Finnish politician who served as Prime Minister of Finland and later as the eighth President of Finland . Kekkonen continued the “active neutrality” policy of his predecessor President Juho Kusti Paasikivi, a doctrine which came to be known as the “Paasikivi–Kekkonen...

 (October 11, 1962) Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent was an American painter, printmaker, illustrator, and writer.- Biography :Rockwell Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York, the same year as fellow American artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper...

 (October 17, 1961) Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 (1956, 1958, 1964) Sergei Korolyov (July 18, 1965) Samuil Marshak
Samuil Marshak
Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak was a Russian and Soviet writer, translator and children's poet. Among his Russian translations are William Shakespeare's sonnets, poems by William Blake and Robert Burns, and Rudyard Kipling's stories. Maxim Gorky proclaimed Marshak to be "the founder of [Russia's ]...

 (1960, 1961)
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 (June 12, 1955) Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

 (1961) Aleksandr Pokryshkin
Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin
Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin was a Marshal of the Soviet Air Force. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union on three separate occasions ....

 (April 1948, 1955) Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan , OM, FBA was an Indian philosopher and statesman. He was the first Vice President of India and subsequently the second President of India ....

 (1964) Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer , recording artist, actor, athlete, scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the twentieth century...

 (1958) Gianni Rodari
Gianni Rodari
Gianni Rodari was an Italian writer and journalist, most famous for his books for children. He won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1970 and is considered by many to be Italy's most important twentieth-century children's author...

 (December 19-20, 1963) Otto Schmidt
Otto Schmidt
Otto Yulyevich Schmidt was a Soviet scientist, mathematician, astronomer, geophysicist, statesman, academician, Hero of the USSR , and member of the Communist Party.-Biography:He was born in Mogilev, Russian Empire...

 (July 1933) Haile Selassie I
Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie I , born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974...

 (July 1959) Lidia Skoblikova
Lidia Skoblikova
Lidiya Pavlovna Skoblikova is a Russia former speed skater. Representing the USSR Olympic team during the Olympic Winter Games in 1960 and 1964, she won a total of six gold medals, still a record number for a speed skater. She also won 25 gold medals at the World Championships and 15 gold medals...

 (1977) Benjamin Spock
Benjamin Spock
Benjamin McLane Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its message to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand...

 (1977) Willi Stoph
Willi Stoph
Willi Stoph was an East German politician. He served as Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic from 1964 to 1973, and again from 1976 until 1989.-Biography:...

 (1958) Mikhail Tal
Mikhail Tal
Mikhail Tal was a Soviet–Latvian chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion.Widely regarded as a creative genius, and the best attacking player of all time, he played a daring, combinatorial style. His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability....

 (1977) Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut, and was the first woman in space. She was selected out of more than four hundred applicants, and then out of five finalists, to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16 June, 1963, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in...

 (August 25, 1965) Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal (July 30, 1959; 1962) Lev Yashin
Lev Yashin
Lev Ivanovich Yashin nicknamed as "The Black Spider", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game. He was known for his superior athleticism in goal, imposing stature, amazing reflex saves and inventing the idea of...


Modern Ukraine

Artek is now known as the "International Children's Center 'Artek' ". 60% of visitors arrive on a state subsidized or free basis. The beneficiaries are children from low income and large families, as well as orphans, handicapped and gifted children. In 2005 full prices were in the range of 3,000-5,000 UAH
Ukrainian hryvnia
The hryvnia, sometimes hryvnya or grivna ; sign: ₴, code: , has been the national currency of Ukraine since September 2, 1996. The hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopiyok. In medieval times, it was a currency of Kievan Rus'....

, depending on the season and location. 2007 prices were from US$770 to about $2000.

In 2004 it was officially recognized by UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 as a site for the implementation of international projects and in particular during the UN Decade of Education (2005-2014).

2005 was the year of Artek's 80th anniversary and the camp hosted about 13,000 children in educational camps under the supervision of about 2,000 of volunteer squad leaders managed by permanent pedagogical staff of over 200 under the command of general director Olga Guzar (Ольга Владимировна Гузар).

Traditionally Artek provided a base (known as a School of Pedagogues-Organizers) for hands-on training of students of pedagogical schools. This tradition has been continued today and the camp is known as the "Humanitarian Institute 'Artek". In 2005 students from Ukraine, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 were trained there.

As of late 2008 Artek was in financial trouble, which was solved when the Ukrainian Parliament passed laws early February 2009 writing off more than $2 million in debt (and more in unpaid taxes), barred privatization of the camp's land and obliged government agencies to pay the expenses of 15,000 children each year.

In 2009 a criminal case was opened after several children stated they were raped in the camp. Three deputies of the Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman...

 (Ukrainians parliament) and a priest are involved in this case according to BYuT Rada deputy Hryhoriy Omelchenko. On 21 May 2010 a Verkhovna Rada commission investigating these allegations was disbanded after it failed to find enough evidence to proceed.

External links

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