Butovo, less a city than it is a district, is situated in Severnoye Butovo District (Russian: ðàéî́í Ñåâåðíîå Áó́òîâî) is the biggest district in the South-Western Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia, covering an area of 26 êì². It is located 25KM from the centre of Moscow (the Kremlin) and is one of Moscow’s rapidly expanding districts due to its healthy ecology and modern buildings. According to the 2002 census, its population stood at 110,000. In January 2007, that number had grown to 132,000, and it is predicted to increase.
Living in Butovo
Butovo is a small urban area known as a 'mikroraiyon'. As it is situated outside the Moscow Ring Road a.k.a. the MKAD (Moskovskii Kolsovo Avtomobilnii Doroga), real estate prices here are cheaper than in Moscow proper. Consequently, many new housing projects and complexes are appearing as Muscovites try to escape the extortionate real estate prices of central Moscow. In so doing, they have chosen a life of commuting and healthy living over the costly convenience of living near to the centre.
The town may have limited facilities but it is a pleasant place and offers a typical picture of life in a Moscow suburb. There is a large market and the town boasts a park and nature area which is popular as a place both to visit and sunbathe during the summer. In the summer, its fields and forests provide great respite from bustling Moscow and its rivers make a great place to have barbecues or go for a cool dip. In the winter, cross country skiing is on the town’s pastime menu.
Despite the absence of a bustling nightlife, at least in comparison to Moscow, there are plenty of opportunities for teachers to mix with their students and the local friends that they are sure to develop. Therefore, the best entertainment, if not a party at home with your friends, is an easy trip by metro into Moscow where the bright lights and broad minds await you.
What makes Butovo a unique area of Moscow are its clean parks, the local countryside and its easy access to Moscow. Being on the metro (even if the last stop as of this writing) you never need to look at your watch or worry about how you’re going to get home after a rousing bout of nightlife.
Overall, Butovo is a happy medium for those who want easy access to Moscow but all the benefits of living in a quiet suburb with open spaces and a taste of wider Russia all within close proximity.
Getting there and away
Butovo is located on the Moscow Metropolitan Line (the Metro) which runs from 5:30 am to 1:00 am with a frequency of one metro about every five minutes. There is also a railway station on the line from Tula with the frequent ‘Elektrichki’ serving Moscow’s Kurski vokzal and other neighbourhoods of Moscow. There are also a number of buses connecting Butovo with other metro stations.
Demographics and Development
Butovo has been rated as one of Moscow’s cleanest and most modern districts. Many of its inhabitants are young middle-class professionals seeking a quieter life. As a result of these population demographics, the average student looking to learn English is either a young learner wanting to upgrade his/ her ‘cool coefficient’ or a young professionals trying to improve his/ her English for personal and/or professional reasons.
Due to its favourable location and following the growing demand for real estate in the centre of Moscow, Butovo is being extensively developed with a good deal of commercial and residential construction going on at all times. Because of the newness as well as ‘youngness’ of the area, there are plenty of bars, cafes and supermarkets including the well-known Sedmoi Kontinent and Perekrostik chains.
Similarly, and as a direct result of recent population increases, there has been an equally large increase in investment in the public transport infrastructure which links Butovo with the centre of Moscow. Geographically, Butovo is located in Southern Moscow at the bottom of the Serpukhovskaya - Timiryazevskaya metro line (or the grey line as it called by expats). The line runs from Altufyevo down to Bulvar Dimitriva Donskogo. At this time there are plans to extend the line so as to serve three more stations at Starapotapovskaya, Ostafyevskaya and Novo Kurganovo.
History: Butovo is one of Moscow’s oldest administrative districts dating back to 1612; and though the history of Butovo is the history of Moscow, it can be said that the area derives its name from Don Cossack Butov, a Russian military combatant who fought against Napoleon from 1812 – 1815.
On a more sinister note, Butovo is the site of where more than 20,000 people were shot and buried from August 1937 through October 1938, during the height of Stalin's purges. The killing field was run by the NKVD, a forerunner of the KGB, which controlled it into the 1990s. Now, gradually, Butovsky Poligon - literally, the Butovo Shooting Range - is becoming a shrine to all the victims of this Stalinist period. Butovo's victims ranged from peasants and factory workers to Czarist generals, Russian Orthodox hierarchs, German Communists, Latvian writers, invalids, even Moscow's Chinese launderers (dozens of whom were executed as enemies of the people). Ultimately, many Soviet officials, including Yezhov and other NKVD officials who carried out the purges, were also gunned down at Butovo and elsewhere as the revolution consumed its creators.
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