Ruochin-saari

Region

Lots of soldiers have visited Pryazhinski region at that time, when Russia was in war with Sweden. For a long time people told each other about the heroism of local defenders.

M. Smirnov in his book "Voices of Karelia", which was published in Petersburg in 1890, told about one of these legends.

... In front of Sjamozersky pogost a beautiful group of islands is located; the largest and the nearest to the coast of them has the Karelian name "Ruochin-saari", which means "the island of the swedes" or "the Swedish island"...

In ancient times of one of numerous Swedish attacks on western Karelia, a group of two hundred people managed to reach the western shore of Sjamozero. Having taken advantage the darkness, the swedes took away the boats and crossed the lake... They were waiting for the next day to come for an attack, when the men from the villages would go to fields and only old people and babies would stay at home. It was planned to rush to the pogost, to sack it and to destroy the boats so that local people couldn't pursuit the assailants.

The Karelians were alerted by the locals of the western shore about the plans of the enemy at night and this piece of news spread all over the region. Wishing to rebuff the enemy, the locals managed to get together at one place by the morning. They discussed the situation and decided to crowd the island down and to mislead the Sweds to the eastern part of it. By that time some of the local people occupied a group of small islands westwards the island, on which the enemies took cover. There was a special sign arranged for the start of the attack...

The plan was successfull; local population won over the boats and some food. The enemy appeared to be on a deserted island. There was only one hope: to make rafts and to take an advantage of the wind. The local suggested the Swedes to surrender at discretion but the enemies rehected the chance...

So local people attcked the swedes; they left their boats and killed most of the swedes, some of them were taken prisoners. Unfortunately, the legend doesn't tell what happened to the prisoners and wounded Swedes.

From that time the island, which used to be called "Pitka-saari", which means "long island", got a new name of "Ruochin-saari, which is "the Swedish island ".

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