Born Nikolai Shugay в Kolochava April 3, 1898. He was the eldest son in the family woodcutter’s. Illiterate, didn’t go to school. The villagers remembered him as a cheerful guy, but considered him a bully. In 1917, he defected from the army.Soon he was caught and sent back to the army, from where he managed to escape again. Once shugay killed two Czech gendarmes who were going to catch him. Since that time, for Nikolai and his younger brother Yuri, the forest has become home. Soon, the pregnant wife of Nicholas Ergy arrested, and hamlet Kolochava Lazi they imposed an indemnity in the amount of 15 thousand korun. In the vicinity of the village, a pass regime was introduced, and all the farmers were issued personal identification cards. All crimes in the vicinity were automatically attributed to the Shugai. At the end of 1920, Nicholas is suspected of killing a kolochavsky gendarme, in February 1921, attributed to the murder of a fellow villager, and in March-4 Jews’ from the village Soyma. The investigation proved that shugay killed his neighbor Ivan Derbak and burned down his house.
For the living or dead Nikolai Shugai was appointed a solid monetary reward: 3000 korun from the government and 30,000 korun from the Jewish community of Kolochava. Subsequently, the government increased the amount of remuneration to 10-20 thousand korun.
In the early summer of 1921 inUzhgorod a hundred gendarmes arrived and were immediately dispatched to search for Shugai. His last days were approaching. In the middle of the summer of 1921 Nikolai Shugai committed a major robbery of a Jew in the village of dragovo.
On August 15, 1921, Nikolai and his brother Yuri were found dead on mount Zhalenka, near Nizhnyaya Kolochava. Who killed the brothers remains a mystery. The heroic role was taken by a gendarmerie patrol, which allegedly shot the robbers. But on the corpses, in addition to gunshot wounds, there were also wounds from an axe. It was rumored that this was the revenge of the family of the murdered neighbor Shugai-Derbak.
in the plot of the novel by Ivan Olbracht, Shugai was killed by three accomplices in 1921. Historians have proved that people who called themselves the murderers of Nikolai Shugai corresponded with the authorities in 1934, hoping to get the promised reward, but did not receive a penny.
The figure of Nikolai Shugai was almost immediately heroized in fiction. In 1921, the Transcarpathian poet Grange-Donskoy dedicated a poem of the same name. And the most famous work about the Transcarpathian rebel was the novel by the Czech Communist writer Ivan Olbracht “Nikolai shugay-robber”. The writer often visited Kolochava in the 1930s and made Nikolai Shugai famous all over the world.
Today in Kolochava there is a sculpture dedicated to the last Carpathian Oprescu.
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