Starodub. Map: I-13. A town (2002 pop 18,643) in the northern Chernihiv region and a raion center in Briansk oblast, Russian Federation. In medieval times it was a fortress on the territory of the Siverianians. It was first mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle under the year 1096, when it was part of Chernihiv principality. In 1239 it was destroyed by Batu Khan, and thereafter it was ruled successively by Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. In 1648 the town was taken by Bohdan Khmelnytsky's Cossacks, and in 1654 Starodub regiment was set up, first within Nizhyn regiment and then (from 1663) separately. The town was destroyed in 1660 by the Tatars and in 1663 by the Poles. From 1782 Starodub was part of Novhorod-Siverskyi vicegerency, and then a county center of Little Russia gubernia (1797–1802) and Chernihiv gubernia. In the 19th century it was a major trading town dealing mostly in furs, honey, wax, oil, and hemp. By the end of the century its population was 26,000. During the revolutionary period (1917–18) Starodub was included in the territory of independent Ukraine. Today, the town has a food and a tobacco industry. Its chief architectural monuments are the Church of Saint John the Baptist (1770) and the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ (built in 1617, burned down in 1677, and renovated at the end of the 17th century).
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]