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Coordinates: 52°29′N 31°33′E / 52.483°N 31.550°E / 52.483; 31.550

Sankovo-Medvezhye enclave

Sankovo-Medvezhye (Russian: Саньково-Медвежье; Belarusian: Санькова-Мядзвежжа, Sańkova-Miadzviežža) is a Russian exclave in Belarus (with an area of 454 hectares, 4.5 km² or 1.7 sq mi). It is situated in the east of Dobrush Raion of Homiel Voblast, 5 km from the Russian village of Dobrodeyevka. Sankovo-Medvezhye is a part of Zlynkovsky District of Bryansk Oblast and is just 800 m (½ mi) from the Belarusian–Russian border, from which it is separated by marshes. The name of the exclave comes from the villages Sankovo and Medvezhye, which existed in this area during the Soviet times.


At the beginning of the 20th century settlers from the neighbouring village of Dobrodeyevka left in search for a job for the United States. Having worked as miners in Pennsylvania, they returned before World War I broke out. New farmers bought holdings and established individual farms.

In 1926, during the administrative reform, the state border between Byelorussian Soviet Republic and Russian Soviet Republic were moved to the east but administratively at farmer's will the villages Sankovo and Medvezhye became a part of Russia's Bryansk Oblast.

During World War II, Germans burned these villages but after the war Russians re-settled this region. Due to the explosion in the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl in 1986 this area is polluted and abandoned.

Presently the territory is unsettled but the local road is in use by smugglers due to the absence of a customs house.

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