After an excursion to the renowned Armenian cognac factory, the leaders of Armenia drove Khrushchev to Lake Sevan.
“You buzzed my ears about this lake… How’s it called… Sevan. It’s as if your national pride is going to die, the hydroelectric stations are to going stop, and the trout is going die,” Khrushchev said in quite a firm language, “Where is it, this trout of yours? I haven’t seen it!”
“Nikita Sergeyevich! We ate some yesterday!”
“Yesterday. How do I know where it is from? Maybe you’ve brought a trout from America so I approved that project of yours. Is it from America?”
“What do you understand in fish? When I was little, I caught large pikes with a fishing pole. With a fishing pole! Just give me a fishing pole, and I will figure out whether this pride of yours is worth anything or not.”
A fishing rod appeared out of nowhere, and Nikita Sergeyevich began to fish for trout like an expert.
The beautiful mountain lake was really dying. Through the tunnels punched in the rocks, its waters were dumped to the hydroelectric station and lowered by ten to fifteen meters. It would be necessary to reduce water consumption and compensate for the lack of energy by closing energy-intensive industries, such as the rubber plant producing its eerie orange smoke.
Instead, there was designed a project of an enormously long mountain tunnel that would send waters of River Arpa to Sevan. The crazy project required crazy all-Union millions, that is, the highest signature. And if it were not for the happy date of the “liberation of Armenia”, they would soon forget about Sevan.
In the meantime, Khrushchev couldn’t catch fish. In this lake, trout from the shore is hard to catch. The patience of the First Secretary was running out, with bright hopes burning in their roots. Saving the lake was no longer the issue: rewards and careers were at stake. The entire further course of history depended on one step.
And the step was taken. The secretary of the local district committee sent a diver into the water. The diver had live trout in a string bag. He hooked two fishes. He could hook more, but the secretary did not order more than two. Nikita Sergeyevich got a big trout.
The fishing was a success, and the whole high company went to the restaurant Akhtamar. The table was littered with trout, but Nikita Sergeyevich was served his own fish. Immediately at the table, he signed a decree on the construction of the canal. On the same night, the republican newspaper “Communist” published an article about a remarkable new construction site which symbolized the indestructible friendship of the peoples of the USSR.
Yury Fedorovich Orlov