The Clean Ponds (Russian: Чистые пруды, Chistye Prudy), is a large pond in Moscow, Russia, located in the Basmanny District, on the Boulevard Ring. The pond gives its name to Chistoprudny Boulevard which runs from Turgenevskaya Square and Sretensky Boulevard towards Pokrovka Street, where it adjoins Pokrovsky Boulevard. According to retired KGB colonel, Victor Cherkashin, author of Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer: The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, the adjoining 'Chistyi Prudy (Clean Ponds)' is also part of, "an old, prestigious neighborhood." On page 177 of his book, Victor Cherkashin spells the area as 'Chistyi' as opposed to 'Chistye.'
The pond was formed by a dam on the Rachka River which used to flow underneath the walls of the White City in the 17th century. The river is nowadays under ground, as are the other ponds. The Clean Ponds are fed by a system of waterpipes.
During the 17th century, the people threw garbage and waste in the river and the ponds, the water turned out dirty, and the ponds got the name of Dirty Ponds. In 1703, the ponds were acquired by Prince Menshikov, who built the Menshikov Tower in the vicinity. He had the pond cleaned from garbage and rechristened to its present name.
- Cherkashin, Victor and Gregory Feifer. Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer: The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books, 2005.
- Kadinsky, Sergey "Moscow's Clean Ponds" Hidden Waters Blog February 8, 2016