Berdiansk Territorial Community
The Berdiansk urban territorial community is located in the Berdiansk district, Zaporizhzhia region. It includes five population centers: three villages, one settlement and the city of Berdiansk – the community’s administrative center.
The area of the community is 252.2 km².
Population (before full-scale invasion): 115,414 people
In 1827, the construction of a pier began on the shore of Berdiansk Bay. It is this year that is considered the year of the foundation of Berdiansk.
In 1841, the port was granted city rights and privileges and the name Berdiansk was officially established. The following year, the city became the center of the Berdiansk district.
The presence of the port influenced the features of the city’s development. Consulates of 7 countries functioned in Berdiansk. Banks and financial institutions, post offices, telegraphs, railways, manufacturing and trade establishments worked here. Also, there were theaters, hotels, wine cellars, cafés and casinos.
Berdiansk developed as a multinational city free of any ethnic enmity. German colonists, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Italians, Bulgarians and Greeks lived in the neighborhood.
In 1902, the Berdiansky resort was established. The physical and chemical properties of Berdiansk mud are highly effective in the treatment of various diseases.
During the First World War and the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1921, the originality of the city’s architecture was destroyed, but the people of Berdiansk rebuilt it and adapted to the new economic conditions.
During the Second World War, the occupation of Berdiansk lasted for two years. Immediately after the liberation, health facilities, a local history museum, an art gallery, and various cultural institutions were restored.
In 1970, the city received the status of a resort of All-Union importance. Numerous recreation facilities and 5 sanatoriums functioned here. Almost 18 industrial enterprises produced products. 117 thousand people lived in the city. Also, the railway station and the airport operated.
Since the 2000s, the beautification of the city has continued, large-scale reconstruction of avenues, squares, buildings, and playgrounds has been carried out, new monuments and small architectural structures have been erected.
Economy and Welfare
Before the full-scale invasion, about 6,000 business entities operated in the community. 33 industrial enterprises of the city produced fuel and lubricating fluids, food products, cables, industrial machinery and spare parts. About 2,000 trade, catering, and service facilities operated here.
There is a railway station in the city. Berdiansk port is well known in the world as an important seaport of the Northern Azov region.
There are two universities, four colleges and two professional lyceums in Berdiansk.
Numerous projects were implemented with the participation of partners.
Before the full-scale invasion, Berdiansk was primarily a resort town of state importance. On the territory of the city, there are more than 100 health and hotel facilities, sanatorium-resort facilities, museums, a water park, a zoo and a dolphinarium
Berdiansk is known as a city of unique monuments.
Community and War
On February 24, 2022, around 4 a.m., two loud explosions woke up the city.
February 27 is a dark day in the recent history of Berdiansk – the day of the siege of the city and the beginning of the temporary occupation by Russian troops. Occupiers occupied the most important buildings of the community: city and district councils, the police, law enforcement agencies.
Around 6:00 p.m., Russian special forces entered the city council building. The occupiers hoped that the city authorities would agree to cooperate, but they received a firm refusal. The authorities left the captured building. The head of the community, Oleksandr Svidlo, recorded a statement in which he announced that he had refused to cooperate and that the authorities would continue to work in another building.
People gathered every day near the building of the city council for pro-Ukrainian rallies.
The rallies in Berdiansk lasted until March 20. The occupiers warned that they would shoot, but the residents of Berdiansk still came out and demonstrated their position and attitude towards the occupiers. Mass arrests of activists began, who were tortured and forced to renounce Ukraine. Since that time, it has become dangerous to publicly be a Ukrainian in Berdiansk. But this will never stop Berdiansk residents!
Youtube video The first days of the war
Since March 7, the city has been without gas supply. The connection and the Internet constantly disappeared. The authorities organized hot meals in the city’s neighborhoods for the needy, humanitarian aid, and medicine. It was possible to bring humanitarian aid from Zaporizhzhia for the people of Berdianks, provided by charitable foundations and the Polish sister city of Bielsko-Biała.
The City Coordination Headquarters created by the authorities functioned in the building of the Center for Children and Youth Creativity. On April 6, Russian special forces broke into it. All employees of the headquarters were taken into custody. After interrogation, three employees of the executive committee and the director were arrested. They were held captive from 10 days to 2 weeks, tortured, and interrogated. The occupiers tried to persuade them to cooperate.
Since May 2022, representatives of the authorities who left the occupation have continued their activities in Zaporizhzhia.
Life in Berdiansk, as well as in other occupied communities of the Azov region, came to a standstill. People live in constant terror, waiting for de-occupation and rejoicing in the elimination of the occupiers in the city.
On June 24, 2023, the occupiers killed two teenagers in Berdiansk for their active pro-Ukrainian position.
People of the Community
Viktoria Halitsyna has been the head of the Berdiansk City Military Administration since October 18, 2022.
Currently, the leadership of the community works in Zaporizhzhia. Specialists are developing action plans for the recovery and development of the city after the expected de-occupation.
The Humanitarian Aid Hub was created, which supports more than 5,500 Berdiansk residents who found temporary shelter in Zaporizhzhia.
The people of Berdiansk are liberating the country from the occupiers as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Unfortunately, some of the defenders from Berdiansk died in combat.
Yehor Cherniev, People’s Deputy from Berdiansk, is the Head of the Permanent Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Active residents of Berdiansk who left the temporarily occupied community: – united and make every effort to help fellow countrymen:
– open their businesses in host communities:
– popularize their hometown:
Evgeny Maloletka, a resident of Berdiansk, known for his photo reports during the full-scale invasion, was chosen by the Guardian picture desk as its agency photographer of the year 2022.
Strategic vision of community development after de-occupation:
Berdiansk is a leader in rehabilitation and sanatorium-resort services, recreation and various leisure activities, education and science in the Northern Azov region, a center for the development of ecological production of modern products and creative industries.
The villages of Azovske, Novovasylivka, Roza and the settlement of Shovkove are the space for the development of agro-industrial production, green and marine tourism.
Strategic community projects:
1) Construction of the airport.
2) Electrification of the Pology–Berdiansk railway.
3) Reconstruction of existing sanatoriums to ensure year-round operation.
4) Provision of drinking water supply.
5) Preparing of design documentation for complex development of the resort territory.
Construction and reconstruction projects of infrastructure facilities:
1) Design projects of network, water supply and drainage facilities.
2) Installation of alternative energy sources at communal and budget facilities.
Strategic projects of health care, education and social sphere:
1) Reconstructions and capital repairs of educational and healthcare institutions.
2) Reconstruction of the building for the Administrative, Social and Public Services Center.
List of Sources
- Website of the Berdiansk Urban Territorial Community
- Berdiansk City Military Administration
- Wikipedia about the community
- Wikipedia about the city of Berdiansk
- Foreign consulates in Ukraine until 1991
- Berdiansk: history and present
- 7 wonders of Ukraine
- Primorka City
- Berdiansk, the heart of Azov