Berdychiv Territorial Community
Situated in the northern part of Ukraine between forest and forest-steppe areas on the banks of the Hnylopyat river, a tributary of the Teterev, the Berdychiv urban territorial community has a convenient economic and geographical location.
The administrative structure of the community is as follows: the town of Berdychiv and the villages of Skraglivka and Pidgorodne.
A highway of international importance passes through the town. It also has an important railway junction.
The total area of the Berdychiv urban territorial community is 8,289.10 hectares.
The population of the community is 74.5 thousand people.
According to official information, there are 4,729 registered internally displaced persons in the community (11,234 unofficially).
Berdychiv grew from the ancient settlement which was located on the high cape-shaped bank of the Gnylopyat River having steep slopes. In the 15th century, the settlement developed and turned into a fortification – a fortress. According to regional history researchers, the year 1545 remains the year of the first mention of Berdychiv.
A number of factors contributed to the socio-economic development of Berdychiv, first of all, the favourable geographical location of the town. Trade routes from Western and Central Europe and from the Black Sea ports to the Ural Mountains intersected here. Moreover, according to the administrative-territorial division, the town bordered three provinces – Kyiv, Volyn and Podil. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the main customs office on the Right Bank was located in Berdychiv.
An important factor in the development of the town was the pilgrimage to the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God of Berdychiv.
Fairs played the main role in raising the economy of the town – about ten of them were held here annually from 1765. In terms of trade turnover, they were compared with those of Dresden and Leipzig. Merchants came here from Austria, Germany, Turkey and other countries. Berdychiv became one of the centres of bread trade. From the second half of the 19th century, the town became one of the most important centres of horse trade.
At the beginning of the 1860s, the Jewish community played the leading role in the development of trade here. In 1846, among 2.8 thousand merchants the absolute majority were Jews. 4 of 8 banks in the town were also owned by Jews. It was their banks that conducted financial transactions with the banks of Paris, London, Vienna, Rome and Constantinople. Word has it that it was with the funds of Berdychiv patrons that a bank in Kyiv was built (today it is the National Bank of Ukraine).
Berdychiv went down in history as:
- a town which has the world-famous Sanctuary and the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God of Berdychiv that was crowned and consecrated by Pope John Paul II;
- a town where pilgrims come to the Tomb of the Holy Tzadik Levi Yitzhak Ben Meir Berdychivskyi from all over the world;
- a town where the marriage of Honore de Balzac and Evelina Hanska was consecrated in the church of St. Barbara.
Economy and Welfare
The main role in the industry of the community is occupied by the processing industry, which accounts for 94.7%. At the same time, the main contribution to the budget (39.4%) is made by the production of foods, beverages and tobacco products.
Among other significant activities are textile manufacture, manufacture of clothing, leather, leather products and other materials, mechanical engineering and manufacture of wood products, paper production and printing activities.
Enterprises of the community are known for the high quality of their products, which have been repeatedly awarded at the state and international levels.
Goods were exported to 32 countries in 2021.
Also, industrial-scale food production is well developed in the community.
The local enterprises have established the production of bakery products, ice cream, beer and soft drinks, frozen semi-finished products, sausage products and meat raw materials.
One of the dominant sectors of the community’s economy is light industry, which specializes in the production of men’s suits, jackets, trousers, footwear, the production of sleeping mattresses and upholstered furniture, and the production of leather.
There are 16 institutions of general secondary education, 14 institutions of preschool education, 3 institutions of out-of-school education, as well as 3 colleges and 2 vocational schools in the Berdychiv territorial community.
Community and War
After February 24, 2022, the population and the authorities worked together to ensure the defence capability of the town. They jointly built fortifications at the entrances to the town and in the town itself.
Several voluntary formations of the territorial community were formed. They organized themselves and were on duty at critical infrastructure facilities, checkpoints, bomb shelters and hideouts, in schools and kindergartens, and administrative buildings.
In every school and kindergarten, the residents of the town collected humanitarian aid, wove camouflage nets and prepared food for the military, volunteer formations, displaced persons and everyone who needed it.
The community was shelled in the first days of the war. Buildings had minor destructions. Also, a lot of buildings throughout the town were caused minor blast wave damage.
The main vectors of work today are ensuring the life of the town in the conditions of war. The field of education and culture is active here – they organize patriotic events, fund-raising campaigns, and engage in volunteer activities.
Several humanitarian headquarters operate on the territory of the community. Each of them has its own purpose, including aid to displaced persons and vulnerable population groups in Berdychiv, aid to the military, aid to doctors and aid to the population in the liberated territories. The headquarters cooperate with cities and organizations from Europe – Poland, Germany, France, Sweden, Estonia.
People of the Community
Serhiy Orlyuk is the Mayor of the town. He was a deputy of the Berdychiv Town Council of the 5th-6th convocations from 2007 to 2015. Between 2015 and 2020, he was a deputy of the Zhytomyr Regional Council of the 7th convocation.
In the pre-war period, the work was mainly focused on the issue of ecology (ensuring high-quality water supply and wastewater treatment – construction of own sewage treatment facilities), education issues (thermosonication of school buildings and kindergartens, the final stage of reconstruction of the out-of-school education centre), development of infrastructure (the final stage of construction of a swimming pool, two football fields, a volleyball court and a skate park).
Plans and projects include the reconstruction of the embankment, two parks, as well as the restoration of the town’s sidewalks and roads.
“We pay a lot of attention to international cooperation. Only together with European friends, we can build a consolidated Europe, a peaceful Ukraine and a European town of Berdychiv”, – says Serhiy Orlyuk.
The development strategy of the Berdychiv urban territorial community is being developed.
The community has a draft investment passport, which is constantly being improved.
The main strategic priorities of community development are as follows:
- Economic development of the community.
- Development of human potential.
- The territory of a comfortable and safe life.
- Formation of an active and conscientious community.