Bolgrad Urban Community
Population: 26,050 people
children under the age of 18: 4,800
people of retirement age: 7117
persons with disabilities: 1,428
internally displaced persons: 1,030
The Bolgrad territorial community was founded in 2020. It covers an area of 29,431.4 hectares and includes 7 population centres: Bolgrad, Vynohradivka, Vladychen, Zaliznychne, Oksamytne, Topolyne, Tabaky.
The Bolgrad community is located in the extreme southwest of Ukraine, in the Ukrainian Danube region. It is a part of Ukrainian Bessarabia between the Prut and Dnister rivers, which is also often called the Budzhatsky Steppe. The Bolgrad community is located 238 km away from the regional centre – the city of Odessa.
The territory of the community directly borders the Republic of Moldova.
An important logistics centre
The Bolgrad community is crossed by the most important highways – the International Transport Corridor No. 9 (Crete), highways of national importance Odesa – Reni, Izmail – Chisinau (Moldova).
An important factor is the immediate proximity of the community to the main transport artery of Europe – the Danube River and the Ukrainian ports of Izmail (42 km), Reni (86 km), Kilia (105 km). This makes it possible to reach the World Ocean through the Danube and the Black Sea, as well as to quickly and inexpensively deliver goods to the countries of Central Europe.
In the conditions of Russian military aggression, it is through the Danube that the main deliveries of Ukrainian grain to global markets are carried out.
The community also has a railway connection with the ports of Reni, Giurgiulesti, Galati, Constanta.
The administrative and economic centre of the Bolgrad community is the town of Bolgrad, founded in 1821. Bolgrad was built and empowered as a centre for Bulgarian immigrants.
The most valuable and well-preserved monuments of sacred architecture in the town of Bolgrad are the Transfiguration Cathedral (1833-1838) and the St. Nicholas Cathedral (1871-1878), which are architectural monuments of national importance.
The Bolgrad H.S. Rakovsky Gymnasium is the first Bulgarian secondary school opened outside Bulgaria. Its establishment in 1858 was initiated by the delegation of the Bulgarian colonies of Bessarabia. The gymnasium’s graduates were brilliant representatives of Bulgarian Bessarabian intelligentsia who devoted themselves to building a new life in liberated Bulgaria.
In the town of Bolgrad, there is a monument park of horticultural art of local importance – Pushkin Park which belongs to the nature reserve fund of Ukraine.
The greatest natural wealth and potential of the community is Lake Yalpuh – a freshwater estuarine lake, Ukraine’s largest natural lake and Europe’s second largest lake belonging to the Danube River basin. Lake Yalpuh is used for drinking water supply to nearby settlements, fish farming, and recreation, and in the summer months water is withdrawn for irrigation purposes. Also, the lake impresses with its unique flora and fauna. There are ideas to create a national landscape park that will cover Yalpuh Lake and the adjacent Lake Kuhurlui.
A Local Colour Town
Excursion, ethnic, gastronomic and wine tourism is developing in the Bolgrad community.
The community holds bright seasonal festivals of national traditions. Trifon Zarezan Day is a traditional ritual holiday of winegrowers, held on February 14. The gastronomic festival Hergiovden Fair, which is associated with agriculture, cattle breeding, and the spring renewal of nature, is celebrated on May 6. The festival of national cultures BOLGRAD ETHNO FASHION, which demonstrates ancient authentic and modern national costumes, is held in August – September. The international wine festival Bolgrad Wine Fest, dedicated to the restoration of ancient winemaking traditions, is held in November.
The community’s economic complex is traditionally based on the production of various types of agricultural products and their maximum processing. The average annual volume of agricultural products produced on the territory of the community is 200 – 300 million hryvnias in money terms. At the same time, only 4 to 6% of these products are processed on site. This circumstance is the main reserve for the growth of the local economy and is at the same time a priority area for investments. Also, supporting the technological development of agricultural enterprises is an important priority.
The industrial complex of the Bolgrad community is represented by food industry and power industry enterprises. Commercial wine products and wine materials are produced in a relatively small volume (compared to the possibilities). Also a limited range of dairy products and bakery products is offered here.
On the territory of the community there are thick sandy-clay freshwater sediments with layers of pebbles and gravel, therefore the production of building materials (bricks, tiles) can be organized here.
The volunteer movement is actively developing in the Bolgrad territorial community. Volunteers, residents of the community, aged 14-65, are united by the desire to create, help and implement various initiatives for the benefit of the community. Volunteers are actively engaged in beautification – clearing the territory of the community, coastal zones, springs, etc.
Since July 2021, the initiative group of volunteers T.E.M.A. has been working on improving the culture of residents, proper waste management, and reducing the negative human influences on the environment. Group members strive to create conditions for sustainable education of eco-conscious responsible young people, attract the attention of community residents and raise their eco-awareness by their own example. Since the beginning of the war on February 24, 2022, T.E.M.A. volunteers have also actively helped socially vulnerable residents of the community and continued to implement environmental projects required by the community.
People of the Community
A 80-year-old resident of Bolgrad, Ihor Fedorovych Shust, presented a project on cleaning and filling Lake Yalpuh with water. The inventor made all the calculations, and also built a working model of his invention, which he demonstrated to the public and to Mayor Serhiy Dymytriyev. He was always concerned with the town’s water supply and devoted several years to his invention: he carried out the necessary calculations, independent research, and designed a layout. To improve and fill the lake, it is proposed to build partitions in the canal that leads from the upper reaches of Lake Yalpuh to Moldova. The water filling the canal from the north will enter an isolated area through the partition, where it will settle, and then flow freely into the lake through the second partition. Thus, Yalpuh will be free of sediments in the water or other impurities that inevitably fall into the canal during rains and floods.
Oksana Kilafly is known in Bolgrad as an active volunteer who helps collect aid for defenders. Since the beginning of the war, she has organized the weaving of camouflage nets together with caring residents. And at the beginning of September, at the request of the townspeople, she organized a Ukrainian language study club. After all, as it turned out, many citizens of Bolgrad did not study Ukrainian at all. If they know it, they don’t speak it, and some don’t understand it at all, because the Bolgrad community has a multilingual population (Bulgarians, Gagauz, Albanians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, etc.). Oksana comes from the Ivano-Frankivsk region and Ukrainian is her native language, and she wants to share her knowledge with everyone. Oksana contributes to victory every day.
Headman of the Community
Our team strives to create a favourable business environment and a real business climate for every investor, there is constant work on developing partnerships with business circles, increasing investment attractiveness and expanding the boundaries of international cooperation
– Mayor of Bolgrad Serhiy Dymytriyev
Community and War
Since the beginning of the war, our community has received 1,030 internally displaced persons, who are accommodated in 320 private houses, provided by the residents of the community for free. The community expects the arrival of another 1,200 Ukrainians fleeing the war, so it intensively prepares area for temporary stay: conducts inspections of premises, prepares design and estimate documentation for repair works, interacts with various charitable funds regarding the acquisition of furniture, generators and various equipment for future IDPs shelters etc.
A humanitarian aid reception point for the needs of military personnel, evacuees and families of the Bolgrad territorial community who found themselves in difficult life circumstances and for the Territorial Defence detachment of the Bolgrad territorial community has been established and operating in at the Bolgrad Town Council since March 01, 2022. The community is actively assisted by partner communities, charitable and religious organizations.
Community Resilience to Military Threats
In the Bolgrad community, an Action Plan has been developed in case of damage to housing stock and critical infrastructure assets in the autumn-winter period of 2022-2023.
The community governance authorities are gradually providing critical infrastructure facilities with electric generators of various capacities.
The Bolgrad Town Council is updating information on the state of critical infrastructure facilities, working out the coordination among all critical infrastructure services for prompt response to emergency situations according to the action algorithm, arranging various heating and recharging points and heated places of temporary stay/residence and ensuring the livelihood of the affected population, etc.
A Vision of the Future
The strategic priorities of community development are as follows:
- Development of the human potential of the community, including the participation of residents in the management of the territory, improvement of the educational and cultural level, preservation of spiritual sources and unique local identity.
- Effective and efficient use of nature and development of infrastructure, housing and communal services. At present, it is in this field where the quality of life of residents lags behind the most.
- An important priority in this area for the near future is the reconstruction and modernization of the town park, which will include the beautification of the territory and the development of sports infrastructure.
- Economic development of the community, in particular, the creation of a multi-disciplinary agro-economic territorial cluster is planned, which will allow increasing the local processing of agricultural products.
International Cooperation and Implementation of International Projects
The community is actively developing international partnership.
Within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the Bulgarian Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov University and the Bolgrad Town Council, a trip was made to the town of Burgas, Bulgaria in the summer of 2022. Fifteen 8th-10th form pupils who are interested in IT-sector were given the opportunity to study (15 hours) at the Vocational Gymnasium of Computer Programming and Innovation in Burgas. Children from the Bolgrad community got acquainted with the Faculty of IT and the Faculty of Medicine, visited the unique Virtual Reality Centre, laboratories and heard about the University’s projects.
Also, the community actively implements international projects in the field of energy efficiency, preservation of cultural heritage, development of entrepreneurship in rural areas, waste management, improvement of medical services, improvement of efficiency and accountability of local self-government bodies.