Khotyn Territorial Community
The total area of the territory is 182.15 km2.
Women: 7,675 residents
Men: 10,209 residents
Internally displaced persons: 2,381 residents
School-age children: 2,195 residents
Elderly people: 4,296 residents
There are 475 people with disabilities in the Community.
The Community consists of eleven settlements. The administrative centre of the Community is located in the town of Khotyn, which is situated in the western part of the Chernivtsi Region on the banks of the Dniester River.
The town of Khotyn is the oldest town of the Chernivtsi Region. Archaeologists attribute its origin to the 8th century. According to one version, its name comes from a legendary Dacian leader named Kotizon. The other version says that the name originates from the word “khotity / want” because Khotyn was located at the intersection of important trade routes and was a dream for conquerors.
In the second half of the 13th century, the construction of a stone fortress began in Khotyn, which became one of the strongest fortifications in Eastern Europe and has survived to this day. The history of the fortress is associated with many historical events: the fate of Europe was decided under its walls in victorious battles, in particular in the Battle of Khotyn in 1621.
The town of Khotyn is also rich in other historical sights. The theatre named after O. Hyzhdeu was built by Romanians in 1934 with the involvement of a local architect in honour of the arrival of King Karol II. In 1949 – 1950, the building was transformed into the municipal Culture Centre with some changes in the interior. Currently, it operates as the Khotyn House for Children and Pupils.
Villa Chernescu is another landmark in the Community. The building was built in 1930 and belonged to the state lawyer, the dean of lawyers of the Khotyn District. After the arrival of the Soviet authorities, the building began to be used as a culture centre. Later, it was transferred to a music school, and since 2010, it has housed the Khotyn National Nature Reserve.
The Khotyn National Nature Reserve is a place of picturesque landscapes, beautiful views, mountain areas and the highest waterfall in Bukovyna. Its main part is the slopes of the Dniester valley. The territory of the Reserve is divided into a protected, tourist and production zone. In the latter, healing herbs and other raw materials grown in an ecologically clean zone are collected.
Khotyn is home to an arboretum with a large collection of exclusive plantings, conifers and flowering plants from China, North America, Japan, and the Mediterranean, including Red Book plants. Solomon’s Labyrinth is one of the highlights of the park.
Economy and Welfare
The main economic sectors of the Khotyn Territorial Community include: trade, public catering, services and agriculture. Thanks to the availability of fertile land, wheat, barley, soybeans, rapeseed, corn, apples, pears and plums are grown there.
The Community signed a memorandum of cooperation within the framework of the project “Cooperation of the Communities of the Apple Agglomeration of the Khotyn District”, which unites more than fifty residents, the vast majority of whom are small producers who grow fruits. The common goal is to create a system for growing, storing and processing fruits, berries and vegetables.
In the territory of the village of Bilivtsi, there is a lavender field with an area of 10 hectares, which is the largest one in the western part of Ukraine. There is also the first lavender processing plant in Ukraine, which produces valuable oil used in perfumery and medicine.
Over the eleven months of the war, the Community became home to six relocated enterprises in its territory, most of them being businesses from the Kharkiv Region, which were forced to evacuate due to russian shelling. Currently, three enterprises remain and are operating in the community.
They include Elixel Enterprise LLC – a Kharkiv-based manufacturer of household electrical appliances. At present, part of the employees, who left Kharkiv with their families, work at the enterprise. Workers assemble, package and ship goods to customers, including sockets, switches, plugs, tees, adapters, etc.
Bicycle manufacturers, Velotrade LLC, also relocated from the Kharkiv Region. Before February 24, the factory produced about 1,000 bicycles per day. At the beginning of March, a russian rocket hit one of the workshops of the enterprise with raw materials – it burned down. The company transported part of the finished products to the Khotyn Community, and all surviving equipment to the town of Borshchiv in the Ternopil Region. Now the enterprise employs forty people. Workers from the Kharkiv Community were provided with free shelter.
Close cooperation has been established between the local authorities and businesses. Today, as part of cooperation, businesses have been allowed to use municipal premises at no charge to house their facilities and offices.
Entrepreneurs needed a location for negotiations, online meetings or the signing of documents; in order to ensure comfortable conditions, a free business hub was created: renovations were carried out in one of the communal institutions with offices and a large meeting hall being arranged, projectors being installed, and the Internet being connected.
In cooperation with the international organization Save the Children in Ukraine, a children’s development space was opened at the municipal library.
A number of culture centres and extracurricular education institutions deal with the organization of students’ free time activities: the House of Folk Art and Leisure, the Children’s and Youth Sports School, the House of Children and Student Youth, the Art School and the Music School.
An extensive system of medical institutions functions in the Community. The primary medical care centre provides medical services for more than 30,000 residents of the Khotyn Community and the neighbouring communities of the Chernivtsi, Ternopil, and Khmelnytskyi Regions.
The Khotyn multidisciplinary hospital is in the top five health care institutions in the region, according to USAID project criteria. In 2023, the hospital launched a modern, safe and comfortable elevator with a load capacity of over 600 kg.
Community and War
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian troops into the territory of Ukraine, the Khotyn Community has become a refuge for 8,000 internally displaced persons from the territories most affected by shelling and bombing.
Due to the large number of displaced persons in the Community, there were no available places for the long-term residence of internally displaced persons in comfortable conditions. The mayor decided to start construction of shelters by renovating buildings that are owned by the Town Council and had not been used for a long time.
Today, about 3,000 internally displaced persons permanently live in the Community. There are three compact living spaces for them, and four more spaces are under reconstruction.
From March to November 2022, 150-200 new internally displaced persons were provided with meals in Khotyn every day. The canteen of the local main institution of education has been converted into a social canteen. Kitchen staff and teaching staff helped cook dinners. As part of the aid from the DOBRE program, the institution received two industrial refrigerators for food storage.
In addition to accommodation, internally displaced persons were provided with humanitarian aid in the form of food, hygiene products, clothing, as well as social and administrative services free of charge.
In the spring of 2023, the town of Khotyn was attacked by russian kamikaze drones. As a result of the crash of one of them, debris fell onto a residential building and a fire broke out in a garage, a residential building was destroyed, and power lines, gas supply and water supply systems were damaged.
The Khotyn Community is working on the creation of an inpatient rehabilitation centre based at the Khotyn multidisciplinary hospital.
People of the Community
Andrii Dranchuk is the head of the Khotyn Community. Under his leadership, the Khotyn Town Council has implemented numerous projects. Some of these are: the creation of a shelter for victims of domestic violence and the purchase of motor vehicles for the transportation of victims to the shelter from UNFPA “Cities and Communities Free from Domestic Violence” and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine; the creation of a recreation area by DESPRO – the Swiss-Ukrainian project “Supporting Decentralization in Ukraine”, projects for the development of tourism in the Community “Carpathian Network of Regional Development”, the creation of a Centre for Cultural Services (a joint project of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the Society of Researchers of Ukraine, the Embassy of Switzerland), and also the implementation of projects under the USAID program “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency” DOBRE and DOBRE 2.0.
Under the leadership of Andrii Dranchuk, the international event “400 years of the 1621 Battle of Khotyn” was organized and held, and the Dniester River international vocal festival was launched.
As a result of effective cooperation between the Town Council and the youth council, projects have been implemented in cooperation with IREX, UNICEF, the Swiss-Ukrainian DECIDE project, USAID and others.
The department of economic development and international cooperation and the Town Development Agency have been established in the Community. This creates significant potential in the context of the Community development plans.
The Khotyn Community is proud of its active, athletic, progressive, conscientious and patriotic youth. The Albert Yuriiovych Mitasov Kurin – participants of the Sokil Ukrainian National Children’s and Youth Military-Patriotic Game (Dzhura).
The Khotyn Town Council provides support to families in difficult life circumstances, IDPs, and disadvantaged categories of the Community. For this purpose, a number of activities are organized to provide humanitarian and other types of aid, including psycho-social support, which children were able to receive at the Happy Childhood event.
The Development Strategy for 2021-2027 has been approved by the Khotyn Urban Territorial Community.
Priority areas of sustainable community development include:
- Economy, namely support of small and medium-sized businesses, attraction of investors for the placement of enterprises in the territory of the Khotyn Invest industrial park, development of tourism, in particular craft and “green estates”;
- Development of human potential in the Community through the development of culture and improvement of the quality of the infrastructure for leisure activities of the Community residents;
Strategic goals of the Community:
- Innovative, multi-sectoral and competitive local economy.
- Proposal of spending free time activities as an element of the Community’s competitive advantage.
- Attractiveness for living and availability of high-quality public services.
The Khotyn Community views tourism as an important element. Therefore, it is a priority to use the historical, cultural, landscape and natural values of the Community. Now, the leadership team is working to ensure that the castle in Khotyn with its surroundings and the historic town could attract tourists and visitors.
The Khotyn Community is open to new partnerships and currently has the following partner towns: La Couronne (France), Teltow (Germany), Zagan, Opoczynski County, Korczyna, Walcz (Poland), Vama, Gura Humoroluy, Khoreza, Targu Neamts, Seret (Romania), Aluksne (Latvia), Berat (Albania).
Khotyn establishes cooperation and friendly relations with communities across Ukraine, with which projects and exchange of experience are jointly implemented, in particular, Vyzhnytsia and Storozhynets Urban Territorial Communities (Chernivtsi Region), Slobozhanske Settlement Territorial Community (Dnipropetrovsk Region).