Population – 8,110 (as of 01.01.2022)
Women – 4,428
Men – 3,682
Children under 18 – 814
Retired – 649
Internally displaced persons – 1,465
The municipality encompasses 12 villages: Anatolivka, Bessarabka, Vynogradne, Hlyboke, Kobleve, Luhove, Morske, Novofedorivka, Rybakivka, Tuzly, Ukrainka, Fedorivka.
Kobleve was named after Thomas Koble, major-general in the Russian imperial army, commandant and governor of Odesa, marshal of nobility in Odesa and Kherson province. However, the history of the settlement goes as far back as the ancient times. Archaeological excavations around Kobleve led to the discovery of tools dating from the late Bronze Age, suggesting that the land was once home to ancient Greek settlements. During the Russian-Turkish wars, the village was an important Turkish stronghold.
Kobleve municipality stretches over rural resort villages along the Black Sea coastline close to the boundary between Odesa and Mykolaiv oblasts, which are popular among Ukrainian holidaymakers. Thus, tourism is clearly the key engine of local economy.
The municipality covers 18 kilometres of seacoast and boasts of two natural reserves, a lake, two estuaries, unique therapeutic muds and mineral water. The recreation area stretching over Kobleve, Rybakivka and Morske has about 270 resort, leisure and entertainment facilities and outlets with the capacity to absorb more than 26,000 tourists. Three waterparks, a cinema and concert hall, a kite-surfing school, a diving school, a theme park and six nightclubs make the municipality a vibrant and attractive place.
Salt lakes, therapeutic muds and healing nature give the municipality unique conditions and possibilities for the development of modern rehabilitation centres.
Tylihul estuary sanctuaries
The western part of the municipality is washed by the Tulihul estuary and is the location of Tulihul Regional Conservation Park that also serves as important sanctuary and natural habitat of wetland birds. Thus, the local ornithological sanctuary “Tulihul Spit” was established on the spit of land separating the estuary and the adjacent waters, and the national ornithological sanctuary “Kosa Strilka” was founded in the middle part. The sanctuaries provide habitat for plants and birds included in the Red Book of Ukraine.
The Sviatoslav Biloberezhia natural park is a true jewel of the municipality.
The Tulihul estuary beach provides the venue of the annual Eco-Fest Kobleve as well as numerous other cultural events.
Vineyards of the Koblevo Winery are spread around Kobleve. The winery produces wines and cognac of the same brand name. Dozens of grape varieties are grown on 2,500 hectares of vineyards allowing to produce over 30 varieties of wine, many of which have collected prestigious international awards. Today, the Koblevo Winery is among the largest and most technologically advanced wine-making companies in Ukraine.
The municipality is home to the first and only oyster farm in Ukraine that cultivates more than 13 varieties of oysters. The farm is situated within the national natural park and strictly adheres to high sustainability standards. The company moved to Kobleve from Crimea after the peninsula had been illegally annexed by Russia in 2013.
Apart from being a production facility, the oyster farm offers guided tours, workshops, and masterclasses in an effort to educate Ukrainian consumers about the culture surrounding this gourmet product.
“At the moment, we operate only in Ukraine because it is really a challenge to compete with European oysters. Our ambition is to expand and eventually win over the entire Ukrainian market, whereas today we account for only 10%. We are considering exports to Georgia and Turkey, and also expanding our product line and adding cultivation of mussels and seaweed”, says the owner Andriy Pihulevskiy.
Community and war
The municipality is in close proximity to the active fighting area, in the southern part of Ukraine. Nevertheless, even in the face of increasing brutality of Russian aggression and imposed martial law, the local self-government carries on with its work. The Kobleve local council, civil society organizations, charities, local businesses, and institutions at all levels actively cooperate with the military command structures and military administrations.
The community has welcomed 1,465 internally displaced people evacuated from areas that appeared under heavy fighting and occupation. The municipality has arranged for IDPs registration, issuance of official papers, and temporary accommodation. Humanitarian hubs are delivering assistance to vulnerable groups – IDPs, families with many children, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Volodymyr Panych was first elected as mayor of Kobleve village in 2004. He believes that the biggest achievements since that time have been the establishment of a modern, fully functional one-stop-shop for administrative services, development of a transport network linking settlements within the municipality and a network of modern out-patient health facilities.
Vision for the future
An agricultural and tourism cluster has been established in the community with the aim to develop tourism and offer local produce to tourists, developing the brand “The Taste of the Black Sea”. A bank of investment proposals has already been established to include eco-farms, mini greenhouses, and cooperatives for growing and processing of fruits, berries and vegetables.
Another important priority is green energy sector. The DTEK company is building the Tylihul Wind Powerplant on the Tylihul estuary coast. When fully operationalized, its expected annual green energy production is estimated to reach 2 billion kWh. It will enable to cut CO2 emissions by 2 million tons annually. All in all, the Tylihul Wind Powerplant will be comprised of 21 innovative Vestas offshore wind turbines with the capacity of 6MW each.