Total population – 30 400
Urban population – 25 100
Rural population 5 300
Settlements on the territory of the present-day community date back to the times when the land had been inhabited by Drevlians, or Early East Slavs, in the 6th and 7th centuries before they were conquered by Kievan princes. The first written record about Korostyshiv appears in 1499 when the town was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1779, Korostyshiv was granted the Magdeburg rights; it received its own coat-of-arms featuring the noble crest of the then town owners – the Olizars, the ancient Ukrainian-Polish aristocratic house.
After the second division of Poland in 1793, Korostyshiv became part of the Russian empire until the end of the World War I. Like most small towns in the region, it had a sizable Jewish community. According to the 1897 census, Jews made up 52% of the town’s population (source).
Korostyshiv has been an important centre of granite mining since as far as the 19th century. Some of the granite quarries were later flooded, and one of such flooded quarries became known as the Korostyshiv Canion – a beloved attraction for both locals and tourists. The place is surrounded by granite rocks, pine forests and one of its sides opens up to a public beach. Its water is of striking emerald colour, and the rocks are often used as a training venue by rock-climbers.
The Korostyshiv Park was created in early 19th century by efforts of Gustav Olizar, but its contemporary appearance with a recognizable characteristic feature – a large number of stone structures and sculptures – was shaped up in the more recent time.
The inspiration for the project was drawn from the local sculptor Vitaliy Rozhyk, who is the author of more than 500 pieces of outdoor art many of which are now found in different countries across Europe.
The park is situated on the bank of the Teteriv river and is both a popular recreational and leisure spot for locals and a well-known tourist attraction.
Community economy and development prospects
Natural resources have shaped up the key economic focus of Korostyshiv community. More than 30 kinds of natural stone found in Zhytomyr region are extracted within its boundaries. There are many companies that manufacture finished products from stone. Other priorities include timber, woodworking, and paper industries.
The important objectives are to finish the construction of a dumping ground for solid household waste and to build a waste management and recycling plant. Korostyshiv has some free land parcels and premises for industrial and energy facilities. Another important objective is renovation of municipal treatment facilities.
Community and war
Korostyshiv has been fortunate to avoid being engulfed in active fighting that was raging just within several dozens of kilometers to the east. The community was welcoming an influx of people who were fleeing heavy strikes and hostilities, leaving their towns and villages. All in all, the community has provided shelter to over 3,000 internally displaced people, among which more than 700 are children.
Volunteers in Korostyshiv making camouflage nets for the Ukrainian troops while singing the Ukrainian anthem.
Head of community
Ivan Kokhan was elected by local residents as the head of community in 2015. He was born in Korostyshiv and has a background in education. After graduating Chernihiv Pedagogical University, he spent 10 years working as a teacher in local schools. Later he went into business and was the head of sports organizations and a municipal company.