The Community consists of 13 communities: Oleshky, Sahy, Poima, Kozachi Laheri, Krynky, Kostohryzove, Pody, Pidstepne, Pishchanivka, Radensk, Proletarka, Solontsi, Pidlisne

Population of the community (before 24 February 2022): 38,313 residents
Women: 21,288 residents
Men: 17,025 residents
Pensioners: 7,530 residents
Schoolchildren: 3,700 residents
Urban residents: 24,520 people,
rural residents: 13,790 people


The first mention of the town of Oleshky dates back to 1084. The route “From the Vikings to the Greeks” and the “Silk Road” passed through the town.

In the early 18th century, after the destruction of the Kamiana Sich by moscow troops, which was the main fortress of the Ukrainian Zaporizhia Cossacks, the Cossacks had to retreat to the land of the Crimean Khan. This is how the new Oleshky Sich led by Kish Otaman Kost Hordienko was founded in Oleshky. It was there that the first Constitution in Europe was implemented, drawn up by Hetman Pylyp Orlyk 80 years earlier than the French Constitution.

A memorial sign on the site of the Oleshky Sich, which existed in Oleshky in 1711 – 1728
A memorial sign on the site of the Oleshky Sich, which existed in Oleshky in 1711 – 1728

The community’s visit card is the unique Oleshky Sands – the second largest desert in Europe. This is why it is nicknamed the Ukrainian Sahara.

The total area of the national park is 1,600 km2. The territory spreads 150 km from the south to the north and 30 km from the west to the east.

This is a place with a thousand-year history, where archaeological landmarks from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the late Middle Ages are still found because the lands there were inhabited for thousands of years by the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Huns, Polovtsians, Khazars, Antis, Slavs, Ukrainians.

Three ecological hiking routes were developed in the territory of the reserve, permitting to get acquainted with the nature and the history of the area better.


The nature there is really diverse as there is not only a desert, but also areas with grassy vegetation, pine forests, thickets. The desert is surrounded by 120 thousand hectares of the largest man-made pine forest in Europe with unique flora and fauna. The first trees near Oleshky were planted in the 1970s and 1980s to protect the town from sands.

Prior to the full-scale invasion, the town authorities, along with activists and caring people, regularly organized campaigns to plant young pine trees, and the grown-up forest was a favourite place for walks, recreation and mushroom hunting for the residents of Southern Ukraine.

Oleshky swamps
Oleshky swamps

And among the loose sands and forests there are unique swamps: lowlands of alder groves flooded with water, which provide a pleasant coolness, freshness of the wind, moist air and bright greenery.

Polina Raiko in her house in Oleshky
Polina Raiko in her house in Oleshky Source

There is a wonderful house in Oleshky, all covered with pictures. At the age of 69, Oleshky resident Polina Raiko picked up a brush and created her fairy tale world in her yard. Amazing paintings on the walls and ceiling create an incredible impression: angels, fairy-tale birds and strange flowers live there.

This house can be called a real unofficial museum. Despite the fact that it is still in private ownership, hundreds of tourists come to see the amazing works of art blooming on the walls of the old house. The first museum of naïve art in Ukraine, one of the areas of primitivism, is planned to be created in Polina Raiko’s house.


Before the war, the industrial sector of the Oleshky Urban Territorial Community consisted of 15 industrial enterprises.

The largest specific weight in the volume of production of industrial products was made up by enterprises of the pulp and paper industry specializing in the manufacture of packaging and other products from corrugated cardboard and the production of filter paper for the manufacture of filter elements.

The modern corrugated packaging production facility operating under the Dunapack Packaging brand of Austrian Prinzhom Group Holding produced about 200 types of packaging with a capacity of 240 million m2 of corrugated products per year.



In addition, building materials were produced in the community, and food processing and light industry enterprises operated as well. In particular, there is a distillery in the community, which produced ordinary aged cognac.


The production of agricultural products in the territorial community was ensured by 20 farms, 3 business associations and 1 private joint-stock company. The area of agricultural lands of the community is 15.6 thousand hectares.

Due to the occupation of the territory by the aggressor country, the industrial and agro-industrial enterprises are not operating.


The Oleshky Territorial Community was under temporary occupation from the first hours of the full-scale invasion.

Convoys of military equipment of the aggressor country entered the territory of the town of Oleshky at around 10 o’clock in the morning. Enemy missiles attacked military facilities and critical infrastructure facilities.

For several days, fierce battles took place in the territory of the community for the Antoniv Bridge and the regional centre – the city of Kherson.

The residents of the Oleshky area suffered from destruction caused by blast waves and the impact of projectile fragments.

The feat of the residents of the Oleshky community who came to the “Oleshky is Ukraine” rally will never be forgotten.

On 08 March 2022, risking their own lives and freedom, protesters marched side by side with the community leaders through the streets of the town to protest against the occupation.

Subsequently, many participants of the rally were subjected to terrible abuse and repression by the occupying forces.

Starting from 11 November 2022, after the liberation of the Right Bank of the Kherson Region, the Left Bank, including the Oleshky Territorial Community, has been constantly under merciless shelling by enemy artillery, tanks and mortars.

Building of Oleshky-Sport ME of the Oleshky Town Council
Building of Oleshky-Sport ME of the Oleshky Town Council

Every day there are reports about injured or killed residents of the Oleshky Community, and the infrastructure of the community is being destroyed. Schools, kindergartens, cultural centres, and other civilian facilities have been damaged. As a result of the destruction, communication, Internet and electricity are almost constantly unavailable.

Oleshky kindergarten No. 3 of the Oleshky combined type of the Oleshky Town Council
Oleshky kindergarten No. 3 of the Oleshky combined type of the Oleshky Town Council
Destroyed private house
Destroyed private house

The blowing up of the Kakhovka HPP by the russian occupying forces was a true genocide for the occupied Oleshky Community. After the dam was blown up, water from the reservoir gushed down the Dnipro and flooded the settlements below. Most of the houses in Oleshky found themselves completely under water. The occupying authorities did not provide any support to the people who remained under occupation, which caused mass drownings among the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the exact number of victims has not been established to date because the invaders hide it in every way. Judging by the messages of the community residents in social media, the number of victims is very, very high and may be established after the liberation of Left Bank Ukraine.

Flooded houses in Oleshky as a result of russian troops blowing up the Kakhovka HPP
Flooded houses in Oleshky as a result of russian troops blowing up the Kakhovka HPP Source


The mayor of Oleshky, Yevhen Ryshchuk, an agrarian by education, was engaged in agribusiness for many years.

In 2006, he was given the title of candidate of agricultural sciences having defended his thesis on the influence of fertilizers on the cultivation of soybeans in the southern regions of Ukraine.

Since 2007, he has been heading the Kherson regional branch of the Ukrainian National Association “Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation”.

Since 2015, he has been heading the Equestrian Federation of the Kherson Region.

He is married, has two daughters.

He stayed in the temporarily occupied community for 40 days.

During this period, he ran the work of municipal enterprises, provided the population with bread, medicines, and basic necessities.

Due to the threats of the occupation authorities, he was forced to leave the territory of the community.

In the territory controlled by Ukraine, he continued to take care of the residents of the community.

He regularly participates in live broadcasts providing answers to the pressing questions of the residents of the Oleshky Community.

He is a volunteer.




Every year, Oleshky traditionally received the motocross participants from Ukraine and other European countries as part of the “Stage of the Motocross Championship of Ukraine”. Athletes are attracted by the complexity of the track, which is due to the unique mixture of soil (sand and clay). Hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators plunge into the world of spectacle and extreme.


It is in Oleshky that the Ukrainian BAJA Championship is held.

Over the years of its existence, BAJA UKRAINE united sports enthusiasts from all the regions of Ukraine, as well as participants from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey and many other countries.


Shortly before the outbreak of the war, the START STADIUM had been restored in the community becoming a place of regular training and sports competitions in the community and including a football field with natural grass, two mini-football fields with artificial grass, a high-quality tennis court and a shooting range, the only one in the Kherson Region, the length of which is almost 100 meters.


The Oleshky children and youth sports school has been the community’s water sports centre for a long time. Clubs are always organized in the school and regular competitions are held. Meetings of the Olympic rowing team take place at the children and youth sports school.

Amateur art development

There are 6 amateur art groups working in the community – an exemplary children’s brass band, the folk song ensemble “Chervona Kalyna”, the exemplary vocal and variety studio “Suziria”, the folk rock band “Chas Vpered”, the folk amateur association “Veteran”, the folk vocal studio “Melodia”, which help the local residents to have interesting and meaningful leisure time. Since 2017, the “Spivocha Ptakha” folk art festival has been regularly held in Oleshky.

The community also has a music school, a digital education hub based on a network of libraries, and a local history museum.


Kayaking through the green channels of the Dnipro, Konka and Chaika rivers has always been a popular way of recreation in Oleshky. While kayaking, tourists can enjoy the beauty of the unique Holubov Liman lake, delicate white river lilies, amazing birds that live in the reeds, cattails and ancient trees below the Dnipro.


After the de-occupation of the Oleshky Territorial Community, the primary task will consist in demining, rebuilding and restoring the full functioning of the community’s critical infrastructure facilities such as health care and education institutions, water and electricity supply, roads and transport network, services.

In addition, an important priority will be the restoration of the environment, which has suffered a colossal negative impact due to the war.

If you want to contact an Ukrainian community or have additional questions regarding the project please contact us: [email protected]