Ovruch community


36,000 inhabitants (before the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine)


Ovruch is one of the oldest cities in Ukraine. The first mention of it dates back to 977. In its vicinity there was a struggle between the Kyivan princes and the tribes of the Drevlians, which were eventually conquered by the Kyiv ruler Olga. Later, her grandson Oleg died in Ovruch during the war with his brother Yaropolk.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was built in 1190 and acquired its modern appearance during the reconstruction in 1907-1090, is reminiscent of community’s ancient history.

The city received the Magdeburg Law in 1641. Ivan Vyhovsky (1657-1659), one of the leaders of the Cossack uprising of 1648 and later the Hetman of Ukraine was born in Ovruch.

For many centuries, Ovruch was one of the most important centers of Jewish life in Ukraine. Before World War II, the city’s Jewish population was almost half of all its inhabitants.

Zhytomyr Polissya

Ovruch is located in Polissya – one of the most picturesque regions of Ukraine. Forests, rivers and lakes, ancient swamps, unique local folklore. High-quality stone – quartzite, granite and profiled shale – has also been mined here for a long time. Famous Ukrainian masterpieces such as the Golden Gate, St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra were built of local stone.

Together with scientists, the community is working on the creation of the Slovechansk-Ovruch Ridge National Park, which will help not only preserve local nature, but also become one of the tourist magnets of the region.

Ovruch Community
and the Russian war

If you take a closer look at the map of the Russian invasion in Ukraine in February 2022, you will immediately understand the danger Ovruch has faced. The community borders the Republic of Belarus, which the occupying forces used for intrusion into Ukraine from the North. The community is only nuclear power plant, where one of the main strikes of the Russians was directed. The tactics used by Ukrainian defenders – servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, border guards and quickly mobilized local territorial defense, allowed not to let the enemy into the community.

The community didn’t meet «the so-called liberators» with flowers (this is how Russian propaganda imagined the invasion of Ukraine). As a revenge, the Ovruch citizens were brutally shelled from the air. Almost 90 air bombs and rockets fell on the community. Private houses and social infrastructure facilities were destroyed. In particular, the local Employment Center, the Center for Administrative Services, and the hospital were damaged. One plane bomb killed a family of three at once.

Today, Obruch is recovering from the intrusion and its consequences. First of all, the citizens help those who lost their homes. In the future, they are looking for opportunities to restore social facilities.

Community head

The mayor of Ovruch is Ivan Korud. He is 57 years old. He was born in the Lviv region in the west of Ukraine. He graduated from the National Academy of Internal Affairs with a degree in Law. For the first time, Ovruch citizens elected Ivan Korud a mayor in 2015. Following the reform of local self-government in Ukraine, the Ovruch United Territorial Community was established. In addition to Ovruch itself, it included 90 more villages and the population doubled. The new community re-elected Ivan Korud as its community head.

From the first day of the war the mayor was actively involved in the defense of the region, mobilizing the local territorial defense, which together with the Armed Forces, border guards and police repulsed attempts by the Russians to capture Ovruch. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky awarded the head of the Ovruch community with the Order of Courage of the Third Degree for the defense of the region.

Even the leaders of remote regions set Ovruch as an example of effective defense. The head of the Sumy region (500 kilometers from Ovruch) in the first days of the invasion asked other communities to «act like Ovruch»:

Today the main task of the mayor is to restore the infrastructure destroyed by the occupant forces.

Strategy of development

After the war (and the victory), the community plans to return to pre-war strategic plans. In particular, they dream of implementing new alternative energy projects. Solar power plants are already operating here, and windmills are to follow. Earlier, the community virtually abandoned gas consumption by switching to energy willow, which is grown here. Ovruch is a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, which has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

Agriculture is well developed in the community – sunflower and corn production, dairy farming, pig farming and sheep breeding are among the most developed industries.

Community also hopes to develop ecotourism. The future creation of the national park will attract tourists – it is only 180 kilometers from the large city of Kyiv.

The Ovruch community will be happy to establish long-term partnerships with international partners.

Community partners
Tallinn (Estonia)
Tallinn (Estonia)
If you want to contact an Ukrainian community or have additional questions regarding the project please contact us: [email protected]