Polohy Territorial Community
Created in 2019, the Polohy urban community initially united 1 town council and 3 village councils with the administrative centre in the town of Polohy. In 2020, 5 more village councils joined the community. Today, the community has 23 population centres with the centre in the town of Polohy.
Population: 30,623 people
Children under 15: 4,148
People of retirement age: 8,510
Employable population: 17,568
The total area of the community is 80,423.6 hectares.
The Polohy urban territorial community is located in the northeastern part of the Zaporizhzhia region on the left bank of the Konka River at a distance of almost 100 km from two industrial centres – Zaporizhzhia and Berdyansk.
In 1770, Empress Catherine II signed the Decree on the creation of the Dnipro Fortified Line. Between the Dnipro and the Sea of Azov, at a distance of 30 km from each other, seven land fortresses were to be built, which would protect the borders of the empire from Tatar raids and ensure the rapid development of the southern lands.
It is known that the Kyryliv Fortress was the central of the 7 fortresses of the Dnipro fortified line.
Later, the Kyryliv Fortress was liquidated, and the village of Semenivka was founded near it.
Today, only earthen ramparts remain from the former fortress. But it still has a unique significance in the history of the Polohy neighbourhood, because it was from the Kyryliv Fortress that the settlement of the region began.
The name Polohy was brought by immigrants who arrived and settled in these lands at the late 18th century.
In Left Bank Ukraine, the word polohy means “steppe depression”, “plain meadows”, “hay fields”, “gentle descent to the river”.
The Polohy neighbourhood can be considered the area of railway workers. The year of 1887 is referred to as the official founding date of the town. Then there was a digging point for the construction of a station and railway line of the Katerynoslav railway in the direction of Chaplyno-Berdyansk.
Thanks to the construction and development of the railway connection, the neighbourhood developed.
And today, the town of Polohy is a strategically important railway junction where the railway tracks connecting Donetsk region, Berdyansk with Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro intersect.
Residents of the town and surrounding villages work at railway enterprises.
Enterprises of industrial production, agriculture and the service sector are decisive for the local economy.
The Polohy kaolin and refractory clay deposit is located on the territory of the community. It has been under development since the 1920s. The Polohy kaolin and refractory clay deposit stretched in a strip of 30 km with a width of 5 km from the village of Kinski Rozdory to the village of Novokarlivka on both banks of the Konka River.
Kaolin and clay are excellent raw materials for the production of ceramics, paper, cardboard, plastic and rubber products, artificial leather and fabric. This raw material is used in the refractory and metallurgical industry, in the production of building materials, foundry molds, drilling fluids, feed additives for livestock.
The exploitation of the Polohy deposit is carried out by MINERAL Mining Company LLC and local enterprises operate on the basis of the extracted raw materials.
Powerful industrial enterprises with strong brands that are recognizable both in Ukraine and abroad operate in the community.
Polohy Oil Extraction Plant PJSC is one of the largest oilseed (sunflower seeds and soybeans) processing enterprises in Europe. The enterprise uses modern equipment and environmentally friendly raw materials. The company’s products are exported to more than 50 countries.
The community also has an enterprise for the production of sanitary and technical ceramics – Dniprokeramika LLC. Its products have been sold in Ukraine and exported to Poland, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Armenia and other countries since 1993.
Also, Ukraine’s largest producer of coagulants – Coagulant Plant Additional Liability Company – operates in the community. Its products are used for household and drinking water supply.
The village of Basan is famous for its delicious drinking water, which is extracted from two wells. The depth of the Basan well reaches almost 100 meters. And modern studies have confirmed that its water contains useful minerals.
There are also small deposits of clay that can be used to make bricks. Earlier, there were several tile factories in the village.
There are 50 water bodies on the territory of the community, most of which are used for fish farming.
Production and processing of agricultural products is well developed in the community. 80 farm enterprises work here. The main focus of agricultural production enterprises is the cultivation of grain crops and sunflowers.
There are two elevators located on the territory of the town of Polohy: the Polohy Grain Products Complex PJSC and Sonyachne Nasinnya Plus LLC.
Unfortunately, the proximity of the front line and the occupation completely destroyed the community’s economy. The production capacities of industrial enterprises were destroyed. Equipment and finished products were exported by the Russian military.
Because of the war, the vast majority of farmers were forced to leave. The fields remained uncultivated. Due to shelling, most crops of winter wheat and barley were burnt or remained uncollected in the fields. Agricultural machinery was stolen, and grain stored in warehouses was taken away by the Russian military.
Welfare of the Community
On January 1, 2020, the Administrative Services Centre began its operations in the Polohy hromada. Here, community residents received more than 270 types of administrative services as of 2021.
Today, the ASC is just a tumble-down building. All machines and equipment have been lost.
There are 2 hospitals, a primary health care centre and a district dental polyclinic in the community.
11 preschool education institutions and 16 schools operate on the territory of the community so that all young residents can study. In total, almost 3,300 pupils study here.
Also, the Polohy Inclusive Resource Centre of the Polohy Town Council operates in the community, where children who need a special form of education are educated.
The centre for the provision of social services meets the needs of community residents who find themselves in a crisis situation.
The community pays much attention to the development of culture. There are 93 amateur artistic groups operating in cultural club institutions. There are several creative groups in the community that have received the People’s awards, including choreographic and theatre groups.
There is the Art-svit art studio which engages about 30 teenagers.
Sports constitute an integral part of community life. Before the war, football, athletics, and volleyball competitions were held at the reconstructed Lokomotyv Stadium. There are football, athletics, volleyball, handball, table tennis, powerlifting, and tennis classes.
Community and War
Since the early March 2022, active hostilities have been taking place on the territory of the Polohy community. The community’s population centres are under temporary occupation and constant shelling. A large number of Russian soldiers are stationed on the territory of the community.
There are victims among the civilian population. It is known that more than 40 civilians have already died, over 50 have been injured. Unfortunately, there are also children among them.
Almost all the infrastructure has suffered significant damage. Heavy artillery destroyed modular boiler houses, electrical poles, transformers, damaged electricity, water supply and drainage networks, street lighting, high-rise buildings and private households.
Roads and footpaths were mutilated by military equipment. Trees are being felled in the park area. Educational, cultural, health care and administrative buildings were destroyed. The Russian invaders devastated housing and utilities enterprises and social institutions; school buses, multimedia equipment, computer hardware and household appliances were stolen.
The first battle for the town of Polohy lasted about 8 hours. However, the insidious enemy, using collaborators, entered the town from the rear and hit the positions of the defenders.
Until now, the situation in the community remains difficult. There is no gas supply, Internet or mobile communication. The hospital building was damaged and captured by the occupiers who set up their military hospital there.
Despite the difficult situation, it has been possible to completely restore the educational process today. Thanks to the joint efforts of local authorities and the Association of Ukrainian Cities, laptops and tablets were purchased for pupils and teachers.
With the beginning of the war, a humanitarian headquarters started working in the community, where the residents of the community systematically receive help with the support of international partners, charitable and public organizations.
People of the Community
Yuriy KONOVALENKO, Mayor of Polohy, head of the Zaporizhzhia regional branch of the Association of Ukrainian Cities, member of the Board of the Association of Ukrainian Cities.
He became Head of the Polohy Community in 2020 after the local elections. The community notes his high professional level. His hard work contributes to the adoption of balanced decisions for the benefit of the largest community in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“There is still a lot of work ahead, but we are persistently moving forward, overcoming obstacles. We sincerely believe that the Polohy community will become one of the best communities in Ukraine in the near future,” – says Yuriy Konovalenko.
The Mayor created an effective and efficient structure of executive bodies of the council. In the community, the main priorities include the creation of a favourable environment for work, business, recreation and improvement of citizens’ well-being and increasing the level of trust in the town authorities.
The Head constantly communicates with the residents of the community, representatives of public organizations, active youth, knows about the achievements and problems of each settlement.
The Polohy community is a signatory to the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life, the European Initiative Agreement of Mayors and Mayors for Economic Growth. It has a community development strategy, an action plan for sustainable energy development and climate until 2030 for the town of Polohy, a plan for improving medical services, Gender and Youth Passport. It is also happy to have reliable partners and investors.
However, the full-scale war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine broke the plans and peaceful life of the residents of the Polohy communities.
Mayor Yuriy Konovalenko, having accepted new challenges and risks, organized work on the restoration of damaged electricity, water, and gas supply networks and humanitarian aid for the population in the occupied territory.
Today, when the community is under temporary occupation, the head of the community governs it remotely, staying in the regional centre. The head organizes the work of executive bodies on issues of education, financing of communal enterprises, solving humanitarian issues, and other services in the Cohesion Space of the Polohy District – Help is Nearby.
Local entrepreneurs and active residents create charitable initiatives that turn into big projects and help people.
Thus, the Charitable Foundation – World. Ukraine. Polohy. – was created on the initiative of the Chairman of the Board of Polohy Oil Extraction Plant PJSC and Member of the Executive Committee of the Polohy Town Council Denys Krylov.
The Foundation’s mission is to return people suffering from military aggression to a normal life, to quickly adapt them to the conditions in which they found themselves and to contribute to the restoration of the infrastructure of the Polohy district from the consequences of the war.
The development strategy of the Polohy urban territorial community for 2021-2028 was developed within the framework of the Decentralization Brings Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) Programme based on the Participatory Model of Strategic Planning of the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FRDL).
Strategic Goals of Community Development
- Improving the quality of life on the basis of integration, cooperation, own initiative, activity of residents and care for health.
- Sustainable economic development based on available natural resources and specialized jobs in competitive industries and modern agriculture.
- Development of the potential of rural areas based on ecology, tourism and cultural heritage. Welcome to our community!
- Expansion and modernization of technical and communication infrastructure to ensure an attractive, accessible and territorially cohesive space for living and attracting residents.
Among the community’s priority projects are reconstruction of the water supply and drainage network, reconstruction of sewage treatment facilities in the town of Polohy, installation of a sorting line at the solid waste landfill, thermomodernization of public sector institutions, increasing the share of RES use.
In 2021, a Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded between the Slobozhanske Settlement Council of the Dnipro District, Dnipropetrovsk Region and the Polohy Town Council of the Polohy District, Zaporizhzhia Region.
List of Sources
- Virtual tour
- Website of the Polohy Urban Territorial Community
- Facebook page of the Polohy Urban Territorial Community
- Charitable Foundation – World. Ukraine. Polohy.
- Virtual tour: The Polohy Community of the Zaporizhzhya Region on the website of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre
- Photo expedition, photographer Vladyslav Sodel, USAID Ukraine #DOBRE Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre
- Interview: The Success Story of the Territorial Community. The Polohy Territorial Community is a successful community. Chas Zmin
- Video story: The Polohy Community is 1 year old
- Video story: Ceramic Workshop Dobra Hlyna
- Video story: Common History of the Villages of Hryhorivka and Semenivka
- Video story: The Legend of Hryhor and Semen. (the villages of Hryhorivka and Semenivka, Polohy district, Zaporizhzhia region)
- Interview: Fields burn in the Zaporizhzhia region almost every day due to shelling – Konovalenko.
- Interview: They cook on the street, because there is no gas and electricity and there is shelling every day: how do the communities in the Zaporizhzhia region live?
- The situation in the Polohy community remains difficult
- Unforgotten. POLOHY IS UKRAINE!
- Interview: Doctor of the Polohy Medical Centre talks about her work under the occupation | News