Varkovychi Territorial Community


The Varkovychi Territorial Community is situated in the territory of the Dubno District of the Rivne Region.

The total surface area of the Community amounts to 147.8 square kilometres.
Community population: 5,081 residents
Women: 2,756 residents
Men: 2,325 residents
Internally displaced persons: 35 people

The Community consists of twelve localities. Its administrative centre is located in the village of Varkovychi.


Varkovychi is a small village with a rich history. It dates back to the 16th century, when this area was influenced by various families and landowners.

According to legend, the name of the village comes from the name of Varvara (Varka), an owner, who was kind to her villagers. Upon the granting of the Magdeburg Rights, craft professions began to develop in the territory of the present-day Community.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, during the Polish rule, the Varkovychi community became a typical Volyn township with a developed infrastructure that included mills, a distillery, and other industrial enterprises. In 1725, Polish nobleman Jakub Laduchowski built a magnificent multi-storied palace in the shape of a horseshoe near the pond.

But with the arrival of the Soviets, Varkovychi became an ordinary village. And the ornate palace, which was one of the best pearls of the palace and park construction in Volyn, which was once an attraction of the village, was destroyed, leaving only memories of its splendour of the past.

Palace in Varkovychi
Palace in Varkovychi Source

The Varkovychi and Zhorniv settlements are significant local archaeological sites. The settlements are located near the Rivne-Lviv highway. The Zhorniv Settlement is located in the middle course of the Stubla River and once had a complex defence system; there are remains of a powerful medieval fortress there.

In 2021, the Community took part in the “Towns around the Horyn River” project, according to which five new tourist routes with archaeological sites were created. The route connects seven ancient settlements of the Rivne Region, including the Varkovychi and Zhorniv settlements.

Varkovychi Settlement
Varkovychi Settlement
Zhorniv Settlement
Zhorniv Settlement Source

A significant architectural landmark in the Community is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis built in 1729. It existed as a church until it was abolished by the russian authorities and converted to the Orthodox Church in 1836 being used as the Church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God until 1926. Since 1990, the building of the church has been used by the community of Christians of the Evangelical Faith.

Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis
Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis Source

The village of Zhorniv in the Varkovychi Community has a unique wooden church existing to this day – the Church of the Holy Apostle Ivan the Theologian, which was built in 1867. In addition, the Alexander Nevsky Chapel, built in the late 18th century, can be visited in the village. This proves a rich history and importance of religious buildings in the community formation and its identity preservation.

Alexander Nevsky Chapel
Alexander Nevsky Chapel Source

One of the famous residents of the village was Tamara Vyshnevska, a European film actress. In 1935, by invitation, she moved to Berlin where she began her career. In total, the filmography of the actress consists of thirteen films dating back to the 1930s.

An episode from the movie “Girl Looking for Love” (1937)
An episode from the movie “Girl Looking for Love” (1937) Source

Economy and Welfare

Various business entities operate in the territory of the Community. The farms of the Community cultivate agricultural crops.

One of the large enterprises is the agricultural enterprise “Volyn Krai”: it grows grain crops.

Sowing spring crops in the fields of Volyn Krai
Sowing spring crops in the fields of Volyn Krai Source

The products made by the enterprises operating in the Community are known both within the district and the region, and far beyond their borders.

They include the products of the Palianytsia bakery. The idea of preserving unique ancient recipes, reviving the best traditions of Ukrainian bread baking and sweet pastries preceded the opening of the first private bakery in the Dubno District in 2002.

Products of the Palianytsia bakery
Products of the Palianytsia bakery Source

The products are baked there according to the traditional recipe of “live” bread – tasty and nutritious one. They collected unique recipes and advice of old-timers from various villages of the region, who shared their family secrets of baking rye and wheat bread, muffins, and loaves.

The company actively helps the military on the frontlines. Orphaned children, people with disabilities, and young athletes of the Dubno District are treated to delicacies made by Palianytsia.

Community and War

As the full-scale invasion into Ukraine by the russian federation began, the Varkovychi Territorial Community started to work actively for the support of the state. During the first days of the war, self-defence units were formed from local residents who were on duty at checkpoints. A significant number of conscripts are currently defending the integrity and independence of Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, more than 250 internally displaced persons have come to the Community. Therefore, the leadership team, together with the local residents, actively worked to accommodate the displaced persons. They are also provided with essential foods.

Community volunteers
Community volunteers

The whole Community is actively working to approach the Victory: they send humanitarian goods to the affected communities. For instance, two shipments of food packages and personal hygiene products were sent to the Kotsiubynske Community in the Kyiv Region. Also, in December 2022, a humanitarian cargo was collected and sent to the residents of the Lyman Community in the Donetsk Region.

A humanitarian cargo for the residents of the Lyman Community
A humanitarian cargo for the residents of the Lyman Community

The local residents organize charity events, concerts to raise funds for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, buy the necessary ammunition for the military, and make munitions, body armour, trench candles, and camouflage nets. In 2022, with the assistance of the Varkovychi Village Council, motor vehicles were purchased for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Motor vehicles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Varkovychi Village Council
Motor vehicles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Varkovychi Village Council

Every resident is a volunteer there. Large stores, entrepreneurs and ordinary residents help with food, hygiene products for humanitarian aid. Someone helps in providing vehicles. The production of trench candles has been launched in schools; still other people make them at home. Some are involved in the production of military ammunition or weaving of nets. Others monitor the appropriate accommodation of internally displaced persons and provide them with everything they need. Everyone, according to their capabilities, brings Ukraine’s long-awaited victory closer.

People of the Community

Since 2020, the Varkovychi Community has been headed by Yurii Parfeniuk. During this time, a number of projects have been implemented in educational institutions of the Community, such as improvement, modernization of heating systems, replacement of boilers with solid fuel ones, repairs and overhauls were carried out, heat supply was established.

In 2021, fibre optic cables were laid to social institutions in the localities where there was no high-speed Internet. A police station has been set up, where a community police officer works.

Yurii Parfeniuk (left) with a community police officer
Yurii Parfeniuk (left) with a community police officer

In 2023, thanks to the support of the UN Development Program in Ukraine as part of the Project “Strengthening the resilience of communities in the regions of Ukraine” financed by the Government of Great Britain, the Administrative Services Centre was opened in the village of Varkovychi.

Also, following the initiative of the Charity Foundation “Network of 100 Percent Life of Rivne”, together with the local authorities, a Shelter named after Princess Olha has been organized for women victims of domestic violence.

Opening of the Shelter named after Princess Olha
Opening of the Shelter named after Princess Olha

The youth of the Community is active as well. In 2021, the Youth Council was established under the executive committee of the Varkovychi Village Council. The youth initiative group works on projects of social action, carries out work aimed at the improvement of the Community territory, organizes sports and entertainment events, and launched an initiative of the open-air cinema.

Youth Council of the Varkovychi Territorial Community and the open-air cinema
Youth Council of the Varkovychi Territorial Community and the open-air cinema

Works continue at the local stadium: a volleyball court and a sports training ground were built. In 2023, a BUR camp was organized in the Community. This is a volunteer construction camp in cities or villages of Ukraine, which encourages young people from all over the country to volunteer. Thanks to its activities, a recreation area near the Culture Centre was organized in the village of Varkovychi.

A number of youth projects have also been implemented: Make your Library Ukrainian, according to which the local library replenished its stock with 105 books; the UPSHIFT project – a free digital space with laptops and a printer has been opened at the library; a sports space with street simulators has been organized.

BUR volunteers
BUR volunteers Source

Development Strategy

The development strategy until 2027 has been approved in the Community. Its main areas include: development of agriculture, improved production of competitive products; tourist attraction and recreation; implementation of energy-saving technologies; creation of favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investments in the Community.

Public discussion of the project Strategy for the Development of the Varkovychi Territorial Community
Public discussion of the project Strategy for the Development of the Varkovychi Territorial Community Source

A memorandum of cooperation has been concluded with Ukrteplo Company regarding the cultivation of energy willow, which is an alternative fuel, on the lands of the Community. In the future, this will ensure heat supply to all club facilities of the Community.

At the Culture and Leisure Centre, which is located in the central manor, it is planned to carry out overhauls with further expansion of the scope of services provided by this institution.

Work has begun to create a youth space.

Community Head and partner Mokobody (Poland)
Community Head and partner Mokobody (Poland) Source

In May 2021, protocols on cooperation between the communities of the Dubno District and the communities of the Siedlce County of the Republic of Poland were signed at the Dubno Historical and Cultural Reserve. The Mokobody community became a partner of the Varkovychi Community. Later in 2022, the Cooperation

Agreement between the Mokobody Community (Poland) and the Varkovychi Village Council was signed, and humanitarian aid such as generators and basic necessities was received.


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