Vysokopillia Territorial Community
The Vysokopillia Settlement Council was formed on 11 July 2017 by way of amalgamating a settlement council and two (Novovoznesenske, Mala Shestirnia) village councils. In 2020, the Vysokopillia Settlement Council was joined by the Arkhangelske settlement council, the Zarichne, Ivanivka, Novopetrivka, Novomykolaivka village councils.
Surface area: 495 square kilometres, 2.0 % of the territory of the region.
The Administrative Centre of the Vysokopillia Territorial Community is located at a distance of 170 km from Kherson.
The population totalled 11,163 residents as of early 2022 / 4,256 residents as of early 2023:
women – 2,172,
men – 1,877,
children – 207.
The centre of the community – the settlement of Vysokopillia – was founded in 1869 by German immigrants from the Tavria Province as a group of settlements in the centre called Kronau.
Today, there are many small cultural centres and homesteads in the settlement that preserve and pass on the Ukrainian-German heritage, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church (a Culture and Leisure Centre), a grammar school (boarding school), Mr. Rausch mill, the former Neu-Mannheim Church (an Orthodox Church), the house of German farmer Karl Zeller, a German school (a museum).
The Vysokopillia community has powerful resources for the development of tourism. In 2019, the Kronau-Fest regional festival of Ukrainian-German culture was held as part of the Small Towns – Big Impressions project. The Kronau-Fest is the only thematic festival in the southern region, which can become an important centre for establishing and developing ties between the German diaspora of our region and the Vysokopillia Territorial Community, creating its future face.
Economy and Wellbeing
The economy of the community is based on agriculture. The community has economic potential, which is mainly related to the presence of the railway, gasification (there is a railway station in the settlement of Vysokopillia, gas is supplied to 12 settlements, 12 settlements have centralized water supply, 2 settlements have centralized water drainage). In addition, the fertile soil in the territory of the community makes it possible to claim significant crop production potential.
The territory has mineral deposits (limestone, manganese ore, loam, clay shale). A limestone mining company operates in the settlement of Arkhangelske. The Atlas Energy solar power plant with a capacity of 50 MW is located in the territory of the community. The community runs a modern administrative services centre and two remote employees.
The community runs an extensive network of educational, cultural and health care institutions (19 health care institutions, 10 preschool education institutions, 9 secondary education institutions, 1 vocational and higher education institution, 17 cultural and leisure institutions).
Projects implemented in the community:
- youth project “Equipment of a Choreographic Hall and a Gymnasium”
- the local economic development project “Creation of the FocusFactory multimedia centre” (with the support of the DOBRE program)
- opening of a children tactile and communicative development room in the Vysokopillia community
- the holding of the KRONAU-FEST festival of Ukrainian-German culture
- the modernization of the Administrative Services Centre
- the water supply service improvement project “Purchase of machinery and equipment to improve the water supply service in the Vysokopillia Territorial Community”.
Community and War
The Vysokopillia community was under occupation for seven months; active hostilities were conducted in the community all the time and it is one of the most affected areas due to the aggressive actions of the russian federation troops. The aggressor caused significant damage to the housing stock (43 houses were damaged), critical infrastructure facilities. Two schools, six kindergartens, as well as medical institutions and historical landmarks were destroyed, in particular the Mr. Rausch mill, the house of German farmer Karl Zeller, the German school (a museum).
During the occupation of the community, 30 civilians were killed, more than 20 were reported missing, about 50 people were injured, and more than 20 residents were illegally captured by the russian invaders.
Currently, works are being carried out in the territory of the community to restore electricity supply, gas supply, water supply and drainage.
In the territory of the community, eighteen grocery stores, a Nova Poshta office, an Ukrposhta post office, and a building materials store have already resumed their work. Electricity supply has already been restored in thirteen settlements, gas supply in five settlements.
There are eight humanitarian aid distribution centres in the community. The residents receive assistance on a regular basis: foods, hygiene kits, mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets, winter clothes, electric heaters, heating devices. Assistance is also provided in the form of building materials to repair damage caused by shelling. With the support of the Save Children and Man in Need charity organization, drinking water is delivered to the settlements of the community.
People of the Community
From 2005 to 2015, Hanna Shostak-Kuchmiak worked as the secretary of the Vysokopillia Settlement Council. In 2013, she was received the Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the Kherson Regional Council. In 2016, she was elected as a councillor of the Vysokopillia Settlement Council of the seventh convocation. In November 2020, she was elected as the Vysokopillia Settlement Head. In October 2022, by an order of the President of Ukraine, she was appointed to the position of head of the Vysokopillia Settlement Military Administration.
While working as the settlement head, she has cooperated with international organizations USAID DOBRE, U-Lead, People in Need Ukraine.
She constantly works to improve her professional level, takes an active part in seminars, creative trips to study the experience of territorial communities.
In 2019, with the support of the USAID international program, the Sustainable Development Strategy of the Vysokopillia Settlement Amalgamated Territorial Community for 2019-2025 was developed.
As part of the process of strategic planning and development of the Territorial Community Recovery and Development Plan, a survey of the opinion of the territorial community residents was conducted in January – February 2023.
The research purpose was to obtain useful and reliable information regarding the formulation of a common vision for the recovery and future development of the Vysokopillia Settlement Territorial Community, the identification of the key problems / needs that must be solved for the community’s recovery and future development prospects. A total of 512 questionnaires with answers were received.
Strategic vision for the Vysokopillia community recovery and development:
- Promotion (advertising) of modern, renewable energy sources
- Creation of conditions for business infrastructure restoration
- Restoration and preservation of the Ukrainian-German cultural heritage, tourism development possibility
- Restoration of municipal facilities, institutions
- Use of existing minerals in the territory of the community
- Preparation of the master plan for the community spatial development
- Use of the land’s potential for processing agricultural products
- Development of entrepreneurial activities in the territory of the community