Zviahel Territorial Community
The Zviahel community is located in the Zhytomyr region in the northern part of Ukraine. The total area of the community is 254 square kilometers. The Zviahel community includes the town of Zviahel as its administrative center and 14 villages.
As of January 1, 2022, the population of the community was 62 thousand people.
Men: 29.3 thousand
Women: 32.7 thousand
Internally displaced persons: 2.5 thousand.
The town was first mentioned in the Galician–Volhynian Chronicle in 1256 under the name Vozviahel. Zviahel developed as an urban center in the 16th century under the rule of the princes of Ostroh. After the second partition of Poland (1793), Zviahel became part of the Russian Empire.
By decree of Russian empress Catherine II dated July 5, 1795, Zviahel was renamed Novohrad-Volynskyi and designated as the administrative center of the newly created Volhynia province.
At the end of 2022, the old historical name of Zviahel was returned to the town.
The northern and southern settlements of the historic town of Vozviahel, which are the original foundations of the town, are listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of Ukraine. The remains of the fortress built by Konstanty Ostrogski at the beginning of the 16th century have been partially restored and constitute monuments of fortification art.
Extreme tourism with elements of rock climbing and kayaking on the Sluch River opens up picturesque landscapes, ancient trees and rocky shores to the guests of the community.
The community has unique objects of the fortification heritage of the early 20th century – a gun semi-caponier and an armored cap.
Currently, the ruins of the Zviahel fortress annually attract a large number of tourists.
The site where the castle is located surprises everyone with its unique atmosphere. Tourists feel as if they find themselves in the real Middle Ages here.
The great Ukrainian poetess, playwright and social activist Lesya Ukrainka (Larysa Kosach) was born in Zviahel (then Novohrad-Volynskyi) on February 25, 1871.
The Lesya Ukrainka Literary and Memorial Museum is located in the house where she was born, and the Kosachs Family Museum was opened in the rebuilt house where the Kosachs family had lived for 8 years.
The Museum of Local History and the Tourist Center are among the community’s landmarks.
The main artistic projects are the Lesyni Dzherela International Festival of Literature and Arts and Lesya Grand Fest, an All-Ukrainian Festival.
Economy and Welfare
With the completion of the decentralization process, the Zviahel family was replenished with five starosta-headed districts. Industriousness, enthusiasm and active lifestyle of the inhabitants of the villages generate the cultural and economic potential of the community.
Production activities in the community are carried out by 13 light, food, chemical, woodworking and machine-building industrial enterprises, which export products to far and near foreign countries.
Among them are Lesya, an enterprise with German investments which is engaged in tailoring men’s and women’s trousers and RGT Ukraine which specializes in heat treatment of textile products.
The international company, Furniture Factory MIRT focuses on designing, manufacturing and equipping assets of classical and modern architecture.
The agro-industrial complex of the community is represented by economic enterprises in the starosta-headed districts specializing in the cultivation of grain, leguminous and oilseed crops, breeding of cattle and beekeeping. The community has the region’s largest apiary.
Residents of the Zviahel urban territorial community and district are provided with primary, secondary, emergency and dental medical care. Also, a surgical complex is being constructed here.
There are 16 pre-school education institutions, 18 schools and 2 out-of-school education facilities on the territory of the community.
The community has created inclusive educational environment in general secondary education institutions. Here, international exchanges often take place and a school of youth leaders operates. They participate in various projects and programs, including UNICEF UPSHIFT Green Ukraine, Zero Waste School. Digital transformation of education is also underway. In addition, the community organizes and holds EdCamp regional events and creates an ecological and naturalistic park on the premises of the local gymnasium.
There is 1 institution of vocational technical education. The institution trains specialists in the profession of woodworking machine operator. Also, there are three institutions of professional education that train specialists in the fields of medicine, mechanical engineering, programming and jurisprudence.
The Inclusive Resource Center in the community includes individual and group corrective and developmental work with children with special educational needs and a sports school and physical health center, Sports for All. Local athletes win prizes at all-Ukrainian and world competitions.
Community and War
With the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, local authorities, civil society organizations and businesses have rallied and are providing comprehensive support to cities in need, helping the army and providing humanitarian aid to communities that were under occupation. 2,500 displaced persons are registered in the community. The Humanitarian Coordination Center has been operating in the community since the first days of the war.
Currently, works are being carried out on the reconstruction of two non-residential premises for housing in cooperation with international donors. 57 families of internally displaced persons with children and persons with disabilities will be able to comfortably live, work and integrate into the community.
The community actively cooperates with international partners GIZ, UNDP, NEFCO, the Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine, USAID HOVERLA, UNICEF and all-Ukrainian public organizations Ecoclub, Ecodiia and Modern Format on the implementation of projects on energy efficiency, housing reconstruction to meet the needs of IDPs, creation of comfortable conditions for effective entrepreneurial activities, development of a safe educational environment and increase of civil society capacity.
The community has also implemented projects on energy efficiency, development of alternative energy, reconstruction of housing to meet the needs of internally displaced persons, creation of comfortable conditions for effective entrepreneurial activity, development of a safe educational environment.
People of the Community
Mykola Borovets has been elected Mayor for the third term. He headed the town back in 2002-2010. His conscientiousness, perseverance and professionalism became the key to the prosperity of Zviahel, formerly known as Novohrad-Volynskyi.
Mykola Borovets is actively developing the vector of the town’s cooperation with international institutions. Thus, Zviahel has been cooperating with the United Nations Development Program since 2005, which made it possible to implement a number of important projects for the community.
The community has established a Youth Council, as well as a Council for Internally Displaced Persons.
The modern premises of the IDEA HUB, equipped with the necessary equipment, provide an opportunity to conduct trainings and generate ideas.
With the support of UNDP and GIZ, a project to create a modern center for business development and creative innovation has been launched in the community. On its basis, they also plan to create a veteran hub and a business incubator.
For the second year in a row, the volunteer forum, Zviahel Homefront: Together for Victory! is held in the community in cooperation with the Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine on the occasion of the International Day of Volunteers.
In 2021, the First Municipal Hackathon was held in the Zviahel urban territorial community, with the participation of leading Ukrainian universities, which became a good successful example for partnership between higher education institutions, businesses and government institutions. The generated ideas were taken into account in the main areas of strategic development of the community in 2022-2025.
Currently, a draft Strategy for the Development of the Zviahel Urban Territorial Community until 2028 is being prepared with the involvement of the mechanisms of broad public discussion and expert support of the Council of Europe.
Developed strategic goals:
- a community of sustainable development,
- a community providing smart services,
- a safe community,
- an “outskirt-free” community.
Zviahel investment presentation
List of Sources
- Own sources.
- Community Facebook
- Community website