Bilohorodka community

Kyiv
Population
Population

Officially registered – about 27, 000
Actual population – over 53,000  (according to village council estimates as of January 1, 2022)
Children under 18 ≈ 15,500;
Pensioners ≈ 5080 pensioners;
Persons with disabilities ≈ 328, including 118 children.

Before the beginning of the new phase of the full-scale Russian aggression in February 2022, there were already 2,500 IDPs from eastern Ukraine in the community. During March, the number of new IDPs reached 1,500 and is constantly growing as the war goes on.

History

The territory of modern Bilohorodka has been inhabited for a long time. The remains of a late Trypillian settlement (III millennium BC), burial grounds of the Bronze Age (II-I millennium BC), vessels of the Zarubynets culture (II century BC-II century AD) were found on its territory. In the 7th and 9th centuries there was a Slavic settlement here, where, subsequently, the town of Bilhorod-Kyivskyi emerged.

The settlement is first mentioned in the chronicles in 980. At that time the town and the surrounding lands belonged to the Grand Prince of Kyivan Rus Volodymyr. Here the palace of the Prince was located. In 991 a fortress was built in Bilhorod, and the town became one of the strongest outposts in the defense of Kyivan Rus from the nomads.

The residents of the ancient Bilohorodka Source: Wikipedia
The residents of the ancient Bilohorodka Source: Wikipedia

The remains of ancient Bilhorod are well preserved. Until now, on the banks of the Irpin River you can see its powerful fortifications – a deep ditch and a rampart 10-12 meters high, which was built with wooden logs in a very specific and complex way. Interestingly, during the attempt to storm Kyiv by Russian troops in March 2022, the ramparts, also known as Snake Shafts, again performed their defensive function and didn’t allow the occupiers to advance onto the Ukrainian capital from this direction.

Bilhorod ramparts
Bilhorod ramparts Bilhorod ramparts

Bilohorodka community and the War

From the first days, Bilogorodka community was on the frontline of the defense of Kyiv, which lasted 37 days. Air defense forces worked 24/7 during this period. Units of the Armed Forces also performed land operations to withhold the enemy’s attack from the ground.

Numerous missile, mortar and artillery strikes were carried out throughout the community. More than 150 houses were damaged and destroyed.

Bilohorodka community borders Ukraine’s capital Kyiv by the Zhytomyr motorway (connecting Kyiv and Western Ukraine). The fierce battles for the control of the highway lasted for almost 1.5 months. This was the most dangerous area in Kyiv region.

Unfortunately, there were also casualties among civilian population. Outpatient doctor Inna Dikhtyarenko died while collecting medications around the community. A couple who were in an evacuation car also died. A volunteer who delivered food and medicine to residents during the siege of the village was killed in the village of Stoyanka.

There was a large flow of evacuation vehicles through Bilohorodka, residents were evacuated from cities around Kyiv. In total, more than 50,000 people were evacuated through the community. They received food and other relief items here.

Everyone who was evacuated through our community was offered a hot meal, tea, coffee, children’s treats, as well as care and support from the team of the village head and volunteers.

Today, the community is recovering from 37 days in the epicenter of the Kyiv defense campaign.

Bilohorodka village head and his team

The head of the Bilohorodka community is Anton Ovsiyenko. He has got four university degrees and considerable managerial experience. Since 2010 he has held the position of village head of Sviatopetrivske (a village that later became part of the amalgamated Bilohorodka community). For 10 years in a row, the residents trusted him to lead the village community.

In 2020, Anton Ovsiyenko was elected the head of the new amalgamated community. He was in the community from the very first day of the war. In many ways, his energy, will and devotion helped the community to survive through this difficult period.

The motto of his team: “Help, support, do not pass by.”

Development strategy

In 2022,the Bilohorodka community planned to design a new development strategy for 2022-2027 with the support of the U-LEAD program with Europe.

The first meeting of the working group was scheduled for February 24, which, unfortunately, did not take place due to the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Bilohorodka village council will renew its work on the document immediately after the end of martial law.

However, the priorities remain the same – building a community which is prosperous, progressive and comfortable for everyday life, recreation and work. Rebuilding the destroyed and damaged buildings and infrastructure is the community’s main task in the short run.

Bilogorod community, Armed Forces of Ukraine

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