Novomoskovsk Urban Community
Population: 70,629 people (before the full-scale invasion).
Number of internally displaced persons: 6,377.
The gem of the Samara area, the town of Cossack glory, a home to metallurgists, Novomoskovsk was founded in 1576 on the right bank of the Samara River, a left tributary of the Dnipro.
In the 17th century, Zaporozhian Cossacks founded several wintering hamlets on the outskirts of, and around, modern Novomoskovsk. The construction of the Samara St. Nicholas Monastery in 1672 marked the beginning of the mass settlement of lands between Old Samara and the Samara St. Nicholas Monastery by Zaporozhians. The first name of the town is Samarchyk or Novoselytsia. In 1734, the town of Samar became the centre of the most numerous Cossack settlement – Samarska. Novomoskovsk got its today’s name in 1786.
In 1778, a unique Holy Trinity Cathedral, an architectural monument of the Cossack Baroque period, was built in Novomoskovsk. A gem of wooden monumental architecture and a brilliant creation by the master, the Trinity Cathedral was built by Yakym Pohribnyak on the order of the Cossack chieftain. The structural solution of the building has no parallel in the world architecture. The beauty of the cathedral inspired many artists, including the famous Ukrainian writer O. Honchar who made it the title character of his famous novel, The Cathedral (Ukrainian: Собор).
Mykolaivka Traditional Decorative Painting Style
One of the elements of Novomoskovsk’s intangible cultural heritage is the Mykolaivka painting style – a traditional decorative and ornamental painting of wooden chests in the Lower Samara region. This school of folk art was formed during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
In contrast to the more famous Petrykivka style, the background for pictures in the Mykolaivka style was most often green and less often yellow. The paintings feature only flowers, in particular those that grow in the Dnipro area: mallows, peas, cornflowers.
There are no old artisans who could teach painting in this style now, because the last chests were painted back in the 30s of the 20th century. At the same time, modern craftsmen are trying to revive Mykolaivka painting techniques, being guided by samples of the past that have been preserved by local residents and museums.
There is a picturesque island in the centre of the town which the community aims to transform into a unique open-air sports ground. The community is actively working to attract young people to sports. In 7 districts of the town, there are functional grounds for outdoor sports. There are two children’s and youth sports schools in the town, in which more than 700 children are engaged. 12 sports federations and 17 sports clubs are functioning here. Novomoskovsk has long been known far beyond the borders of our country thanks to athletes who demonstrate high results at international competitions. Only last year, 4 residents of Novomoskovsk won the title of Master of Sports of Ukraine, 10 athletes became candidates for Master of Sports.
Along with a rich historical heritage and picturesque nature, the community has a highly developed production sector. This is a key industry, which forms almost 60% of revenues to the local budget. The town’s economic development is facilitated by its advantageous location at the junction of three industrial regions and at the crossroads of various routes of communication – water, rail, and road. The town has a favourable investment climate and the necessary conditions for the development of the business environment. Industrial enterprises specialize in the production of building materials – pipes, furniture, foam, reinforced concrete and electrical products, etc.
Community Life during a Full Scale Invasion
Since February 24, 2022, Novomoskovsk has turned into a front-line town (100 km from the battlefield), where over 6,000 refugees from various regions of Ukraine are currently legally registered.
On June 18, the Russian military fired missiles at an oil depot next to Novomoskovsk. As a result of this rocket attack, three people were killed and a dozen were injured.
Volunteer and humanitarian headquarters are actively working in the community. Also, shelters and equipped places for temporary residence of displaced persons have been created.
The town youth centre constantly organizes charity fairs in support of the Armed Forces where funds are collected and used to cater for the needs of the military.
In December 2021, a memorial was opened in the town to 53 soldiers from the Novomoskovsk neighbourhood who died in the Russian-Ukrainian war defending their Motherland in 2014-2021.
The municipal authorities, together with the families of the fallen Heroes of the Liberation War, created another symbol of memory for those who sacrificed their lives for the preservation of Ukraine – the Rays of Memory minipark, where an avenue of red-leafed maples was planted. For Ukrainians, this tree symbolizes the memory of the fallen Cossacks, and now also of their descendants who died continuing the efforts of many generations of Ukraine’s defenders.
The war united many residents of Novomoskovsk. Doctors, workers of public utility companies, social workers, volunteers – today everyone is trying to contribute to the defence of the country, each on their own front.
Thus, since the beginning of the war, workers of the town’s culture, education, and social spheres have woven camouflage nets, sewn and made necessary items for the Armed Forces, prepared food for soldiers and displaced persons, organized and worked around the clock at the collection point, collected funds and purchased military ammunition.
Today, volunteers continue to help internally displaced persons and the military. Among them is Nataliya Horobets, who has devoted every free minute to volunteer work and catered for the needs of the military since the first days of the war in 2014.
It is impossible not to praise the work of public utility companies which, despite everything, continue to work at the proper level: they provide utilities consistently and also make sure that the eyes of the town’s residents are pleased with well-kept flowerbeds and trees.
Serhiy Reznik heads the town since 2020. He came to local self-government from business. Before being elected Headman of the community, he was elected Deputy of the Novomoskovsk town and Dnipropetrovsk regional councils. He has the scientific degree of Candidate of Legal Sciences.
Since the beginning of the war, the Mayor has ensured the vital activities of the community and continued to attract international organizations to support the town and its development in a difficult time for the entire country.
Community Development Strategy
The community had many ambitious plans for 2022: strengthening the sports infrastructure in the town by building a sports complex, completing the construction of the stadium, building a new centre for the provision of administrative services, continuing the reconstruction of streets and roads, beautifying the town, creating a safe environment, and developing tourism. It is of great importance for the community to ensure the upbringing of active and conscious youth, therefore, there are plans to increase the level of providing quality educational services, support youth and ensure their quality leisure time.
Unfortunately, most plans had to be postponed after February 24. Either way the community is determined and plans to definitely return to the implementation of pre-war plans after the end of the war.