A full-scale war has been going on in Ukraine for a year, and the city of Melitopol is occupied. Thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the de-occupation of all territories will definitely take place, but we can already see how Ukraine has a special place on the world map. Today, Ukraine is about dignity, courage, hard work and incredible will to live. And Melitopol is also about an undeniable belief in victory and thorough preparation for recovery and development after de-occupation.
Melitopol is a city in the southeastern part of Ukraine with a population of 150,000 people. It has convenient logistics: highways of state and regional significance pass here, as well as railway connections with central and western Ukraine.
The city has a strong tourist potential, because it is located close to the coast of the Azov Sea, where more than 5 million Ukrainians and tourists from near-foreign countries rest every summer.
In addition, our city has always been the gateway to Crimea. Before the annexation of the peninsula, tens of millions of tourists went there through Melitopol.
The peculiarity of Melitopol is its interculturality. Representatives of more than 100 nationalities live here in peace and harmony, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Jews, Tatars, Greeks, Poles, and Germans.
The year 2014.
Melitopol became a second home for thousands of displaced persons
In 2014, when Russia occupied Donetsk and Luhansk and annexed Crimea, the authorities of the terrorist country tried to carry out a political upheaval in Melitopol as well. But Melitopol has stood up. The community of the city has stood up. At that time, Melitopol received more than 10,000 immigrants from the east of Ukraine.
Development of Melitopol
Since 2014, the Melitopol team has been developing the city’s infrastructure step by step – major repairs of roads and landscaping of public squares were taking place. The city administration paid special attention to sports infrastructure.
It all started with the improvement of asphalt basketball courts in the yards, they were made more modern and comfortable so that children and yard amateur teams could spend their leisure time.
Then it was possible to modernize the stadium “Spartak” named after Oleh Oleksenko. After the reconstruction, for the first time in many decades, the championship of Ukraine in athletics was held at our sports arena.
Stadium “Spartak” named after Oleh Oleksenko
Thanks to the support of Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration, the Ministry of Regional Development and the entire team of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, it was possible to realize the dream of Melitopol residents and build a modern swimming pool – one of the best in Ukraine.
Water Sports Complex of Melitopol
In cooperation with the European Investment Bank, we started large-scale thermal modernization of medical and educational institutions in the city. Together, we have successfully implemented 15 projects that have become significant for our city.
During the COVID pandemic, we modernized the infectious disease hospital. After major renovations and the purchase of modern equipment, this medical facility has turned into a key hospital for the treatment of coronavirus for residents of the entire district.
Infectious disease hospital
The next medical institution was the maternity hospital, which thanks to cooperation with the EIB turned into the pride of our district. After its reconstruction, women from the entire region wanted to give birth in Melitopol, as the conditions created here were not inferior to private maternity hospitals in Ukraine.
“Maliatko” maternity hospital
Thanks to cooperation with EIB, we managed not only to make the Railway Palace of Culture modern and technically equipped, but also to preserve its authenticity and historical value.
Railway Palace of Culture
In 2021, a sports complex, which can host national-level competitions, was opened on the basis of an outdated sports school after major renovation. Thousands of athletes from our district had to master Olympic sports here.
Sports complex “Melitopol”
In just 8 months, the Melitopol team built a modern ice arena in the city center, next to the park, stadium and swimming pool. With the opening of this facility, such popular sports as hockey and figure skating became available to Melitopol residents.
Ice arena, Melitopol
The priority of Melitopol team has always been to create conditions for the comprehensive development of children. Therefore, together with the partners of the city, thermal modernization of all panel institutions of school and preschool education was carried out. Some educational institutions have been completely modernized.
Kindergarten “Lastivka”, Melitopol
General education school No. 15, Melitopol
Gymnasium No. 8, Melitopol
Febraury 24, 2022
On February 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Bombing of Melitopol airfield
Melitopol was occupied on the second day. But the people of Melitopol desperately and fearlessly shouted to the whole world that Melitopol is Ukraine.
On March 11, Russian invaders kidnapped Melitopol City Mayor Ivan Fedorov. Russian soldiers held him for 6 days.
The occupiers interrogated and tortured the mayor, demanding to “surrender the city” and hand over power to the occupation administration.
All this time, the people of Melitopol came to the administrative building of the city and demanded the release of the mayor.
With the assistance of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Ivan Fedorov was exchanged for 9 conscript soldiers of the Russian army on the third attempt.
Civilians of Melitopol have been hostages of the occupiers for a year. The residents of temporarily occupied territories can be humiliated, kidnapped, tortured or killed every minute. Russian invaders take away business. Any property can be stolen by the invaders.
The city was turned into a reservation. At the peak of the forced evacuation, there were 4,000 people in the queue to leave the city. In order to leave the occupied territory and to go to the territory controlled by Ukraine through the town of Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia region, people had to wait in lines from 2 to 5 days. So now residents are forced to leave the occupation via Crimea, Russia or the European Union countries, undergoing interrogations and checks, overcoming difficult thousands of kilometers.
Approximately 70% of the city’s small and medium-sized enterprises have suspended their work. Less than half of the population remained in the city.
Almost 80% of the population lost their jobs due to mass unemployment and the occupation – people cannot buy the most necessary things today.
There is no Ukrainian mobile connection or television in the city. There is a shortage of necessary medicines. Medicines that are available in pharmacies are two to three times more expensive than in the territory controlled by Ukraine.
However, even a year after the occupation, Melitopol is rightfully considered the center of the partisan movement, which keeps the occupiers in tension and does not give them peace on our land. Thanks to the civil resistance of Melitopol district and the military defense of Mariupol, the heroes of Azovstal – the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to hold back the enemy and prevent him from breaking into the interior of the country.
It is the longest year of our life. We felt pain and fear. But we became strong and invincible.
It's been a year, but not a single day our people in Melitopol and other occupied settlements have no doubts that they would definitely return home!
We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Let’s resist and will return what we are owed!