Vinnytsia or Vinnytsya, or Vinnitsa ( VIN-it-s(y)ə, VEEN-; Ukrainian: Вінниця, romanized: Vinnycja, IPA: [ˈwinːɪtsʲɐ] (listen); Russian: Винница, romanized: Vinnica; Polish: Winnica), is a city in west-central Ukraine, located on the banks of the Southern Bug.
It is the administrative center of Vinnytsia Oblast and the largest city in the historic region of Podillia. Administratively, it is incorporated as a town of oblast significance. It also serves as an administrative center of Vinnytsia Raion, one of the 27 districts of Vinnytsia Oblast, though it is not a part of the district. Population: 372,484 (2015 est.)The city's roots date back to the Middle Ages and it was under Polish control for centuries until the Russian Empire annexed it in 1793. During 1930s and early 1940s the city was the site of massacres, first during Stalin's purges and then during the Holocaust in Ukraine and the Nazi occupation. A Cold War-era airbase was located near the city.
The name of Vinnytsia appeared for the first time in 1363. It is assumed that the name is derived from the old Slavic word "Vino", meaning "bride price." This name can be explained by the fact that Vinnytsia and the surrounding land were captured by Lithuanian Duke Algirdas in the 14th century, and then, they were given as a gift to his nephews.
Vinnytsia is located about 260 km (160 mi) southwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, 429 km (267 mi) north-northwest of the Black Sea port city of Odessa, and 369 km (229 mi) east of Lviv.
It is the administrative center of the Vinnytsia Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Vinnytsia Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is directly subordinated to the oblast.
The town has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb), similar to northern Pennsylvania however with the precipitation of the Great Plains, summers are warm, hardly hot and humid and winters are cold.A long lasting warm summer with a sufficient quantity of moisture and a comparatively short winter is characteristic of Vinnytsia. The average temperature in January is −5.8 °C (21.6 °F) and 18.3 °C (64.9 °F) in July. The average annual precipitation is 638 mm (25 in).
Over the course of a year there are around 6–9 days when snowstorms occur, 37–60 days when mists occur during the cold period, and 3–5 days when thunderstorms with hail occur.
From Medieval to Early Modern period
Vinnytsia has been an important trade and political center since the fourteenth century, when Fiodor Koriatowicz, the nephew of the Lithuanian Duke Algirdas, built a fortress (1363) against Tatar raiders on the banks of the Southern Bug. The original settlement was built and populated by Aleksander Hrehorovicz Jelec, hetman under Lithuanian Prince Švitrigaila. Aleksander Jelec built the fort, which he commanded as starosta afterwards.
In the 15th century, Lithuanian Grand Duke Alexander Jagiellon granted Winnica Magdeburg city rights. In 1566, it became part of the Bracław Voivodeship. Between 1569 and 1793 the town was a part of Poland and in this period, for a short time between 1672 and 1699 was a part of the Ottoman Empire. During period of Polish rule, Winnica was a Polish royal city. On 18 March 1783, Antoni Protazy Potocki opened in Winnica the Trade Company Poland.
After Second Partition of Poland in 1793 the Russian Empire annexed the city and the region. Russia moved to expunge the Roman Catholic religion – Catholic churches in the city (including what is now the Transfiguration Cathedral) were converted to Russian Orthodox churches.
According to the Russian census of 1897, Vinnytsia with a population of 30,563 was the third largest city of Podolia after Kamianets-Podilskyi and Uman.
World War II
Vinnytsia was occupied by German troops on 19 July 1941 during World War II. In 1943, the Germans exhumed 9,439 bodies, mostly male and ethnically Ukrainian, from mass graves to discredit Soviet Communist government claims that men had been sent to prison, and not executed. The majority of the executions were believed to have happened during the Stalinist Great Purge between 1937–1938 in the Vinnytsia massacre.
Adolf Hitler sited his eastern headquarters, Führerhauptquartier Werwolf or Wehrwolf, at the Wehrmacht headquarters near the town; the complex was built in 1941-1942 by Russian prisoners of war; many of them were subsequently killed. Hitler's accommodation consisted of a log cabin built around a private courtyard with its own concrete bunker but the complex included about 20 other log buildings, a power generating station, gardens, wells, three bunkers, a swimming pool, and wire; it was surrounded by defensive positions. Hitler spent a number of weeks at Wehrwolf in 1942 and early 1943. The few remains of the Wehrwolf site (described by one report as a "pile of concrete", because it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1944,) can be visited but plans to create a full-fledged museum had not come to fruition as of August 2018.Nazi atrocities were committed in and near Vinnytsia by Einsatzgruppe C. Estimates of the number of victims often run as high as 28,000 although historian Oliver Rathkolb states that 35,000 Jews were deported from the Vinnytsia region and most of those later died.
In 1942 a large part of the Jewish quarter of Yerusalimka was destroyed by Germans. One infamous photo, The Last Jew of Vinnytsia, shows a member of Einsatzgruppe D about to execute a Jewish man kneeling before a mass grave. The text The Last Jew of Vinnytsia was written on the back of the photograph, which was found in a photo album belonging to a German soldier. It was captured by the Red Army on 20 March 1944.
Cold War period
Since the end of World War II, Vinnytsia has been the home for major Soviet Air Forces base, including an airfield, a hospital, arsenals, and other military installations. The headquarters of the 43rd Rocket Army of the Strategic Rocket Forces was stationed in Vinnytsia from 1960 to the early 1990s. The 2nd Independent Heavy Bomber Aviation Corps, which later became 24th Air Army, was also stationed in Vinnytsia from 1960 to 1992. The Ukrainian Air Force Command has been based in Vinnytsia since 1992.
There are many educational universities and research institutions in Vinnytsia:
Vinnytsia Institute of Economics and Social Sciences
Vinnytsia National Medical University. N. I. Pirogov
Vinnytsia National Technical University
Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, named after Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky;
Vinnytsia National Agrarian University
Vinnytsia European University
Vinnytsia Trade and Economics Institute
Vinnytsia Social Economical Institute
Donetsk National University, evacuated from Donetsk in 2014 due to armed conflict on the East part of UkraineThere is also the Regional Universal Scientific Library named after Kliment Timiryazev in Vinnytsia.
Vinnytsia is an industrial center in Ukraine.
There are the Roshen confectionery corporation, the Crystal diamond polishing corporation, RPC Fort largest Ukrainian firearms manufacturing corporation, Analog corporation, Mayak corporation, Budmash corporation, Agregat corporation, Pnevmatika corporation, PlasmaTec corporation etc.
The headquarters of the Ukrainian Air Force is situated in Vinnytsia.
Vinnytsia is considered the long-time political base for Ukrainian oligarch and former President Petro Poroshenko. He owns a local confectionery (as part of the Roshen Corporation) and was elected member of parliament from the local constituency for several convocations. However, contrary to some speculations, Poroshenko has never lived in the city.
The former Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is from Vinnytsia.
Parks and squares
Central urban park in Vinnytsia
Park of Culture and Rest named after Maxim Gorky located in Vinnytsia city - between the streets of the Cathedral (center), May Day and Khmelnytsky highway.
The park is 40 hectares.
In the park there are numerous monuments (Gorky at the main entrance, soldiers in Afghanistan, Sich Riflemen, killed police officers), and "Walk illustrious countrymen" are objects of leisure and recreation: a concert hall "Rainbow", a summer theater, stadium, ice club, city planetarium, numerous attractions and gaming machines.
For more than 70 years history of the park has always been a place of celebration as the general public and local/municipal events and holidays. Fine tradition was held in the park folk festivals and holidays is particularly on City Day, Victory Day, Independence Day and more.
Buildings and structures
The Transfiguration Cathedral, built in Vinnytsia in 1758.
The new Greek Catholic Church at South Bug river.
Baptist Church – reportedly one of the largest Evangelical Church Buildings in Europe.
TV Tower Vinnytsia
Vaksman family's real estate, 1915 – Style: Art Nouveau. Address: 24 Chkalov Street. Built by architect Moisey Aaronovitch Vaksman. Architectural landmark.
Afghan War Museum and War Glory Memorial Park – The Afghan War Museum is located in the red-brick bell tower. Exhibits include photos, letters and other artifacts representing Vinnytsia soldiers who fought in that war. The Memorial Park contains a large statue representing three different soldiers from World War II. An eternal flame burns in front of the statue.
Multimedia Fountain Roshen – Built in 2011 it is considered as one of the largest floating fountains in Europe. It is the major multimedia attraction in the city.
The Literary and Memorial Museum of the “great sun-lover”, classical author of Ukrainian literature M.M.Kotsyubynsky, is very popular among local inhabitants and guests; it is also a place of development for creative youth. In the city, numerous historical buildings are being repaired and new ones are being built.
The national Pirogov's estate museum
Havryshivka Vinnytsia International Airport (IATA: VIN, ICAO: UKWW) is situated near Vinnytsia.
There is a railway station in Vinnytsia, which is a part of 'South-Western Railway'. In 2013 it was named among 10 biggest railway stations in Ukraine Current building of Vinnytsia railway station was built in 1952 and considered to be the 4th railway building in Vinnytsia (previous three were destroyed in different years). Vinnytsia is an important transport point, both for internal and external railway connection. Most of the international trains, which cross through Ukraine, have a stop in Vinnytsia. For example, trains from Moscow and Saint Petersburg (Russia), Minsk (Belarus), Sofia (Bulgaria), Chisinau (Moldova), Bratislava (Slovakia), Belgrade (Serbia), Budapest (Hungary) transit through Vinnytsia. In internal railiway connection, Vinnytsia is also an important transport point for trains, heading to Western Ukraine (Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi) and to South (Odessa), as well as to Central Ukraine (Kiev).
The tram is the most popular public transport in Vinnytsia. There are six tram routes in Vinnytsia (1,2,3,4,5,6).
There are a lot of trams in Vinnytsia. The newest ones (blue trams) are from Switzerland.
There are the central bus station and the Western bus station in Vinnytsia.
Nathan Altman (1889–1970) – avant-garde artist
Sam Born (1891-1959) - confectioner
Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky (1864–1913) – Ukrainian author of novels and short stories. His home is a museum.
Mykola Leontovych (1877–1921) – Ukrainian composer who worked here
Alexander Lerner (1913–2004) – Soviet-Israeli cyberneticist and dissident
Yuri Levada (1930–2006) – sociologist, political scientist and the founder of the Levada Center
Jerzy Niezbrzycki (1902–1968) – captain of the Polish Army
Nikolai Pirogov (1810–1881) – originally from Moscow, this Imperial Russian doctor, considered to be the founder of field surgery, spent the later years of his life in Vinnytsia. His home is a museum and his chapel tomb is open to visitors.
Maksym Shapoval (1978–2017) – Senior intelligence officer and head of a special forces detachment unit of the Ukrainian Chief Directorate of Intelligence. Assassinated by Russian agents in 2017.
Marina (b.1989) - Polish singer of Ukrainian origin
Olga Storozhenko (b.1992) Miss Ukraine Universe 2013 & Top 10 Miss Universe 2013