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Horlivka Palace of Culture
Horlivka Palace of Culture
Flag of Horlivka
Coat of arms of Horlivka
Horlivka is located in Donetsk Oblast
Location of Horlivka in Donetsk Oblast
Horlivka is located in Ukraine
Horlivka (Ukraine)
Coordinates: 48°18′N 38°3′E / 48.300°N 38.050°E / 48.300; 38.050Coordinates: 48°18′N 38°3′E / 48.300°N 38.050°E / 48.300; 38.050
Country Ukraine
OblastDonetsk Oblast
RaionHorlivka Raion
 • MayorYevhen Klep[1]
 • Total422 km2 (163 sq mi)
 • Total239,828
 • Density574/km2 (1,490/sq mi)

Horlivka (UK: /ˈhɔːljkə/ HOR-lew-kə,[2] US: /ˈhɔːrlɪfkə/ HOR-lif-kə;[3] Ukrainian: Го́рлівка [ˈɦɔrl⁽ʲ⁾iu̯kɐ]), or Gorlovka[4] (Russian: Горловка [ˈɡorləfkə]), is a city of regional significance in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.

In 2001, the city's population was 292,000, and it was estimated as 239,828 (2022 est.)[5] Economic activity is predominantly coal mining and the chemical industry. The Horlivka State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages has a two building campus in the city centre.

The city was severely damaged during the War in Donbas and has since been mainly under control of pro-Russian forces.[6] As of 2016, suburbs of Horlivka remained under Ukrainian army control.[7]


In 1779, the city was founded as Gosudarev Posad and in 1869 it was renamed after Pyotr Gorlov as Gorlovka (locally Horlivka). The workers' town provided basic services to and organization of a series of mining camps. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, it was the scene of an armed uprising.

In April 1918, troops loyal to the Ukrainian People's Republic took control of Horlivka.[8] Subsequently, under Soviet control, by the 1930s it had expanded considerably and become a major center for mining operations in the Ukrainian SSR.

The city was occupied by German troops from 1941 to 1943.[9] During World War II retreating Nazis burned buildings and perpetrated mass shootings. Nonetheless, the city's population had risen to over 400,000 by the end of the war. In recent years many mines have closed. The population fell by more than ten percent during the 1990s.

War in Donbas

In the middle of April 2014, and shortly thereafter, pro-Russian separatists captured several towns in Donetsk Oblast.[10][11] A group of separatists seized the police station in Horlivka on April 14;[12] the city hall was seized on April 30.[13] The mayor of the city, Yevhen Klep, was detained by the separatists on June 11, and not released until July 18.[14] Local chief of police Andriy Kryschenko was captured and badly beaten by the insurgents.[15][nb 1] A Horlivka city council deputy, Volodymyr Rybak, was kidnapped by the pro-Russian militants on April 17. His body was later found in a river on April 22.[18] The city administration building was seized on April 30, solidifying separatist control over Horlivka.[19] Self-proclaimed mayor of Horlivka Volodymyr Kolosniuk was arrested by the SBU on suspicion of participation in "terrorist activities" on July 2.[20]

On July 21 and 22, 2014, the city saw heavy fighting.[21][22] The Ukrainian army reportedly retook parts of Horlivka on July 21.[23] After the Ukrainian army had retaken Lysychansk on July 25, 2014,[24] the recapture of Horlivka became a priority, for the city was seen as "a direct path to the regional center – Donetsk".[25] As of July 28, the city was reported to be fully surrounded by Ukrainian troops, with rebels holding their positions inside.[26] However, Horlivka continued to be controlled by separatist forces.[6][27] As of June 2015 it was situated ten kilometers from the war front.[6] Suburbs of Horlivka stayed under Ukrainian army control.[7] In November 2017 they regained control of the villages of Travneve and Hladosove north of Horlivka.[28]

As reported by the city administration, from the beginning of the conflict until late January 2015, 274 local civilians were wounded and 92 killed, including nine children.[29] Because of the conflict the city's population shrank to 180,000.[6]

In late March 2019, according to Ukrainian media reports, Ukrainian army mine clearance specialist Andriy Shor, who participated in both battles for the Donetsk Airport and the Battle of Pisky, announced on Facebook that the Ukrainian army had recently taken control of Horlivka city.[30] Unian reported that Ukrainian forces had secured the outskirts of the city and are slowly advancing further towards the center of Horlivka, citing Ukrainian volunteer Yuriy Mysiahin.[31] In May the separatists tried to push the Ukrainian forces back, but failed.[32]

As of 2020, the majority of the town remains under separatist control.[33] In June 2020, the former head of DPR propaganda in Horlivka handed himself to SBU.[34]

2022 Horlivka offensive

In 2022, Ukrainian reports claimed there was a military offensive in the city.[35][36][37]


Ethnic composition as of the Ukrainian Census of 2001:[38]

Ethnicity Number %
Ukrainians 160,397 51.4
Russians 139,980 44.8
Belarusians 4,079 1.3
Tatars 876 0.3
Armenians 784 0.3
Moldovans 720 0.2
Azeris 647 0.2

First language as of the Ukrainian Census of 2001:[38]


The Museum of the City History, the Art Museum (the largest collection of paintings by N. Roerich in Ukraine), the Miniature Book Museum by V.A. Razumov (the only state in the world). 62 out of 84 comprehensive schools (29,700 students, 7,000 teachers), 55 kindergartens (5,700 children), 19 out of 25 houses of culture and clubs, 7 parks, 29 libraries, 7 cinemas.

Infrastructure and environment

Lenin monument, Horlivka
Stirol chemical plant in Horlivka
Mykytivka railway station
A billboard in Horlivka

Despite the fall of communism a statue of Lenin still stands in a central square bearing his name. Horlivka is well served by CNG-buses (see Natural gas vehicle), but much of the city's Soviet-era infrastructure shows signs of deterioration. By contrast, a number of modern shops and a new cathedral (completed 2014) in the town center indicate some rejuvenation.

On the eastern side of Horlivka there is an abandoned chemical plant which used to produce toxic explosives and has been reported to be in a dangerous condition.[39][40] Mining activity has resulted in large spoil tips being visible around the city, but a tree planting project and ongoing forestry maintenance has revitalised an area to the north.

The city was severely damaged during the War in Donbas.[6]

Administrative division

Zheleznaya Balka (Iron Valley) near Horlivka
Administrative system of Horlivka:
Districts of Horlivka: Populated places:
1 — Hladosove
2 — Holmivskyi
3 — Zaitseve
4 — Mykhailivka
5 — Ozeryanivka
6 — Panteleymonivka
7 — Piatykhatky
8 — Ryasne
9 — Stavky
10 — Fedorivka
11 — Shyroka Balka

The city is divided into three city districts: Mykytivka, Kalinin, and City Center.

The city municipality also includes several towns and villages. Most of populated places belongs to the City Center district, while Hladosove, Holmivsky and Zaitseve is part of Mykytivka district.

  • urban-type settlements: Holmivsky, Zaitseve, Panteleymonivka
  • villages: Mykhailivka, Ryasne
  • hamlets: Hladosove, Ozeryanivka, Piatykhatky, Stavky, Fedorivka, Shyroka Balka

Notable people from Horlivka

International relations

Horlivka is twinned with:


  1. ^ On April 6, 2015, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov appointed Andriy Kryschenko police chief of Kharkiv.[16] On December 15, 2015, he was appointed Chief of the National Police of Ukraine in Kyiv.[17]


  1. ^ The result counts, Den (February 24, 2011)
  2. ^ "Horlivka". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "Horlivka". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Gorlovka: Ukraine". Geographical Names. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2022 [Number of Present Population of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2022] (PDF) (in Ukrainian and English). Kyiv: State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
  6. ^ a b c d e Huijboom, Stefan (June 22, 2015). "Resident of Russian-held Horlivka: 'We have nothing'". Kyiv Post. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Five Ukrainian soldiers were injured in hostilities in the anti-terrorist operation, Interfax-Ukraine (April 20, 2016)
  8. ^ (in Ukrainian) 100 years ago Bakhmut and the rest of Donbas liberated, Ukrayinska Pravda (April 18, 2018)
  9. ^ "Yahad-In Unum Interactive Map". Execution Sites of Jewish Victims Investigated by Yahad-In Unum. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Leonid Ragozin (April 16, 2014). "Putin Is Accidentally Helping Unite Eastern and Western Ukraine – The New Republic". The New Republic.
  11. ^ "Injuries reported in pro-Russia attack at Horlivka in east Ukraine". euronews.
  12. ^ "Ukraine: Protesters Seize Police HQ in Horlivka". VOA.
  13. ^ "In rundown Horlivka, pro-Russian separatists' gains come as no surprise to many". Washington Post.
  14. ^ "Media: Separatists free Horlivka mayor". KyivPost. July 18, 2014.
  15. ^ Ukrainska Pravda, Аваков: Керівник міліції Горлівки – справжній офіцер – побитий, але живий [Avakov says that the head of police in Horlivka, a true officer, is battered but alive], April 14, 2014.
  16. ^ (in Ukrainian) Police Kharkiv now headed by officer who survived after beating separatists, Ukrayinska Pravda (April 6, 2015)
  17. ^ (in Ukrainian) Chief of police of Kharkiv transferred to Kiev, SQ (December 15, 2015)
  18. ^ "Ukraine alert as politician killed". BBC. April 22, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "Pro-Russian separatists seize buildings in east Ukraine's Horlivka". The Globe and Mail. April 30, 2014. Archived from the original on April 30, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  20. ^ "SBU Detains Self-Styled Major of Horlivka, Donetsk Region Kolosniuk". Ukrainian News Agency. July 2, 2014. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  21. ^ "Horlivka sees gunfire, bridge damage, electric public transport halt". Interfax-Ukraine.
  22. ^ "Two inmates die, two more injured when colony in Horlivka comes under fire". Interfax-Ukraine.
  23. ^ "Government forces enter Horlivka suburb < News < Home". nrcu.gov.ua. Archived from the original on July 22, 2014.
  24. ^ Felicia Schwartz and Carol E. Lee (July 26, 2014). "White House Says Putin 'Culpable' in Flight 17 Crash". WSJ.
  25. ^ "ATO major forces to focus on Horlivka". ukrinform.ua.
  26. ^ Dmitry Lovetsky. "Fighting intensifies near crash site". The Columbus Dispatch.
  27. ^ "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time)". OSCE. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  28. ^ Ukrainian troops liberate two villages along Svitlodarska Duha bulge, UNIAN (November 25, 2017)
    OSCE monitors report Travneve in Donbas cut off power grids since Nov 16, UNIAN (November 27, 2017)
    Photos: Ukrainian army distributing aid in Hladosove and Travneve villages north to Horlivka, liveuamap.com (November 25, 2017)
  29. ^ "Горловка после дня обстрелов: трое погибших, 17 раненых, повреждены 14 школ, приостановлена работа детских садов". Gorlovka.ua. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  30. ^ "Ukraine's Armed Forces reportedly cross Russia-occupied Horlivka's border – Donbas veteran". www.unian.info. March 28, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  31. ^ "Securing new ground: Ukraine Army in Horlivka". www.unian.info. March 29, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "Сепаратисты под Горловкой пытались потеснить ВСУ". korrespondent.net (in Russian). Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  33. ^ "Spot Report 22/2020: Armed members of the armed formations stopped an SMM patrol in Horlivka and prevented its departure for almost three hours – Ukraine". ReliefWeb. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  34. ^ "Donbas 'republic' journalists trained in propaganda skills in Russia". Human Rights in Ukraine. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  35. ^ Maryan Kushner; Stuart Greer (February 22, 2022). "Amid Increased Shelling, Anxiety Grows Near Horlivka In Eastern Ukraine". RFE/RL.
  36. ^ "Ukrainian Army storming Russian-occupied Horlivka in Donetsk Region". Ukrainska Pravda. March 2, 2022.
  37. ^ "Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 16". Voice of America. May 16, 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Ukrcensus.gov.ua".
  39. ^ "Journal of Health & Pollution". doi:10.5696/2156-9614.1.2.2. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  40. ^ "2012-01-03 Chernobyl of Gorlivka". Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
  41. ^ "Town twinning Information about town twinning". Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. November 12, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2013.

External links