< Mykolaiv Is a City on the Wave!
14 April 2024

Mykolaiv is a port city near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.

In 2022, Russian forces repeatedly tried to take the city from Ukrainian forces without success. The attacks followed months of bombings and airstrikes that destroyed hospitals, schools, buildings, and the city's water system.

Alexander Senkevich is the mayor of Mykolaiv. He told UN News, "We were bombed for 230 days, 159 people died, and 750 were injured. A lot of the city was destroyed because there was shelling everywhere."

FILE - Strilka beach on the Inhul River in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. City beach near shallow water and the inscription Mykolaiv on the shore on July 26, 2020 (Adobe stock photo)
FILE - Strilka beach on the Inhul River in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. City beach near shallow water and the inscription Mykolaiv on the shore on July 26, 2020 (Adobe stock photo)

Senkevich said almost half a million people lived in the city before the war. Now, there are about 350,000 including 50,000 who fled from other parts of Ukraine.

As I'm writing this, there is an air raid alarm. But I cannot stop.

When I walked along the streets on the 605th day of the war, I could see houses destroyed by Russian missiles on one side and the happy faces of children playing on the other side in the park. There was a sense of pride on the faces of their mothers. A pride of the city and the people that did not give in to the invaders. As we defended Mykolaiv, we protected the south of Ukraine from occupation and its horrors.

The war taught us to distinguish the sounds of missiles, including "Grads," "Peonies," "Caliber," and "Shahed." And it taught us that there is no better place in the world than our hometown: Mykolaiv!

Mykolaiv is a city where history and culture are connected with the Black Sea.

The port city was founded by Catherine II in 1789, during the Yekaterinoslav expedition led by General Mykolai Arkas. The city has since become an important center for exports and imports and the development of the maritime infrastructure of Ukraine.

But Mykolaiv is more than just a city of commerce.

Museums and galleries of Mykolaiv act as a chronicle of the cultural development of the city. In the heart of the city on Soborna Street is Chestnut Square with the statues of the lions of Arcas, guarding St. Nicholas, the patron saint for sailors and the city.

The city is also known for its cultural heritage and places often visited by well-known Ukrainian writers and thinkers like Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, Nikolai Gogol and Mikhaylo Kotsyubinsky. Their works form the basis of Ukrainian literature.

When famous American writer Mark Twain visited Mykolaiv in 1867 during his trip to Europe and the Middle East, he left descriptions of his stay in the city in his letters and notes.

Mykolaiv is known for its contribution to shipbuilding with Ivan Hertz, a famous ship designer, and Vice Admiral Ivan Bubnov. In 1788, the city installed one of the first traffic lights to control ship movement in the Ingul River.

In 2013, the city created the youngest professional music group to perform classical and modern works. Mykolaiv is one of the cities of Ukraine with a high level of learning foreign languages. Many local schools and institutes offer programs for teaching English and other languages.

Mykolaiv Zoo was founded in 1901. Its first director was the famous naturalist and bird expert Alexander Fomichev. Over the years, Mykolaiv Zoo has become home to many species of animals and birds, including endangered ones. It is now a popular holiday destination for locals and visitors and helps in the study of nature.

The Kyiv School of Economics estimates that damage to the city totals $860 million. Senkevich, the mayor, said the city is working with the U.N. to rebuild its future.

He added that Mykolaiv is called the "hero city," but he called it the "city of heroes" because this applies to all its people.

I'm Andrew Smith. And I'm Jill Robbins.


About the Teacher

Anastasiia Tarkovska-Yaroshenko has been teaching English in primary and secondary schools for 13 years. A graduate of Vasyl Sukhomlynskyi University, she teaches at Mykolai gymnasium 36, the same school she attended herself. She was born and lives in Mykolaiv.

网站首页 电脑版 回到页首