Rivne (/ˈrɪvnə/; Ukrainian: Рівне [ˈr⁽ʲ⁾iu̯ne]; Polish: Równe) is a historic city in western Ukraine and the historical region of Volhynia. It is the administrative center of Rivne Oblast (province), as well as the surrounding Rivne Raion (district) within the oblast. Administratively, Rivne is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 247,356(2017 est.)[1]



Równe  Ровно
Rivne theatre


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 50°37′N 26°15′E
Country Ukraine
Oblast Rivne Oblast
RaionRivne Raion
First mentioned1283
  MayorVolodymyr Khomko
  Total63.00 km2 (24.32 sq mi)
  Density3,900/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (CEST)

Between World War I and World War II, the city was located in Poland as a district-level (county) seat in Wolyn Voivodeship. At the start of the World War II in 1939, Rivne was occupied by the Soviet Red Army and received its current status by becoming a seat of regional government of Rivne Oblast which was created out of the eastern portion of the voivodeship. During the German occupation in 1941–44 the city was designated as a capital of the German Ukraine (Reichskommissariat Ukraine). In the spring of 1919, it also served as a provisional seat of the Ukrainian government throughout the ongoing war with the Soviet Russia.

Rivne is an important transportation hub, with the international Rivne Airport, and rail links to Zdolbuniv, Sarny and Kovel, as well as highways linking it with Brest, Kiev and Lviv. Among other leading companies there is a chemical factory of Rivne-Azot (part of Ostchem Holding).


Rivne was first mentioned in 1283 in Polish annals "Rocznik kapituły krakowskiej"[2][3] as one of the inhabited places of Halych-Volhynia near which Leszek II the Black was victorious over an army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Following the partition of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia after Galicia-Volhynia Wars, it was under the rule of Great Duchy of Lithuania and in 1434 the Grand Duke of Lithuania Švitrigaila awarded the settlement to a Lutsk nobleman Dychko.[2] In 1461 Dychko sold his settlement to Prince Semen Nesvizh.[2][3] In 1479 Semen Nesvizh died and his settlement was passed to his wife Maria who started to call herself princess of Rovno.[3] She turned the settlement into a princely residence by building in 1481[2] a castle on one of local river islands and managed to obtain Magdeburg rights for the settlement in 1492 from the King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon.[3] Following her death in 1518, the city was passed on to the princes of Ostrog and declined by losing its status as a princely residency.[2]

In 1566 the town of Rovno became part of newly established Volhynian Voivodeship. Following the Union of Lublin in 1569, it was transferred from the realm of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the Crown of Poland.[2][3] The city had a status of privately held by nobles (Ostrogski and Lubomirski families). Following the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 Rivne became a part of the Russian Empire, and in 1797 it was declared to be a county level (uyezd) town of the Volhynian Governorate.

During World War I and the period of chaos shortly after, it was briefly under German, Ukrainian, Bolshevik, and Polish rule. In April–May 1919 Rivne served as the temporary capital of Ukrainian People's Republic. In late April 1919 one of the Ukrainian military leaders Volodymyr Oskilko attempted to organize a coup-d'état against the Petliura's-led Directory and cabinet of Borys Martos and replace them with Yevhen Petrushevych as a president of Ukraine. In Rivne, Oskilko managed to arrest most of ministers from the cabinet including Martos himself, but Petliura at that time was in neighbouring Zdolbuniv and managed to stop Oskilko's efforts. At the conclusion of the conflict, in accordance with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 it became a part of Polish Volhynian Voivodeship, a situation which would last until the Second World War.

In 1939, as a result of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the partition of Poland, Rivne was occupied by the Soviet Union. From December of the same year Rivne became the centre of the newly established Rivne Oblast, within the Ukrainian SSR.

On June 28, 1941 Rivne was captured by Nazi Germany, which later established the city as the administrative centre of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. At the time, roughly half of Rivne's inhabitants were Jewish; of these, about 23,000 were taken to a pine grove in Sosenki and killed between November 6 and 8. At the same period well the known German actor Olaf Bach was flown over to the city to perform for the German forces, for morale and to support the troops. He remained in Rivne from November 8 to the 13th. A ghetto was established for the remaining 5,000 Jews. In July 1942, its population was sent 70 km (43 mi) north to Kostopil where they were killed; the ghetto was subsequently liquidated. Later on, a memorial complex of 20 thousand square meters was established, commemorating the killing of 17,500 Jews during the Holocaust. On June 6, 2012, the World War II Jewish burial site was vandalized, allegedly as part of an anti-Semitic act.[4]

On February 2, 1944, the city was captured by the Red Army in the Battle of Rovno, and remained under Soviet control until Ukraine regained its independence on the break-up of the USSR in 1991.

In 1958, the TV tower began broadcasting in the city; in 1969, the first trolley ran through the city; in 1969, Rivne airport was opened. In 1983, the city celebrated its 700th anniversary.

According to rules of Ukrainian orthography on 11 June 1991, the Ukrainian parliament the city was officially renamed Rivne whereas it had previously been known as Rovno.[5]


Rivne has a moderate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Snow cover usually lasts from November until March.[6] The average annual precipitation is 598 mm (24 in) June and July being the wettest months and January and February the driest.

Climate data for Rivne, Ukraine (1959-2011)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.2
Average high °C (°F) −1.3
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.7
Average low °C (°F) −6.5
Record low °C (°F) −34.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 22.4
Average precipitation days 21.2 19.5 16.9 12.5 10.1 11.2 10.4 8.2 10.4 12.1 14.6 21.2 168.3
Average relative humidity (%) 87.4 85.3 79.0 66.7 67.1 72.0 74.5 73.2 77.1 81.2 87.6 89.0 78.3
Source: Climatebase.ru[6]


During Soviet times the provincial town was transformed into an industrial center of the republic. There were two significant factories built. The first a machine building and metal processing factory capable of producing high-voltage apparatus, tractor spare parts and others. The other a chemical factory and synthetic materials fabrication plant. Light industry, including a linen plant and a textile mill, as well as food industries, including milk and meat processing plants and a vegetable preservation plant have also been built. In addition the city became a production center for furniture and other building materials.


As an important cultural centre, Rivne hosts a humanities and a hydro-engineering university, as well as a faculty of the Kiev State Institute of Culture, and medical and musical as well as automobile-construction, commercial, textile, agricultural and cooperative polytechnic colleges. The city has a historical museum.

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the monument for the Soviet hero D.N.Medvedev was removed, and the N.I.Kuznetsov monument was moved to another location within the city. Instead, in order to reflect the controversial history of the region the monuments for "People who died in the honour of Ukraine", and "Soldiers who died in local military battles" were installed.


  • Church of the Assumption (1756)
  • Cathedral of the Intercession (2001)
  • Cathedral of the Ascension (1890)
  • A classicism-style gymnasium building (1839)
  • During Soviet times the centre of the city from Lenin street to Peace Avenue (1963 architects R.D. Vais and O.I. Filipchuk) was completely rebuilt with Administrative and Public buildings in neo-classical, Stalinist style.


  • Monument to the 25th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rivne from the Fascists, Mlynivs'ke Highway
  • Monument to the Victims of Fascism, Bila Street Square (1968, by A.I. Pirozhenko and B.V. Rychkov, architect-V.M.Gerasimenko)
  • Monument to the 30th Anniversary of the Liberation of Ukraine from German Fascist Occupation, Soborna Street
  • Hero of the Civil War—M.M. Bohomolov, Pershoho Travnja Street Square
  • Bust on the Tomb of Partisan M. Strutyns'ka and Relief on the Tomb of Citizens S. Yelentsia and S. Kotiyevs'koho, Kniazia Volodymyra Street, Hrabnyk Cemetery
  • Monument to the Perished of Ukraine, Magdeburz'koho Prava Plaza
  • Communal Grave of Warriors, Soborna Street
  • Monument of Eternal Glory, Kyivs'ka Street
  • Bust of Olenko Dundych, T.H. Shevchenko Park
  • Monument to Taras Shevchenko, T.G. Shevchenko Park; Statue on Nezalezhnosti Plaza
  • Memorial to Warriors' Glory, Dubens'ka Street, Rivne Military Cemetery (1975, by M.L. Farina, architect-N.A. Dolgansky)
  • Monument to the Warrior and the Partisan, Peremohy Plaza (1948 by I.Ya. Matveenko)
  • Monument to Colonel Klym Savura, Commander of the Ukrainian People's Army, Soborna Street
  • Monument to Symon Petliura, Symon Petliura Street
  • Monument to N.I. Kuznetsov (bronze and granite, 1961 by V.P Vinaikin)
  • Monument to the Jewish Victims of the Holocaust - mass grave site (ca. 1991)[8]
  • Monument to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, Simon Petliura Street
  • Statue and Plaza dedicated to Maria Rivnens'ka, Soborna Street

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Rivne is twinned with:


See also


  1. "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  2. Bovhyria, A. Rivne (РІВНЕ). Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine.
  3. History of Rivne (Історія Рівне). Ukraine-in portal.
  4. "В Ривне вандалы осквернили место массового расстрела евреев". MIG news.com.ua. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  5. On bringing the name of Rovno city and Rovno Oblast in accordance to rules of Ukrainian spelling. Ukrainian parliament. 11 June 1991
  6. "Rivne, Ukraine Climate Data". Climatebase. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  7. (in Ukrainian) Рівне, план міста, 1:12000. Міста України. Картографія.
  8. The memorial was desecrated on June 8th 2012 by breaking parts of it and spraying swastikas. The teenagers in charge of the antisemitic action were caught and trialed. see http://antisemitism.org.il/article/72708/ukraine-police-nab-3-teens-suspected-desecrating-jewish-mass-grave and http://mignews.com.ua/skandaly/v_ukraine/829325.html
  9. Артист Ярослав Евдокимов рассказал «ОГ» о своих корнях Областная газета, 12 ноября 2013


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