|• Mayor||Vladimir Chub|
|• Total||55 km2 (21 sq mi)|
|Elevation||240 m (790 ft)|
|• Density||2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||(+380) 6442|
|Vehicle registration||BB / 13|
Alchevsk (Ukrainian: Алчевськ, translit. Alchevs'k; Russian: Алчевск) is a city of oblast subordination within the Perevalsk Raion of Luhansk Oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine. It is located approximately 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the oblast capital, Luhansk, and right next to Perevalsk, the capital of the Perevalsk Raion.
As of 2004, its population was estimated to be 120,000.
Alchevsk is one of the largest industrial centers in the Donbas, and comprises a quarter of the entire oblast's production. The city economy depends on OJSC "Alchevsk Iron & Steel Works" and "Alchevsk Coke-Chemical Plant" companies.
Alchevsk was founded in 1895 with the establishment of an iron works and named after Alexey Alchevsky, a businessman of Ukrainian descent who founded the Donetsk–Yuryev Metallurgical Society. He was famous for the financial and industrial development of the eastern part of Ukraine and particularly the Donbas region. Later his children as well as his wife made enormous contribution in the development of the Ukrainian culture through poetry and music.
In 1931, Alchevsk was renamed Voroshilovsk, after Kliment Voroshilov, a Soviet military and party figure. As Voroshilov's personality cult was diminishing, the town was renamed Kommunarsk in 1961. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the original name was restored in 1992.
Winter disaster of 2006
On January 22, 2006, the district heating system of the city almost entirely collapsed after an underground heat pipe line cracked in unusually cold weather (nearly −30 °C). As a result, heating equipment in the majority of Alchevsk's buildings was frozen and ruptured, leaving about 60,000 residents with only the protection of individual electric heaters. A few days later the sewage system also froze due to a lack of warm tap water.
An investigation revealed the massive, long-time negligence of the city authorities. The whole heating system was designed in a hyper-centralized way, depending on only two boilers and few main pipelines. Moreover, the housing company failed to react to the pipe incident properly: the water from the system wasn't immediately dumped to prevent further freezing.
The Ukrainian government took massive emergency actions to protect Alchevsk residents from freezing. Engineering teams sent by cities and industrial companies from other regions of the country were gradually restoring heating appliances in every apartment affected. Hundreds of children together with their schoolteachers were evacuated to the resorts and hotels in the warmer regions of Ukraine. According to the governor of Luhansk Oblast G. Moskal, it has been the worst human-made disaster in the history of independent Ukraine.
The economic consequences of the disaster for the city are unclear—including the central government's subsidization of the total replacement of the heating system in every apartment.
The Donbas State Technical University founded in 1957 is located in Alchevsk.
Twin towns and sister cities
Alchevsk is twinned with:
- Е. М. Поспелов (Ye. M. Pospelov). "Имена городов: вчера и сегодня (1917–1992). Топонимический словарь." (City Names: Yesterday and Today (1917–1992). Toponymic Dictionary.) Москва, "Русские словари", 1993.
- Official site of town authorities
- Unofficial town page
- Another unofficial town page
- Alchevsk winter disaster page
- Map of Alchevsk