|• 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. Alčevs'k, Russian: Алчевск) is a city in the Luhansk Oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine. It is separate administrative unit[clarification needed], and is located approximately 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the oblast capital, Luhansk, and right next to the district capital of Perevalsk.
The current estimated population is 120,000 (as of 2004).
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 as the railroad station Yuryivka. However, soon in 1903 it was renamed into Alchevsk in honor of the local Russian oligarch of Ukrainian descent Aleksey Alchevsky who died just prior to that. 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 have made enormous contribution in the development of the Ukrainian culture through poetry and music. After the establishment of the Soviet regime sometime around the time of Holodomor (there is no concrete evidence) the town was renamed into Voroshylovsk. Between 1957 and 1961 the town's name was changing between Alchevsk and Voroshylovsk several times as the Volroshylov's personality cult was diminishing. Finally, it was decided to name the town as Kommunarsk in honor of the Paris Commune. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the city resumed its former name of Alchevsk in 1991.
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 −40 °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 – Sister cities
Alchevsk is twinned with:
- Official site of town authorities
- Unofficial town page
- Another unofficial town page
- Alchevsk winter disaster page
- Map of Alchevsk