Kovel

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Kovel
Ковель
City
Square in Kovel, 2002
Square in Kovel, 2002
Flag of Kovel
Coat of arms of Kovel
Kovel is located in Volyn Oblast
Kovel
Kovel
Kovel is located in Ukraine
Kovel
Kovel
Coordinates: 51°13′0″N 24°43′0″E / 51.21667°N 24.71667°E / 51.21667; 24.71667Coordinates: 51°13′0″N 24°43′0″E / 51.21667°N 24.71667°E / 51.21667; 24.71667
CountryUkraine
OblastVolyn Oblast
RaionKovel Raion
Founded13th century
Magdeburg law1518
Government
 • MayorIhor Chayka[1]
Area
 • Total47.3 km2 (18.3 sq mi)
Population
 (2022)[2]
 • Total67,575
 • Density1,400/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
45000
Area code+380 3352
Websitekovel.osp-ua.info (in Ukrainian)

Kovel (Ukrainian: Ко́вель, romanizedKovel, pronounced [ˈkɔʋelʲ]; Polish: Kowel; Yiddish: קאוולע / קאוולי ) is a city in Volyn Oblast (province), in northwestern Ukraine. It serves as the administrative center of Kovel Raion (district). Population: 67,575 (2022 est.)[2]

Kovel gives its name to one of the oldest runic inscriptions which were lost during World War II. The Kovel spearhead, unearthed near the town in 1858, contained text in Gothic.[3]

History[edit]

The name Kovel comes from a Slavonic word for blacksmith hence the horseshoe on the town's coat of arms. The rune-inscribed Spearhead of Kovel was found near Kovel in 1858. It dates to the early 3rd century, when Gothic tribes lived in the area.

Kovel (Kowel) was first mentioned in 1310.[4] It received its town charter from the Polish King Sigismund I the Old in 1518.[4] In 1547 the owner of Kowel became Bona Sforza, Polish queen.[4] In 1564 starost of Kowel became Kurbski (d. 1584).[4] From 1566 to 1795 it was part of the Volhynian Voivodeship. Kowel was a royal city of Poland.

Kowel, Second Polish Republic ca. 1918.[5]
St. Anne's Church

After the late 18th century Partitions of Poland the town fell into the Russian Empire for over a hundred years. During the First World War, the city was a site of the Battle of Kovel between the Central Powers and the Russian Empire. In the interwar period, Kovel served as the capital of Kovel County in Volhynian Voivodeship of the Polish Republic. It was an important garrison of the Polish Army, here the headquarters of the 27th Volhynian Infantry Division was located. Furthermore, at the village of Czerkasy, a large depot of the Polish Army was located. In 1924, construction of the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic church began.

In World War II, following the Nazi German invasion of Poland and the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, Kovel had a large number of Jewish refugees from Nazi occupied Poland. The area had a large presence of the Communist Party of Western Ukraine, and thus the Red Army was generally greeted as liberators.[6] Subsequently, in 1941 Operation Barbarossa the Germans having conquered the town on 28 June 1941 murdered 18,000 Jews in Kovel, mostly during August and September 1942.

About 8,000 Jews were murdered in the forest near Bakhiv on 19 August 1942 during the liquidation of the Kovel ghetto, established on 25 May 1942. Jewish victims were driven by train from Kovel to Bakhiv where pits were dug close to the railroads. Actually there were two ghettos, one within the city and another in the suburbs of Pyaski. Both ghettos had 24,000 Jews, including many refugees. The Jews from both ghettos were executed at different places and at different time. The Jewish community ceased to exist.[7][8]

In March and April 1944 during the Soviet Polesskoe offensive, Kovel was a site of fierce fighting between the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking and the Red Army.

During the Volhynian Genocide, the town was a shelter for ethnic Poles, escaping the genocide. In that period, Ukrainian nationalists murdered app. 3,700 Polish inhabitants of Kovel county. In early spring of 1944, the 27th Infantry Division of the Home Army operated in the area. Kovel was captured by the Red Army on 6 July 1944. In 1945, the Big Three, Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, established new borders for Poland; the Polish population was forcibly resettled and Kovel was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It has been a part of sovereign Ukraine since 1991.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Kovel (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.0
(32.0)
1.3
(34.3)
6.4
(43.5)
14.3
(57.7)
20.7
(69.3)
23.2
(73.8)
25.2
(77.4)
24.6
(76.3)
18.9
(66.0)
13.0
(55.4)
5.7
(42.3)
1.0
(33.8)
12.9
(55.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.8
(27.0)
−2.1
(28.2)
2.1
(35.8)
8.6
(47.5)
14.3
(57.7)
17.1
(62.8)
19.1
(66.4)
18.1
(64.6)
13.1
(55.6)
8.0
(46.4)
2.5
(36.5)
−1.5
(29.3)
8.0
(46.4)
Average low °C (°F) −5.5
(22.1)
−5.1
(22.8)
−1.5
(29.3)
3.5
(38.3)
8.6
(47.5)
11.6
(52.9)
13.6
(56.5)
12.6
(54.7)
8.5
(47.3)
4.1
(39.4)
−0.1
(31.8)
−3.7
(25.3)
3.9
(39.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 33.3
(1.31)
34.6
(1.36)
37.9
(1.49)
42.6
(1.68)
59.3
(2.33)
80.2
(3.16)
90.9
(3.58)
61.0
(2.40)
60.8
(2.39)
39.3
(1.55)
43.5
(1.71)
40.4
(1.59)
623.8
(24.56)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.8 9.2 9.1 8.1 9.0 10.5 9.5 8.0 8.6 7.7 10.1 10.0 108.6
Average relative humidity (%) 85.1 83.4 77.7 69.1 69.3 72.6 74.2 74.7 80.7 82.2 86.1 87.1 78.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 46.3 69.9 132.2 194.8 260.1 250.0 263.8 250.9 163.8 124.8 55.1 33.6 1,845.3
Source: World Meteorological Organization[9]

Transportation[edit]

Kovel's historic railway station

Kovel is the north-western hub of the Ukrainian rail system, with six rail lines radiating outward from the city. The first of these was built in 1873, connecting the city with Brest-Litovsk and Rivne. In 1877 Kovel was linked by the Vistula River Railroad with Lublin and Warsaw in Congress Poland.

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Kovel is twinned with:[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Municipal official site in Ukrainian". Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ illustration
  4. ^ a b c d Rąkowski, Grzegorz (2005). Wołyń. Pruszków: Oficyna Wydawnicza "Rewasz". p. 85. ISBN 83-89188-32-5.
  5. ^ Photograph from the Boris Feldblyum Collection
  6. ^ The Shoah in Ukraine : history, testimony, memorialization. Ray Brandon, Wendy Lower, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2008. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-253-35084-8. OCLC 173248974.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ "Yahad - in Unum".
  8. ^ "Bakhiv (Kovel)".
  9. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Міста партнери". kovelrada.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). Kovel. Retrieved 2020-03-31.

External links[edit]