|First mentioned||16th century|
|• Mayor||Volodymyr Bandura|
Sviatohirsk (Ukrainian: Святогі́рськ, pronounced [sʲwʲɐtoˈɦ⁽ʲ⁾irsʲk]) or Svyatogorsk (Russian: Святого́рск, pronounced [sʲvʲɐtoˈɡorsʲk]) is a city in the northern part of the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. A part of the Sloviansk Municipality, it stands on the banks of the Siverskyi Donets River, 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the city of Sloviansk. The population is 4,309 (2021 est.). The 16th-century Sviatohirsk Lavra is located in the town.
A settlement in the area of the Holy Mountains was first mentioned in written sources in the 16th century. In 1624, a monastery was established here, but in the end of the 18th century all monastic lands were secularized and passed on to private owners. One of the new owners built a bathing house on the nearby lake, which led to the settlement being called Banne (Ukrainian: Банне)/Bannoye (Russian: Банное) or Bannovskoye (Банновское); literally bathing. The proximity of a nearby selo of Tatyanovka lead to both places sometimes being collectively referred as Bannoye-Tatyanovka (Банное-Татьяновка).
During the Soviet times, the selo was officially known as Bannoye. In 1938, it was granted urban-type settlement status and renamed Bannovsky (Банновский). The settlement served as a resort destination and steadily grew in size, until in 1964 it was granted town status and renamed Slovianohirsk (Ukrainian: Слов'яногірськ)/Slavyanogorsk (Славяного́рск), with the first part of the name (Sloviano-/Slavyano-) being after the nearby city of Sloviansk (Slavyansk), and the second part (-hirsk/-gorsk) being after the Holy Mountains. In 2003, the name was changed to Sviatohirsk, after the monastery itself.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Unlike neighboring Sloviansk, Sviatohirsk was never controlled by the pro-Russian forces who in spring 2014 had made Sloviansk their stronghold. In contrast to most of the Donbas region, which is largely flat open landscape, Sviatohirsk is set among hills and forests - providing some natural defences - making it harder for an army to manoeuvre with artillery and tanks. The city is seen as strategically important during the conflict, due to it being one of the key points preventing an encirclement of the Ukrainian army in Donetsk oblast.
Following the start of the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian war, the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) reported the deaths of two monks and a nun of the city's monastery as a result of shelling on 1 June, 2022. On June 4, as a result of further hostilities in the region, one of the temples of the monastery was engulfed in flames. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy blamed Russian forces for the resulting burning of the temple and mourned the victims, while calling for Russia's expulsion from UNESCO over it. However, the mayor of the city, Volodymyr Bandura, blamed Ukrainian forces for the burning of the temple, accusing Zelenskyy of lying. The Security Service of Ukraine later accused the mayor of treason over this statement.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, there were reports of the city partially coming under Russian control after a battle on May 31. On June 6, Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson, stated that Russian forces were completing the capture of the city. Later that day, Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People's Republic, stated that Sviatohirsk was almost cleared of Ukrainian forces, except for a certain height somewhere in the city. Russian minister of defense Sergei Shoigu announced the city's complete capture the next day, on June 7.
Sviatohirsk includes the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra, the Holy Mountains National Park, an historical and architectural reserve, as well as a resort of national importance; thirty objects, among them a monumental sculpture of Communist leader Artem (Fyodor Sergeyev) and a World War II memorial (opened on the day of 40th anniversary of victory) are included in the historic monuments complex of the reserve. The town has been visited by well-known cultural figures, including Hryhorii Skovoroda, Fyodor Tyutchev, Ivan Bunin, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Ilya Repin.
On May 15, 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six months period for the removal of communist monuments and the mandatory renaming of settlements with a name related to Communism. However, since the Artem monument is listed as "National Cultural Heritage" it will not be demolished.
According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the population of the city was 4,309 (2021 est.). The results of the 2001 Ukrainian census found that the city's population was 3,805, of which 65.49% considered Ukrainian as their mother tongue, 33.96% Russian, 0.24% Armenian, 0.13% Belarusian, and 0.08% Moldovan.
The development plan of Sviatohirsk provides a significant expansion of the resorts, recreational, and tourism network. Within the Sviatohirsk resort are the Holy Mountain sanatorium and hotel-and-tourist complexes. The town carries out a construction and modernization of recreation departments for children and adults.
Early in 2009, a four-star hotel opened. Sviatohirsk also offers the Seversky Donets River, chalk mountains, coniferous and mixed forests, centuries-old oak trees, and clean air.
- Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2021 / Number of Present Population of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2021 (PDF) (in Ukrainian and English). Kyiv: State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
- Pospelov , p. 31
- Pospelov , p. 387
- Ukraine Declares One-Week Cease-Fire in Fight With Pro-Russia Rebels, The Wall Street Journal (June 20, 2014)
- Jonathan Beale, Ukraine war: Donbas tourist town braces for Russian assault, BBC news, 19 April 2022.
- "Военный эксперт объяснил важность взятия Святогорска" [A military expert explained the importance of capturing Sviatohirsk]. svpressa.ru (in Russian). June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
- "Від бомбардувань загинули та поранені монахи Святогірської Лаври" [The bombing killed and wounded the monks of the Svyatogorsk Lavra]. Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian). June 1, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- "Від бомбардувань пожежа охопила Всіхсвятський скит Святогірської Лаври" [Fire engulfed the All Saints Hermitage of the Sviatohirsk Lavra]. Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian). June 4, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
- "President Zelensky after Russia's artillery strike on Sviatohirsk Lavra: Russia has no place in UNESCO". www.ukrinform.net. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
- CNN's Victoria Butenko, Julia Presniakova and Bex Wright (June 4, 2022). "Zelensky says All Saints church in Sviatohirsk has been destroyed after Russian shelling". cnn.com. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- "У полоні чи перейшов на сторону рашистів? Міноборони рф виклало відео з мером Святогірська Бандурою — ІА «Вчасно»" [In captivity, or did he side with the Rashists? The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation posted a video with the mayor of Sviatohirsk Bandura]. vchasnoua.com (in Ukrainian). June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
- Rahutskaia, Lylyia (June 8, 2022). "Мэр Святогорска на Донетчине открыто поддержал оккупантов: в ГБР начали расследование. Видео" [The mayor of Sviatohirsk in Donetsk oblast openly supported the invaders: the State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation.]. Obozrevatel (in Russian). Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- Shevchenko, Oleh (June 9, 2022). "Меру Святогірська загрожує довічне за держзраду: стало відомо, хто його просував" [The mayor of Sviatohirsk is facing life imprisonment for treason: it has become known who promoted him]. Obozrevatel (in Ukrainian). Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- Stepanenko, Kateryna; Hird, Karolina; Kagan, Frederick W. "Russian offensive campaign assessment, May 31" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- "Боятся быть разбитыми: на одном из направлений враг остановился из-за опасений мощного удара от ВСУ" [They are afraid of being defeated: in one of the directions the enemy stopped because of fears of a powerful blow from the Armed Forces of Ukraine]. Апостроф (in Russian). Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- "Военные РФ заявили, что завершают взятие под контроль города Святогорска в ДНР" [The military of the Russian Federation announced that they were completing the capture of the city of Sviatohirsk in the DPR]. Interfax.ru (in Russian). Retrieved June 7, 2022.
- "Пушилин заявил, что Святогорск "почти освобожден"" [Pushilin said that Sviatohirsk is "almost liberated"]. Interfax.ru (in Russian). Retrieved June 7, 2022.
- "Шойгу объявил об освобождении Святогорска" [Shoigu announced the liberation of Sviatohirsk]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
- Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization. Ukrayinska Pravda. May 15, 2015
- Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine.
- Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols, BBC News (April 14, 2015)
- (in Russian) Zhebrovsky confirmed that Artyom monument in Svyatogorsk will not be demolished, depo.ua (29 December 2015)
- "Розподіл населення за рідною мовою, Донецька область" [Distribution of population by native language, Donetsk region]. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
-  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.
-  Е. М. Поспелов (Ye.M. Pospelov). "Географические названия мира" (Geographic Names of the World). Москва, 1998.
- Official web site of Sviatohirsk (in Russian)