Slavutych, a purpose-built city and municipality in northern Ukraine, was constructed after the 1986 disaster that occurred near the city of Pripyat. The city was designed to provide homes for those who had worked at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and their families who were evacuated from the abandoned city of Pripyat. Today, Slavutych is an administrative exclave located on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the Kyiv Oblast, and is part of Vyshhorod Raion. Its unique modernist architecture, pleasant surroundings and rich history make it a hidden gem worth exploring.
Geographically located within Chernihiv Raion, Chernihiv Oblast, Slavutych is situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Chernihiv, 45 kilometers (30 miles) from the city of Pripyat, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Chernobyl (both in Ivankiv Raion) and 200 kilometers (100 miles) from Kyiv. Despite being geographically located in Chernihiv Raion (part of Chernihiv Oblast until 2020 in Ripky Raion), administratively it belongs to Kyiv Oblast and is an administrative exclave. The city is mostly home to survivors of the disaster who had to be relocated from the evacuation zone around the reactor, among them about 8,000 people who were children when the disaster occurred. Many inhabitants still work at the site of the former plant for monitoring, maintenance or scientific purposes. They commute to the zone on a regular basis.
Slavutych’s unique modernist architecture is divided into eight districts named after the capitals of the contributing republics, each with its own unique style and atmosphere. The city’s infrastructure was mostly funded by the company which operated the Chernobyl nuclear plant, but since the remaining units of the nuclear power plant were shut down in 2001, the city faces significant social problems and an uncertain future. Despite these challenges, Slavutych has a modern architecture with pleasant surroundings, and the standard of living in the city is much higher than in most other Ukrainian cities.
Slavutych has been the venue of numerous cultural activities since its foundation in 1989. Most recently, the 86 Film and Urbanism Festival ran six editions (2013–2018). The unique modernist architecture of the city remains one of its main attractions, as captured in the architectural guide Slavutych by author Ievgeniia Gubkina.
To reach Slavutych, visitors can take a train to the city’s railway station, or a minor stop in the locality of Poselok Lesnoi on the Chernihiv–Ovruch line. The city is also served by a branch (Semenyahivka-Slavutych) of the regional highway P56 Chernihiv-Chernobyl, and by the provincial road T2506.
Come and explore this hidden gem with its rich history, unique architecture and breathtaking surroundings. Slavutych is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler.