Welcome to Mykolaiv - Ukraine and to the 140th edition of the Forum Song Contest (FSC).
Theme: ‘Church of Ukraine: In Darkness and Light’
Winner FSC September 2020
The Host city for this FSC #140-edition is : Mykolaiv - Ukraine . Written Mykolayiv in Ukrainian
it is also also called Nikolaev in Russian. It is a city in southern Ukraine, the administrative cen
ter of the Mykolaiv Oblast. Mykolaiv is, arguably, the main shipbuilding center of the Black Sea
with 3 shipyards within the city, plus a number of research centers specializing in shipbuilding
The city is an important transportation hub of Ukraine (sea port , commercial port , river port,
highway and railway junction, airport). Mykolaiv's orderly layout reflects the fact that its devel
opment has been well planned from the founding of the city. Its main streets , including the 3
main east–west Avenues, are very wide and tree-lined. The city has much beautiful park land
Historically Archaeologists have found proof of ancient settlements on the current territory of
today's Mykolaiv . In 2018 , archaeologists found a sunken Ancient Greek ship , near Mykolaiv
region. The ship is from the 5th century BC , the period of Greek colonization , of the Northern
Black Sea. Researchers said the ship wast one of the oldest known in the Northern Black Sea.
The history of the city has always been closely connected to shipbuilding . The town was foun
ded in 1789 by the Russian Governor General of Novorossiya, Prince Grigory Potemkin initially
as a shipyard . The shipyard was to undertake repair of naval ships , in the Russo-Turkish War.
Later G. Potemkin ordered the shipyard to be named Nikolaev , which still is its Russian name.
The Russian Empire's Black Sea Navy Headquarters was in Mykolaiv for more than 100 years
until the Imperial Russian Navy moved it to Sevastopol, near the Southern tip of Crimean Peni
nsula. During the Crimean War (a military conflict , 1853-1856, in which Russia lost to a multi-
national alliance), Mykolaiv became the main rear base to support Russia's efforts in the war.
Most businesses that were created in the city belonged to the military industrial complex and,
in this regard , Mykolaiv, was closed to foreign visitors for many decades. From 1860 to 1871,
the military Governor of Mykolaiv , was Bogdan von Glazenap . His highest command in town
was in 1862. He encouraged foreign vessels to call and foreigners to come to Mykolaiv to live
Therefore , foreign governments established foreign consulates in Mykolaiv. This led to the tra
nsformation of Mykolaiv into a large commercial port. By the late 19th century Mykolaiv's port
ranked third in the Russian Empire , after Saint Petersburg, and Odessa , in terms of trade with
foreign countries . In addition , regional grain export suppliers were first in the Russian Empire
‘Church of Ukraine: In Darkness and Light’
‘The Road to Christianity’
The beginning: Christianity had already penetrated , some regions adjacent to the Black Sea
known in antiquity as Scythia by the late first century AD . Saint Andrew , the brother of Saint
Peter, is said to have preached the message of Jesus Christ there. During the vehement pers
ecutions within the Roman Empire , from the time of Nero, the Black Sea region , became the
place of exile of many Christians sentenced by Roman courts . Saint Clement I (Pope, 88–97
AD) was exiled to Chersonese Taurica where he is said to have died a martyr His remains we
re brought later to Rome , by the Apostle of the Slavs, Saint Cyril, & in 989 Pope John XV sent
his skull to Prince of Kyiv, Volodymyr the Great , after he embraced the Christian faith. It's like
ly that Christianity , spread at a very early date , from the Hellenistic colonies, on the northern
Black Sea coast to the neighbouring Slavic tribes, in the southern parts of the today’s Ukraine
9th Century AD: The first Rus’ eparchy , was created by the ruling Patriarch of Constantinople,
probably at Tmutorokan , on the Taman Peninsula some time during the 9th century. After the
decline of the Khazars , Prince of Kyiv , Sviatoslav I Ihorovych , called the Conqueror , annexed
the Tmutorokan principality (khaganate) , to his realm in 965& from 970 until the 12th century
the eparchs of Tmutorokan , styled themselves archbishops . After the conversion of Rus’ pro
per and the capture of Korsun , they may have become the proto-hierarchs of the Rus’ church.
Volodymyr (Vladimir) the Great: According to tradition Christianity spread from Moravia to Ga
licia and then to Volhynia, where a bishop resided in Volodymyr-Volynskyi before Grand Prince
Volodymyr the Great adopted Christianity. The population of Kyivan Rus’ along the main water
routes was baptized gradually. The larger centers were converted first followed by the outlying
regions. The process did not always take place as smoothly as it had in Kyiv. Most of the oppo
sition, came from the pagan priests who had little influence in southern Rus’ but in the north in
Novgorod , the Great Suzdal & Belozers, incited the people to hostile acts against the Christian
priests. For long, the pagan religion, mostly its rites, was practiced alongside Christian religion
Embrace of Christianity: With the adoption of Christianity , Christian writings, words & culture
spread throughout Ukraine. Volodymyr the Great established schools and built churches , first
in Kyiv & then in other cities. Priests from Chersonese Taurica (Korsun), who spoke the Slavic
tongue, served as teachers. The liturgy was in Slavonic , and this made the religion less alien.
The introduction of Christianity did not lead to Byzantium's political domination of Rus’, but ra
ther to new contacts between Rus’ and its closer and more distant neighbors. Volodymyr atte
mpted to secure for the new church, the same position in the structure of his state as it enjoy
ed within Byzantine Empire. Christianity gave religious unity to Volodymyr the Great's domain.
Mykolaiv had become a great industrial center in the South of Ukraine . Mykolaiv was a major
Jewish centre of Russian Empire in the 19th century. In 1918 , Mykolaiv survived its first occu
pation by foreign troops. In 1920 , Soviet power was established there. In the post-war period
Mykolaiv became one of the main shipbuilding centers of the USSR , with three full shipyards.
In recent times , during the Euromaidan protests (a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in
Ukraine in 2013) Mykolaiv was the scene of anti-Yanukovich protests. After the victory of Euro
maidan , the situation calmed down for a period , but in spring 2014 there was renewed unrest
as pro-Russians tried to take power in the city . However , Pro-Ukrainians stopped the attempt.
Mykolaiv is located on a peninsula , in Ukraine's 'steppe region' , 65 kilometers from the Black
Sea , along the estuary of Southern Bug river ( where it meets the Inhul River ) . Both the Inhul
River & the Southern Bug River, follow very winding courses , just before they join at the north
east corner of Mykolaiv. This has created several long & narrow peninsulas, just north of city.
The city's climate is moderately continental , with mild winters and hot summers. Mykolaiv is
divided into 4 districts: the Tsentralnyi District (city north-west, includes the historic center of
Mykolaiv), the Zavodskyi District (city west, includes many industrial enterprises), the Inhulsk
yi District (city east) and the Korabelnyi District (city south, includes Kulbakino military base).
The city also has several electronic industries . The enterprise "Zoriya – Mashproekt" manufa
ctures equipment used in ships and products used for transportation of natural gas and gene
ration of electricity. Prominent is also the Mykolaiv AluminiaFactory which produces aluminia
raw material for aluminum-production. The city too has a developed food processing industry
Mykolaiv, being an important strategic city in southern Ukraine , has a significant Ukrainian mi
litary presence , including the shipyards, that build Ukraine's surface, navy ships , the Mykolaiv
Ukrainian Navy base , the "MARP" aircraft repair factory (Mykolaiv), and the Kulbakino military
base (Ukrainian army) which is situated in the Mykolaiv Oblast, outside of the city of Mykolaiv
There are several universities in Mykolaiv incl. Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbu
ilding. There are 3 performingarts theaters in Mykolaiv: the Academic Ukrainian Theater of Dr
ama and Musical Comedy, the Mykolaiv State Puppet Theater and the Mykolaiv Academic Art
Russian Drama Theater. The Mykolaiv Oblast Philharmonic Orchestra performs in the city too.
Mykolaiv has the following museums: Mykolayiv Regional Museum of Local History, The Mus
eum of Shipbuilding and Fleet , the Museum of the World War II Partisan Movement , the V. V.
Vereshchagin Art Museum. Other sights: St. Nicholas Cathedral, Mykolaiv Observatory, St. Jo
seph Catholic Church, Fairytale (Skazka) kid park, Shukhov Tower, Monument to Shipbuilders.
Additional sights: the well known Mykolaiv zoo, and a war memorial set up in the recreational
park 'Victory' in memory of people from Mykolaiv who lost their lives during the war in Afghan
istan. The city furthermore has many hotels , shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It hosts
yearly festivals. Mykolaiv is a city of sports with a basketball team & MFC Mykolaiv (football).