De-Sovietization in Ukraine also affects changes in legislation. One of the communist markers to this day was the name “urban-type village”. Now, according to the Law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, the “urban-type village” will become just towns.
The law also defines the criteria by which a settlement can be considered a city, town or village: population and type of building. If there are more than 10,000 inhabitants and mostly multistory buildings, it can be called a city. If there are more than 5 thousand and mainly manor buildings, it will be a town, and less than 5 thousand – a village. Therefore, theoretically, some settlements could not only turn into towns, but also pass into the category of villages. What’s more: cities could become towns, and towns could turn into cities.
The toponym “urban-type village” appeared in the 20s of the last century. This is how they began to call towns, of which there were almost half a thousand in Ukraine at that time. The term was used everywhere in the USSR, as well as in Poland and Bulgaria. At the same time, the term “urban-type village” is not fixed in the Constitution of Ukraine.
There are currently 24 urban-type settlements in Khmelnytskyi. All of them are very different both by the type of building and by the number of the population. From the smallest Viitivtsi, where only 800 people live, to the largest Letychev, with a population of about 10,000.
Among the urban-type settlements of the region can be named the following: Chornyi Ostriv, Sataniv, Antoniny, Smotrych, Medzhibizh. All the listed settlements were at one time the residences of local tycoons, and during the Soviet Union — administrative centers of districts. However, later the population began to decrease here, the infrastructure became poorer.
Currently, all these urban-type settlements will transfer to the towns automatically, without unnecessary delay. Medzhibizh, known for its fortress and the tomb of the leader of Hasidism Baal Shem Tov, will be, in particular, one of the smallest town in the Khmelnytskyi District in terms of population.
On the other hand, another former district center — Letychiv — can now theoretically move into the “city” category. Currently, the type of architecture is being analyzed there — whether the settlement can change its status based on this criterion.
However, difficulties may arise when changing the status of a settlement. They are related to population accounting.
“In order to make a decision about a city or village, someone needs to take care of compiling the data of two state registers: the place of residence and the register of voters. As far as I am concerned, the Law does not give an answer as to who should do it and in what way”, — believes the director of the association of territorial communities of the Khmelnytskyi region, Serhii Yatskovskyi.