Lugansk is a city in the southeastern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Lugansk region. The Luhansk region consists of 18 districts, 37 towns and 109 villages situated in urban areas. The region borders three Russian regions, namely Voronezhskaya, Rostovskya and Belgorodskaya, as well as two Ukrainian regions, Donetsk and Kharkiv. Being so close to Russia, the region has a great number of Russian residents living there, that make up 41,7% of the Lugansk total population.
Lugansk plays an important role in the economy of Ukraine and is ranked as one of the top five industrial centers of the country. The Lugansk Region is rich for anthracites, coke coal and natural gas.
The landscape of the Lugansk Region is made up of rolling plains, which eventually become part of the Donetsky mountain range. The soil of the region is composed of the fertile black soil, which is great for agricultural crops. Lugansk has a temperate, continental climate with distinct winter and summer seasons. The average summer temperature is about +21°C, it is relatively hot and dry. Winter has cold winds and frost and can have temperatures as low as -30°C.
Luhansk Region is one of the main cultural centers of Ukraine with a high density of cultural sights and attractions to visit.
Getting to Lugansk:
Lugansk has a well developed transportation network; it is well connected with the rest of Ukraine, and with the northern, central and southern regions of Russia. You can drive from Kiev to Lugansk along M04 highway called Kiev-Rostov.
There are direct flights from Kiev to Lugansk International Airport and backward, flights to Lugansk are on weekdays, Dniproavia and Lugansk Airlines operate this route. There are direct flights from/to Moscow (Vnukovo International Airport), Euroline and UTair Aviation airlines serve this route. There are also charter flights to the Turkish city, Antalya from Lugansk, the flights are operated by UM Airlines
Lugansk is a part of a well-developed railway system, so travelling by train is a great way to get to Lugansk from Kiev, the view of the vast Eurasian steppe is unforgettable! You will also meet some Ukrainian people, if you bring some food, sharing is very recommended.
There is a number of everyday trains departing from Kiev to the Lugansk Railway Station. Trains take about 18 hours to arrive from Kiev to Lugansk; most trains leave Kiev in the early evening and arrive to Lugansk the next morning. It is better to buy first class tickets, if possible.
Luhansk is easily reachable by bus, although travel by train is more comfortable. There are buses from almost every important Ukrainian City including Kyiv, direct buses takes about 16 hours to reach Luhansk from Kyiv. You can also take a bus from Kyiv to Kharkiv (located 350 km north of Luhansk) then you can take a regular bus to Luhansk. Additionally, there are good buses from Luhansk to Donetsk, travel time is around 2 hours.
Culture in Lugansk:
Lugansk is an important cultural centre of the southeastern Ukraine; there are 23 culture houses and clubs as well as 2 palaces of culture. The Lugansk Regional Philharmonic Society, which has a philharmonic orchestra and chamber instrumental ensemble, organizes public lectures of music.
Lugansk has 3 professional theatres: Lugansk Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater, Lugansk Regional Russian Drama Theater and Lugansk State Regional Theatre of Puppets. There is aso Emotional Theater of Youth and the Variety Theater of Alexander Belyaev.
Lugansk is also blessed with more than 50 public libraries; the Regional Library for Children, the Regional Library for Youth, and the Gorky Universal Scientific Library are the most important in the region.
Best of Lugansk:
Lugansk has several interesting tourist attractions including historical monuments, cultural monuments, squares, and memorial places:
The Kliment Voroshilov Statue was erected in honor of a close to Stalin Soviet military commander and politician. He was born in Lugansk, which was renamed Voroshilovgrad in 1935; in 1958 it was renamed Lugansk, but later renamed Voroshilovgrad again, bearing this name from 1970 to 1990. Finally the city name was returned to Lugansk.
The Gorky Library was founded in 1897 as a free of charge public library. The library is formally known as the Lugansk Regional Universal Scientific Library named after Maxim Gorky. At the beginning the library had only 2502 books. In 1938, the number of books of the library made 125000. At the end of 1965, the Library was moved to the Sovietskaya street where is situated now. The total number of books for January, 2009 was 1 087113 books.
The Vladimir Dahl Memorial House-Museum was founded in 1976 to commemorate the life and work of the great Vladimir Ivanovich Dahl, a well-known Russian scientist and ethnographer, the author of "Thesaurus of the Modern Great Russian Language" written under the pen name "Cossack of Lugansk ". He became one of the closest friends of Alexander Pushkin. UNESCO declared the year 2000 as The International Year of Vladimir Dahl.
The St. Peter and St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the most interesting cathedrals in Lugansk along with the St. Vladimir Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the middle of the 19th century. The Cathedral houses the beautiful Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God.
The Bard of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko was a famous Ukrainian national writer, poet, an artist and a fighter for the independence of Ukraine. The Taras Shevchenko Monument in Lugansk looks like a 5-meter bronze figure plus granite post, which was erected in May 1988. It is an artwork by Ivan Chumak. Many concerts and cultural events are held in front of the statue.
The Chernobyl Memorial was built in honour of the victims of the Chernobyl Nuclear reactor disaster in 1986; it is located at the Red Square. Visiting the Red Square you will see also the St. George's Chapel.
The Heroes Square in Lugansk. The formal name of the square is the Great Patriotic War Heroes Square. The Heroes Square is filled with monuments and names of 167 soldiers and officers that fought in the Second World War and were born in Lugansk. It is also the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; you will see also the Heroes Obelisk. The monument to Taras Shevchenko, the Bard of Ukraine is located near in Sovetskaya Street.
Shopping in Luhansk:
Behind the Heroes Obelisk in Heroes Square the Artists Street is located, where local artists and handicraft masters offer their art works (pictures, carvings, dolls, ceramics, clay souvenirs), the prices are reasonable and the bargaining is well-accepted there.
At Kotsiubinsky Street, Sovietskaya Street, and Oboronnaya Street one can find big and small stores, where you can buy almost anything you need. Courage Supermarket is located in Sovietskaya Street, at the corner of Heroes Street. Absolute Supermarket is located in Oboronnaya Street.
You can buy meat, fish, vegetables and fruits in the Central Market; household appliances, clothes, and many more can be found there as well.