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Great prospects for formerly unpromising land

Khimy village, being revived in Orsha District, auditions future residents
By Olga Bogomazova

The surrounding countryside is amazing; the beautiful Dnieper River carries its rapid waters past steep banks and a green strip of forest in the distance. Children’s voices are heard in the village of new, gold-coloured log cottages. Doors wide-open, there is a local post office, Uliyanka shop, a comprehensive reception centre and a sports ground.

Khimy is located on the border of the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions, and boasts an interesting history of curious events. To reach Khimy from neighbouring Kopys (Orsha District), you should pass through the Mogilev Region, so that you can admire the wonderful infrastructure of famous Alexandria. It was here that the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, grew up; you can see the school where he studied and the desk at which he sat.

The village had become almost empty until recently, with just a dozen people living there permanently, although there were 40 cottages. The decision to revive it was taken around two years ago. Now, most of the empty houses have been bought as summer homes.

Within a short period of time, 15 new cottages appeared in Khimy; now, 45 people reside there, having arrived from the Vitebsk Region, and elsewhere — even from the Russian Federation. The Stanovye family are from Vorkuta, while Yelena Rusakevich is from Baran; she is a medical assistant at the village’s first-aid station, and has moved in with her three children. According to Vladimir Dedushkin, the Chairman of the Orsha District Executive Committee, he often answers phone calls from Russia and, even, Kazakhstan, from people wishing to move in.

“In line with the general plan, our builders are constructing 60 houses in total,” he explains. “We’re also developing an industrial base, alongside social infrastructure, to ensure employment. A branch of the Sweet Country Factory, manufacturing biscuits, is to open near Khimy, close to neighbouring Lipki; work is already underway on the design and estimates. There will also be a factory processing duck meat, providing jobs. This year, we plan to open a new kindergarten for 25 children, encouraging young families to move in and work here. Probably, in future, we’ll also acquire our own House of Culture and a fitness centre. Khimy residents are unlikely to feel the lack of such services, as neighbouring Alexandria (just 2-3km away) has great facilities, including a large, contemporary swimming pool.”

Many are calling the project in the Orsha District innovative, since the entire village is really being built from scratch; sometimes, building something new requires fewer resources than restoring the old. We can be assured that Khimy will become a contemporary settlement, fully viable and employing its residents productively. A once small and unpromising village now has grand prospects. 
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