Vinnitsa is a city and administrative center of Vinnitsa region of west-central Ukraine. Vinnitsa lies along the Yuzhny (Southern) Bug River. Short and mild winters and long hot summers are typical for the city. Average temperature in January is 5,8 degs C below zero, in July - 20,3 degs C above zero.
The name of the city derives from the old Slavic word “vno” which means “gift”. There are some more versions explaining the name of the town: “vinitsa” – a brewery and Vinichka – a river. These lands were inhabited in ancient time. Settlements of Scythian and ancient Russian epochs are found on the territory of the city.
In 9th century the Ulich and Tivert tribes settled there, they were a part of Kievan Rus. Later this area was passed to Galitsky-Volynsky principality. The Golden Horde ruled there over 100 years.
After victory of the Lithuanian prince Olgerd’s army in 1362 over Tatars, the area was ruled by Lithuanian principality. Prince Olgerd’s nephews Fyodor and Konstantin Koryatovich constructed towns-fortresses in these lands. They constructed a fortress on the bank of the river Bug which was called “Old Vinnitsa”. The first record of Vinnitsa refers to 1396. In 1431 the castle was burnt by Tatars.
In 1558 a new castle was built. The citizens had to repel Tatars’ attacks which happened every year. In 1569 the town became a part of Poland. In early 17th century fortifications and a church complex “Mury” were constructed. In 1649 Vinitsa was included into Ukraine. In 1667 Vinitsa again became a part of Poland.
After Poland was divided for the second time (1793) all these territories were passed to Russia and formed Podolskaya gubernia. In 1860 the population of Vinnitsa was about 10,000. In 1870 a railway Kiev-Balta-Odessa was constructed near the town and it promoted development of Vinnitsa, connection with Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, St-Petersburg improved greatly.
Vinnitsa became 3 times larger for the last 40 years of 19th century, it took the first place in commodity circulation in Podolskaya gubernia. Since 1914 Vinnitsa is the administrative center of Podolskaya gubernia. During the Civil war power in the town changed a lot of times. Since 1932 the town is the center of Vinnitsa oblast.
On July 19th, 1941, German army occupied Vinnitsa. On March 20th, 1944 it was set free. During the war the population of the city decreased to 27,000. By the end of 1948 almost all the industry in Vinnitsa was restored, later other industries were developed: food, light, chemical, machine-building and metal-working.
Present Vinnitsa, as the center of a major agricultural region, produces fertilizers and has food-processing industries in addition to electronics, agricultural equipment, light engineering, clothing and footwear industries.