Shostka – The Cheese Empire of the Sumy Oblast
Right next to the Shostka River lies a town that bears its name - Shostka. It is located in the Sumy Oblast and has an estimated population of approximately 85 000 residents. It was founded in the 17th century and was ruled by the Cossacks for many years. Its size did not deter it from producing some of the most important products in Ukraine, or having their very own football team, namely Impuls Shostka.
This amazing town in the Sumy Oblast, only received its municipal rights in the year 1920, but had been earning those rights for many years. It all started with a small gunpowder factory that was constructed in the 1730’s. The factory did not seem very significant at first, but grew to become the biggest supplier of gunpowder to the Russian Empire. This very important function finally put Shostka on the map, and from there, Shostka started to become a force to be reckoned with. The building of a railroad line near the town in 1893, secured its future. The economy of the town today is reliant on the manufacturing of veneers, chemicals and building materials and it also has a food processing plant.
The well-known Svema trademark used to be seen on the products that rolled out of the Shostka Cine and Film Factory that was founded in 1931. For years it remained the largest film anufacturer for the USSR, used in theatres all over the country, until its closure in the 1990’s. The Svema trademark is now found on the Chemical Plant in Shostka.
In 2004, a memorial to the Jewish community of Shostka that suffered and died at the hands of the Nazi’s was unveiled. It is just outside the city, and is worth the visit. Another interesting attraction is the Museum of Panteleimon Kulish, which opened in 2006, and exhibits his books, literature and tells his life story. Shostka and the Sumy Region has so much to share with the world, that it would be a great loss if tourists do not make the time to visit this fascinating destination.