Sumy (Ukrainian: Суми [ˈsumɪ] (listen)) is a city of regional significance in Ukraine, and the capital of Sumy Oblast. The city is situated on the banks of the Psel River in northeastern Ukraine with a population of 259,660 (2021 est.) according to the 2021 census, making it the 23rd-largest in the country.
|• Mayor||Oleksandr Lysenko (politician) (Batkivshchyna)|
|• Total||145 km2 (56 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+380 542|
|Twinned with|| Celle|
Sumy was founded by Cossack Herasym Kondratyev from Stavyshche, Bila Tserkva Regiment on the bank of the Psel River, a tributary of the Dnieper. The date of its foundation is a subject of discussion (in 1652 or 1655). In 1656–58 at the site of Sumyn early settlement, under the leadership of Muscovite voivode K. Arsenyev, there was built a city-fort that consisted of a fort and a grad (town).
In the 1670s it was expanded by adding a fortified posad (craftsmen town), after which Sumy became the biggest fortress of Sloboda Ukraine. From 1658 Sumy was a center of the Sumy Cossack Regiment (military unit and local administrative division). In the 1680s around Sumy started to form unfortified suburbs.
At the end of the 17th century, Sumy played a role of collection point of Muscovite troops during the Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689. During the Great Northern War, from December 1708 to January 1709 the city was the stavka (headquarters) of Muscovite Chief of Commander headed by Tsar Peter the Great. Established under the leadership of Prince A. Shakhovskoy, in 1734–43 in Sumy was located the Commission on streamlining the Sloboda Cossack regiments. From its establishment and until the liquidation of Cossackdom in Sloboda Ukraine in 1765, the Cossack officer family of Kondratyevs had a great influence over the city.
Following the liquidation of Cossack community in 1765, Sumy Cossack Regiment as an administrative division was turned into Sumy Province of the newly created Sloboda Ukraine Governorate and the city of Sumy became its center. In 1780 Sumy was turned into a centre of Sumy uyezd. In 1786-89 the city was reformed by removing its city fort vallums.
After a period of stagnation (1765–1860s), Sumy began to transform into a big industrial and trade center with the Paul's Sugar-Refining Factory (est. 1869 by I.Kharytonenko) and the Sumy Engineering Workshops (est. 1896, producing equipment for sugar refineries). With the construction of a railroad Vorozhba – Merefa, in January 1877 in the city was built the Sumy train station. A great contribution in development of Sumy made various families of philanthropist industrialists, the most famous of which are the Kharytonenkos.
During the Revolution of 1905, Sumy was one of several areas which became famous throughout Russia for in effect having established an independent peasant republic; the Sumy Republic was established by a peasant union.
During the German occupation of Ukraine during World War II (1941–1944), Sumy sustained heavy damage and was occupied from 10 October 1941 to 2 September 1943. The Germans operated a Nazi prison and a forced labour battalion for Jews in the city. After the war, the destroyed parts of the city were rebuilt.
On 4 April 2022 Governor of Sumy Oblast Dmytro Zhyvytskyi stated that Russian troops no longer occupied any towns or villages in Sumy Oblast and had mostly withdrawn, while Ukrainian troops were working to push out the remaining units. On 8 April, Governor Zhyvytskyi stated that all Russians troops left Sumy Oblast, while also adding that territory of the region was still unsafe due to rigged explosives and other ammunition left behind by Russian troops.
Due to its relatively close location, the city's weather is similar to Kharkiv. Sumy's climate is a warm-summer humid continental (Köppen: Dfb) with cold and snowy winters, and hot summers. The seasonal average temperatures are not too cold in winter, not too hot in summer: −6.9 °C (19.6 °F) in January, and 20.3 °C (68.5 °F) in July. The average rainfall totals 513 mm (20 in) per year, with the most in June and July.
Trends show an increase in the fall in precipitation in the coming decades.
|Climate data for Sumy, Ukraine (1981–2010, extremes 1949-2011)|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−34.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||36.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||8.5||8.5||8.4||7.5||8.2||9.1||8.7||6.6||7.5||7.1||8.0||8.7||96.8|
|Average snowy days||18||14||10||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||10||17||74|
|Average relative humidity (%)||85.9||83.3||78.7||68.0||63.9||69.6||71.2||69.1||75.8||80.9||87.3||87.3||76.8|
|Source 1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source 2: Climatebase.ru (extremes), Weatherbase (snow days)|
The city used to be divided into two urban raions (districts), Zarichny and Kovpakovsky, and 13 micro-raions. Since 2006, the subdivision into urban districts is not in effect.
The city municipality also includes several adjacent villages including Verkhnie Pishchane, Zhyteiske, Zahirske, Kyryiakivshchyna, Pishchane, and Trokhymenkove.
From the beginning of the twentieth century, Sumy was the center of Roman Catholicism in northeastern Ukraine. The Blessed Virgin Mary Annunciation Church was established in the city in 1901 and consecrated in 1911, but closed by governmental authorities two decades later; the churchhouse was thereafter used for non-religious purposes (e.g., it was used as a gym for Oleksandrivska Gymnasia) until its restoration as a Roman Catholic parish in May 1994, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It was reconsecrated in the spring of 1998.
According to the census held in 1660 year the population of Sumy was 2740 people. In 1732 year it was 7700 people, in 1773 year — 9380 people, in 1850 year — 10,256 people, in 1898 year — 26,355 people.
During Soviet times the population grew significantly. In 1939 it reached 63,9 thousand people. In 1959 it was 98,015 people, 159 thousand people in 1970, 194 thousand people in 1975, 291,264 people in 1989, and 303,3 thousand people in 1991.
According to the Ukrainian Census of 2001, the population of Sumy was 292,139 people. By January 1, 2013, it had decreased to 269,177 people. On January 1, 2016, the population was 267,633 people.
The Sumy Regional Art Museum was opened in 1920. It was started from nationalized private collections of the town and district. Paintings of Taras Shevchenko, Vladimir Borovikovsky, I. Shyskin, Arkhip Kuindzhi and Tetyana Yablonska are on display, including a Dutch landscape by a painter of Jan van Goyen's circle. Today the museum contains unique paintings and works of applied art. The building of the early 20th century originally belonged to the State Bank.
The Museum of Local Lore was opened in 1920. In the years of fascist occupation, the most important items of its collections were lost. Today it contains unique collections covering archeology and natural history of the Sumy region. It is located in the building of the 19th century which originally was the seat of the district government. In 1905 it was given to the printing house and publishing house of the first Sumy newspapers. In different years the building was visited by A. Kuprin and V. Korolenko, the famous Russian writers.
The Chekhov Museum, located in Chekhov street is an architectural complex representing Lintvarev's country estate of the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1888 and 1889 a great writer and dramatist Anton Chekhov was dreaming to settle in Luka forever but his dream did not come true. “Abbacia and the Adriatic Sea are wonderful, but Luka and Psiol are better” – he wrote in his letter from Italy to his friends in Sumy in 1894. This is also a place where Anton Chekhov's brother, Nikolai Chekhov, died in 1889.
The Museum of Banking history in the Sumy oblast and the History of Ukrainian Money was founded in 2006 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Ukrainian Academy of Banking on the basis of a unique collection of Ukrainian bonds – the paper money out of circulation, which were given to the academy by the National Bank of Ukraine. The exposition of the bonds is arranged in the thematic-chronological order - from the first appearance of money to the present day. In addition to the numerous historical documents, photographs, metal money (coins, souvenir bars), and commemorative medals of the National Bank of Ukraine, there is an exhibition presenting technical appliances used in the banking industry in the late 20th century.
The field hockey club MSC Sumchanka has won the Ukrainian championship 12 times, and was European champion once.
The Yuvileiny Stadium, formerly known as Spartak, was planned to be renovated just before dissolution of the Soviet Union and in 1989 was demolished to be built anew. It was not until 1998 when the actual construction was resumed and finally finished in 2001.