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27 Aug. 2023

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Mines in Ukraine: What is the importance of the coal industry for the country?

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Mines in Ukraine: What is the importance of the coal industry for the country?

Ukraine's coal industry and mining have suffered significant stagnation due to russian aggression. Find out what is the state of Ukraine's existing mines and how important coal mining is for the country

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Every year in August, Ukraine celebrates Miner's Day, a holiday that symbolizes the important role of the coal industry in the national economy and society. Coal mining history spans time, from the birth of the industry to the challenges of the russian invasion in 2014.

This holiday was established in Ukraine in 1993 to support coal industry workers. We’re telling how Miner's Day is celebrated in Ukraine, what the importance of the coal industry is for Ukraine, and how russian aggression has affected coal mining.


Coal mining in Ukraine until 2014


The first coal mine in Ukraine was laid in 1795 in Lysychansk. This deposit began to yield coal within a year. At the beginning of the 19th century, small mines began to be built in other regions of Donbas, including Bakhmut City. It was during this period that the real flowering of mining began when coal became the key source of energy for industry. Later, during the Soviet period, Ukraine played an important role in coal production and metallurgy.

Huge coal deposits are located in Ukraine, in particular, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Coal was and remains an energy fuel and raw material for important industries such as electric power and metallurgy.


The impact of the russian invasion on coal mining


Before the events of 2014, Ukraine saw prospects in the development of mining and energy. However, the russian invasion of the east of the country significantly complicated the situation. A major part of the coal mines was under the control of non-governmental forces, which led to a decrease in production and a threat to energy security.




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The current state of mining in Ukraine


Unfortunately, military actions and economic difficulties affected the mines, leading to their suspension of operation. However, some mines continue to operate even in the current difficult situation. The coal industry remains important for meeting the country's energy needs but requires modernization and support for stability and security.

The role of the coal industry in Ukraine cannot be overestimated. Coal is an important energy source and is used in metallurgy and the chemical industry. The coal industry creates jobs for thousands of citizens and makes a significant contribution to the country's budget due to the payment of taxes.

In addition, the development of mining is an important factor in ensuring Ukraine's energy independence.

As a result of military operations in the Donetsk region, the volume of coal production at state-owned mines during the first three months of 2023 fell by 44%. During this period, state mines extracted 275,000 tons of coal, which is 215 tons less than in the corresponding period of 2022.

Artem Litvinov, Head of the Department of Development of Basic Industries of the Donetsk Regional State Administration, reported this information during the briefing. According to his reports, 21 mines are operating in the region, including 15 state-owned.

Since 2014, the russian occupation administrations have stopped the operation of 41 mines in the occupied territories of the Donbas and Luhansk regions.


Miner's Day: Interesting facts


For residents of Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Lviv regions, Miner's Day is especially significant. People of these regions celebrate it the most active as their cities are the centers of coal mining. Moreover, most of Ukraine’s mines are located in these regions.

Interestingly, some mining towns celebrate their town day also on the last Sunday of August. Among such cities are Donetsk, Pokrovsk, Dobropilia, Makiivka, Horlivka, and Shakhtarsk.

Generally, there are 150 coal mines in Ukraine. More than 92% of all mines in Ukraine are situated in the Donetsk coal basin. However, the majority of enterprises do not work due to the full-scale invasion of russia and the occupation of cities.


Miner's Day is not only a holiday for coal industry workers but also symbolizes the importance of this area for Ukraine. Coal mining has always been key to the development of energy and industry.

Although modern challenges, in particular, the russian invasion and difficult economic circumstances, have affected the work of state mines, the country doesn’t exclude the perspective of this industry. An important task is the modernization of the energy complex and the development of energy sources.

Miner's Day reminds us of the contribution of miners to the development of Ukraine. The work of miners is an integral part of the national identity and economic situation of the country.


We remind you! Protecting Ukraine's skies has become one of the most challenging tasks in the face of the russian invasion. Learn more about those who defend Ukrainian freedom in the sky and on the ground in our previous article.


Photo: Getty Images




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