Rivne (Рівне; pre 1991 and in Ровно, Rovno; Równe; ) ) is a historic city in western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Rivne Oblast (province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Rivnensky Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is also designated as its own separate raion within the oblast.
The current estimated population is around 249,900 (as of 2004).
Rivne was first mentioned in 1283 as one of the inhabited places of Halych-Volhynia. From the second half of the 14th century it was under the Great Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1492 the city was granted Magdeburg rights. Following the partition of Poland, in 1793 Rivne became a part of Russian Empire, and in 1797 it was declared as a regional town of the Volyn Guberniya.
During World War I and the period of chaos shortly after, it was briefly under German, Ukrainian, Bolshevik, and Polish forces. In April-May of 1919 Rivne served as the temporary capital of Ukrainian People's Republic. At the conclusion of the conflict, in accordance with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921 it became a part of Polish Volhynian Voivodeship for the period between the two World Wars.
In 1939, as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the partition of Poland, Western Ukraine was annexed by the Soviet Union. From December of the same year Rivne became the centre of the newly established Rivne Oblast, within the Ukrainian SSR. On June 28, 1941 Rivne was captured by the Nazi Germany, who later established the city as the administrative centre of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. At the time, roughly a half of Rivne's inhabitants were Jewish; of these, about 23000 were taken to a pine grove in Sosenki and killed between the 6th and the 8th of November. A ghetto was established for the remaining 5,000 Jews. In July 1942, its population was sent some 70 kilometres north to Kostopil where they were killed; the ghetto was subsequently liquidated.
During Soviet times the provincial town was transformed into a massive industrial center of the republic. There were two significant factories built. The first a machine building and metal processing factory capable of producing high-voltage apparatus, tractor spare parts and others. The other a chemical factory and synthetic materials fabrication plant. Light industry, including a linen plant and a textile mill, as well as food industries, including milk and meat processing plants and a vegetable preservation plant have also been built. In addition the city became a production center for furniture and other building materials.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union the monument for the Soviet time hero D.N.Medvedev was removed, and N.I.Kuznetsov monument was moved to another location within the city. Instead, in order to reflect the controversial history of the region the monuments for "Soldiers died in the honour of Ukraine", and "Soldiers died in military battles" were installed.