Before the revolution of 1917 most part of the present-day Narovlya region had been a part of the Rechitsa region of Minsk province. In January 1918 the Narovlya volost council of workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ deputies started functioning in the region.
After the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3, 1918) the Narovlya region, at that time occupied by the German troops and Ukrainians who embraced nationalistic philosophy, entered the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
Following the German Revolution (1918), the Soviet government annulled the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The Western army began liberating Gomel oblast. The revolution committee established its authority in Narovlya but peaceful life did not come. Bandits ravaged the region. 1919 and the beginning of 1920 were the years of fear and anxiety. Late in 1920 the civil war ended and the country entered a reconstruction period.
The beginning of 1921 was marked by the election to rural councils. Party organizations, local executive committees and rural councils were tasked to encourage the population to recover Narovlya in the speediest manner (which was seriously cramped during the occupation), to eradicate brigandage and revive industry and agriculture.
New schools were opened. The Narovlya hospital was expanded by 40 new beds. Medical and obstetrical stations opened in certain villages. The cultural activities were boosted. The Narovlya library stock was significantly increased. Reading halls were sent in service in many local settlements.
The Narovlya region was officially founded on 17 July, 1924. it united three volosts (Narovlya, Mukhoedy and Dernovichi) and entered the Mozyr district. Some 24 rural councils acted in the area. The territory of the region numbered 95 settlements. It was home to 35 thousand people (there were 6,356 personal lend plots with homes). The region featured 13 steam-mills, 7 small tanneries, 3 tar factories, one factory which produced chalk, 3 joiner’s shops, 27 blacksmith’s, 27 schools, one church, a regional library, local lore association and three post offices.
On 1 August, 1925 a newly reconstructed confectionery “Chyrvony Mazyryanin” launched production activities.
A regional hospital was inaugurated together with two new drugstores. Some 29 centers of education and one evening school were inaugurated in Narovlya. Seven associations “Beating Illiteracy” were organized.
By the beginning of 1941 the biggest company of Narovlya was “Chyrvony Mazyryanin”, a shipyard, a timber processing facility and a vegetables drying factory. There was a regional hospital for 70 beds, three district hospitals, a regional ambulance station, women’s and children’s clinic, 6 medical attendant’s stations, 4 secondary, 18 seven-grade and 52 primary schools.
The Great Patriotic War broke the peaceful life of the region. On 23 June, 1941 the draft began as battalions of young people were formed to defend the country. By 26 June, 1941 the Narovlya battalion totaled 60 soldiers. Every rural council had such battalions numbering 20-25 people each. In June 1943 there were 28 underground anti-Nazis youth organizations uniting over 150 people.
In 27 months of the occupation the Nazis burned down 19 villages in the Narovlya region and partially destroyed another 14. All land-improvement facilities were damaged and all public buildings and truck repair stations in the region were completely demolished. During the occupation the Hitlerite troops killed, burned alive and tortured 596 Narovlya residents. Some 724 people were forced to slave labor in Germany, 53 of them never returned home.
The region was liberated by the 1st Belarusian Front during the Gomel-Rechitsa (10-30 November, 1943) and Kalinkovichi-Mozyr (8 January – 8 February, 1944) offensive operations. Narovlya was liberated on November 30, 1943 during the Narovlya operation by the 415th infantry division of the Belarusian Front together with partisans of the 27th Narovlya brigade n.a. Kirov.
In 1949 people resettled from mud huts to new houses.
In 1951 the Narovlya region reached the pre-war level of industrial production.
The agriculture and industry were making big strides forward. The “Chyrvony Mazyryanin” was exemplary in this respect. In 1949 the company’s output made 785 tons, while in 1966 it hit 3,551 tons. The company sold its products not only in Belarus but also in the Bryansk, Vladimir, Tula regions of Russia, in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The company established contacts not just with the USSR republics but also with Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Finland.
Early in 1977 the Narovlya-based branch of Gomel hydraulics plant made its first products. The umbrellas made by the company were given the state quality mark. Other production associations of the region boasted great production achievements too.
The residents of the region had confidence in future. They believed that their lives would become better and more prosperous. Unfortunately, another misfortune hit the region – the Chernobyl disaster.
Before 1986 there were 74 settlements in the region including the regional center – the town of Narovlya. The Chernobyl disaster swept 35 settlements. A Polessye radiation-ecological preserve was set up in the resettlement zone.
Today there are 5 industrial companies in the region, a construction and transport organizations, 2 communications enterprises, communal services station, 2 banks, a regional consumer cooperation association, 3 agricultural cooperatives and 2 communal agricultural companies.