Located in the north-western corner of Kiev Oblast, at the borders with Zhytomyr Oblast, Poliske is part of the natural region of Polesia, and is 27 km from the Belorussian border.
Crossed by the regional highway P02 Ovruch-Kiev (135 km south), the town lies between Vilcha (17 km north) and Krasiatychi (27 km south). It is 41 km far from Narodychi, 53 from Ovruch and Ivankiv, 58 from Pripyat and 65 from Chernobyl.
Founded in the 15th century, it was the home of the Polish family Horwatt from 1850 to 1918. Originally called Khabnoye or Khabne, the town was renamed Kaganovichi Pervye or Kahanovychi Pershi in 1934, and finally Poliske in 1957. In the 19th century this small city was known for its weavers and textile industry. In 1890, 80% of the population was Jewish. In the later half of the 19th century, and in the beginning of the 20th century, there was known a klezmer band of Makonowiecki family. Khabne lost all its major architecture during the Soviet Union - the castle of Radziwill, Orthodox churches, and the Catholic Church. In 1938, Khabne received official city status.
Following the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident, the Zone of Alienation initially covered a 30 km radius. However, over time the borders of the Zone of Alienation increased to cover a larger area of contamination, including Poliske. From a population of approximately 12,000 in 1986 there now around 10-20 self settlers (Samosley) who still call Poliske home.