An oblast ( uk|область), in English referred to as a region, refers to one of Ukraine's 24 primary administrative units. Ukraine is a unitary state, thus the regions do not have much legal scope of competence other than that which is established in the Ukrainian Constitution and by law. Articles 140–146 of Chapter XI of the constitution deal directly with local authorities and their competency. Oblasts are further subdivided into raions (districts), ranging in number from 11 to 27 per entity.

General characteristics

In Ukraine the term Oblast denotes a primary administrative division. Under the Russian Empire and into the 1920s, Ukraine was divided between several Governorates. The term ''oblast'' itself was first introduced in 1932 by Soviet authorities when the Ukrainian SSR was divided into seven oblasts replacing the previous subdivision system based on okruhas and encompassing 406 raions (districts). The first oblasts were Vinnytsia Oblast, Kyiv Oblast, Odessa Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Soon after that in the summer of 1932 Donetsk Oblast was formed out of eastern parts of Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts; in the fall of 1932 Chernihiv Oblast was formed on the border of Kyiv and Kharkiv oblasts. Between 1935–1938 there existed several newly created and self-governed special border okrugs located along the western border of the Soviet Union in Ukraine and Belarus. Upon liquidation of the okrugs in 1937-38 Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Odessa, and Kharkiv oblasts were each split into four additional oblasts (Zhytomyr Oblast, Kamianets-Podilsky Oblast (later Khmelnytskyi), Mykolaiv Oblast, Poltava Oblast). Just before the World War II, the Donetsk Oblast was split into Stalino Oblast and Voroshylovhrad Oblast and the Kirovohrad Oblast was created out of portions of Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Odessa oblasts. During World War II Ukraine added eight additional oblasts of the West Ukraine and Bessarabia. Upon the occupation of Ukraine by the Nazi Germany the territory was split between General Government, Kingdom of Romania and Reichskommissariat Ukraine and carried out a completely different administrative division, see Reichskommissariat Ukraine. With the re-establishing of the Soviet power in the state after the war, the administrative division by oblast was resumed adding one more oblast—Zakarpattia. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian SSR; parts of the surrounding oblasts were incorporated into the Cherkasy Oblast, while Izmail Oblast was absorbed by Odessa Oblast. In 1959, Drohobych Oblast was merged with Lviv Oblast. Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their respective administrative centers, which are also the largest and most developed city in a given region. Each region generally consists of about one to two million of people, ranging anywhere from as low as 904,000 in Chernivtsi Oblast to 4.4 million in the eastern oblast of Donetsk. Each oblast is generally subdivided into about 20 raions (mean average, can range anywhere from 11 in Chernivtsi to 27 in Kharkiv and Vinnytsia Oblasts).

First oblasts of Ukraine in 1932

* Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, centered in Dnipropetrovsk (subdivided into raions) * Kharkiv Oblast, centered in Kharkiv (subdivided into raions) * Kyiv Oblast, centered in Kyiv (subdivided into raions) * Odessa Oblast, centered in Odessa (subdivided into raions) * Vinnytsia Oblast, centered in Vinnytsia (subdivided into raions) * raions of republican subordination (directly to Kharkiv) ;Later there were added: * Donetsk Oblast, centered in Stalino (initially – Artemivsk) (created on 17 July 1932 out of raions of Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts and raions of republican subordination) * Chernihiv Oblast, centered in Chernihiv (created on 15 October 1932 out of raions of Kharkiv and Kyiv oblasts)

Further division in 1937-38

* Kamianets-Podilsk Oblast, centered in Kamianets-Podilsk (out of raions of Vinnytsia Oblast) * Mykolaiv Oblast, centered in Mykolaiv (out of raions of Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts) * Poltava Oblast, centered in Poltava (out of raions of Kharkiv and Kyiv oblasts) * Zhytomyr Oblast, centered in Zhytomyr (out of raions of Vinnytsia and Kyiv oblasts) ;In 1938 there were added: * Donetsk Oblast was split into Stalino Oblast, centered in Stalino, and Voroshylovhrad Oblast, centered in Voroshylovhrad

New creations and World War II territorial expansions in 1939-40

* Kirovohrad Oblast, centered in Kirovohrad (out of raions of Kyiv, Odessa, Poltava and Mykolaiv oblasts) * Sumy Oblast, centered in Sumy (out of raions of Chernihiv, Poltava and Kharkiv oblasts) * Zaporizhzhia Oblast, centered in Zaporizhzhia (out of raions of Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv oblasts) * Drohobych Oblast, centered in Drohobych * Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, centered in Ivano-Frankivsk * Lviv Oblast, centered in Lviv * Volyn Oblast, centered in Lutsk * Rivne Oblast, centered in Rivne * Tarnopol Oblast, centered in Tarnopol ;In 1940 there were added: * Chernivtsi Oblast, centered in Chernivtsi * Izmail Oblast, centered in Izmail

Post World War II

* Kherson Oblast, centered in Kherson * Zakarpattia Oblast, centered in Uzhhorod * Cherkasy Oblast, centered in Cherkasy * Crimean Oblast, centered in Simferopol


File:Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic 1929—1930.svg|Map of the Okruhas of Ukraine in 1929—1930. File:Ukraine 1932-1937.png|After 1935; including recently created Donetsk and Chernihiv Oblasts and border okrugs. File:Ukrainian SSR 1937—1938.svg|Border okrugs are liquidated and created four additional oblasts in 1937. File:Ukraine 1939-1940.png|Creation of additional oblasts just before World War II. File:Ukraine 1946-1954.png|Post war divisions of Ukraine.

Constitutional provisions and authority

The Ukrainian constitution establishes Ukraine as a unitary state. The specific text of the constitution that refers to the territorial structure is as follows. Each of Ukraine's oblasts have their own legislative and executive authority, most of which is subordinate to the central government authorities in Kyiv. Each region is administered under laws passed by the Ukrainian government and the Constitution of Ukraine. Each region levies its own taxes and, in return, receive a portion of their budget from Kyiv, which gives them a portion of the taxes they levy. Executive power each of the oblasts (as well as in other subdivisions of Ukraine) are exercised by local elected administrations. The heads of local administrations are in turn appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine upon nomination by the Cabinet of Ministers. Since Ukraine is a unitary state, there is little true political power and weight that these local administrations actually hold. Carrying out their authorities, the heads of local administrations are accountable to the President and are subordinate to higher bodies of executive leadership. According to the Constitution the head of the heads of the local Oblast administrations should resign after a new President is elected. Legislative power in the oblast governments is exercised by their respective oblast councils, which in turn supervise the activities of local administrations. They also have considerable budgets managed by an oblast council ( uk|обласна рада) made up of people's deputies (representatives) voted into office in regional elections every 4 years, the last of which took place in 2020.


The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city. E.g. ''Poltava'' is a center of ''Poltavs'ka oblast (Poltava Oblast). Most of them are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna". E.g. Poltava Oblast is also called ''Poltavshchyna''. Exceptions to this rule include: * Two oblasts, Volyn and Zakarpattia, which retain the names of their respective historical regions, ''Volyn (Volhynia) and ''Zakarpattia'' (Transcarpathia), whose respective capitals are Lutsk and Uzhhorod. * The capital cities of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Kirovohrad Oblast were renamed to Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi in 2016 as part of a process of replacing Soviet toponyms. However, as the names of the oblasts are mentioned in the Ukrainian Constitution changing them requires a complicated and lengthy process, thus as of 2017 the two oblasts still formally retain their soviet names.Ukraine
The World Factbook

List of former and renamed oblasts

Former Oblasts

* Izmail Oblast (initially as Akkerman Oblast) existed in 1940–41 and 1944–54 (under Romanian occupation, later was added to Odessa Oblast) * Drohobych Oblast existed in 1939–1941 and 1944–1959 (under German occupation, it was merged into Lviv Oblast) * Crimean Oblast (1954–1991) was transformed into Crimean ASSR

Renamed Oblasts

* Stalino Oblast was the name of Donetsk Oblast 1938-41 and 1943-61 (created out of the united Donetsk Oblast 1932–38, German occupation 1941–43) * Akkerman Oblast was the name of Izmail Oblast 1940 * Stanislav Oblast was the name of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast 1939–41 and 1944–62 (German occupation 1941–44) * Kamianetsk-Podilska Oblast was the name of Khmelnytskyi Oblast 1937-41 and 1944-54 (German occupation 1941–44, later transfer of administrative center to Khmelnytskyi) * Voroshylovhrad Oblast was the name of Luhansk Oblast 1938–42, 1943–58 and 1970–90 (German occupation 1942–43) * Tarnopil Oblast was the name of Ternopil Oblast 1939–41 (renamed soon after World War II) The Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Kirovohrad Oblast are pending renaming following the renaming of their capital cities to Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi.

List of oblasts

} |- | |CK |20,891 |1,206,351 |61.80 |Cherkasy |20 |6 |- | |CH |31,851.3 |1,005,745 |34.67 |Chernihiv |22 |3 |- | |CV |8,093.6 |904,374 |111.67 |Chernivtsi |11 |2 |- | |DP |31,900.5 |3,206,477 |104.83 |Dnipro |22 |13 |- | |DT |26,505.7 |4,165,901 |167.81 |Donetsk |18 |28 |- | |IF |13,894.0 |1,373,252 |99.38 |Ivano-Frankivsk |14 |5 |- | | KK |31,401.6 |2,675,598 |87.74 |Kharkiv |27 |7 |- | |KS |28,449 |1,037,640 |38.35 |Kherson |18 |3 |- | |KM |20,636.2 |1,264,705 |64.52 |Khmelnytskyi |20 |6 |- | |KV |28,118.9 |1,767,940 |61.15 |Kyiv |25 |13 |- | |KH |24,577.5 |945,549 |41.29 |Kropyvnytskyi |21 |4 |- | |LH |26,672.5 |2,151,833 |86.25 |Luhansk |18 |14 |- | |LV |21,823.7 |2,522,021 |116.65 |Lviv |20 |9 |- | |MY |24,587.4 |1,131,096 |48.25 |Mykolaiv |19 |5 |- | |OD |33,295.9 |2,380,308 |71.71 |Odessa |26 |7 |- | |PL |28,735.8 |1,400,439 |51.98 |Poltava |25 |5 |- | |RV |20,038.5 |1,157,301 |57.52 |Rivne |16 |4 |- | |SM |23,823.9 |1,081,418 |48.97 |Sumy |18 |7 |- | |TP |13,817.1 |1,045,879 |78.65 |Ternopil |17 |1 |- | |VI |26,501.6 |1,560,394 |62.12 |Vinnytsia |27 |6 |- | |VO |20,135.3 |1,035,330 |51.56 |Lutsk |16 |4 |- | |ZK |12,771.5 |1,256,802 |97.59 |Uzhhorod |13 |5 |- | |ZP |27,168.5 |1,705,836 |66.45 |Zaporizhzhia |20 |5 |- | |ZT |29,819.2 |1,220,193 |43.03 |Zhytomyr |23 |5

See also

* Administrative divisions of Ukraine * Geography of Ukraine * ISO 3166-2:UA * List of etymologies of country subdivision names: "Ukraine" * List of places named after people (Ukraine) * Ukrainian historical regions


;Notes ;Footnotes

External links

* *
Handbook on history of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union
{{Administrative divisions of Ukraine Category:Subdivisions of Ukraine Ukraine 1 Regions, Ukraine Category:Ukraine geography-related lists