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WESTERN UKRAINE or WEST UKRAINE (Ukrainian : Західна Україна) is a geographical and historical relative term used in reference to the western territories of Ukraine
Ukraine
. It includes several actual historical regions such Transcarpathia, Halychyna including Pokuttia, most of Volhynia , northern Bukovina
Bukovina
as well as western Podolia . Less often it includes territories of eastern Volhynia, Podolia, and small portion of northern Bessarabia (eastern part of Chernivtsi Oblast
Chernivtsi Oblast
). Important cities are Buchach , Chernivtsi
Chernivtsi
, Drohobych
Drohobych
, Halych (hence - Halychyna), Ivano-Frankivsk , Khotyn
Khotyn
, Lutsk , Lviv
Lviv
, Mukacheve , Rivne , Ternopil
Ternopil
, Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
and others. Western Ukraine
Ukraine
is not an administrative category within Ukraine.

It is defined mainly in the context of European history pertaining to the 20th century wars and the ensuing period of annexations. The current oblast administration borders are almost perfectly aligned with the administrative divisions of the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
and other adjacent countries that were annexed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
during the World War II
World War II
. At the onset of World War II
World War II
the whole territory was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (УРСР), following elections which are acknowledged as staged and specifically for the purpose to manufactured public consent for the transfer of land from occupied Poland to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
as of October 22, 1939. Its historical background makes Western Ukraine uniquely different from the rest of the country, and contributes to its distinctive character of today.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Interbellum and World War II
World War II
* 1.2 Administrative and historic divisions

* 2 Cultural characteristics

* 2.1 Differences with rest of Ukraine
Ukraine

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 Religion

* 4 See also * 5 Notes and references

HISTORY

See also: General Government
General Government
of Galicia and Bukovina
Bukovina

Unlike the rest of Ukraine, most of Western Ukraine
Ukraine
was never part of the Russian empire
Russian empire
. It is the only territory in Ukraine
Ukraine
whose administrative units are named after its own historic regions often going back centuries, instead of their administrative centers which are used conventionally throughout the rest of the country. The modern south-western part of Western Ukraine
Ukraine
became a province of Austria-Hungary after the partitions of Poland . Its northern flank with the cities of Lutsk and Rivne was acquired in 1795 by Imperial Russia
Russia
following the third and final partition of Poland . Throughout its existence Russian Poland was marred with violence and intimidation, beginning with the 1794 massacres , imperial land-theft and the deportations of the November and January Uprisings . By contrast, the Austrian Partition with its Sejm of the Land in the cities of Lviv
Lviv
and Stanislavov (Ivano-Frankivsk) was freer politically perhaps because it had a lot less to offer economically . Imperial Austria did not persecute Ukrainian organizations. In later years, Austria-Hungary de facto encouraged the existence of Ukrainian political organizations in order to counterbalance the influence of Polish culture
Polish culture
in Galicia . The southern half of West Ukraine
Ukraine
remained under Austrian administration until the collapse of the House of Habsburg at the end of World War One in 1918. For more details on West Ukraine's sociopolitical background, see Austrian Partition and Polish culture
Polish culture
in the Interbellum .

INTERBELLUM AND WORLD WAR II

Following the defeat of Ukrainian People\'s Republic (1918) in the Ukrainian–Soviet War of 1921, Western Ukraine
Ukraine
was partitioned by the Treaty of Riga
Treaty of Riga
between Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Soviet Russia
Russia
acting on behalf of the Soviet Belarus
Belarus
and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with capital in Kharkiv
Kharkiv
. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
gained control over the entire territory of the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic east of the border with Poland. In the Interbellum most of the territory of today's Western Ukraine
Ukraine
belonged to the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
. Territories such as Bukovina
Bukovina
and Carpatho- Ukraine
Ukraine
belonged to Romania and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
, respectively. See also: Soviet annexation of Eastern Galicia, Volhynia and Northern Bukovina
Bukovina
and Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland

At the onset of Operation Barbarossa by Nazi Germany, the region became part of the Third Reich in 1941. The southern half of West Ukraine
Ukraine
was incorporated into the semi-colonial Distrikt Galizien (District of Galicia) created on August 1, 1941 (Document No. 1997-PS of July 17, 1941 by Adolf Hitler) with headquarters in Chełm Lubelski , bordering district of General Government
General Government
to the west. Its northern part ( Volhynia ) was assigned to the Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Ukraine
formed in September 1941. Notably, the District of Galicia was a separate administrative unit from the actual Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Ukraine
with capital in Rivne . They were not connected with each other politically. Bukovina
Bukovina
was controlled by the pro-Nazi Kingdom of Romania. After the defeat of Germany in World War II, in May 1945 the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
incorporated all territories of current Western Ukraine into the Ukrainian SSR.

Western Ukraine
Ukraine
includes such lands as Zakarpattia
Zakarpattia
( Kárpátalja ), Volyn
Volyn
, Halychyna ( Prykarpattia , Pokuttia ), Bukovyna , Polissia , and Podillia . Note that sometimes Khmelnytsky region is considered a part of the central Ukraine
Ukraine
as it is mostly lies within the western Podillya .

The history of Western Ukraine
Ukraine
is closely associated with the history of the following lands:

* Easternmost Bukovina
Bukovina
, historical region of Central Europe in official use since 1775, controlled by Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
after World War I and mostly ceded to the USSR by the Paris Peace Treaties, 1947 . * Eastern Galicia (Ukrainian : Halychyna), once a small kingdom with Lodomeria (1914), province of the Austrian Empire until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918. See also: crownland of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
* Red Ruthenia since medieval times in the area known today as Eastern Galicia. * West Ukrainian People\'s Republic declared in late 1918 until early 1919 and claiming half of Galicia with mostly Polish city dwellers (historical sense). * Carpatho- Ukraine
Ukraine
region within Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
(1939) under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944. * General Government
General Government
of Galicia and Bukovina
Bukovina
captured from Austria-Hungary during World War I. * Ținutul Suceava ( Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
) * Volhynia , historic region straddling Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus to the north. The alternate name for the region today is Lodomeria after the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky. See also: Polish unofficial term Kresy (Borderlands, 1918–1939) that includes the West Belarus as well as Volhynia. * Zakarpattia
Zakarpattia
or Carpathian Ruthenia presently in the Zakarpattia Oblast
Oblast
of western Ukraine.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND HISTORIC DIVISIONS

ADMINISTRATIVE REGION Area (km2) Population (2001 Census) Population Estimate (Jan 2012)

Chernivtsi Oblast
Chernivtsi Oblast
8,097 922,817

Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast
Oblast
13,927 1,409,760 1,380,128

Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Oblast
20,629 1,430,775 1,320,171

Lviv
Lviv
Oblast
Oblast
21,831 2,626,543 2,540,938

Rivne Oblast
Oblast
20,051 1,173,304 1,154,256

Ternopil
Ternopil
Oblast
Oblast
13,824 1,142,416 1,080,431

Volyn
Volyn
Oblast
Oblast
20,144 1,060,694 1,038,598

Zakarpattia
Zakarpattia
Oblast
Oblast
12,753 1,258,264 1,250,759

TOTAL 131,256 10,101,756 9,765,281

CULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

DIFFERENCES WITH REST OF UKRAINE

"Perhaps, if Ukraine
Ukraine
did not have its western regions, with Lviv
Lviv
at the centre, it would be easy to turn the country into another Belarus . But Galichina ( Halychyna ) and Bukovina
Bukovina
, which became part of Soviet Ukraine
Ukraine
under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact , brought to the country a rebellious and free spirit." Andrey Kurkov in an opinion piece about Euromaidan on BBC News Online (28 January 2014)

Ukrainian is the dominant language in the region. Back in the schools of the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
learning Russian was mandatory; currently, in modern Ukraine, in schools with Ukrainian as the language of instruction, classes in Russian and in other minority languages are offered.

In terms of religion, the majority of adherents share the Byzantine Rite of Christianity
Christianity
as in the rest of Ukraine, but due to the region escaping the 1920s and 1930s Soviet persecution , a notably greater church adherence and belief in religion's role in society is present. Due to the complex post-independence religious confrontation of several church groups and their adherents, the historical influence played a key role in shaping the present loyalty of Western Ukraine's faithful. In Galician provinces, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has the strongest following in the country, and the largest share of property and faithful. In the remaining regions: Volhynia, Bukovina and Transcarpathia the Orthodoxy is prevalent. Outside of Western Ukraine
Ukraine
the greatest in terms of Church property, clergy, and according to some estimates, faithful, is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) . In the listed regions (and in particular among the Orthodox faithful in Galicia), this position is notably weaker, as the main rivals, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church , have a far greater influence.

Noticeable cultural differences in the region (compared with the rest of Ukraine
Ukraine
especially Southern Ukraine
Ukraine
and Eastern Ukraine
Ukraine
) are more "negative views" on the Russian language and on Joseph Stalin and more "positive views" on Ukrainian nationalism . Calculating the yes-votes as a percentage of the total electorate reveals that a higher percentage of all (possible) voters in Western Ukraine supported Ukrainian independence in the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum than in the rest of the country. Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) geographic division of Ukraine
Ukraine
used in their polls.

In a poll conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in the first half of February 2014 0.7% of polled in West Ukraine believed " Ukraine
Ukraine
and Russia
Russia
must unite into a single state", nationwide this percentage was 12.5.

During elections voters of Western oblasts (provinces) vote mostly for parties (Our Ukraine
Ukraine
, Batkivshchyna ) and presidential candidates ( Viktor Yuschenko
Viktor Yuschenko
, Yulia Tymoshenko ) with a pro-Western and state reform platform . Of the regions of Western Ukraine, Galicia tends to be the most pro-Western and pro-nationalist area. Volhynia's politics are similar, though not as nationalist or as pro-Western as Galicia's. Bukovina-Chernvisti's electoral politics are more mixed and tempered by the region's significant Romanian minority. Finally, Zakarpattia's electoral politics tend to more competitive, similar to a Central Ukrainian oblast. This is due to the region's distinct historical and cultural identity as well as the significant Hungarian and Romanian minorities. The United Centre
United Centre
party led by Mukacheve native Viktor Baloha fares well in

DEMOGRAPHICS

RELIGION

Religion in western Ukraine
Ukraine
(2016) Eastern Orthodoxy (57.0%) Greek Catholicism (29.9%) Simply Christianity
Christianity
(4.8%) Protestantism (3.6%) Roman Catholicism (1.4%) Judaism
Judaism
(0.2%) Non believers (3.1%)

According to a 2016 survey of religion in Ukraine
Ukraine
held by the Razumkov Center , approximately 91% of the population of western Ukraine
Ukraine
declared to be believers, while 0.9% declared to non-believers, and 0.2% declared to atheists .

Of the total population, 96.7% declared to be Christians
Christians
(57.0% Eastern Orthodox , 29.9% members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , 4.8% simply Christians, 3.6% members of various Protestant churches, and 1.4% Latin Rite
Latin Rite
Catholics ), by far more than in all other regions of Ukraine, while 0.2% were Jews . Non-believers and other believers not identifying with any of the listed major religious institutions constituted about 3.1% of the population.

SEE ALSO

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for WESTERN UKRAINE .

* Galicia (Eastern Europe) * Eastern Ukraine
Ukraine
* Central Ukraine
Ukraine
* Southern Ukraine
Ukraine
* West Belarus

NOTES AND REFERENCES

* ^ Jan T. Gross (2002). "Western Ukraine". Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine. Princeton University Press. pp. 48 / 99 / 114. ISBN 0691096031 . Retrieved February 27, 2013. * ^ Myron Weiner, Sharon Stanton Russell (June 1, 2001). "Western Ukraine". Demography and National Security. Berghahn Books. pp. 313 / 322. ISBN 157181339X . Retrieved February 27, 2013. * ^ Philipp Ther, Ana Siljak (2001). "Forced Migration from Poland\'s Former Eastern Territories". Redrawing Nations. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 136–. ISBN 0742510948 . Retrieved February 27, 2013. * ^ A B C D E Serhy Yekelchyk Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
(2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3 * ^ Alfred J. Rieber (2013). Forced Migration in Central and Eastern Europe, 1939-1950. Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 1135274827 . Retrieved 27 January 2014. * ^ Rudolph Joseph Rummel (1996). Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders Since 1917 (Google Books preview). Transaction Publishers. p. 129. ISBN 1412827507 . Retrieved 28 January 2014. * ^ Norman Davies (2005), "Part 2. Rossiya: The Russian Partition", God\'s Playground . A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present, Oxford University Press, pp. 60–82, ISBN 0199253404 , retrieved January 27, 2014 * ^ David Crowley, National Style and Nation-state: Design in Poland from the Vernacular Revival to the International Style (Google Print), Manchester University Press ND, 1992, p. 12, ISBN 0-7190-3727-1 * ^ A B Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: 1999, Routledge , 1999, ISBN 1857430581 (page 849) * ^ Arne Bewersdorf. "Hans-Adolf Asbach. Eine Nachkriegskarriere" (PDF). Band 19 Essay 5 (in German). Demokratische Geschichte. pp. 1–42. Retrieved June 26, 2013. * ^ Viewpoint: Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov on the protests, BBC News (28 January 2014) * ^ The Educational System of Ukraine, Nordic Recognition Network, April 2009. * ^ The lang