The Kharkiv Oblast, one of the territorial social and economic oblast
rank systems of Ukraine – lies in the northeastern part of Ukraine. In
area (31.400 square kilometres or 5.2 per cent of the territory of
Ukraine) it is comparable to such European countries as Belgium and
Albania. There are 27 administrative rayons (districts), 381 rural
councils, 17 towns, 60 urban settlements, 1,718 rural settlements in the
Oblast. The capital is the Kharkiv.
After a proclamation of independence of Ukraine the economical and
geographical position of the Oblast has changed – it has become an
adjacent-to-a-border territory. Despite the remoteness of the Oblast
from the centre of the country, its location directly adjacent to the
fuel and power base of Ukraine, industrial Donbas and Naddniprianshchyna
(the region along Dnipro River), increases its economic potential and
makes up for such ‘marginality’ of its location.
The Kharkiv Oblast retains a convenient transport and geographical
position at the crossing of international ways "North-South" and
The Kharkiv Oblast constitutes the main part of a historical, cultural,
and geographical region Slobidska Ukraine that consisted also of the
territories of a number of the today's regions of Ukraine and Russia.
Mass settling of the territory by Ukrainian Cossaks (cavalrymen),
peasants, and migrants from Russia began in the seventeenth century. The
name of their settlements – sloboda – gave the name to all the territory
In 1765, Slobozhanshchyna was formed up as an administrative-territorial
unit – Slobodsko-Ukrainian Province with Kharkiv being its capital.
The geographical position of the territory promoted a rapid growth of
its intermediary activities in the trade between regions of East and
Central Europe, Prychornomoria (regions near Black Sea), Caucasus, and
the centre of Russia. Kharkiv fairs with their worth millions turnovers
provided priority position of the territory in this region.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, under conditions of
democratic transformations in the Russian Empire, the Kharkiv region
became one of the largest economic and cultural centres of Ukraine, a
major transport junction, centre of mechanical engineering, iron
industry, banking, higher education, and science.
In 1919-34, Kharkiv was the capital of the Ukraine. During this period
of time it established itself as the largest industrial, cultural, and
Under new conditions of updating economic, social, and cultural life the
Kharkiv Oblast tries to conserve its unique potential, to acquire a new
merit of its regional identity while taking account of both historical
traditions and global trends in the world.
NATURE, MINERALS, ENVIRONMENT
The Kharkiv Oblast is situated at the border of steppe lands and a
forest-steppe zone. Topography: hilly plain. The climate is a temperate
continental one. Chernozems (black earths) prevail. There are mostly oak
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