The Volyn oblast is located in the north-western part of Ukraine within
the geographical area called the Ukrainian Polissia. The oblast borders
to Poland in the west, Belarus to the north, Rivne and Lviv oblasts of
Ukraine to the east and south.
The area of the oblast is 20,200 square kilometres (3,3% of total
Ukraine’s territory) and stretches for 187 kilometres from north to
south and for 163 kilometres from east to west.
The population of oblast comprises 1,054,700 people (2.2% of total
population of Ukraine). More than a half – 50.3 per cent are urban
dwellers and 49.7 per cent reside in the countryside. The average
population density is 52.5 persons per a square kilometre.
Volyn is an ancient Rus historic region in the basin of the picturesque
southern tributaries of the Prypiat River and the upper reaches of the
Western (Zakhidny) Bug River. According to one of the hypotheses, this
land was named after an Eastern Slavic tribe that lived near this river
and founded the town of Velyn.
In 981 Prince Volodymyr Svyatoslavovych made the Volyn region a part of
the Kyiv state, and in 988 he let Vsevolod, his son, rule it. It was
under his rule that the town of Volodymyr was created which became the
capital of the Galytsko-Volynske princedom in the 12th century, after
the Kyivska Rus collapse.
In the middle of the 14th century, the Volyn region got under the
dominion of the feudal Lithuania. By the Lublin Union of 1569, Poland
and the Grand Lithuanian princedom were united into one state – Rich
Pospolyta that comprised the Volyn region. The tsar’s edict of 1797
created the Volyn province instead of the Volyn region ruled by the
According to Riga Treaty of 1921 the western parts of the Volyn region
passed to Poland. During the 20th century the historic Volyn lands had
been under the dominion of Austria and Hungary, Poland and Germany until
they were finally divided between four oblasts of Ukraine.
Early in December 1939, the Volyn region became a part of the Ukrainian
Soviet Socialist Republic, and since August 1991 it has been an integral
part of the independent state Ukraine.
The leading branch of the regional economy is an agro-industrial sector
which ensures nearly half of the oblast gross product. Local agriculture
specializes in meat and dairy cattle breeding; crops, sugar beets,
vegetables and potato growing. New economic relations based on private
ownership for land and properties have been introduced in agriculture.
Almost 100 per cent of agricultural output is ensured by private sector.
167 enterprises are working in an industrial sector. The leading are
food, machine building, fuel, chemical and building materials
industries. The largest share in the total oblast industrial output
belongs to food industry – 58.9 per cent. Local enterprises produce
control devices, bearings, machinery for cattle breeding and fodder
making, plastics, fabrics, linoleum, soft roofing materials, building
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