Administrative divisions of Ukraine

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Ukraine is divided into several levels of territorial entities. On the first there are 27 entities (regions)[citation needed]: 24 oblasts, one autonomous republic, and two "cities with special status".[1] Ukraine does not control the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol since February–March 2014.

The administrative division in Ukraine was directly inherited from the local republican administration of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and has not changed majorly since the middle of the 20th century. It is somewhat complex as beside having couple of levels of a territorial subdivision, it also has its own classification for various settlements.


The administrative division has the following units: autonomous republic, oblast (region), raion (district), misto (city), raion in misto (district in city), selyshche miskoho typu (town), silrada (village council), selo (village).

Ukraine's administrative divisions are divided as follows:

  • By geographical characteristics the units are divided on regions (such as autonomous republic, oblasts, districts, cities with special status) and places of settlement (cities, towns, villages).
  • By their status they can be administrative-territorial units (oblasts and districts), self-governed territorial units (cities, towns, villages). Also the autonomous republic has a unique status of territorial autonomy, while districts in cities combine both characteristics of administrative territorial as well as self-governed territorial units.
  • By position in the system of administrative division of Ukraine, the units divided into territorial units of prime level (cities w/o district division, districts in cities, towns, villages), of middle level (districts, cities with district division), and of higher level (autonomous republic, oblasts, cities with special status).

Regions, cities, districts are governed by a state administration, a chief of which is appointed by the president. Crimea has its own cabinet of ministers, however the state administration is represented by the office of the Presidential Representative of Ukraine. A basic and the lowest level of administrative division is a settlement that is governed by a local council (rada). Cities as a settlement always carry a special status within a region and have their own form of self-administration (municipality – vykonkom) and some may consist of their own city's districts (raions). Bigger cities may include additional smaller cities, towns, and rural localities. City municipalities are governed by a mayor and a city council (miskrada). Towns as well as villages do not have a traditional administration and are governed by either a town council (selyshchena rada) or a village council (silrada). Village councils may carry a combined jurisdiction which may include several villages and hamlets (selyshche). Unlike villages, each town council always has a separate jurisdiction which may be part of bigger city's council. Hamlet (selyshche) is a non-governed rural locality and is governed by a village council of nearby village.


The system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects country's status as a unitary state with unified legal and administrative regimes for each unit. In the post-World War II period, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic consisted of 25 oblasts and two cities with special status. Before the introduction of oblasts in 1932, Ukraine comprised 40 okrugs, which had replaced the former Russian Imperial guberniya (governorate) subdivisions.

In 1932 the territory of the Ukrainian SSR was re-established based on oblasts. Excluded in the administrative changes was Western Ukraine, which at that time formed part of the Second Polish Republic and shared in the Polish form of administrative division based on voivodeships.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea obtained the status of an autonomous republic with its own government instead of a regional state administration.

Each region of Ukraine has at least one city of oblast subordinance, which is always the region's administrative center. Also, each region is divided into many raions (districts) and may contain additional "city raions".

Current setup[edit]

List of administrative units[edit]

Status on January 1, 2011

  • autonomous republic – 1
  • oblasts – 24
  • cities with special status – 2
  • districts – 490
  • cities of regional significance – 178
  • districts in cities – 118
  • other cities (district significance) – 279
  • towns – 885
  • villages – 28,457 (village councils – 10,278)


Names of Ukraine's administrative units
Ukrainian Romanized¹ English widespread English recommended (formal use) English recommended (informal use)
автономна республіка avtonomna respublika (autonomous) republic autonomous republic autonomy
область oblast' region², province[citation needed] oblast province
район raion district, region³, area, county raion district
містo misto city, municipality misto city, municipality5
містo зі спеціальним статусом misto zi spetsial'nym statusom special-status municipality, special-charter municipality4 municipality municipality, city
містo обласного значення misto оblastnoho znachennia city of oblast subordinance misto оblastnoho znachennia city of oblast subordinance
містo районного значення misto raionnoho znachennia city of raion subordinance misto raionnoho znachennia city of raion subordinance
селище міського типу selysche mis'koho typu town, urban-type settlement selysche mis'koho typu town, urban-type settlement
сільський населений пункт sil'skyi naselenyi punkt village, rural-type settlement selo village, rural-type settlement
селище selysche village selysche village
село selo village selo village
  1. Romanized using Ukrainian National standard. Details at Romanization of Ukrainian.
  2. Province is more precise because region may also refer to supranational geographic entity.
  3. Region is ambiguous since it usually refers to larger national-level units; area is inaccurate.
  4. Also may be referred as republican status.
  5. City refers exclusively to the city administration (usually smaller cities), while some cities include other urban and rural administrations such collective administrations form city councils – municipalities.


Ukraine is divided into 3 main administrative divisions: oblast (region), raion (district), and settlement (city, urban, and rural). The following table is based on the 2001 Ukrainian Census.[2]

Degree of division Territory Number Corresponding settlements Number Total urban/rural
1 (regions) autonomous republic 1 cities with special status 2 1,344
oblast 24
2 (districts) raion 490 municipality of region 178
raion within city 118
3 (councils) city 454 municipality of district 274
town 783 individual town 890
village 10,278 individual village 27,190 28,621
rural settlement 1,266

First-level entities[edit]

Autonomous republic[edit]

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, formerly the Crimean Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR, geographically encompasses the major portion of the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine. Its capital is Simferopol. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is the only region within Ukraine that possesses its own constitution.

On March 16, 2014, after the occupation of Crimea by the Russian military, a referendum on joining the Russian Federation was conducted. A majority of voters supported the measure. On March 21, 2014, the Russian Duma voted to annex Crimea as a subject into the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian government does not recognize the referendum or annexation of Crimea as legitimate. On March 27, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 68/262 by 100 to 11 votes, recognizing the referendum as invalid and denying any legal change in the status of Crimea and Sevastopol.


Main article: Oblasts of Ukraine

Oblasts are the major and the most common administrative division in the country and the term is often interchangeably used with the term "region." Almost every oblast is named after its administrative center, except for two oblasts, Volyn' (Volhynia) and Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), whose respective capitals are Lutsk and Uzhhorod.

Cities with special status[edit]

Two cities carry special status: the city of Kiev which is the capital of Ukraine and the city of Sevastopol. Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, Sevastopol is controlled by Russia and is incorporated as a federal subject of Russia. Internationally, it is recognized as a part of Ukraine.

Second-level entities[edit]


Main article: Raions of Ukraine

Raions are small territorial units of subdivision in Ukraine. The Ukraine has 24 oblasts and Autonomous Republic of Crimea which consist of 490 raions. The average area of a Ukrainian raion is 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi); the average population of a raion is 52,000 people.

Cities of regional significance (regional cities)[edit]

Raions in city[edit]

Populated places[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Populated places in Ukraine.
The Dnieper River plays an important part in Ukrainian territorial division, with many large cities settled on its banks. Here, the capital city of Kiev which was founded on the Dnieper's right bank but for now expanded over the river significantly.
Status[3] Status (in Ukrainian) Total Number (in 2006)
misto / city місто 457
  municipality місто зі спеціальним статусом 2
  misto оblastnoho znachennia місто областного значення 176
  misto raionnoho znachennia місто районного значення 279
selyshche miskoho typu / town селище міського типу 886
selo / village сільський населений пункт 28,552
  selysche селище 1,364
  selo село 27,188

Ukraine has two types of settlements: rural and urban. Rural populated areas (сільський населений пункт) can be either a village (село, selo) or a rural settlement (селище). Urban populated areas (міський населений пункт) can be either a city (містo) or an urban-type settlement (селище міського типу). For the sake of brevity, urbanized settlements are sometimes classified as towns in the English language.

Changes to a settlement's status can be made only by the Verkhovna Rada. Please note that the size of a settlement does not ultimately define its status, although is a major factor. For example, the city of Prypiat still retains its status, while having a population of zero, due to its infrastructure, including buildings, roads, and utility networks.

The typical Ukrainian misto ought to be considered a city, not a town (compare to City status in the United Kingdom). However, the city's subordination to either an oblast or raion also should be taken into account, especially in the political sense. Some of urbanized settlements may be cities of raion subordination, although it could seem confusing, a type of settlement should be considered first as its status is given for administrative purposes.


Kiev Oblast for instance, has a couple of "city raions," one of which is Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi. Although housing the surrounding raion's administration, the city is no longer subordinate to it.
Drohobych, is a city of oblast subordinance, subordinate to the Lviv Oblast authorities rather than to the local Drohobych Raion administration.

According Ukrainian law a city (місто) in Ukraine is a locality of at least 10,000 people.[4] Cities may carry various status. Some may be of national importance, others of regional (oblast) importance, and the rest of district (raion) importance. For example, the cities of Kiev and of Sevastopol have special status of national significance and each is officially classified as a city with a special status, which administratively is equivalent to an oblast. Mayors of those cities, in general, as are governors of oblasts, are appointed by the President of Ukraine. However, the status of the mayor of Kiev is somewhat more complex, and for further information see Legal status and local government of Kiev. The status of Sevastopol is also unique.

Almost every oblast has at least one city of regional subordination (importance), which is the administrative center (capital) of that oblast. However, some other big cities within the oblast may have such status as well. The cities of oblast subordination have the same importance of a raion, and often are the administrative centers of such. In addition to regular raions, several Ukrainian cities with national or oblast status are further divided into city raions which may include other cities, towns, and/or villages. In 2010, Ukraine had 23 such cities with their own city raions.

Many raions also have city municipalities of its level of subordination (importance). Those are usually the administrative centers (capitals). Notice that not all raions have a city as their administrative center; however all the raion centers are at least urban-like (urbanized). All administrative centers have their own form of self-administration. The municipalities of a raion subordination may administer several adjacent local councils (municipalities), usually rural. If a raion has several cities of raion (district) level, they may share administrative power for the raion.

Other municipalities[edit]

In addition to city municipalities, Ukraine has urban-like municipalities. The lowest form of self-administration are the rural municipalities and villages. A rural municipality may consist of a single village, usually big, or a combination of other rural villages or localities. Note that some villages also have some additional, very small settlements. Those settlements, together with the home village, combine a local (rural) municipality (silrada). For simplicity's sake, a silrada (rural municipality) is usually referred to as a village and is the lowest level of administrative division. The status of any settlement is granted by the Verkhovna Rada.

Other administrations[edit]

Ukraine also has several settlements known as viiskove mistechko which were former military installations. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the secrecy of such settlements has been unveiled, however, the towns are subordinated directly to the Ministry of Defense and do not have their own civil administrations. Such military installations are like ghost towns that are not even identified on a map. One of them, on the border of the Kiev and Zhytomyr Oblasts is Makarov-1.[5] A special territory known as the zone of alienation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Emergencies and was the most severely affected territory by the Chernobyl disaster. Additionally, various restricted nature preserves known as Zapovednik fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Ecology.

A mix of modern and old buildings in Dnipropetrovsk, located in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Dnipropetrovsk's metropolitan area includes cities such as Dniprodzerzhynsk and Novomoskovsk.

Currently, Ukraine has the following 3 enclaves:

Metropolitan areas[edit]

Ukraine has five major agglomerated metropolitan areas (conurbations). These conurbation areas are not officially recognized and remain to be administered according to official oblast-raion system of subdivision.

Other divisions[edit]

A common geographic division of Ukraine used by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology.

Beside the administrative divisions, geographical divisions are at times used for reference purposes. The division splits Ukraine into 4 to 6 geographic areas: Western Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Southern Ukraine, Central Ukraine, Northern Ukraine (occasionally used), and Southeastern Ukraine.

Coincidentally, in the 19th century Ukraine was also split into 3 general-governments of the Russian Empire (General-government of Kiev, General-government of Little Russia, and General-government of New Russian and Bessarabia), while the western portion of Ukraine was part of Austria-Hungary.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Politics and society in Ukraine by Paul D'Anieri, Robert Kravchuk, and Taras Kuzio, Westview Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8133-3538-8 (page 292)
  2. ^ Administrative division of Ukraine in 2001
  3. ^ "Regions of Ukraine and their composition". Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  4. ^ A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors by Mikhail S. Blinnikov, Guilford Press, 2010, ISBN 1606239201 (page 151)
  5. ^ "In Kiev region a military installation cannot vote" (Video). (in Russian). 31 October 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Selysche Bile, Odessa Oblast, Kiliya Raion, city Vylkove". Regions of Ukraine and their Structure (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 

External links[edit]