Donetsk Oblast

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Donetsk Oblast
Донецька область
Donets'ka oblast’
Flag of Donetsk Oblast
Coat of arms of Donetsk Oblast
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Донеччина (Donechchyna)
Donetsk in Ukraine.svg
Coordinates: 48°08′N 37°44′E / 48.14°N 37.74°E / 48.14; 37.74Coordinates: 48°08′N 37°44′E / 48.14°N 37.74°E / 48.14; 37.74
Country  Ukraine
Established June 3, 1938
Administrative center Donetsk (de jure)
Kramatorsk (de facto)
 • Governor Pavlo Zhebrivskyi[1]
 • Oblast council 150 seats
 • Chairperson Andriy Fedoruk[2] (PR[2])
 • Total 26,517 km2 (10,238 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 11th
Population (September 1, 2013[3])
 • Total Decrease 4,356,392
 • Rank Ranked 1st
 • Official language(s) Ukrainian
Russian (regional)[4][5]
 • Average salary UAH 1161 (2006)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 83000-87999
Area code +380-62
ISO 3166 code UA-14
Vehicle registration АН
Raions 18
Cities (total)
— Regional cities
Urban-type settlements 131
Villages 1124
FIPS 10-4 UP05

Donetsk Oblast (Ukrainian: Доне́цька о́бласть, Donets'ka oblast'; also referred to as DonechchynaUkrainian: Донеччина Donechchyna; Russian: Доне́цкая о́бласть, Donetskaya oblast [dɐˈnʲɛtskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ]) is an oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine. It is the most populated oblast, with around 4.5 million residents. Its administrative center is Donetsk; however, its Regional State Administration was relocated to Mariupol, a temporary measure due to the ongoing crisis in Donetsk.[6] Historically, the region is an important part of the Donbas region. Until November 1961, it bore the name Stalino Oblast, as its capital Donetsk was named Stalino in honour of Joseph Stalin at that time.

The oblast is known for its urban sprawl and is often associated with mining industry.

On April 7, 2014, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, separatists occupying the Donetsk Oblast administrative building declared independence from Ukraine and held a referendum on separating from Ukraine on May 11, 2014. Subsequently, the War in Donbass started. After Donetsk was under control of the separatist government, the Donetsk Oblast administration was relocated to Mariupol, and later to Kramatorsk.[7]


Before the establishment of the first Donetsk Oblast, in 1923-1930 on territory of the region existed three districts (okruhas) which appeared with liquidation of the Donetsk Governorate in 1925. As part of the Soviet Ukraine, Donetsk Oblast was established on 2 July 1932 out of Kharkiv Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and number of raions that were still under a direct administration from Kharkiv (at that time capital of Soviet Ukraine). Initially the administrative center of the oblast was in Artemivsk (today Bakhmut), but in two weeks 16 July 1932 it was moved to the city of Stalino (today Donetsk). Until 1938 Donetsk Oblast used to cover territories of modern Donetsk Oblast as well as Luhansk Oblast.

In June 1938 it was split in Stalino Oblast (modern Donetsk Oblast) and Voroshylovhrad Oblast (modern Luhansk Oblast).

During the Nazi German occupation from fall 1941 to fall 1943, Donetsk Oblast was known as Yuzivka Oblast (after the original name of Donetsk).

As part of de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union, in 1961 Stalino along with Stalino Oblast were renamed into Donetsk and Donetsk Oblast respectfully.

During the process of dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990–1992 Donetsk Oblast became a part of Ukraine.

Since mid 1990s the region is known for its heightened criminal activity in the country which resulted in killings of high-profile business people such as Akhat Bragin and Yevhen Shcherban. Since the turn of millennium Donetsk Oblast also became known for being the base region of pro-Russian political faction in Ukraine Party of Regions which was in the Ukrainian government since 2002 and paved a way into Ukrainian politics for the powerful "Donetsk political clan".

At the end of 2004 Party of Regions were involved in creation of political project South-East Ukrainian Autonomous Republic which also supposed to include the Donetsk Oblast. Having close ties with the Russian government, the Party of Regions along with local communists and pro-Russian activists instigated the 2014 pro-Russian unrest which escalated into an armed conflict involving Russian assistance. Since 2014 Ukraine lost control over its border with Russia in Donetsk Oblast. Currently, portions of the region are being controlled by the Novorossiya Armed Forces and claimed by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.


Donetsk Oblast is located in southeastern Ukraine. The area of the oblast (26,517 km²), comprises about 4.4% of the total area of the country. The oblast borders the Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia Oblasts on the southwest, the Kharkiv Oblast on the north, the Luhansk Oblast on the northeast, the Rostov Oblast in Russia on the east, and with the Sea of Azov on the south.

Its longitude from north to south is 270 km, from east to west – 190 km. The extreme points of the oblast's borders are: Bilosarayska Kosa (spit) on the south, Shevchenko of Velykonovosilkivskyi Raion on the west, Verkhnyi Kut of Shakhtarskyi Raion on the east, and Lozove of Krasnolymanskyi Raion on the north.

The state historic-architectural preserve near the city of Sviatohirsk with the Sviatohirsk Lavra was nominated for the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.

Detailed map of Donetsk Oblast
Territories of Donetsk Oblast after the Battle of Debaltseve (winter of 2015)

Administrative divisions[edit]

The province is primarily divided into 18 raions (districts) and 28 municipalities of equal status (22 miskradas and 6 mistos - cities of regional significance), including the provincial administrative centre Donetsk. These are listed below with their areas and populations.[8]

Name Local Name Area
Census 2001
1 Jan 2012
Avdiivka Авдіївка (місто) 29 37,237 35,257 -
Bakhmut (Artemivsk) Бахмут (Міськрада) 74 113,785 104,631 Bakhmut
Debaltseve Дебальцеве (Міськрада) 38 53,412 46,302 Debaltseve
Dobropillia Добропілля (Міськрада) 119 72,817 63,938 Dobropillia
Dokuchaievsk Докучаївськ (Міськрада) 47 25,024 24,506 Dokuchaevsk
Donetsk Донецьк (Міськрада) 571 1,024,678 971,096 Donetsk
Druzhkivka Дружківка (Міськрада) 23 75,006 70,126 Druzhkivka
Horlivka Горлівка (Міськрада) 422 312,284 279,500 Horlivka
Khartsyzk Харцизьк (Міськрада) 207 113,685 105,104 Khartsyzk
Kirovske (Krestivka) Кіровське (місто) 7 31,041 28,470 -
Kostiantynivka Костянтинівка (місто) 66 94,886 78,114 -
Kramatorsk Краматорськ (Міськрада) 356 215,729 199,020 Kramatorsk
Lyman (Krasny Lyman) Лиман (Міськрада) 192 28,996 23,740 Lyman
Makiivka Макіївка (Міськрада) 426 431,023 394,604 Makiivka
Mariupol Маріуполь (Міськрада) 244 510,835 486,320 Mariupol
Myrnohrad Мирноград (Міськрада) 20 56,702 50,995 Myrnohrad
Novohrodivka Новогродівка (місто) 6 17,559 15,560 -
Pokrovsk (Krasnoarmiysk) Красноарміськ (Міськрада) 39 82,830 77,891 Pokrovsk
Selydove Селидове (Міськрада) 108 62,819 54,626 Selydove
Shakhtarsk Шахтарськ (Міськрада) 51 72,711 61,234 Shakhtarsk
Sloviansk Слов'янськ (Міськрада) 74 142,873 138,450 Sloviansk
Snizhne Сніжне (Міськрада) 189 83,046 71,277 Snizhne
Toretsk (Dzerzhynsk) Торецьк (Міськрада) 62 86,281 74,435 Toretsk
Torez Торез (Міськрада) 105 96,026 81,761 Torez
Vuhledar Вугледар (місто) 5 17,518 15,477 -
Yasynuvata Яcинувата (місто) 19 36,903 35,843 -
Yenakiieve Єнакієве (Міськрада) 425 162,778 132,110 Yenakiieve
Zhdanivka Жданівка (Міськрада) 2 14,375 13,377 Zhdanivka
Amvrosiivsky (raion) Амвросіївський (район) 1,455 54,939 46,081 Amvrosiivsk
Bakhmutsky (raion) Бахмутський (район) 1,687 54,065 45,367 Bakhmut
Dobropilsky (raion) Добропільський (район) 949 20,659 16,980 Dobropillia
Kostyantynivsky (raion) Костянтинівський (район) 1,172 21,132 19,256 Kostiantynivka
Lymansky (raion) Лиманський (район) 1,018 24,974 22,136 Lyman
Marynsky (raion) Мар'їнський (район) 1,350 90,045 84,571 Marïnka
Novoazovsky (raion) Новоазовський (район) 1,000 38,902 36,066 Novoazovsk
Oleksandrivsky (raion) Олександрівський (район) 1,010 23,036 19,804 Oleksandrivka
Pershotravnevy (raion) Першотравневий (район) 792 29,312 27,325 Manhush
Shakhtarsky (raion) Шахтарський (район) 1,194 24,262 19,974 Shakhtarsk
Pokrovsk (raion) Покровський (район) 1,316 37,567 32,439 Pokrovsk
Slovyansky (raion) Слов'янський (район) 1,274 39,188 34,334 Sloviansk
Starobeshivsky (raion) Старобешівський (район) 1,255 55,952 51,068 Starobesheve
Telmanivsky (raion) Тельманівський (район) 1,340 35,365 29,965 Telmanove
Velikonovosilkivsky (raion) Великоновосілівський (район) 1,901 49,323 41,943 Velyka Novosilka
Volnovasky (raion) Волноваський (район) 1,848 92,489 84,579 Volnovakha
Volodarsky (raion) Володарський (район) 1,221 31,168 29,472 Volodarske
Yasynuvatsky (raion) Ясинуватський (район) 809 30,326 16,980 Yasynuvata
Total Oblast Донецька (Область) 26,517 4,825,563 4,403,178 Donetsk
  Territories controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

The province's secondary division consists of various municipalities that are governed by their councils. Those municipalities may consist of one or more populated places. All are administratively subordinate to the raion in which they are located.

The following data incorporates the number of each type of second-level administrative divisions of Donetsk Oblast:

  • total of Settlements – 1,283, including:
    • Villages — 1,124;
    • Cities/Towns — 159, including:
  • SelsovetsN/A.

The local administration of the oblast' is controlled by the Donetsk Oblast Rada. The governor of the oblast' is the Head of Donetsk Oblast administration, appointed by the President of Ukraine.



Young family in Donetsk

In 2013 the population of Donetsk Oblast was 4.43 million, which constituted 10% of the overall Ukrainian population, making it the most populous and most densely populated region of the country. Its large population is due to the presence of several big industrial cities and numerous villages agglomerated around them.

During the 2004 presidential election, political supporters of Viktor Yanukovych threatened to demand autonomy for Donetsk and neighbouring oblasts if the election of their candidate was not recognised. However, no official moves were ever made.

At the 2001 Ukrainian National Census, the ethnic groups within the Donetsk Oblast were: Ukrainians – 2,744,100 (56.9%), Russians – 1,844,400 (38.2%), Pontic Greeks – 77,500 (1.6%), Belarusians – 44,500 (0.9%), others (2.3%).[9]

At the 2001 census, the languages spoken within the oblast were: Russian — 74.9%, Ukrainian – 24.1%.[9]

The oblast also contains 21% of the country's Muslims.[9]

Map of the economic activity in the Donbas, including the Donetsk Oblast.
Year Fertility Birth Year Fertility Birth Year Fertility Birth
1990 1,6 58 050 2000 0,9 30 042 2010 1,2 41 258
1991 1,5 54 466 2001 0,9 29 931 2011 1,3 41 720
1992 1,4 50 258 2002 0,9 31 216 2012 1,3 42 839
1993 1,3 46 344 2003 0,9 33 433
1994 1,2 43 195 2004 1,0 35 526
1995 1,1 38 808 2005 1,0 35 883
1996 1,1 36 349 2006 1,1 39 327
1997 1,0 34 347 2007 1,2 40 560
1998 1,0 33 518 2008 1,3 44 394
1999 0,9 30 503 2009 1,3 43 373

Age structure[edit]

0–14 years: 12.6% Increase (male 283,584/female 266,977)
15–64 years: 70.4% Decrease (male 1,453,273/female 1,619,241)
65 years and over: 17.0% Steady (male 243,048/female 496,434) (2013 official)

Median age[edit]

total: 41.9 years Increase
male: 38.0 years Increase
female: 45.8 years Increase (2013 official)



The Donetsk Oblast covers more than one half coal, finished steel, coke, cast iron and steel production in Ukraine. Ferrous metallurgy, fuel industry and power industry are in demand in the structure of industry production. There are about 882 industry enterprises that are on independent balance, and 2,095 small industry enterprises in the oblast.[10]

The oblast' has a developed transport infrastructure which includes the Donetsk railway (covers 40% of national transportation), the Mariupol Port, the Donetsk International Airport, passenger airports in Mariupol and Kramatorsk, and dense road systems. In the Donetsk Oblast two special economic zones have been created, Donetsk and Azov, which have a privileged tax regime.[10]


In 1999, the gross grain yield in the oblast was about 999.1 thousand tons, sugar beets – 27.1 thousand tons, sunflower seeds – 309.4 thousand tons, and potatoes – 380.2 thousand tons.[10] Also, 134.2 thousand tons of meat, 494.3 thousand tons of milk and 646.4 million eggs have been produced. At the beginning of 1999 there was 2108 farms within the oblast.[10]


National park "Sviati Hory."

The Donetsk Oblast's climate is mostly continental, which is characterised by hot summers and relatively cold winters with changeable snow surfaces. East and southeast strong winds, high temperatures and heavy rain showers are typical in the summer. The average annual rainfall is 524 mm.

The basic minerals found here are: coal (reserves – 25 billion tons), rock salt, lime carbonate, potassium, mercury, asbestos, and graphite. The area is also rich in fertile black earth.

Important resources for recreation within the area are: the mild climate, the Sea of Azov coast, curative mud, sources of minerals, and radon and table water. Due to these numerous recreation resources, many resort hotels and camps are located here. There are about 26 health centres and pensions, 52 rest homes and boarding houses, and rest camps for children in the oblast.[10]

The curative[clarification needed] areas in the oblast include the Slovyansk salt lakes and mineral water sources. The oblast also contains many park zones, some of which are of great national value. They include the Khomutivsky steppe and the Azov sea coast. Overall, the Donetsk Oblast contains about 70 protected park and nature attractions including branches of the Ukrainian steppe park, six state reserves, ten memorials of nature, landscapes, and six park tracts.[10]


During the 1991 referendum, 83.90% of votes in Donetsk Oblast were in favor of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. A survey conducted in December 2014 by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found 18.5% of the oblast's population supported their region joining Russia, 53.8% did not support the idea, 22.5% were undecided, and 5.2% did not respond; insurgent-controlled areas were not polled.[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]