|• Governor||Oleh Synyehubov|
|• Oblast council||120 seats|
|• Total||31,415 km2 (12,129 sq mi)|
|• Rank||Ranked 4th|
|• Rank||Ranked 3rd|
|Gross Regional Product|
|• Total||₴ 320 billion|
|• Per capita||₴ 122,227|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||UA-63|
|• Regional cities||7|
Kharkiv Oblast (Ukrainian: Харківська область, romanized: Kharkivska oblast), also referred to as Kharkivshchyna (Ukrainian: Харківщина), is an oblast (province) in eastern Ukraine. The oblast borders Luhansk Oblast to the east, Donetsk Oblast to the south-east, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the south-west, Poltava Oblast to the west, Sumy Oblast to the north-west and Russia's Belgorod Oblast to the north. The area of Kharkiv Oblast is 31,400 square kilometres (12,100 sq mi), corresponding to 5.2% of the total territory of Ukraine.
The oblast is the third-most populous province of Ukraine, with a population of 2,598,961 in 2021, more than half (1.42 million) of whom live in the city of Kharkiv, the oblast's administrative center. While the Russian language is primarily spoken in the cities of Kharkiv oblast, elsewhere in the oblast most inhabitants speak Ukrainian.
The oblast borders Russia (Belgorod Oblast) to the north, Luhansk Oblast to the east, Donetsk Oblast to the south-east, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the south-west, Poltava Oblast to the west and Sumy Oblast to the north-west.
During the Soviet administrative reform of 1923–1929, in 1925, the Kharkov Governorate was abolished leaving its five okruhas: Okhtyrka (originally Bohodukhiv), Izyum, Kupyansk, Sumy, and Kharkiv. Introduced in the Soviet Union in 1923, a similar subdivisions existed in Ukraine back in 1918. In 1930 all okruhas were also abolished with raions becoming the first level of subdivision of Ukraine until 1932.
The modern Kharkiv Oblast was established on 27 February 1932. In the summer of 1932, some parts of the oblast were included in the newly created Donetsk Oblast originally centered in Artemivsk (later in Stalino). Then in the fall, some territories of the Kharkiv Oblast were used in the creation of Chernihiv Oblast. More territories became part of Poltava Oblast in fall of 1937 and Sumy Oblast in winter of 1939.
During the Holodomor the population of the Kharkiv Oblast together with Kyiv Oblast suffered the most. The region saw major fighting during World War II in several Battles of Kharkov between 1941 and 1943.
During the 1991 referendum, 86.33% of votes in Kharkiv 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 4.2% of the oblast's population supported their region joining Russia, 71.5% did not support the idea, and the rest were undecided or did not respond.
Following the Euromaidan, there was pro-Russian unrest in the region, and central government buildings were taken over by separatists in a failed attempt to create a separatist 'Kharkov's People's Republic'. The region also became a very popular destination for refugees from the Russian-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast regions.
During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military launched a major military offensive in the region — the Eastern Ukraine offensive — which resulted in the occupation of parts of the oblast. By late August, about one third of the territory of Kharkiv Oblast was occupied including Izium and Kupiansk. In July 2022, the Donetsk People's Republic signed a memorandum to "liberate Kharkiv from Ukraine".
In early September 2022, the Ukrainian military commenced a counteroffensive in the region. Several settlements in the region were recaptured from Russian control. By 10 September 2022, Ukraine had recaptured Kupiansk and Izium. On 11 September, Russia had retreated from many of the settlements it previously occupied in the oblast  and the Russian Ministry of Defense announced a formal withdrawal of Russian forces from most of Kharkiv Oblast stating that an "operation to curtail and transfer troops" was underway." By 12 September 2022, as the Russian front lines in Kharkiv Oblast continued to collapse, Ukrainian forces had managed to push back to the north-eastern border with Russia in some areas of the region. By 3 October 2022, Russian forces had almost completely withdrawn from Kharkiv Oblast. As of 2023, fighting continues in the easternmost parts of the oblast in the Battle of the Svatove–Kreminna line.
Its population in 2001 was 2,895,800 million (1,328,900 males (45.9%) and 1,566,900 females (54.1%)).
At the 2001 census, the ethnic groups within the Kharkiv Oblast were:
- Ukrainians – 70.7%
- Russians – 25.6%
- Belarusians – 0.5%
- Jews – 0.4%
- Armenians – 0.4%
- Azeris – 0.2%
- Georgians – 0.15%
- Tatars – 0.14%
- Others – 2.1%
Groups by native language:
- 0–14 years: 12.6% (male 177,464/female 167,321)
- 15–64 years: 72.2% (male 945,695/female 1,024,841)
- 65 years and over: 15.2% (male 135,737/female 277,725) (2013 official)
- total: 40.5 years
- male: 36.9 years
- female: 44.1 years (2013 official)
Kharkiv Oblast is administratively subdivided into seven raions. Prior to the 2020 administrative reform, there were 25 raions, and also seven cities (municipalities) that were directly subordinate to the oblast government (Chuhuiv, Izium, Kupiansk, Liubotyn, Lozova, Pervomaiskyi, and the administrative center of the oblast, Kharkiv).
|Bohodukhiv Raion||Богодухівський район||4508||122,287||Bohodukhiv|
|Chuhuiv Raion||Чугуївський район||4804||194,177||Chuhuiv|
|Izium Raion||Ізюмський район||5906||172,130||Izium|
|Kharkiv Raion||Харківський район||3222||1,727,573||Kharkiv|
|Krasnohrad Raion||Красноградський район||4335||103,856||Krasnohrad|
|Kupiansk Raion||Куп’янський район||4612||130,111||Kupiansk|
|Lozova Raion||Лозівський район||4027||147,361||Lozova|
Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their capital cities, officially called "oblast centers" (Ukrainian: обласний центр, translit. oblasnyi tsentr). The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city: Kharkiv is the center of the Kharkivs’ka oblast’ (Kharkiv Oblast). Most oblasts are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna", as is the case with the Kharkiv Oblast, Kharkivshchyna.
The Kharkiv oblast has a primarily industrial economy, including engineering, metallurgy, manufacturing, production of chemicals and food processing. It also has an important agricultural sector with 19,000 square kilometres of arable land (comprising 5.9% of the total arable lands of Ukraine). Agricultural production grew substantially in 2015.
Also in Kharkiv is the airplane plant for space controlling systems. It is a major center for all branches of engineering, from large-scale manufacture to microelectronics. Also situated in Kharkiv Oblast is a gas field, which is one of the biggest in Ukraine.
Points of interest
The following sites were nominated for the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.
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- Russian Defence Ministry Showed Map Of New Frontline In Kharkiv Region, Хартии'97, 11 September 2022.
- "Ukraine reclaims more territory, reports capturing many POWs". ABC News. Retrieved 2022-09-12.
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- Roscoe, Matthew (3 October 2022). "Five Russian-controlled settlements around Kharkiv reportedly liberated by Ukraine". Euro Weekly News.
- "Ukrainian Armed Forces liberate village of Borova in Kharkiv Oblast".
- Kullab, Samya (2023-02-28). "Ukraine's northeastern front could decide new battle lines". Retrieved 2023-08-10.
- "Population Quantity". UkrStat (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- (in Russian) Agriculture in 2015: results SQ News (13 February 2016)