Odessa Oblast

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Odessa Oblast
Одеська область
Odes’ka oblast’
Flag of Odessa Oblast
Coat of arms of Odessa Oblast
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Одещина (Odeshchyna)
Odessa in Ukraine.svg
Country  Ukraine
Administrative center Odessa
 • Governor Mikheil Saakashvili[1] (independent)
 • Oblast council 120 seats
 • Chairperson Mykhailo Shmushkovych
 • Total 33,310 km2 (12,860 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 1st
Population (September 1, 2013[2])
 • Total Decrease 2,392,487
 • Rank Ranked 6
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 65000-68999
Area code +380-48
ISO 3166 code UA-51
Raions 26
Cities (total)
— Regional cities
Urban-type settlements 33
Villages 1138
FIPS 10-4 UP17
Website www.odessa.gov.ua

Odessa Oblast (also spelled Odesa Oblast; Ukrainian: Одеська область, Odes’ka oblast’; also Odeshchyna (Одещина)) is an oblast or province of southwestern Ukraine located along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Its administrative center is the city of Odessa.


Evidence of the earliest inhabitants in this area comes from the settlements and burial grounds of the Neolithic Gumelniţa, Cucuteni-Trypillian and Usatovo cultures, as well as from the tumuli and hoards of the Bronze Age Proto-Indo-Europeans. In the 1st millennium B.C. the Milesian Greeks founded colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea, including the towns of Olbia, Tyras, Niconium, Panticapaeum, and Chersonesus. The Greeks left behind painted vessels, ceramics, sculptures, inscriptions, arts and crafts that indicate the prosperity of their ancient civilisation.

The culture of Scythian tribes inhabiting the Black Sea littoral steppes in the first millennium B.C. is represented by finds from settlements and burial grounds, including weapons, bronze cauldrons, other utensils, and adornments. By the beginning of the 1st millennium A.D. the Sarmatians displaced the Scythians. In the 3rd–4th centuries A.D. a tribal alliance, represented by the items of Chernyakhov culture, developed. From the middle of the first millennium the formation of the Slavic people began. In the 9th century the Slavs became united into a state with Kiev as its centre. The Khazars, Polovtsy and Pechenegs were the Slavs' neighbours during different times. Archeological evidence of the period of the 9th–14th centuries survives in materials from the settlements and cities of Kievan Rus': Belgorod, Caffa-Theodosia, and Berezan Island.

In 1593 the Ottoman Empire set up in the area what became known as its Dnieper Province (Özü Eyalet), unofficially known as the Khanate of Ukraine.[3] Russian historiography refers to it as the Ochakov Oblast.[4] The territory of the Odessa oblast passed to Russia in 1791 in the course of the Russian southern expansion towards the Black Sea at the end of 18th century. Subsequently the Russians colonized the area intensively, establishing new cities and ports. In less than a hundred years the city of Odessa grew from a small fortress to the biggest metropolis of New Russia.

After the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia the area became part of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1917-1918), but soon succumbed first to the Russian Volunteer Army (part of the White movement and then to the Russian Bolshevik Red Army. By 1920 the Soviet authorities had secured the territory of Odessa Oblast, which became part of the Ukrainian SSR. The oblast was established on 27 February 1932 from five districts:

  1. Odessa Okruha
  2. Pervomaisk Okruha
  3. Kirovohrad Okruha
  4. Mykolaiv Okruha
  5. Kherson Okruha

In 1937 eastern portions of the Odessa Oblast were split to create the Mykolaiv Oblast.[citation needed]

Odessa Oblast was enlarged in July 1940 as a result of the 28th of June 1940 Soviet Ultimatum sent to the Kingdom of Romania and the 40 hours latter invasion of Bessarabia. Northern and Southern parts of Bessarabia were given to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.[citation needed]

During World War II Romania occupied the oblast and administered it as part of the Transnistria Province (1941-1944). After the war the Soviet administration reestablished the oblast with its pre-war borders. Odessa Oblast expanded in 1954 to absorb Izmail Oblast (formerly known as the Budjak region of Bessarabia).

During the 1991 referendum, 85.38% of votes in Odessa 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 2.3% of the oblast's population supported their region joining Russia, 91.5% did not support the idea, and the rest were undecided or did not respond.[5] A poll by Alexei Navalny found similar results.[6]


The country's largest oblast by area, it occupies an area of around 33,300 square kilometres (12,900 sq mi). It is characterised by largely flat steppes divided by the estuary of the Dniester river. Its Black Sea coast comprises numerous sandy beaches, estuaries and lagoons. The region's soils are renowned for their fertility, and intensive agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy. The southwest possesses many orchards and vineyards, while arable crops are grown throughout the region.

Points of interest[edit]

Akkerman fortress


Rapeseed field in Odessa Oblast.

Significant branches of the oblast's economy are:

The region's industrial capability is principally concentrated in and around Odessa.


The oblast's population (as of 2004) is 2.4 million people, nearly 40% of whom live in the city of Odessa.

Significant Bulgarian (6.1%) and Romanian (5.0%) minorities reside in the province.[7] It has the highest proportion of Jews of any oblast in Ukraine (although smaller than the Autonomous City of Kiev) and there is a small Greek community in the city of Odessa.

Bulgarians and Moldovans/Romanians represent 21% and 13% respectively, of the population in the salient of Budjak, within Odessa oblast.

Year Fertility Birth
1990 1,8 33 166
1991 1,7 32 119
1992 1,6 30 155
1993 1,5 28 185
1994 1,4 26 197
1995 1,4 24 993
1996 1,3 23 666
1997 1,2 22 491
1998 1,2 21 273
1999 1,1 19 969
2000 1,1 20 042
2001 1,1 20 423
2002 1,2 21 227
2003 1,2 22 326
2004 1,3 23 343
2005 1,3 23 915
2006 1,4 25 113
2007 1,5 26 759
2008 1,6 28 780
2009 1,6 28 986
2010 1,6 28 690
2011 1,6 29 225
2012 1,7 30 384

Age structure[edit]

0-14 years: 15.5% Increase (male 188,937/female 179,536)
15-64 years: 70.7% Decrease (male 812,411/female 867,706)
65 years and over: 14.0% Decrease (male 116,702/female 218,808) (2013 official)

Median age[edit]

total: 38.4 years Steady
male: 35.4 years Steady
female: 41.5 years Increase (2013 official)

Administrative divisions[edit]

Detailed map of Odessa Oblast

The Odessa Oblast is administratively subdivided into 26 raions (districts) and 7 municipalities which are directly subordinate to the oblast government - 2 mis'krada (Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi and Illichivsk); and 5 misto (Izmail, Kotovsk, Teplodar, Yuzhne and the administrative center of the oblast, Odessa).

Name Ukrainian Name Area
Census 2001
1 Jan 2012
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (city) * Білгород-Дністровськ (Міськрада) 31 58,436 57,206 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi
Illichivsk (city) Іллічівськ (Міськрада) 25 63,726 71,691 Illichivs'k
Izmail (city) * Ізмаїлі (місто) 53 84,815 73,651 -
Kotovsk (city) Котовськ (місто) 15 40,718 40,700 -
Odessa (city) Одеса (місто) 139 1,029,049 1,008,162 -
Teplodar (city) Теплодар (місто) 3 8,830 10,165 -
Yuzhne (city) Южне (місто) 9 23,977 30,857 -
Ananyiv Raion Ананьївський (район) 1,050 32,619 28,013 Ananyiv
Artsyz Raion * Арцизький (район) 1,379 51,251 46,213 Artsyz
Balta Raion Балтський (район) 1,317 48,697 43,081 Balta
Berezivka Raion Березівський (район) 1,637 36,173 34,006 Berezivka
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion * Білгород-Дністровський (район) 1,852 62,255 60,378 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi
Biliaivka Raion Біляївський (район) 1,497 103,988 93,242 Biliaivka
Bolhrad Raion * Болградський (район) 1,364 73,991 69,572 Bolhrad
Frunzivka Raion Фрунзівський (район) 956 20,944 20,091 Frunzivka
Ivanivka Raion Іванівський (район) 1,162 29,184 26,828 Ivanivka
Izmail Raion * Ізмаїльський (район) 1,194 54,550 52,031 Izmail
Kiliya Raion * Кілійський (район) 1,358 58,707 53,585 Kilia
Kodyma Raion Кодимський (район) 818 34,523 30,484 Kodyma
Kominternivske Raion Комінтернівський (район) 1,499 67,207 69,243 Kominternivske
Kotovsk Raion Котовський (район) 1,037 30,627 28,018 Kotovsk
Krasni Okny Raion Красноокнянський (район) 1,013 22,872 20,433 Krasni Okny
Liubashivka Raion Любашівський (район) 1,100 33,544 31,089 Liubashivka
Mykolaivka Raion Миколаївський (район) 1,093 20,158 16,599 Mykolaivka
Ovidiopol Raion Овідіопольський (район) 829 60,294 72,097 Ovidiopol
Reni Raion * Ренійський (район) 861 39,903 37,986 Reni
Rozdilna Raion Роздільнянський (район) 1,368 56,727 57,677 Rozdilna
Sarata Raion * Саратський (район) 1,474 49,911 45,813 Sarata
Savran Raion Савранський (район) 617 22,176 19,740 Savran
Shyriaieve Raion Ширяївський (район) 1,502 29,754 27,494 Shyriaieve
Tarutyne Raion * Тарутинський (район) 1,874 45,175 41,975 Tarutyne
Tatarbunary Raion * Татарбунарський (район) 1,748 41,573 39,164 Tatarbunary
Velyka Mykhailivka Raion Великомихайлівський (район) 1,436 32,703 31,013 Velyka Mykhailivka
  • Note: An asterisk (*) indicates the two municipalities and nine raions which previously constituted Izmail Oblast until that former oblast's merger with Odessa Oblast on 15 February 1954; these areas lie to the west of the Dniester River, and formerly constituted the territory known as the Budjak (southern Bessarabia).


Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their capital cities, officially referred to as "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: Odessa is the center of the Odes’ka oblast’ (Odessa 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 Odessa Oblast, Odeshchyna. In Romanian, it is known as Regiunea Odesa, and in Greek, as Οδησσός.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "State Statistics Committee of Ukraine". Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Secrieru, Mihaela. "Republic of Moldavia – an Intermezzo on the Signing and the Ratification of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages" (PDF). Iași: “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi. p. 2. Retrieved 2014-09-19. On the left shore of the River Nistru [Dniester] there was the Khanate of Ukraine and of the properties of the Polish Crown, and their inhabitants, until the end of the 18th century, were the Moldavians[.] 
  4. ^ Friesen, Leonard G. (2008). Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905. Harvard series in Ukrainian studies 59. Harvard University Press. p. 40. ISBN 9781932650006. Retrieved 2014-09-19. [...] the war with the Ottoman Empire [...] ended with the Treaty of Eternal Peace in December 1791, whereby the so-called Ochakiv (Ochakov) oblast was brought into the empire. 
  5. ^ Лише 3% українців хочуть приєднання їх області до Росії [Only 3% of Ukrainians want their region to become part of Russia]. Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (in Ukrainian). 3 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Navalny, Alexei (23 September 2014). Соцопрос ФБК по Харьковской и Одесской областям. Европа, Россия, Новороссия [Survey of Kharkov and Odessa Oblasts] (in Russian). navalny.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Results of the 2001 All-Ukrainian population census for the Odessa oblast
  8. ^ State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, Kiev.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°00′N 30°00′E / 47.000°N 30.000°E / 47.000; 30.000