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Kharkiv Oblast ( , translit. Kharkivs’ka oblast’; also referred to as Kharkivshchyna - ) is an oblast (province) in eastern Ukrainemarker. The oblast borders Russiamarker to the north, Luhansk Oblast to the east, Donetsk Oblast to the south-east, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the south-west, Poltava Oblastmarker to the west and Sumy Oblastmarker to the north-west. The area of the oblast is 31,400 km², corresponding to 5.2% of the total territory of Ukraine.

The oblast is the third most populous region of Ukraine, with a population of 2,857,751 ( ), more than half (1.5 million) of whom live in the city of Kharkivmarker, 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.

In April 2006, the Kharkiv oblast council voted to give the Russian language official status in the oblast, however the Constitution of Ukraine has declared that Ukrainian is the only official language in the country and that the council had overstepped its mandate.


The territory of the Kharkiv oblast has been permanently inhabited since at least the late Paleolithic period (10,000–12,000 years ago) but archaeological evidence indicates a human (Neanderthal) presence as early as the Mousterian period some 80,000 years ago.

The territory was relatively sparsely inhabited until the 1630s, when large numbers of Ukrainians began to settle there before and during the Chmielnicki Uprising. Most of the settlers were migrants from the Dnieper region, many of whom were fleeing fighting between Cossacks, Poles and Tatars. They called the newly settled region the Sloboda Ukraine ("word sloboda means fortress, mostly made of wood") or Slobozhanshchina, as the area is still sometimes called, and ruled it from the newly established fortress-city of Kharkivmarker (founded 1656). In 1654, the region was incorporated into Muscovy (and subsequently the Russian Empiremarker) under the terms of the Treaty of Pereyaslav.

Over the next 340 years, the area became heavily Russified. Kharkiv itself became one of the cultural and administrative centres of the Russian Empire in the mid-18th century, and served as the capital of the Ukrainian SSR from 1919 until 1934, when the Sovietmarker authorities moved the capital back to Kievmarker. The modern Kharkiv oblast is a relatively recent creation, having been established on 27 February 1932. Kharkiv Oblast together with Kiev Oblast were two most suffering region. The region saw major fighting during World War II in several Battles of Kharkov between 1941 and 1943.

Points of Interest

The following sites were nominated for the Seven Wonders of Ukraine.


Its population (as of 2001) is 2,895,800 million (1328900 males (45,9 %), 1566900 females (54,1%)).

As of the 2001 census, the ethnic groups within the Kharkiv Oblast are:

the groups by native language:


The Kharkiv oblast has a primarily industrially based 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).

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 the Ukraine.


Detailed map of Kharkiv Oblast.

The Kharkiv Oblast is administratively subdivided into 27 raions (districts), as well as 7 cities (municipalities) which are directly subordinate to the oblast government: Chuhuivmarker, Iziummarker, Kupianskmarker, Liubotynmarker, Lozovamarker, Pervomaiskyimarker, and the administrative center of the oblast, Kharkivmarker.

Raions of the Kharkiv Oblast
In English In Ukrainian Administrative Center
Balakliyskyi Raion Балаклійський район

Balakliys'kyi raion

Barvinkivskyi Raion Барвінківський район

Barvinkivs'kyi raion

Blyzniukivskyi Raion Близнюківський район

Blyzniukivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Bohodukhivskyi Raion Богодухівський район

Bohodukhivs'kyi raion

Borivskyi Raion Борівський район

Borivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Chuhuivskyi Raion Чугуївський район

Chuhuivs'kyi raion

Derhachivskyi Raion Дергачівський район

Derhachivs'kyi raion

Dvorichanskyi Raion Дворічанський район

Dvorichans'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Iziumskyi Raion Ізюмський район

Iziums'kyi raion

Kehychivskyi Raion Кегичівський район

Kehychivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Kharkivskyi Raion Харківський район

Kharkivs'kyi raion

Kolomatskyi Raion Коломацький район

Kolomats'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Krasnohradskyi Raion Красноградський район

Krasnohrads'kyi raion

Krasnokutskyi Raion Краснокутський район

Krasnokuts'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Kupyanskyi Raion Куп'янський район

Kupyans'kyi raion

Lozivskyi Raion Лозівський район

Lozivs'kyi raion

Novovodolazkyi Raion Нововодолазький район

Novovodolaz'kyi raion
Nova Vodolaha

(Urban-type settlement)
Pechenizkyi Raion Печенізький район

Pecheniz'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Pervomaiskyi Raion Первомайський район

Pervomais'kyi raion

Sakhnovshchynskyi Raion Сахновщинський район

Sakhnovshchyns'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Shevchenkivskyi Raion Шевченківський район

Shevchenkivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Valkivskyi Raion Валківський район

Valkivs'kyi raion

Velykoburlutskyi Raion Великобурлуцький район

Velykoburluts'kyi raion
Velykyi Burluk

(Urban-type settlement)
Vovchanskyi Raion Вовчанський район

Vovchans'kyi raion

Zachepylivskyi Raion Зачепилівський район

Zachepylivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)
Zmiivskyi Raion Зміївський район

Zmiyivs'kyi raion

Zolochivskyi Raion Золочівський район

Zolochivs'kyi raion

(Urban-type settlement)


Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their capital cities, officially referred to as "oblast centers" ( , 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.


  1. Kharkiv Oblast” at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

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