Odessa Oblast

Одесская/Одеська область
Odesskaya/Odes’ka oblast’
Flag of Одесская/Одеська область
Coat of arms of Одесская/Одеська область
Coat of arms
Country  Ukraine
Administrative center Odessa
  Governor Salome Bobrowski (acting)[1]
  Oblast council 120 seats
  Chairperson Mykhailo Shmushkovych
  Total 33,310 km2 (12,860 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 1st
Population (2015[2])
  Total Decrease 2,396,442
  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) 19
 Regional cities 7
Urban-type settlements 33
Villages 1138
FIPS 10-4 UP17
Website www.odessa.gov.ua

Odessa Oblast (Ukrainian: Одеська область, Odes’ka oblast’, Russian: Одесская область, Odesskaya oblast’) 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. Population: 2,396,442(2015 est.)[2]

The region is the biggest in Ukraine by area making it as big as either Belgium or the Netherlands.[3] The length of sea and estuaries coast reaches 300 km (190 mi), while the state border 1,200 km (750 mi).[3] The region has eight sea ports, over 80,000 ha (200,000 acres) of vineyards, and five of the biggest lakes in Ukraine.[3] One of the biggest one is Yalpuh Lake which is as big as the city of Odessa itself.[3]

Its administrative center Odessa is the third biggest city in Ukraine and known in Ukraine as the Black Sea Pearl or the Southern Palmyra.[3] The cities of Odessa was the first city in Ukraine that saw a car with the internal combustion engine that was brought to the city back in 1891 by Vasiliy Navrotskiy, the chief editor of Odesskiy Listok.[3] The cobblestone on vulytsia Deribasivska was made out the Vesuvius volcano lava and was brought to Odessa from his native Naples by the founder of Odessa Jose de Ribas.[3] Under that street stretch out the Odessa catacombs, the area of which is bigger than catacombs of Paris or Rome.


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.[4] Russian historiography refers to it as the Ochakov Oblast.[5] 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 the 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.

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 later invasion of Bessarabia. Northern and Southern parts of Bessarabia were given to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

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.[6] A poll by Alexei Navalny found similar results.[7]


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

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.[8] 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

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

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

Administrative divisions

The Odessa Oblast is administratively subdivided into 26 raions (districts) and 7 municipalities which are directly subordinate to the oblast government - (Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi and Chornomorsk), (Izmail, Podilsk, Teplodar, Yuzhne and the administrative center of the oblast, Odessa).

Detailed map of Odessa Oblast
Name Ukrainian name Area
Population 2015[2] Admin.center Urban Population Only*
Odessa Одеса (місто) 139 1,010,490 Odessa (city) 1,010,490
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Білгород-Дністровський (місто) 31 57,559 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (city) 57,559
Chornomorsk Чорноморськ (місто) 25 72,553 Chornomorsk (city) 67,323
Izmail Ізмаї́л (місто) 53 72,266 Izmail (city) 72,266
Podilsk Подільськ 25 40,613 Podilsk (city) 40,613
Teplodar Теплодар (місто) 3 10,277 Teplodar (city) 10,277
Yuzhne Южне (місто) 9 32,149 Yuzhne (city) 32,149
Ananyiv Raion Ананьївський (район) 1,050 26,999 Ananyiv 8,441
Artsyz Raion ^ Арцизький (район) 1,379 45,274 Artsyz 14,886
Balta Raion Балтський (район) 1,317 41,666 Balta 18,940
Berezivka Raion Березівський (район) 1,637 33,930 Berezivka 12,614
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion ^ Білгород-Дністровський (район) 1,852 60,774 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (city) N/A *
Bilyayivka Raion Біляївський (район) 1,497 94,083 Biliaivka 14,334
Bolhrad Raion ^ Болградський (район) 1,364 69,148 Bolhrad 15,451
Ivanivka Raion Іванівський (район) 1,162 26,604 Ivanivka 8,807
Izmail Raion * Ізмаїльський (район) 1,194 51,584 Izmail (city) N/A *
Kiliya Raion ^ Кілійський (район) 1,358 52,400 Kiliya 28,434
Kodyma Raion Кодимський (район) 818 29,586 Kodyma 11,195
Kominternivske Raion Комінтернівський (район) 1,499 71,158 Kominternivske 14,028
Liubashivka Raion Любашівський (район) 1,100 30,688 Liubashivka 10,954
Mykolaivka Raion Миколаївський (район) 1,093 16,127 Mykolaivka 2,850
Ovidiopol Raion Овідіопольський (район) 829 78,941 Ovidiopol 32,486
Okny Raion Окнянський (район) 1,013 20,186 Okny 5,338
Podilsk Raion Подільський (район) 1,037 27,091 Podilsk (city) N/A *
Reni Raion ^ Ренійський (район) 861 58,352 Reni 25,527
Rozdilna Raion Роздільнянський (район) 1,368 37,353 Rozdilna 19,003
Sarata Raion ^ Саратський (район) 1,474 45,057 Sarata 4,351
Savran Raion Савранський (район) 617 19,083 Savran 6,420
Shyriaieve Raion Ширяївський (район) 1,502 27,151 Shyriaieve 6,781
Tarutyne Raion ^ Тарутинський (район) 1,874 41,603 Tarutyne 12,932
Tatarbunary Raion ^ Татарбунарський (район) 1,748 38,825 Tatarbunary 10,988
Velyka Mykhailivka Raion Великомихайлівський (район) 1,436 31,006 Velyka Mykhailivka 8,472
Zakharivka Raion Захарівський (район) 956 20,233 Zakharivka 8,881


One of the most famous Odessits is Sergei Utochkin who was a universal sportsman exceling in cycling, boxing, swimming and played football for the Odessa British Athletic Club (OBAC).[3] Utochkin had challenged a steam-powered tram while running, on a bicycle he beat a galloping horse, while on roller skates he was passing a bicyclist.[3] The next stage for him was to conquest skies.[3] Utochkin managed to buy an airplane from a local banker and completed dozens of exhibition flights.[3] Eventually, he managed to assemble his own Farman-type airplane.[3] In Kiev, Utochkin was demonstrating his piloting skills in front of some 50,000 people, among which was a future creator of helicopters Igor Sikorsky.[3]

In the Southern Palmyra were also born a poet Anna Akhmatova, former NASA scientist Nicholas E. Golovin who worked with the Apollo program, as well as the founder of jazz in the Soviet Union Leonid Utyosov.[3]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Tell about Ukraine. Odessa Oblast. 24 Kanal (youtube).
  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
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Odessa Oblast.

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

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