part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Oct. 15, 1932. Area, 31,900 sq km. Population, 1.508 million (as of Jan. 1, 1977). Chernigov Oblast is divided into 22 raions and has 15 cities and 30 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is the city of Chernigov. On June 13, 1967, Chernigov Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin.
Natural features. Chernigov Oblast is situated on the left bank of the middle Dnieper, in the Desna River basin. It occupies a lowland and a hilly plain, rising from elevations of 120–150 m in the southwest to 200–220 m in the northeast. The climate is temperate continental. The average January temperature varies in the range –6° to –8°C, and the average July temperature, in the range 18.4° to 19.7°C. Annual precipitation amounts to 500–600 mm. The growing season lasts 190–200 days.
The principal river is the Desna, which cuts across the oblast from northeast to southwest. Its left tributaries are the Seim and the Oster, and its right tributaries, the Ubed’, the Snov, and the Belous. The Dnieper and its left tributary the Sozh flow along the northwestern border.
The northern part of the oblast—Poles’e—is characterized by soddy-podzolic, sandy, and sandy loam soils. The southern, forest-steppe part is dominated by chernozems, both podzolized and meadow-type.
The north (68 percent of the oblast’s territory) is occupied by mixed forests, with predominantly pine, oak, birch, and hornbeam and some linden, maple, ash, and elm. The Trostianets Arboretum of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR is located in the southeastern part of the oblast; the variety of coniferous and ornamental plants in the arboretum is the most diverse in the Ukraine.
Animal life is represented by the European hare, fox, otter, raccoon dog, wolf, pine marten, badger, elk, roe deer, and wild boar. The rivers and lakes abound in roach, crucian carp, tench, pike, perch, pike perch, European bream, ide, and sheatfish.
Population. Ukrainians constitute (1970) 93.8 percent of the population, and Russians, 4.7 percent. The average population density is 47.3 persons per sq km (1977). The forest-steppe regions are the most densely populated areas, with more than 50 persons per sq km. The urban population accounts (1977) for 43 percent of the total.
The most important cities are Chernigov, Priluki, and Nezhin.
Economy. During the years of Soviet power, Chernigov Oblast has been transformed from a backward agrarian region into a highly developed industrial-agrarian area. It abounds in peat and deposits of phosphorites and marl. The discovery, beginning in the late 1950’s, of a number of petroleum deposits (Gnedintsi, Priluki, Leliaki, Monastyrishche, Malaia Devitsa) and petroleum-gas deposits (Bogdanovka, Mil’ki), has given rise to new branches of industry, the petroleum and natural-gas industries.
The most developed branches of light industry are the production of textiles (Chernigov), knitwear (Priluki), and garments (Chernigov and Nezhin) and the processing of flax and hemp. Machine building and metalworking are represented by plants for the construction of farm machinery (Nezhin and Priluki) and fire-fighting equipment (Ladan) and by plants for the production of motor-vehicle spare parts (a branch of the Gorky Automotive Plant), experimental hardware, and instruments and a repair plant (Chernigov). The chemical and petrochemical industries have been established, represented by the Khimvolokno chemical-fiber production association in Chernigov and by the production of synthetic resins and plastics in Priluki and varnishes and paints in Nezhin. The lumber, woodworking, and paper industries are represented by enterprises for the production of furniture and pianos in Chernigov and a mill for the production of industrial-grade paper in Koriukovka. Building-materials enterprises manufacture precast reinforced-concrete structural components and roofing materials (Chernigov), as well as bricks. The food-processing industry is dominated by meat-processing enterprises (Chernigov, Nezhin, Bakhmach, Priluki, Novgorod-Severskii) and enterprises for the production of butter, cheese, and milk (Ichnia, Bakhmach, and elsewhere). There are also sugar refineries, distilleries, breweries, and plants for the production of starch syrup. Vegetable processing is well developed (Nezhin).
Agriculture specializes in stock raising for meat and dairy purposes and the production of potatoes, grains, sugar beets, and flax. The oblast has (1976) 503 kolkhozes and 57 sovkhozes. Sixty-eight percent of the oblast’s total land area is occupied by agricultural lands, of which lands under cultivation account for 72 percent, and pastures and hayfields, for 26 percent. In 1976, 1,587,100 hectares (ha) were under cultivation, of which 711,800 ha were under grains (winter wheat, rye, legumes, barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, and corn), 100,500 ha under industrial crops (sugar beets and long-staple flax), 193,300 ha under potatoes, 19,400 ha under melons, gourds, and vegetables, and 562,100 ha under fodder crops. Hemp and mint are also grown. Reclaimed lands total 196,000 ha, and irrigated lands, 10,000 ha.
In 1976 the oblast had 1,305,500 head of cattle (including 505,100 cows), 847,600 hogs, and 245,500 sheep and goats. Poultry farming, rabbit breeding, and beekeeping are also developing.
The operational length of railroads is 892 km (1976). The main lines are Moscow-Bakhmach-Nezhin-Chop, Kiev-Chernigov-Leningrad, Nezhin-Chernigov-Gomel’, Simferopol’-Chernigov-Riga, Minsk-Bakhmach-Khar’kov, and Chernigov-Nezhin-Priluki. Railroad junctions include Nezhin, Bakhmach, Chernigov, and Priluki. Motor-vehicle roads total 7,500 km, of which 3,600 km are hard-surfaced. The Odessa-Kiev-Leningrad and Kiev-Moscow highways pass through the oblast. The Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable. Chernigov is linked by air with Moscow, a number of oblast administrative centers of the Ukrainian SSR, and oblast raions.
The Dashava-Kiev-Moscow natural gas pipeline and the Priluki-Kremenchug petroleum pipeline pass through Chernigov Oblast.
Education, cultural affairs, and public health. During the 1914–15 academic year, the area that is now Chernigov Oblast had 1,374 general-education schools, with 111,000 pupils and students, two specialized secondary educational institutions, with 137 students, and one higher educational institution, with 134 students. During the 1976–77 academic year, the oblast had 1,113 general-education schools of all types, with 235,700 pupils and students, 17 vocational-technical schools, with 9,000 students, and 19 specialized secondary educational institutions, with 15,300 students. The Chernigov Pedagogical Institute, the Nezhin Pedagogical Institute, and the Chernigov branch of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute were attended by 8,300 students. In 1977, there were 404 preschool institutions in the oblast, caring for 42,900 children.
Chernigov Oblast has a number of scientific research institutes. It also has (as of Jan. 1, 1977) 1,105 public libraries, with about 11.8 million books and journals, and eight museums—a historical museum in Chernigov, museums of local lore in Nezhin, Oster, Priluki, and the settlement of Sosnitsa, the A. Dovzhenko literary memorial museum in the settlement of Sosnitsa, the M. M. Kotsiubinskii literary memorial museum in Chernigov, and the N. A. Shchors memorial museum in the city of Shchors. In addition, it has three theaters (an oblast theater of music and drama and the oblast puppet theater in Chernigov and a dramatic theater in Nezhin), 1,174 clubs, 1,204 motion-picture projection units, and 46 extracurricular institutions.
The following oblast newspapers are published in Ukrainian: Desnians’ka pravda (Desna Pravda; since 1917) and the Komsomol newspaper Komsomol’skyi hart (Komsomol Hardening; since 1933). Two programs of the All-Union Radio, totaling 44 hours a day and an informational republic-level program, totaling 19 hours, are broadcast in the oblast, as well as a joint Union-republic program, totaling 19 hours a day, and a local program, in both Russian and Ukrainian, totaling 1.1 hours. Two programs from the Central Television Studio, totaling 10.7 hours a day, are relayed, as well as republic-level and local programs in Russian and Ukrainian, totaling 13.5 hours a day.
By Jan. 1,1977, the oblast had 194 hospitals, with 17,800 beds (11.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), and 3,400 physicians (one physician per 450 inhabitants). The Kachanovka climatological health resort is located in the oblast; there are also eight sanatoriums and four houses of rest.
The principal tourist sites are the areas around the Kiev Reservoir and the Desna and Oster Rivers, as well as the cities of Chernigov, Novgorod-Severskii, Nezhin, and the Trostianets Arboretum of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (Ichnia Raion). There are tourist centers in Novgorod-Severskii and on the Oster River.
REFERENCESIstoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR: Chernihivs’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1972.
Narodne hospodarstvo Chernihivs’koi oblasti: Stat, sbirnyk. Kiev, 1972.
Chernihivs’ka oblast’. (Ekonomiko-heohrafichna kharakterystyka). Kiev, 1975.
V. K. MOLOCHKO