an oblast in the central part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Jan. 10,1939, it has an area of 24,600 sq km and a population of 1,265,000 (1972). The oblast has 21 raions, 11 towns, and 24 urban-type settlements. The center is Kirovograd. The oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on Nov. 14, 1958.
Natural features. The oblast is situated on the right bank of the Dnieper River, in the southern part of the Dnieper Upland, with prevailing elevations of 150–200 m (highest point, 269 m). The surface is an undulating plain dissected by many river valleys and ravines; moving from south to north and northeast the terrain becomes more rugged. The climate is moderately continental with mild winters and frequent thaws. The mean January temperature is –5.4° to –5.6°C (minimum, –35°C). Summers are hot, with mean July temperatures of 20°-21.4°C (maximum, 40°C). Annual precipitation totals about 450 mm, with 70 percent occurring during the warm seasons. The growing season is 200–210 days.
The rivers belong to the Dnieper and Iuzhnyi Bug systems. The Dnieper’s most important tributaries include the Tiasmin, Ingulets (headwaters), and Tsybul’nik, and those of the Iuzhnyi Bug are the Ingul, Siniukha, and Sinitsa.
Chernozems predominate in the soil cover. In the northwestern part of the oblast, thick and degraded chernozems alternate with podzolized chernozems and gray and dark gray podzolized forest soils. In the southeast ordinary medium-humus chernozems prevail and in the extreme southeast, chernozems with a low humus content. The oblast straddles the forest-steppe and steppe zones, and both regions are for the most part under cultivation. Forests and shrubs, covering 4.5 percent of the oblast’s territory, occur in both large and small stands, with a predominance of oak, hornbeam, ash, maple, pine, and linden. In the river valleys and on the divides of the forest-steppe portion are found small oak forests, such as the Chernyi (Black) Forest and the Golochanskii Forest. The fauna is represented by various steppe and forest-steppe animals, including the roe deer, wild boar, badger, fox, marten, and elk. Most common are the gray hare and rodents, such as susliks, hamsters, and mice. Birds include turtledoves, sparrow hawks, woodpeckers, quails, ducks, and, more rarely, partridges, woodcocks, bustards, and eagles.
Population. The bulk of the population is Ukrainian, and there are also Russians, Byelorussians, Moldavians, and other nationalities. The average density is 51.4 persons per sq km. The most densely populated raions (70–80 persons per sq km) are Gaivoron and Ul’ianovka in the northwest, and the least populated (30–35 persons) are Petrovo and Ustinovka in the south-east. In 1972 urban dwellers accounted for 45 percent of the population. The most important cities are Kirovograd (201,000 inhabitants), Aleksandriia, and Znamenka. A new town, Svetlovodsk (formerly Kremges), has arisen at the site of the construction of the Kremenchug Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Economy. In the Soviet period Kirovograd Oblast has been transformed from a backward agrarian region in southern European Russia with a poorly developed industry (chiefly the processing of farm raw materials) into an oblast with a well-developed industry and diversified agriculture. In 1971 the gross industrial product was five times greater than in 1940. In 1959 the Kremenchug Hydroelectric Power Plant was put into operation. Energy is also provided by the Krasnyi Khutor and Novoarkhangel’sk hydroelectric plants on the Siniukha River, the Gaivoron hydroelectric plant on the Iuzhnyi Bug, and several steam power plants (Kirovograd, Aleksandriia). In 1971, 2,491,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy were generated.
The large reserves of brown coal in the Dnieper basin, abundant building materials, and a strong agricultural economy have created conditions favorable to the development of new industries and the growth of existing ones. The brown coal industry includes mining (Aleksandriia, Petrovo, and other raions) and processing (Baida and Semenov-Golovko briquette mills). About 9 million tons of brown coal were extracted in 1971, chiefly by strip mining. A chemical industry producing mineral wax and carbonic-alkali reagents has been developing, based on the coal industry. Also significant are the mining and processing of graphite (the Zaval’e deposit), granite, and refractory clay; the oblast produces more than 50 percent of the country’s graphite. Metalworking and machine building, particularly farm machinery, are important industries. Major enterprises include the Krasnaia Zvezda (Red Star) Agricultural Machinery Plant, Ukrremtrest Repair Plant, plants producing hydraulic units for tractors (water and oil pumps for combine motors), radio parts (Kirovograd), and lifting-transport equipment, an electromechanical plant (Aleksandriia), and plants for the repair of mining equipment and diesel locomotives (Gaivoron). Nonferrous metallurgy is expanding, represented by the Pobugskoe Nickel Plant and the Svetlovodsk pure metals and hard alloy plants.
The principal food industry is sugar refining; 400,000 tons of granulated sugar were produced in 1971, and new refineries have been built in Dolinskaia, Aleksandriia, and Novoukrainka. Other important food industries include flour milling (Aleksandriia, Novoukrainka), meat-packing (four meat combines), butter-making (Kirovograd creamery), butter and cheese production, and the manufacture of confectioneries. Among light industry enterprises are garment, footwear, hosiery, and cord factories and a leather plant, and the wood-products industry is respesented by the Znamenka and Kirovograd furniture combines and the Aleksandriia and Svetlovodsk furniture factories. The oblast has large building-materials enterprises, notably Dneproenergostroiindustria (building-materials industry for Dnieper power projects), and plants producing reinforced-concrete structural components and bricks.
The leading branches of agriculture are crop cultivation and livestock raising for meat and milk. In 1971 there were 419 kolkhozes and 34 sovkhozes. Agricultural land totals 84.6 percent of the total land area, of which 75.6 percent is occupied by plowed lands, 0.7 percent by hayfields, and 6.6 percent by pastures. In 1971, 1,732,000 hectares (ha) were under cultivation, with grain crops occupying 906,000 ha (including 482,200 under wheat, 182,300 under corn, and 130,900 under spring barley) and industrial crops 285,800 ha (including 122,700 planted to sugar beets and 142,900 to sunflowers). As of Jan. 1, 1972, there were 866,400 head of cattle (including 344,300 cows), 997,300 pigs, and 385,700 sheep and goats.
Railroads are the chief means of transportation, totaling 704 km in 1971. The main lines are the Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk (electrified), Moscow-Odessa (via Pomoshnaia), Kharkov-Kotovsk (via Znamenka and Pomoshnaia), Kiev-Nikolaev (via Khirovka and Dolinskaia), Kharkov-Nikolaev (via Znamenka), and Dolinskaia-Krivoi Rog. The major railroad junctions are Znamenka, Pomoshnaia, and Gaivoron. In 1971 the oblast had 7,600 km of roads, of which 3,400 km were paved. The highways Kiev-Odessa, Kirovograd-Nikolaev, Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov-Odessa, and Poltava-Kishinev cross the oblast. Navigation on the Dnieper (Svetlovodsk port) is well developed.
G. A. MISHCHENKO
Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In 1914–15 there were 76,300 students enrolled in 825 schools. In 1971–72 the oblast’s 930 general schools of all types were attended by 215,600 students, the 22 vocational schools by 10,300 students, the 18 special secondary schools by 17,500 students, and Kirovograd’s two institutions of higher learning (a teacher training institute and an institute of farm machinery construction) by 9,000 students. In 1971, 590 pre-school institutions cared for 43,900 children. On Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 823 public libraries (9.3 million books and magazines), 1,010 clubs, the Kirovograd Oblast Museum of Local Lore and its affiliate, the Khutor Nadiia Museum devoted to Karpenko-Karyi (I. K. Tobilevich), two theaters, and 1,039 film projection units. Extracurricular institutions include a palace of Pioneers, 31 Pioneer houses, seven centers for young naturalists, seven centers for young technicians, a children’s excursion-technical center, a children’s recreation park, and 16 children’s sports schools.
The oblast newspapers, Kirovohrads’ka pravda (Kirovograd Pravda; since 1918) and Molodyi Komunar (Young Communard; since 1939), are published in Ukrainian. The oblast radio and television (two channels) broadcast in Ukrainian and Russian and also transmit programs from Kiev and Moscow. The television center is in Kirovograd.
On Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 154 hospitals with 14,000 beds (11.1 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) and 2,600 physicians (one per 490 inhabitants).
REFERENCESMishchenko, H. P. Kirovohrads’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1961.
Il’chenko, I. P., and M. Kh. Haliuk. Hrunty Kirovohrads’koi oblasti. Dnepropetrovsk, 1969.