Voroshilovgrad Oblast

Voroshilovgrad Oblast


(from 1958 to 1970, Lugansk Oblast), an oblast in the southeastern Ukrainian SSR. Established June 3, 1938. Area 26,700 sq km. Population, 2,749,000 (1970). The oblast is divided into 18 raions and has 34 cities and 104 urban-type settlements. The principal city is Voroshilovgrad.

Natural features. Voroshilovgrad Oblast lies on a hilly plain rising from the valley of the Severskii Donets northward (elevation to 200 m and more) and southward, where the Donets Ridge is located (200-300 m; the highest point is Mogila-Mechetnaia at 367 m). The oblast is rich in high-quality pit coal; two-thirds of the coal is anthracite and other energy coals and one-third is coking coal. The coal deposits are part of the Donets Coal Basin and are concentrated in Antratsit, Krasnodon, Lutugino, Pereval’sk, and other raions in the southern part of the oblast.

The climate is moderately continental. Summers are hot, with the average July temperature ranging from 21.8° C in the northwest to 23.1° C in the southeast. Winters are cold, with the average January temperature ranging from — 6° C in the south to -8° C in the northeast. There are frequent hot, dry winds at the end of spring. Annual precipitation is 400-450 mm in the north and up to 550 mm within the Donets Ridge. The growing season is 196-208 days. Most of the rivers belong to the Severskii Donets basin. The Severskii Donets River crosses the oblast from west to southeast. Its left tributaries—the Krasnaia, Borovaia, Aidar, Derkul, and other rivers—irrigate the northern part of the oblast, and the right tributaries—the Lugan’, Bol’shaia Kamenka, and other rivers—originate in the Donets Ridge.

The soils are fertile, chiefly chernozem. Podzolized turf and other soils are also widespread. Voroshilovgrad Oblast is located in the steppe zone. A large part of the territory is plowed up. Patches of steppe vegetation are found only on the slopes of ravines, in the river valleys, and in the Streletskaia Steppe reserve. There are few forests (7percent of the total area), and most of them are in the floodlands of the Severskii Donets. Shelterbelts were planted in the northeast (Belovodsk Raion) at the end of the 19th century by V. V. Dokuchaev. The characteristic fauna includes steppe rodents, European hares, roe, and foxes. Birds include Montagu’s harriers, hen harriers, imperial eagles, green woodpeckers, skylarks, wild ducks, and sandpipers.

Population. The population of the oblast consists of Ukrainians (55 percent in 1970), Russians (41.8 percent), Byelorussians (1.3 percent), Jews, Tatars, and other nationalities. The average density is 103 persons per sq km (1970). The highest population density—up to 172 persons per sq km—is in the southern mining region of the oblast. Eighty-three percent of the population is urban (1970). The largest cities are Voroshilovgrad (382,000 in 1970), Kadievka, Kommunarsk, Lisichansk, and Krasnyi Luch. Most of the cities were founded during the years of Soviet power. Only since 1959, with the development of the coal industry, did Brianka, Kirovsk, Artemovsk, Vakhrushevo, Zimogor’e Zorinsk, Molodogvardeisk, Novodruzhesk, Chernovopartizansk, and others become cities. The coal, metallurgical, and chemical industries aided the growth of Lutugino and Severodonetsk, and the electric power industry spurred the growth of the cities of Miusinsk and Schast’e.

Economy. Voroshilovgrad Oblast is an important heavy industry region in the USSR. The leading branches are coal, metallurgy, machine building, and chemicals.

By 1969 industrial output was 6.4 times as high as it was in 1940 and nearly double what it was in 1960. In gross output the leading industries are fuel (26 percent), machine building and metal working (19 percent), ferrous metallurgy (17 percent), and chemicals and petrochemicals (11 percent). There has been considerable development of agriculture, light in dustry, and the food and construction-materials industries.

Mining employs more than 39 percent of the industrial labor force. The mining of coal for energy and coking pit coal plays an extremely important part in the oblast’s economy. In 1969 coal output was double that of 1940. The oblast produces 36.1 percent of the republic’s coal and more than 12 percent of the Soviet Union’s. There are 147 highly mechanized mines in the oblast. The oblast has a network of large heat and electric power plants and state regional electric power plants, including the powerful Voroshilovgrad (Schast’e), the Severodonets (Lisichansk), and the Shterovka power plants (Miusinsk), which are linked with the power stations of Donets Oblast to form the Donbasenergo system and with the country’s unified power system. Hundreds of industrial enterprises have been built or reconstructed, especially in the postwar period.

Ferrous metallurgy occupies a significant place in the oblast’s economy. It is fueled by local coke and Krivoi Rog ore. Major metallurgical enterprises are the metallurgical plants in Kommunarsk and Kadievka, a ferrous alloys plant in Almaznaia, a pipe-rolling mill in Voroshilovgrad, and a plant producing rollers in Lutugino. The production of cast iron in the oblast had increased by a factor of 7.4 by 1969 compared with 1913. The output of steel and rolled steel has increased twelvefold. Machine building, which has grown enormously since the establishment of Soviet power, is of national importance. The branches of industry that have developed most are those producing transportation and mining machines and equipment for the metallurgical, chemical, and other industries. Machine-building enterprises include the October Revolution Voroshilovgrad Diesel Locomotive Construction Plant (one of the largest transportation machine-building enterprises in the USSR) and a plant manufacturing coal-mining machinery, both in Voroshilovgrad; machine-building plants in Krasnyi Luch and Kadievka; an electromechanical plant in Pervomaisk; and a number of other machine-building plants that serve the coal industry and others.

The chemical and coal-tar chemical industry is highly developed. The principal chemical enterprises are the Severodonetsk Chemical Combine (production of ammonia, caprolactam, and mineral fertilizers) and the Rubezhnoe chemical combine (aniline dyes, chemical acids, and other inorganic products), as well as the Donetsk soda, the Kadievka carbon black, and other factories. Coal-tar chemical plants are located in Kommunarsk, Kadievka, and Ol’khovka.

The large volume of industrial, agricultural, and housing construction and the presence of rich mineral resources and raw materials have promoted the rapid growth of the construction materials industry. The oblast’s enterprises produce 60.5 percent of the republic’s window glass and 7.2 percent of its reinforced-concrete products. The major centers of this industry include Voroshilovgrad, Severodonetsk, Kadievka, Kommunarsk, and Lisichansk. The past decade has seen considerable growth of light industry (a fine cloth combine, leather footwear enterprises, a stocking and sock factory, and clothing factories). The food industry is also developed (meat combines, oil mills, creameries, fruit and vegetable canneries, other factories, and confectioneries) as is the woodworking industry.

Agriculture is highly mechanized and varied. The cultivation of grain and industrial crops (oil) is combined with dairy and meat livestock raising. At the beginning of 1970 the oblast had 186 kolkhozes, 126 sovkhozes, 23,975 tractors (based on 15-horsepower units), 2,470 grain-harvesting combines, and other agricultural machines. Electrical power consumption rose 3.5 times in the kolkhozes and 5.9 times in the sovkhozes. All the kolkhozes and sovkhozes have electricity. Agricultural land constitutes 82.5 percent of the total area (1969); of this, 63.3 percent is arable land, 17.5 percent is haying and pasture land, and 1.7 percent is orchards, berry fields, and vineyards. The sown area (1969) totals 1,454,000 hectares (ha), including 692,000 ha under grain crops (winter wheat, corn, barley), and 156,000 ha under industrial crops (155,000 ha are planted with sunflowers, which constitutes 10 percent of the Ukraine’s gross sunflower harvest). Most of the grain fields are in the north. Suburban vegetable and dairy farming is developed in the southern part of the oblast near the industrial centers and large cities. Fruit and grape growing is developing in the oblast. Fruit and berry plantings total 52,000 ha, of which 28,000 ha is fruit-bearing. An area of 47,000 ha (1969) is artificially irrigated.

Dairy and meat livestock raising is the most important branch of animal husbandry. In the beginning of 1970 the oblast had 746,500 head of cattle (including 302,400 cows), 559,800 swine, and 218,800 sheep and goats.

Voroshilovgrad Oblast has a dense railroad network (1,178 km in 1969; 1,186 km of access routes), with 44 km per 1,000 sq km. Freight turnover totals 172 million tons (11.6 percent of the Ukraine in 1969). The main lines and directions are Moscow-Donbas, Debal’tsevo-Rodakovo-Voroshilovgrad, Debal’ t se vo-Popas naia-Li sichansk- S vato vo- Kupiansk, and Krasnyi Liman-Rodakovo-Lutugino-Likhaia. Automobile roads total 7,500 km (1969), of which 2,800 km are paved. The major directions of automobile roads are Voroshilov-grad-Kharkov, Voroshilovgrad-Donetsk, VoroshilovgradDebal’tsevo, and Debal’tsevo-Krasnyi Luch-Rostov-onDon.


Education, cultural affairs, and public health. At the beginning of the 1914-15 academic year there were 983 schools with 86,700 students in Voroshilovgrad Oblast; there were no higher educational institutions or secondary specialized schools. In the 1969-70 academic year there were 1,358 general education schools of all types with 522,000 students, 118 vocational and technical schools with 56,200 students, 37 secondary specialized schools with 43,800 students, and five higher educational institutions (machine-building, pedagogical, medical, and agricultural institutes in Voroshilovgrad and a mining and metallurgical institute in Kommunarsk) with 32,700 students. As of Jan. 1, 1970, there were 1,094 preschool institutions with 105,800 children.

As of Jan. 1, 1970, the oblast had 1,172 general libraries (with 14 million books and magazines), a museum of local lore and the Artem Museum of Art in Voroshilovgrad, the Young Guard Museum in Krasnodon, an oblast drama theater and puppet theater, a philharmonic society, 864 clubs, and 1,062 motion picture projectors. Extracurricular institutions included four Palaces of Pioneers, 32 Houses of Pioneers, eight children’s technical stations, eight young naturalists’ stations, and 15 children’s sports schools.

The oblast newspapers are Prapor peremohi (Banner of Victory, sjnce 1946) and the komsomol newspaper Molodohvardiiets’ (Young Guard, since 1939) in Ukrainian and Voroshilovgradskaia pravda (since 1917). The oblast radio and television broadcast over two radio and television channels in Ukrainian and Russian. Programs are relayed from Kiev and Moscow.

As of Jan. 1, 1970, there were 257 hospital institutions with 32,700 beds (11.9 beds for each 1,000 inhabitants) and 6,100 physicians of all specializations (one physician for each 453 inhabitants).


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Istoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR: Luhans’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1968.
Ukraina: Raiony. Moscow, 1969. (Sovetskii Soiuz series.)