Zhitomir Oblast

Zhitomir Oblast


an oblast in the northern part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Sept. 22, 1937. Area, 29,900 sq km. Population, 1,608,000 (1971). The oblast is divided into 22 raions and has eight cities and 37 urban-type settlements. The center is the city of Zhitomir. Zhitomir Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on July 21, 1967.

Natural features. In terms of the terrain, the oblast is divided into a southwestern part that lies within the Dnieper Upland (elevation to 300 m) and a northeastern part-a low-lying, not very rugged section which is part of the Poles’e. The residual Ovruch Ridge, with a maximum elevation of 316 m, rises in the northwestern part of the oblast, in the marshy plain of the Poles’e Lowland.

The climate is moderately continental. Summers are warm and humid, with an average July temperature of 18.7°C. Winters are mild, with an average January temperature of -5.6°C. Annual precipitation ranges from 515 mm in the southern part to 604 mm in the Poles’e. The average length of the growing season is 240 days. The rivers of the oblast belong to the Dnieper basin. They include tributaries of the Pripiat’ (the Sluch’, Uzh, and Ubort’) and tributaries of the Dnieper (the Teterev with the Irsha and the upper reaches of the Irpen’). Large areas in the Poles’e are covered with swamps (25 percent of the northern part of the oblast).

Chernozem soils predominate in the southern forest-steppe parts of Zhitomir Oblast; soddy-podzolic, marshy, and gray forest soils predominate in the Poles’e. Forests, basically mixed (pine, oak, hornbeam, birch, alder, and aspen), and brushwood occupy 30 percent of the area. The animals found n i the oblast include elk, roe deer, boar, wolf, fox, squirrel, and gray hare. Among the birds are the titmouse, owl, woodpecker, capercaillie, hawk, mallard, and greylag goose.

Population. The population of Zhitomir Oblast (1970) consists of Ukrainians (85.1 percent), Russians (6.2 percent), Poles (5.6 percent), Jews (2.2 percent), and other nationalities. The average population density is 53.8 persons per sq km (1971). The southern districts are more densely populated (70–100 persons per sq km), and the Poles’e is less densely populated (25–50 persons per sq km). Thirty-six percent of the population is urban (1971). The most important cities are Zhitomir (167,000 inhabitants in 1971), Berdichev, Novograd-Volynskii, and Korosten’.

Economy. The gross industrial output in 1970 was 7.9 times the output in 1940 and 2.4 times the output in 1960. The development of industry is dependent on the use of agricultural raw materials and local mineral resources, along with sizable labor resources in a favorable economic and geographic situation. The most developed branches of industry are food industry, which accounted for 33 percent of the total industrial output in 1970; light industry, 28.4 percent; machine building and metalworking, 17.1 percent; timber, wood-products, and pulp and paper industry, 7.0 percent; building materials, 7.6 percent; and glass and porcelainpottery, 3.1 percent. Energy production is based upon coal brought into the oblast and local coal, peat, waterpower, and Carpathian gas. Minerals that are extracted in Zhitomir Oblast include Dinas quartzites in Ovruch Raion; a unique pink schist—pyrophyllite; granite; and labradorite in Korosten’, Ovruch, Cherniakhov, Korostyshev, Popel’nia, and Malin raions.

Among the branches of the food industry, sugar production is especially well developed (Berdichev, Andrushevka, Chervonoe, Kornin, Ivanopol’, and Velikie Korovintsy). In 1970, 167,000 tons of granulated sugar and 95,000 tons of lump sugar were produced. There are distilleries producing alcoholic beverages in Korostyshev, Andrushevka, Lipniki, Chervonoe, and Chudnov. Enterprises producing butter and cheese are located in Zhitomir, Malin, and Radomyshl’, and there are meat combines in Zhitomir, Berdichev, Korosten’, and Novograd-Volynskii. There is vegetable canning in Zhitomir and Ovruch and beer brewing in Zhitomir, Berdichev, Radomyshl’, and Novograd-Volynskii. The only malthouse in the Ukrainian SSR is located in Berdichev. The most important branches of light industry are textiles (a large linen combine in Zhitomir), linen enterprises (ErmTchino, Chopovichi, Chervonoarmeisk, and Korostyshev); and clothing manufacturing (Zhitomir, Korosten’, Malin, and Berdichev). The leather and shoe industry is centered in Zhitomir and Berdichev, and there is a musical instruments factory in Zhitomir. Machine building and metalworking are highly developed, with chemical machine-building plants in Berdichev and Korosten’, a machine-tool plant in Berdichev, a road-building machinery plant in Korosten’, an agricultural machinery plant in Novograd-Volynskii, and the Elektroizmeritel’ and Shchitavtomatika electrical appliance plants in Zhitomir. There are five porcelain and pottery enterprises in the oblast, as well as three plants producing porcelain for insulators (Baranovka, Gorodnitsa, Dovbysh, Korosten’, and Olevsk) and several glassworks and a mirror factory (Zhitomir). Wood-products enterprises and furniture factories are located in Zhitomir, Malin, Korosten’, Berdichev, and Novograd-Volynskii. There are one cardboard and four paper factories. A chemical combine and a plant for the production of metal structural components are being built in Zhitomir (1972).

The major branches of agriculture in the Poles’e are the production of flax, hops, potatoes, and grain; milk and meat animal husbandry are also important. In the forest-steppe the major branches of agriculture are sugar-beet and grain production and milk and meat animal husbandry.

As of the beginning of 1971 the oblast had 619 kolkhozes and 21 sovkhozes, 24,521 tractors (in 15-hp equivalents), and 3,200 grain harvesters, 700 sugar-beet harvesters, and 800 ensilage harvester combines. All the kolkhozes and sovkhozes are electrified. In 1970 agricultural land constituted 78.7 percent of the land of agricultural enterprises and farms, with arable lands accounting for 61.4 percent; hayfields for 10.7 percent; pastures for 5.1 percent; and orchards, berry plantations, and various other perennial plantings for 1.5 percent. The sown area totaled 1,230,000 hectares (ha) in 1970, including 518,000 ha under cereals (winter wheat, winter rye, legumes, barley, buckwheat, millet, and oats); 117,000 ha under industrial crops (fiber flax, sugar beets, hops); 179,000 ha under vegetables, melons, and potatoes; and 416,000 ha under forage crops. A total of 37,000 ha are planted with fruitand berry-producing plants, including 28,000 ha with fruit-bearing plants. A great deal of work is being done to drain marshy and water-logged lands in the Poles’e. The land area with drainage systems totaled 149,500 ha in 1970, including 96,200 ha being used in agricultural production.

Meat and milk livestock raising predominate in animal husbandry. As of the beginning of 1971 the oblast had 958,000 head of cattle (including 444,000 cows), 572,000 hogs, and 213,000 sheep and goats. Rabbit breeding, poultry farming, raising of fish in ponds, and beekeeping are also being developed.

The oblast has 1,101 km of railroad lines (1970). The following main lines pass through the oblast: Odessa-Leningrad, Kharkov-L’vov, Brest-Kiev, and Moscow-Chop. The chief railway junctions are Korosten’, Zhitomir, Berdichev, Novograd-Volynskii, and Ovruch. The oblast has 13,100 km of highways, including 4,700 km that are hard-surfaced. The main automobile roads are Kiev-L’vov and Vinnitsa-Mozyr’.

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In the 1914–15 academic year there were 1,146 general education schools with 96,600 pupils, and there were no secondary specialized or higher educational institutions. In the 1970–71 academic year there were 1,535 general education schools of all kinds with 328,400 pupils, 20 secondary specialized educational institutions with 18,400 students, and three higher educational institutions (agricultural and pedagogical institutes in Zhitomir and a pedagogical institute in Berdichev) with 6,500 students. Approximately 32,000 children were enrolled in 280 preschool establishments in 1970. As of Jan. 1, 1971, the oblast had 1,264 general libraries (with 10.6 million books and journals), as well as an oblast museum of local lore in Zhitomir (with these branches—the Academician S. P. Korolev Memorial House and Museum in Zhitomir, the Lesia Ukrainka Literary Memorial Museum in NovogradVolynskii, and the Museum of Partisan Glory of the Poles’e in Slovechno). There are 1,529 clubs, 1,393 motion picture projectors, four Young Pioneer Palaces, six stations for young technicians, ten sports schools, and other extracurricular institutions.

Two Ukrainian oblast newspapers are published— Radians’ka Zhytomyrshchyna (Soviet Zhitomirshchina; since 1919) and Komsomol’ska zirka (Komsomol Star; since 1938). The oblast radio broadcasts in Ukrainian on one channel, and the radio and television stations relay programs from Kiev and Moscow.

As of Jan. 1, 1971, Zhitomir Oblast had 178 hospitals with 15,600 beds (9.5 beds per 1,000 persons). There were 2,800 doctors (one doctor per 568 persons). There are mineral springs in Novograd-Volynskii, Berdichev, Korostyshev, and Zhitomir, as well as a hydropathic establishment in Zhitomir. There are peat deposits near Zhitomir, Berdichev, Novograd-Volynskii, and the village of Zarechan, and there is sapropelic mud on the Vil’ka farmstead. The oblast has sanatoriums and rest homes.


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