Cherkassy Oblast

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cherkassy Oblast


part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Jan. 7, 1954. Area, 20,900 sq km. Population, 1,552,000 (Jan. 1, 1977). Cherkassy Oblast is divided into 20 raions and has 15 cities and 19 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is the city of Cherkassy. The oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on Feb. 26,1958.

Natural features. Cherkassy Oblast is situated along the middle course of the Dnieper River. Most of the oblast lies along the right bank of the river within the Dnieper Upland and has a maximum elevation of 270 m. Adjoining the Dnieper River valley are the Kanev Hills and the Moshnogorskii Ridge, which rises 160–180 m above the Dnieper. The smaller part of the oblast, along the left bank of the river, lies in the Dnieper Lowland, where elevations do not exceed 150 m.

The oblast has a moderate continental climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The average January temperature is – 5.9°C, and the average July temperature is 19.5°C. Annual precipitation is 450–520 mm, and the growing season lasts approximately 210 days. The oblast’s rivers are in the basins of the Dnieper and Iuzhnyi Bug. The principal river, the Dnieper, flows within the oblast for 150 km; its water level has been raised considerably by the Kremenchug and Kanev reservoirs. Right tributaries of the Dnieper in the oblast are the Ros’, Ol’shanka, and Tiasmin; left tributaries include the Supoi and Sula. The basin of the Iuzhnyi Bug includes the Gornyi Tikich and the Gniloi Tikich rivers.

In the right-bank area of the oblast, the soil cover is primarily made up of podzolic and average-humus chernozems; the upland areas have gray and light-gray podzols. Soddy-gley, thick meadow, and sod-podzol soils are widespread in the area along the left bank. Forests, predominantly oak forests, occupy approximately one-sixth of the oblast; near Cherkassy there is a large forest tract known as the Cherkassy Pine Forest. Steppe vegetation has remained along the edges of the forests and on the slopes of balki (small flat-bottomed valleys).

The forests are inhabited by elk, deer (including roe deer), wild boars, squirrels, wolves, foxes, hare, and marten. Along the river banks and the shores of lakes and ponds live beavers, otters, wild ducks, and birds of the suborder Limicolae. In the waters of the oblast swim European bream, Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike, pike perch, and domesticated carp.

Population. According to the 1970 census, Ukrainians make up 92.8 percent of the oblast’s population, Russians approximately 6 percent, and Jews approximately 0.7 percent. In 1977 the average population density was 74.3 persons per sq km, reaching 100 persons per sq km in the urban areas and near the Dnieper; 44 percent of the population was urban. The principal cities are Cherkassy, Uman’, Smela, Zvenigorodka, Zolotonosha, Kanev, and Shpola.

Economy. The electric power industry is based on the Cherkassy District Heat and Power Plant; the Kanev Hydroelectric Power Plant went into operation in 1972. Brown coal is mined in Zvenigorodka Raion, and peat is extracted in Cherkassy Raion. The oblast is supplied with natural gas from Shebelinka, and is crossed by a natural-gas pipeline that extends from Orenburg to the western border of the USSR; the pipeline was laid in 1978 by member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON).

The food-processing industry produces the greatest share of the oblast’s gross output. In 1976 sugar factories, located mainly in the right-bank area, produced 524,000 tons of granulated sugar and 254,000 tons of refined sugar. Cherkassy’s cannery, which is capable of turning out more than 100 million standard cans annually, and tobacco factory produce for the entire country. Also highly developed are meat packing (Cherkassy, Uman’, and Vatutino), distilling, flour milling, brewing, and dairying.

The oblast has machine-building plants in Cherkassy, Smela, Uman’, Kamenka, and Monastyrishche; a machine-tool plant in Korsun’-Shevchenkovskii; an electrical machinery and repair plant in Smela; and an instrument-making plant in Uman’.

During the ninth five-year plan (1971–75) the output of chemical products increased by a factor of 2.5. A large plant for the production of chemical fibers and yarn and a chemical combine have been built in Cherkassy, and a plant for the production of chemical reagents is being enlarged. Light industry is represented by a combine producing silk fabrics, a garment production association, and plants for the production of absorbent cotton, knitwear, fine cloth articles, and fulled felt fabric, all located in Cherkassy. There are hemp mills in Zolotonosha and Irkliev and a cotton factory in Steblev.

The wood-products industry is represented by such production associations as Cherkassymebel’. The construction industry has developed rapidly. The oblast has a prefabricated-housing combine, and there are plants for the production of silica bricks and construction machinery and equipment in Cherkassy. Brickyards are located in numerous raions, including Zolotonosha, Uman’, Gorodishche, and Zhashkov raions, and there are granite quarries in Uman’, Zvenigorodka, and Gorodishche raions. A plant for the production of fired refractory materials, which uses refractory clays from the Novoselitsa deposits, has been constructed; in 1978 construction was nearing completion on a combine for the production of bentonite clays in Lysianka Raion.

Agriculture is oriented toward the cultivation of sugar beets and grains, along with other vegetables and fruit. There is also livestock raising for meat and dairy products. In 1976 the oblast had 389 kolkhozes and 58 sovkhozes; 70 percent of the oblast was agricultural land, of which 91 percent was plowland and 7 percent was pastures and hayfields. The total sown area in that year was 1,320,700 hectares (ha): 609,000 ha were cultivated with such grains and legumes as winter wheat, spring barley, peas, maize, and millet; 201,700 ha with such industrial crops as sugar beets; 74,200 ha with potatoes; 21,800 ha with other vegetables; and 410,000 ha with feed crops. Tree-fruit and small-fruit plantings occupied 48,000 ha, and there were 34,000 ha suitable for dry farming.

In 1976 the livestock population included 887,000 head of cattle (including 320,800 cows), 936,400 swine, and 280,900 sheep and goats. There is poultry farming, and a fur farm for the production of mink pelts has been established near Moshny.

The oblast has 605 km of railroad lines, exclusive of spur lines. The most important trunk lines are Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk, Moscow-Odessa, and Donetsk-L’vov; the principal rail junctions are T. G. Shevchenko and Khristinovka. There are 6,500 km of roads, including 4,700 km of hard-surface roads. The main highways are Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev-Odessa. There is navigation on the Dnieper. Air routes connect Cherkassy with Kiev, various oblast administrative centers, and many cities in the Ukrainian SSR.

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In the 1976–77 academic year Cherkassy Oblast had 785 general-education schools of all types, with an enrollment of 241,700; 25 vocational-technical educational institutions, with an enrollment of 12,800; and 20 specialized secondary educational institutions, with an enrollment of 18,100. In that year 8,500 students attended the oblast’s three higher educational institutions—a pedagogical institute in Cherkassy and pedagogical and agriculture institutes in Uman’—and the department of general technology of the Kiev Construction Engineering Institute, in Cherkassy. In 1976 approximately 71,700 children were enrolled in 821 preschool institutions.

In 1976 the oblast had 1,045 public libraries, with more than 13,600 copies of books and periodicals, and seven museums: museums of local lore in Cherkassy and Uman’; a literary-memorial museum in Kamenka dedicated to A. S. Pushkin and P. I. Tchaikovsky, both of whom visited the city; the Museum of the History of the Battle at Korsun’-Shevchenkovskii, in Korsun’-Shevchenkovskii; the T. V. Shevchenko memorial grave site, a museumpreserve, in Kanev; the T. G. Shevchenko Literary-Memorial Museum, in the village of Shevchenkovo; and the I. S. Nechui-Levitskii Literary-Memorial House-Museum, in the village of Steblev, the writer’s birthplace. The oblast has two theaters, both located in Cherkassy: a theater of music and drama and a puppet theater. Other cultural and educational institutions and facilities include 948 clubs, 961 stationary motion-picture projection units, and 24 extracurricular institutions.

There are two oblast-level newspapers, both published in Ukrainian: Cherkas’ka pravda (Cherkassy Pravda), founded in 1918, and the Komsomol newspaper Molod’ Cherkashchyny (Youth of Cherkassy), founded in 1960. The oblast receives two programs of All-Union Radio for a total of 44 hours daily, information broadcasts of republic radio for a total of 19 hours daily, combined national and republic broadcasts for 19 hours daily, and local broadcasts for 1.1 hours daily; programming is in Ukrainian and Russian. Programs of Central Television are transmitted for a total of 13 hours daily, and republic television programming in Russian and Ukrainian is broadcast for 11.2 hours daily.

As of Jan. 1, 1977, there were 162 hospitals, with 18,000 beds (11.6 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), and 3,800 physicians (1 physician per 409 inhabitants). The climatic health resort Sosnovka is located in the oblast, which also has sanatoriums and houses of rest.

Tourism is highly developed in Cherkassy Oblast, whose principal tourist itineraries are in the regions of the Kremenchug Reservoir, the Dnieper, and the cities of Cherkassy, Kanev, Korsun’-Shevchenkovskii, and Uman’, where the Sofievka Arboretum is located. There are tourist centers in Cherkassy and Kanev and at the Kremenchug Reservoir.


Gudzenko, P. A. Cherkas’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1959.
Istoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR: Cherkas’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.