Dnepropetrovsk Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dnepropetrovsk Oblast


a part of the Ukrainian SSR, formed on Feb. 27, 1932. Situated in the southeastern part of the Ukraine in the basin of the middle and lower course of the Dnieper. Area, 31,900 sq km. Population, 3,382,000 (1971). Dnepropetrovsk Oblast has 20 administrative raions, 19 cities, and 56 urban-type settlements. Its administrative center is the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The oblast has been awarded two Orders of Lenin (1958 and 1970).

Natural features. Most of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast is occupied by plains. The heavily dissected Dnieper upland, with altitudes up to 209 m, is located in the west, and the spurs of the Azov upland, with altitudes up to 211 m, protrude into the oblast in the south. The central region is occupied by the Dnieper lowlands, which join the Black Sea lowlands in the south.

Dnepropetrovsk Oblast has a temperate continental climate. The average temperature in January is -5°C in the southwest and -6.5°C in the northeast, and the average temperatures of these regions in July are 23.5°C and 22°C, respectively. Annual precipitation ranges from 450 mm in the north to 400 mm in the south. The length of the growing season is 210 days. The Dnieper, which is the main waterway, dissects the oblast from northwest to southeast, dividing it into two almost equal parts. The right tributaries of the Dnieper are the Bazavluk, Mokraia Sura, and Ingulets (with its tributary the Saksagan’), and the left tributaries are the Orel’ and Samara (with its tributary the Volchia). The Dnieper and the lower course of the Samara are navigable. The prevailing soils are chernozem and dark chestnut soil, with meadow chernozem and podzolic soils in the valleys.

Almost all the steppes are cultivated. Oak, aspen, birch, and maple forests, which cover 2.6 percent of the oblast, grow primarily in the major river valleys. (Approximately 1 percent of the forests are field shelter belts.) Fauna include the roe deer, wolf, fox, European hare, and rodents. The most typical birds are the quail, common partridge, skylark, calandra lark, duck, and woodcock.

Population. According to 1970 data, Ukrainians constitute 74.5 percent of the population of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, Russians, 20.9 percent, Jews, 2.1 percent, and Byelorussians, 1.4 percent. Other nationalities make up the remainder of the population. The average population density is 106 inhabitants per sq km (1971). The greatest population density is found in the region along the Dnieper and the trunk railroad that connects the Donbas with Krivoi Rog. The Dnepropetrovsk-Dneprodzerzhinsk conurbation, a result of the oblast’s industrial development, stretches 60 km along the Dnieper’s right bank and 45 km along its left bank and has an average population density of 260-280 inhabitants per sq km. The Krivoi Rog conurbation, which has developed in the Krivoi Rog basin, has an average population density of about 300 inhabitants per sq km. The urban population of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast is 2.6 million. (In 1971 this represented 77 percent of the total population, as compared to 70 percent in 1959.) The oblast’s major cities are Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoi Rog, Dneprodzerzhinsk, Nikopol’, Pavlograd, and Novomoskovsk. Under Soviet power many villages and settlements have grown into important industrial cities and commercial centers, including Dneprodzerzhinsk (formerly Kamenskoe), Marganets, Ordzhonikodze, Zheltye Vody, Verkhnedneprovsk, and Ingulets. The development of the mining of iron, manganese, and other ores, as well as the development of metallurgy and the electric power industry has resulted in the building of new cities, such as Vol’nogorsk and Pridneprovsk.

Economy. Dnepropetrovsk Oblast is one of the most industrially developed regions of the Ukrainian SSR. Its industry is powerful and dominated by the electric power industry, metallurgy, and machine building. There is large-scale agriculture (particularly grains) and well-developed railroad and highway transportation, inland shipping, and other types of transportation. The high level of urbanization has promoted the rapid development of the municipal economy and the construction of housing and cultural facilities.

The industrial output of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast rose 8.8 times between 1940 and 1970 and 2.3 times between 1960 and 1970. A strong electric power industry was created in the oblast during the period of socialist construction, especially in the postwar years. It consists of the Dnieper, Krivoi Rog, Dneprodze-zhinsk, and other district hydroelectric power plants, the V. I. Lenin Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant (Dneproges), and the Dneprodzerzhinsk Hydroelectric Power Plant, all of which are part of the Dnieper Power System (Dneproenergo). The power industry is the basis of a highly developed mining industry and a building materials industry. Iron ore in mined in the Krivoi Rog iron ore basin, manganese ore at the Nikopol’ deposit (one of the world’s largest deposits), and coal in the western part of the Donbas. The mining industries employ about 20 percent of the oblast’s industrial workers and account for 14 percent of its gross industrial output. In 1970, 104 million tons of iron ore were mined (more than half the iron ore mined in the USSR), and 5.2 million tons of manganese ore were extracted.

The economy of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast is dominated by ferrous metallurgy, which employs 38 percent of all workers in the oblast and produces about 50 percent of the industrial output (1970). In 1970, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast produced 15.7 million tons of pig iron, 16.8 million tons of steel, and 14.3 million tons of rolled steel. Ferrous metallurgy is carried on at the V. I. Lenin Krivoi Rog Metallurgical Plant (an eighth furnace, with a volume of 2,700 cu m, was put into operation in 1967), the F. E. Dzerzhinskii Dnieper Metallurgical Plant in Dneprodzerzhinsk, the G. I. Petrovskii Dnepropetrovsk Metallurgical Plant, the V. I. Lenin and K. Liebknecht pipe-rolling plants, the Nikopol’ Southern Pipe Plant, and the Novomoskovsk Metallurgical Plant. Nonferrous metallurgy is represented by the Verkhnedneprovsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine.

The development of machine building in Dnepropetrovsk was associated with the development of metallurgy. The gross output of machine building and metalworking rose 21 times between 1940 and 1970. Dnepropetrovsk Oblast has plants producing equipment for metallurgy, metal structural components, machine tools, presses, heavy paper-making machines, agricultural combines, and instruments (all in Dnepropetrovsk), mining equipment (Krivoi Rog), construction machines (Nikopol’), and railroad cars (Dneprodzerzhinsk).

Branches of heavy industry are located primarily in three industrial regions: the Dnepropetrovsk-Dneprodzerzhinsk region (chiefly metallurgy and machine building), the Krivoi Rog region (primarily iron mining, metallurgy, machine building, and building materials), and the Nikopol’ region (mainly manganese mining, machine building, and building materials). The new Pavlograd industrial region, a center for machine building and the coal industry, is being developed.

The coke chemicals and chemicals industry, which is well developed, produces primarily nitrogen fertilizers (at Dneprodzerzhinsk) and lacquer and paint products and automobile tires (Dnepropetrovsk). The building materials and fireproof materials industries are also well developed. The most important food-processing enterprises are flour and groats mills, butter and oil factories, which produced 154,000 tons of vegetable oil in 1970, and meat and dairy plants.

Agriculture is characterized by a high level of commodity production of grains and meat and dairy animals. Industrial crops and orchards are also important. By early 1971 there were 336 kolkhozes and 99 sovkhozes. Between 1961 and 1971 the number of tractors used in agriculture (in terms of standard 15-horsepower units) increased from 16,300 to 35,000, and major agricultural operations were mechanized. During the same period the electric power consumption on kolkhozes and sovkhozes increased 3.4 times. (All kolkhozes and sovkhozes in the oblast have been electrified.)

In 1970 agricultural land accounted for 80.5 percent of all the land in Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, including 68.2 percent plowed land, 0.7 percent hay fields, 9.4 percent pastures, and 2.2 percent orchards and berry plantings.

In 1970 the sown area totaled 2,480,000 hectares (ha), 52.1 percent of which was planted with cereal crops (winter wheat, barley, and corn), 13.7 percent with industrial crops (primarily sunflowers and sugar beets), 5.3 percent with potatoes, vegetables, and melons, and 28.9 percent with fodder crops. Suburban vegetable and dairy farming is well developed around the industrial centers. Krivoi Rog, Shirokoe, Sofievka, and Tsarichanka raions are the major orchard regions. The waters of the Kakhovka and Dneprodzerzhinsk reservoirs and the Dneiper-Krivoi Rog Canal irrigate 122,000 ha, including 102,000 ha of fields and 8,700 ha of orchards. In early 1971, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast had 1,210,900 head of cattle (including 470,700 cows), 1,164,700 pigs, and 464,300 sheep and goats. Poultry and fish farming are also well developed.

Dnepropetrovsk Oblast has a dense railroad network (1,550 km of railroad tracks in 1970) and one of the highest densities of freight traffic in the USSR. Trunk lines connect the Krivoi Rog basin and the Donbas (the Krivoi Rog-Piatikhatki-Dnepropetrovsk-Krasnoarmeisk line and the Dolinskaia-Nikopol’-Zaporozh’e-Pologi line, which continues to the Donbas). The Krivoi Rog-Ciscarpathian line runs through Tsvetkovo and Fastov. Export trade prevails in railroad traffic, accounting for 59 percent of the freight. Motor vehicle transportation is also important. In 1971 there were 8,900 km of highways, 4,100 km of which were paved. Another major means of transportation is shipping on the Dnieper, with major ports at Dnepropetrovsk, Dneprodzerzhinsk, and Nikopol’. Dnepropetrovsk Oblast also relies on pipelines, including the Shebelinka-Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoi Rog, and Pereshchepino-Dnepropetrovsk gas pipelines, which have branches running to cities and settlements.

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In the academic year 1970-71, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast had 1,644 general education schools of all types with 585,500 students, 60 vocational technical schools with 29,000 students, and 70 specialized secondary schools with 92,800 students. Before the October Revolution there was one institute on the territory of the oblast. In the academic year 1970-71 there were 11 institutions of higher learning in Dnepropetrovsk Oblast. The city of Dnepropetrovsk is the site of Dnepropetrovsk University, the Dnepropetrovsk Mining Institute, the Dnepropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute, the Dnepropetrovsk Institute of Chemical Engineering, the Dnepropetrovsk Institute of Railroad Engineering, and medical, construction engineering, and agricultural institutes. There are mining and pedagogical institutes in Krivoi Rog, and there is an industrial institute in Dneprodzerzhinsk. The total student body of the oblast’s institutions of higher learning was 71,500 (1970-71). There were 162,400 children in 1,508 preschool institutions in 1970.

On Jan. 1, 1971, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast had 1,186 public libraries (15.4 million books and magazines), 1,020 clubs, and five museums, including history and art museums in Dnepropetrovsk, the museum of the history of the city of Dneprodzerzhinsk, and museums of local lore in Krivoi Rog and Nikopol’. There were five theaters, a philharmonic symphony, and 1,307 motion picture projectors in the oblast in January 1971.

The oblast newspapers include Zoria (Dawn, since 1917; before 1917, published under the title Zvezda [The Star]), the Ukrainian-language Komsomol newspaper Prapor iunosti (Banner of Youth, since 1921), and Dneprovskaia pravda (since 1938). The oblast radio and television stations broad-cast two programs each in Ukrainian and Russian and relay broadcasts from Kiev and Moscow. The television center is located in Dnepropetrovsk.

On Jan. 1, 1971, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast had 267 hospitals with 38,900 beds (11.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) and 10,100 doctors (one doctor per 336 inhabitants).


Lapko, M. V. Dnipropetrovs’ka oblast, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1967.
Narodne hospodarstvo Ukrains’koi RSR v 1968 h. Kiev, 1969.
Korets’kyi, L. M., and M. M. Palamarchuk. Heohrafiia promyslovosti Ukrains’koi RSR. Kiev, 1967.
Istoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR, vol. 7. Kiev, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The country has 49 recognized iron ore deposits and 10 operating mines, largely in the form of magnetite ores and most of the production is concentrated in the Krivoy Rog basin, in the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast.