Khmelnitskii Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khmel’nitskii Oblast


an oblast of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Sept. 22, 1937, and known as Kamenets-Podol’skii Oblast until 1954. Area, 20,600 sq km. Population, 1,563,000 (1977). The oblast is divided into 20 raions, with 11 cities and 24 urban-type settlements. Its administrative center is the city of Khmel–nitskii. On Feb. 26, 1958, Khmel’nitskii Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin.

Natural features. Khmel’nitskii Oblast is located in the central part of the Podol’e Upland and has elevations ranging primarily from 220 to 330 m; the maximum elevation is 396 m. The oblast is dissected by river valleys, ravines, and gullies, especially in the southern part, near the Dnestr. The climate is moderately continental. The summers are warm and humid, with a mean July temperature of 19.4°C; the winters are mild, with a mean January temperature of –5.6°C. The oblast receives 560–620 mm of precipitation a year. The growing season lasts approximately 217 days.

The rivers of Khmel’nitskii Oblast belong to the basin of the Black Sea. The principal rivers of the southern part of the oblast are the Dnestr and such tributaries as the Zbruch, the Zhvanchik, and the Smotrich. The upper course of the Iuzhnyi Bug is in the central part of the oblast, and the main rivers of the northern part are the Goryn’, Sluch’, and Khomora, which belong to the Pripiat’ River basin. The soils are primarily chernozems with a low humus content. Podzolized chernozems, loams, and gray and light gray soils are found in the southeast and along the Dnestr. In the north there are sod-podzolic soils together with soddy calcareous and chernozem soils. Khmel’nitskii Oblast is in a forest-steppe zone. Only in the far north, in the Volyn’ Poles’e, do forests (mainly of pine) predominate. Forests cover a total of 13.1 percent of the oblast.

The animal kingdom is represented by the hare, fox, wolf, wild boar, roe deer, elk, squirrel, marten, and various field rodents. Along the shores of rivers and bodies of water are muskrats, otters, wild geese, and ducks.

Population. According to the 1970 census, 90.8 percent of the population of Khmel’nitskii Oblast consists of Ukrainians. Russians account for 4.3 percent, and Poles, Jews, Byelorussians, and other nationalities make up the rest. The average population density is 75.9 per sq km (1977), with the central and southern parts of the oblast being the most densely populated. The urban population is 34 percent of the total (1977). The cities with the greatest number of inhabitants are Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Shepetovka, and Slavuta.

Economy. During the years of socialist construction, Khmel’nitskii Oblast was transformed from a backward, agricultural region into an oblast with an economy based on both agriculture and industry.

The food-processing industry is well represented in Khmel’nitskii Oblast, and the sugar-processing sector of the industry is especially highly developed. The oblast has 16 sugar factories, the largest of which are in Teofipol’, Volochisk, Gorodok, and Starokonstantinov raions. In 1975 the oblast produced 76,400 tons of refined sugar and 425,200 tons of granulated sugar. Candy is produced in Khmel’nitskii, and creameries are located in such cities as Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Gorodok, and Starokon-stantinov. The alcohol industry has enterprises in Annopol’, Dolzhok, and Manikovtsy; breweries are found in Khmel’nitskii, Zin’kov, and Slavuta. There are meat-packing combines in Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, and Shepetovka and vegetable canneries in, for example, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Medzhibozh, and Novaia Ushitsa.

Light industry is represented by spinning and weaving (Kamenets-Podol’skii) and the production of felted fabric (Duna-evtsy and Slavuta), clothing (Volochisk, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Letichev, Slavuta, and Khmel’nitskii), knitwear (Khmel’nitskii), fine leather goods (Khmel’nitskii), and footwear (Khmel’nitskii). Machine building and metalworking, which have undergone development in the oblast in the postwar decades, are represented by plants for the production of machine tools (Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Gorodok, and Lozovoe), electrical equipment (Khmel’nitskii and Kamenets-Podol’skii), instruments (Kamenets-Podol’skii), agricultural machinery (Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, and Shepetovka), subassemblies of motor vehicles (Kamenets-Podol’skii), and equipment for light industry and the food-processing industry (Krasilov).

Enterprises for the manufacture of furniture and wood products are located in Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Shepetovka, Volkovintsy, Letichev, Iziaslav, Dunaevtsy, and Slavuta. There are paper mills in Poninka and Poliany and a paperboard factory in Proskurovka. In the postwar years, factories for the production of building materials have been constructed in Khmel’nitskii, Kamenets-Podol’skii, Slavuta, and Starokonstan-tinov. Slavuta and Polonnoe have plants for the production of glass, porcelain, and faïence.

Agriculture in Khmel’nitskii Oblast is concentrated on the cultivation of grains and sugar beets and the raising of dairy and meat animals. As of 1976, the oblast had 452 kolkhozes and 35 sovkhozes. As of 1975, 76.8 percent of the oblast’s land was devoted to agriculture: plowland accounted for 67.9 percent; hay-fields, for 4.3 percent; pastures, for 2.2 percent; and orchards and berry patches, for 2.4 percent. The sown area in 1976 totaled 1,397,700 hectares (ha); this area was 41 percent greater than the amount of land under cultivation in 1913. Of the 1976 total, 714,600 ha were planted to grain crops (wheat, legumes, maize, barley, and buckwheat), 392,100 ha to feed crops, 178,600 ha to industrial crops (sugar beets, sunflowers, chicory, rape, and tobacco), and 112,400 ha to vegetables, including potatoes. Orchards cover 64,400 ha; 45,900 ha have trees of fruit-bearing age.

The most important sector of animal husbandry is the raising of meat and dairy animals. As of early 1977, there were 1,118,900 head of cattle, including 423,200 cows; 854,000 swine; and 218,000 sheep and goats. Poultry farming, fish pond farming, and beekeeping are well developed.

As of 1975, the oblast had 732 km of railroads, not including spur tracks. The most important lines are Kiev-L’vov (both through Kazatin and Zhmerinka and through Kazatin and Shepetovka) and Kiev-Larga (through Zhmerinka, Khmel’nitskii, and Kamenets-Podol’skii). As of 1975, there was a total of 8.400 km of roads in the oblast, 5,300 km of which were paved. The most important routes are Khmel’nitskii-Vinnitsa-Kiev, Khmel’nitskii-Ternopol’-L’vov, Khmernitskii-Kamenets-Podol’skii-Kishinev-Odessa, and Khmel’nitskii-Shepetovka-Rovno. The Dnestr is used for navigation. The city of Khmel’nitskii is linked by air with such cities as Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk. Donetsk, and Kharkov.


Education, cultural affairs, andpublic health. In the 1914–15 academic year the region that is now Khmel’nitskii Oblast had 1,196 general-education schools, with a total of 79,100 students, and three specialized secondary educational schools, with 573 students. There were no higher educational institutions. In the 1976–77 academic year the oblast had 1,176 general-education schools of various types, with a total of 267,200 students. In addition, as of Jan. 1, 1977, 14,000 students were attending the 29 vocational-technical schools of Glavprofobr (the Main Administration for Vocational Training), 4,900 students were studying at 13 vocational-technical secondary schools, and 16,800 students were enrolled in 16 specialized secondary schools. As of the same date, more than 14,100 students were attending the three higher educational institutions in the oblast—the Khmel’nitskii Technological Institute of Consumer Services, the Kamenets-Podol’skii Agricultural Institute, and the Kamenets-Podol’skii Pedagogical Institute. In 1976 more than 48,800 children were being educated at 597 preschool institutions.

As of 1976, Khmel’nitskii Oblast had 1,420 public libraries, with more than 12.7 million copies of books and journals. It also had 1,501 clubs, 1,238 motion-picture projection units, and 32 extracurricular institutions, as well as two theaters (the G. I. Petrovskii Oblast Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater and the oblast puppet theater in Khmel’nitskii) and three museums (a museum of local lore in Khmel’nitskii, a historical museum-preserve in Kamenets-Podol’skii, and the N. A. Ostrovskii Memorial Literary Museum in Shepetovka, where Ostrovskii was a member of the okrug Komsomol committee in 1924).

The oblast has two Ukrainian-language oblast-level newspapers: Radians’ke Podillia (Soviet Podolia; published since 1918) and Korchahinets’ (Korchaginite), a Komsomol newspaper, which has been published since 1938. There are radio programs in both Russian and Ukrainian—including 44 hours a day of broadcasts from All-Union Radio, 19 hours a day of republic broadcasts, and 1.1 hours a day of oblast broadcasts. In addition, 24.2 hours a day of television programs from Central Television and the joint Moscow-Kiev system are broadcast.

By Jan. 1, 1976, Khmel’nitskii Oblast had 152 hospitals, with a total of 17,100 beds (10.9 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), and 3,400 doctors (one doctor per 468 inhabitants). There are nine sanatoriums and several houses of rest.


Istoriia mist i sil URSR: Khmelnyts’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1971.
Humeniuk, S. K., and A. I. Meshchyshyn. Khmel’nyts’ka oblast’. L’vov, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.