Kiev Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kiev Oblast


located in the central and northern part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Feb. 27, 1932, it has an area of 29,000 sq km and a population of 3,612,000 (1972), including the 1,764,000 inhabitants of Kiev. The oblast is divided into 24 raions and has 19 cities and 30 urban-type settlements; its capital is Kiev. The oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1958.

Natural features. The oblast lies in the Dnieper Lowland, along the middle course of the Dnieper River. In the southwestern and central parts of the oblast are the spurs of the Dnieper Upland, with elevations of up to 273 m. The climate is moderately continental, with mild winters and warm summers. The average January temperature in the northern part is —6.5°C and in the southwest — 5.5°C; the average July temperatures are 17.5°C in the north and 20°C in the southwest. The average annual precipitation ranges from 500 mm in the south to 600 mm in the north, and the growing season varies from 198 to 204 days. The principal water artery is the Dnieper, which flows through the oblast for 246 km. Its right tributaries are the Pripiat’, Teterev, and Irpen’, and its left tributaries include the Desna and Trubezh. Another major river is the Ros’. With the construction of the Kiev Hydroelectric Power Plant 20 km upstream from Kiev in 1965, the Kiev Reservoir was formed.

The soils in the northern part of the oblast are soddy podzols; in the southern forest-steppe region, fertile podzolized chernozems and gray and light gray podzolized soils occur on loess deposits. The northern part of the oblast lies within Poles’e (a swampy, wooded lowland) and the southern, and larger, part is within the forest-steppe zone. Some 19 percent of the oblast’s area is covered with forests and underbrush. In the northern part of the oblast the forests consist chiefly of pine with an admixture of birch and oak; in the forest-steppe regions small tracts of oak, hornbeam, and linden have been preserved. There are large areas of flooded meadow along the Dnieper, Desna, Irpen’, and other rivers. The wildlife of the wooded regions includes elk, roe deer, wild boars, badgers, wolves, marten, foxes, blue and gray hares, and squirrels, and rodents are found in the nonwooded areas. The banks of rivers and other bodies of water are inhabited by beavers, otters, wild ducks, and snipe. The oblast has a number of state hunting preserves near Iagotin (water and swamp fowl) and in the Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii area (roe deer, beaver, marten, and hare).

Population. Kiev Oblast is inhabited by Ukrainians, constituting 92 percent of the population in 1970, as well as by Russians, Jews, Byelorussians, and Poles. The average population density is 124.5 persons per sq km (1972). The most densely populated regions are the Kiev metropolitan area, where 2 million persons live within a radius of 60–80 km (the average density reaches as high as 700), and the Belaia Tserkov’ Raion (145 persons per sq km). The most sparsely populated are the raions of Poles’e, including Chernobyl’, Polesskoe, and Ivankov, where the density ranges from 25 to 30 persons per sq km. Urban dwellers constitute 68 percent of the population (1972). The major cities are Kiev and Belaia Tserkov’; in the Soviet period the cities of Fastov, Borispol’, Brovary, and Irpen’ have developed.

Economy. The oblast has a highly developed processing industry, 76 percent of which (in terms of the number of employees and the total output) is concentrated in Kiev, and intensive agriculture. The various branches of industry are powered by a major electrical energy base (the Kiev Thermal Power Plant, the Kiev Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Dnieper, the Tripol’e State Regional Electric Power Plant), as well as by natural gas supplied by the Shebelinka-Dikan’ka-Kiev and the Efremovka-Dikan’ka-Kiev pipelines. Peat is extracted in the Kievo-Sviatoshinskii, Borodianka, and other raions.

The processing industry accounts for 97.3 percent of the total value of industrial output and the extractive industry, for 2.7 percent (1971). The oblast’s gross industrial output (excluding Kiev) increased 9.1 times between 1940 and 1971. Leading industries include machine building and metalworking (19.6 percent of the gross industrial output), food processing (33.4 percent), light industry (18.6 percent), lumbering, woodworking and paper and pulp (6.5 percent), and the production of building materials (6.6 percent).

The machine-building and metalworking industries specialize in producing and repairing equipment and machinery for agriculture, industrial enterprises, and transport (the tractor-repair and Elektrokondensator plants in Belaia Tserkov’, the chemical machine building factory in Fastov, the peat-cutting machinery plant in Irpen’, and the refrigerator factory in Vasil’kov). Brovary, near Kiev, has powder metallurgy, commercial equipment, and refrigerator plants. The light industry is represented by garment enterprises (Belaia Tserkov’, Skvira, Fastov, Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii), textiles (the cloth factory in Bogu-slav), and footwear enterprises (the leather plant in Vasil’kov). The food industry includes sugar refineries, producing up to 400,000 tons of granulated sugar annually (7 percent of the sugar output of the Ukrainian SSR), a large number of milling and hulling enterprises, alcoholic-beverage and fruit-canning plants, and a large meat-packing and dairy industry. Belaia Tserkov’ is an important center of the food industry.

There is a well-developed building-materials industry, including a housing-construction combine at Belaia Tserkov’, a plant producing reinforced-concrete structural components at Borispol’, and factories manufacturing majolica and building materials at Vasil’kov. Major wood-products centers are Belaia Tserkov’, Fastov, and Brovary (furniture and building supplies). Under construction (1973) at Belaia Tserkov’ is a combine for the manufacture of tires and rubber-asbestos products. Artistic crafts, notably embroidery and weaving, are well developed, particularly in Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii, Chernobyl’, and Boguslav.

The leading branches of agriculture are the cultivation of sugar beets, wheat, flax, fruits, and vegetables and the raising of livestock for milk and meat. In 1971 the oblast had 412 kolkhozes and 122 sovkhozes. Agricultural land accounts for 62.6 percent of the total land area, including arable land, 51.5 percent; hay fields and pastures, 9.7 percent; and orchards, berry bushes, and vineyards, 1.4 percent. The basic operations have been mechanized, and the number of tractors increased from 13,100 to 36,700 in the period 1961–71 (based on 15-hp units). All the oblast’s kolkhozes and sovkhozes have been electrified.

Of the 1,460,000 hectares (ha) under cultivation in 1971, 643,000 ha were sown to grain (wheat, 314,000 ha; legumes, 90,000 ha; barley, 71,000 ha; and corn, 46,000 ha), 140,000 ha to industrial crops (principally sugar beets, 115,000 ha, and flax, 12,600 ha), 174,000 ha to potatoes and vegetables, and 502,000 ha to fodder. Grain and sugar beets are grown chiefly in the central and southern regions, whereas potatoes and vegetables are raised mainly in Poles’e. Fruit growing is well developed, with orchards and berry plantings covering 56,500 ha (42,100 ha bearing fruit). About 38,300 ha are irrigated, and a drainage network extends over 92,800 ha. The principal branches of animal husbandry are cattle raising for milk and meat and pig breeding. As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 1,067,300 head of cattle (including 472,500 cows), 978,300 pigs, and 205,800 sheep and goats. Poultry raising has also been developed.

Railroads provide the basic means of transportation; there were 794 km of track (excluding sidings) in 1971. The most important trunk lines are the Kiev-Moscow, Kiev-Kharkov, and Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk lines, as well as the lines to L’vov, Odessa, and Simferopol’. There are 10,400 km of roads, of which 4,700 km are paved. River transport, along the Dnieper, Desna, and Pripiat’, is also economically important. Kiev is the major railroad and motor-vehicle transport junction and river port; there is an airport at Borispol’.

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In 1971–72 (excluding Kiev) there were 322,200 pupils enrolled in 1,160 general schools of various kinds; 8,800 pupils in 21 vocational-technical schools; 14,800 pupils in 17 specialized secondary schools; and 3,400 students at the Belaia Tserkov’ Agricultural Institute. In 1970, 39,800 children were attending 483 preschool institutions.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, there were 1,180 public libraries, with 11,862,000 copies of books and journals, and four museums—the Belaia Tserkov’ Museum of Local Lore, the Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii Historical Museum, the Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii Museum of Folk Architecture and Daily Life, and the museum of the liberation of Kiev, a branch of the Kiev Historical Museum. The oblast also has the Saksaganskii drama theater in Belaia Tserkov’, 1,086 clubs, 1,273 motion picture units, and 27 extracurricular institutions. (For information on Kiev’s educational and cultural institutions, see KIEV.)

There are two Ukrainian-language oblast newspapers: Kyivs’ka pravda (Kiev Pravda, since 1918) and Kyivs’kyi komomolets’ (Kiev Komsomol, since 1956). The oblast radio broad-casts over one station in both Ukrainian and Russian.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 186 hospitals with 16,600 beds (8.9 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) and 3,500 physicians (one for every 523 inhabitants). In the oblast are found the health resorts of Vorzel’, Koncha-Zaspa, and Pushcha-Voditsa and 43 sanatoriums and houses of rest.


Batushan, O. D., S. I. Mints, and M. I. Sikors’kyi. Pamiatni mistsia Kyivs’koi oblasti Kiev, 1958.
Starovoitenko, I. P. Kyivs’ka oblast’, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1967.
Ukraina: raiony. Moscow, 1969. (Series Sovetskii Soiuz.)
Narodne gospodarstvo Kyivs’koi oblasti: Stat. zbirnik. Kiev, 1972.


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