Rovno Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rovno Oblast


an oblast in the Ukrainian SSR, formed on Dec. 4, 1939. Situated in the northwestern Ukraine. Area, 20,100 sq km. Population, 1,092,000 (1975). The oblast is divided into 15 raions and has nine cities and 16 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is the city of Rovno. The oblast has been awarded the Order of Lenin (July 12, 1967).

Natural features. The topography of the Rovno Oblast is a rolling plain, sloping from south to north. The northern part of the oblast is occupied by the Poles’e Lowland, and the southern part by the eastern portion of the Volyn’ Hills. This hill area, which has gently rolling watersheds and deep river valleys and ravines, is in turn divided into a number of separate plateaus (Ostrog, Rovno, Pel’chanskoe). The maximum elevation is 342 m.

The climate is moderately continental, with mild winters and warm summers. The average January temperature is - 3.8°C, and the average July temperature, 18.5°C. Annual precipitation is 560–620 mm. The growing seasons last about 200 days.

This oblast’s rivers belong to the Dnieper River basin. The largest are the Pripiat’ River, located in the extreme northwest, and its tributaries the Goryn’ (with the Sluch’), the Styr’ (with the Ikva), and the Stviga (with the Mostva). The Goryn’ and Styr’ rivers figure prominently in the oblast’s transportation system; timber is floated down the Sluch’ River. There are many swamps and lakes in the Poles’e Lowland (Nobel’, Beloe). Chernozem and gray podzolized soils predominate in the southern part of the oblast, while soddy podzolic (sandy and sandy-clayey) and bog soils exist in the north. The terraces of the Goryn’ and Ikva rivers are composed of podzolic and sandy-clayey soils. Forests occupy approximately 34 percent of the oblast’s territory (pine, oak, hornbeam, maple, linden, birch, aspen, and alder). Forest wildlife include the wolf, true fox, wild boar, elk, true badger, marten, squirrel, and Cricetinae. In the Klevan’ Forest to the west of Rovno there are wisents, which were brought in from Byelorussia. The rivers and lakes abound in fish, including pike, European bream, Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), carp, and sheatfish. The muskrat and raccoon dog have been acclimatized.

Population. Ukrainians constitute the bulk of the oblast’s population, accounting for 93.5 percent (1970). There are also Russians (4.3 percent) and Byelorussians (1.3 percent). As of 1975, the average population density was 54.3 persons per sq km. The most densely populated area is the south, where there are 80–100 persons per sq km. Urban dwellers account for 32 percent of the total population. The major cities are Rovno, Dubno, Zdolbunov, Kostopol’, and Sarny.

Economy. During the years of Soviet power, Rovno Oblast has been transformed from a backward agricultural region with small handicraft enterprises into an important industrial and agricultural oblast of the Ukrainian SSR. Food processing accounts for 34.2 percent of the oblast’s total industrial output, and lumbering, woodworking, and paper-making for 11.3 percent. The total volume of industrial production in the oblast in 1974 exceeded that of 1940 by a factor of 30; in comparison with 1960, the output increased by a factor of 4.7. The oblast is provided with electricity by the Dobrotvor State Regional Electric Power Plant in L’vov Oblast. The food-processing industry is represented by six sugar refineries, two distilleries, eight vegetable-drying and canning enterprises, and meat-packing plants. Granulated sugar is produced at the combines in Mizoch, Shpanov, Babino-Tomakhov, and Korets and the mills in Dubno and Ostrog. There are confectionery, vegetable-canning, and distillery enterprises in Rovno, Dubno, Chervonoarmeisk, and Ostrog. Rovno also has a meat-packing combine. Light industry ranks second in the oblast, accounting for 25.3 percent of industrial output. Textile (a major flax-processing combine), clothing, knitwear, and footwear enterprises are located in Rovno and Dubno. The machine-building and metal-working industries, which contribute 14 percent of the gross industrial output and produce spare parts for tractors and farm machinery, are centered in Zdolbunov, Kvasilov, Rovno, and Sarny. Rovno has enterprises for the production of heavy electrical equipment and high-voltage apparatus, and Dubno produces various machine tools. The lumbering, woodworking, and paper-making industries are concentrated, for the most part, in Sarny, Dubno, Ostrog, Vladimirets, Berezno, and Rovno raions. The prefabricated-housing combine in Kostopol’ and the woodworking combine in Smyga are of major importance. Factories producing plywood, fiberboard, parquetry, furniture, and housing components are located in Rovno, Kostopol’, and Sarny. The settlement of Pershotravnevoe has a paper mill. The building-materials industry, accounting for 8 percent of the total output, is developing, especially the production of cement, slate, and precast reinforced concrete. Zdolbunov has a cement and slate combine; other plants include those for reinforced-concrete products (Rovno), crushed basalt (Kostopol’), bricks made from silica clays (Liubomirka), glass (Kostopol’, Rokitnoe), and structural tiles. There are also granite and basalt quarries. Imported raw materials form the basis of the chemical and petrochemical industry (4.6 percent), which is represented by the Rovno Chemical Combine and a factory for nonwoven materials.

The principal branches of farming are field crop farming, where grains alternate with sugar beets and flax alternates with potatoes, and animal husbandry. As of Jan. 1, 1975, the oblast had 288 kolkhozes and 30 sovkhozes. In 1974 the area under cultivation amounted to 673,800 hectares (ha). Of this area, 281,900 ha were under grains (winter wheat, rye, legumes, oats, panicum), 75,600 ha under industrial crops (sugar beets, fiber flax), 93,500 ha under melons and potatoes, and 222,800 ha under feed crops. In the raions situated in the Poles’e, the principal crops are rye, fiber flax, and potatoes. In 1974 the area devoted to the cultivation of fruits, including berries, reached 18,900 ha. Animal husbandry is geared toward the production of meat and dairy products. At the beginning of 1975, there were 746,100 head of cattle, among them 287,300 cows, 508,700 swine, and 133,600 sheep and goats. Poultry and rabbit farming have also developed.

In 1974 there were 579 km of railroad. Of greatest importance are the Shepetovka-Zdolbunov-Rovno-Kove’, Rovno-Zdolbunov-L’vov (electric), Rovno-Sarny-Baranovichi, Rovno-Kovel’, and Kiev-Sarny-Kovel’ lines. The most important railroad junctions are Zdolbunov, Rovno, and Sarny. There are 7,800 km of automobile roads, including 2,900 km of paved roads. The main highways are the Kiev-Rovno-L’vov, Rovno-Lutsk-Brest, and Dubno-Ternopol’ routes. There is air transportation between Rovno and Moscow, Riga, Kiev, Simferopol’, and other cities of the Ukrainian SSR.

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. During the 1974–75 academic year there were approximately 223,000 pupils studying in 886 general-education schools of all types, 12,000 students in 21 vocational and technical schools, and 13,100 students in 16 specialized secondary schools. There was a total of 12,100 students at the Ukrainian Institute of Hydraulic Engineers and the pedagogical institute and in the cultural-educational department of the Kiev Institute of Culture (all in Rovno). In 1974 there were more than 19,000 children at 189 preschool institutions. The oblast has a scientific research station for swamp reclamation (Sarny) and a scientific research veterinary station (Rovno). As of Jan. 1, 1975, there were 841 public libraries, with 8.6 million books and journals, museums of local lore in Rovno (with a branch in Dubno) and Ostrog, a museum in Rovno devoted to the intelligence officer and Hero of the Soviet Union N. I. Kuznetsov, and the N. Ostrovskii Oblast Theater of Music and Drama. There were 808 motion-picture projection units and 26 extracurricular institutions.

The oblast newspapers, which are published in Ukrainian, are the Chervoniiprapor (Red Banner), founded in 1939, and the interoblast Komsomol newspaper Lenins’ka molod’ (Leninist Youth), founded in 1963. The oblast receives the combined first program of Central and Republic Television; radio broadcasts are relayed from Moscow and Kiev. The oblast’s own radio programs are in Ukrainian and are broadcast 1.5 hours per day.

As of Jan. 1, 1975, Rovno Oblast had 100 hospitals with 11,500 beds (10.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) and 2,300 physicians (one physician per 484 inhabitants). In addition, there were four sanatoriums.


Kugukalo, I. A. Rovens’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1959.
Dostoprimechatel’nosti Ukrainy, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1960.
Serbin, G. P. Rovenshchyna. L’vov, 1970.
lstoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR: Rovens’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1973.


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