Volyn Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Volyn’ Oblast


an oblast in the northwest Ukrainian SSR. Established Dec. 4, 1939. Area, 22,200 sq km. Population, 975,000 (1970). The oblast has 15 raions, ten cities, and 21 urban-type settlements. Its center is Lutsk.

Natural features. The relief of Volyn’ Oblast is predominantly flat. Nearly three-fourths of the oblast lies in the Poles’e Lowland (140-150 m); the smaller, southern part occupies the northwestern outskirts of the Volyn’ Upland (elevations of 220-290 m), a section that is broken, toward the north, by a scarp with a height of 20-60 m. The climate is moderately continental. Winters are mild and summers warm. The average January temperature is —4.5° C, and the average July temperature is 18.6° C. Annual precipitation is 550-600 mm. The growing season is about 200 days. The Pripiat’ River flows in the northern part of Volyn’ Oblast, and its right tributaries, the Tur’ia, Stokhod, and Styr’, cross the oblast from south to north; the Bug River flows in the west, along the border with Poland. Lakes include the Svitiazskoe, Pulemetskoe, Turskoe, Orekhovo, and Beloe. The soils of the forest-steppe portion of the oblast are podzolized dark gray and gray as well as chernozem; the Poles’e section has soddy-podzol and various boggy soils, including peat soils. The middle belt has soddy-podzol soils mixed with humuscalcareous soils (the most fertile). Forests occupy 32.5 per-cent of the oblast’s total area. They are distributed primarily in the Poles’e region; pine makes up 60 percent of the forested area; oak, 13 percent; alder, 13 percent; and birch, 10 percent. There are small tracts of oak and hornbeam forests in the south. Elk, roe, wild boars, badgers, and lynx are found in the forests, and there are European hares, foxes, and rodents in the forest-steppe. The muskrat, which is of economic importance, has been acclimatized.

Population. Ukrainians make up the bulk of the population (95 percent); there are also Russians (4.2 percent), Jews, and others. The average population density is 48.3 persons per sq km. The southern forest-steppe raions are the most densely populated with 50-70 persons per sq km. The Poles’e raions are less populated (30-40 persons per sq km). The urban population was 32 percent in 1970 (in 1959, 26 percent). Cities include Lutsk (population 94,000), Novovolynsk (which arose in 1957 in conjunction with the development of the L’vov-Volyn’ coal basin), Kovel’, Vladimir-Volynskii, and Kivertsy.

Economy. Under Soviet power, Volyn’ Oblast has changed from a backward agrarian oblast to an industrial and agrarian one. By 1970 the gross industrial output had grown by a factor of 15 in comparison with 1940. A fuel and power base has been established—the L’vov-Volyn’ coal basin has been developed, and electric power plants and the power trans-mission line from the Dobrotvor State Regional Power Plant (L’vov Oblast) have been built. The fuel industry (9.4 percent) is represented by a new branch—coal, which is mined in the L’vov-Volyn’ coal basin in the southwest of the Oblast. In 1969, 5.2 million tons of coal were mined. A number of mechanized mines have been put into operation. Peat is extracted in Kivertsy Raion (the Zhuravichi enterprise), Kovel’ Raion (the Kovel’ enterprise), and Manevichi Raion (the Podtsarevichi enterprise); its extraction is mechanized. New branches of the manufacturing industry have sprung up: machine building and sugar.

In terms of gross output, the food industry is the leading branch (41.8 percent). It is represented by sugar (Gnidava, Vladimir-Volynskii, Gorokhov, and Ivanichi), canning (Lutsk, Rozhishche, and Vladimir-Volynskii), and butter and milk plants, meat-packing plants (Lutsk, Kovel’, and Novovolynsk), mills, breweries, and bakeries. Machine building and metalworking are developing rapidly (14.6 percent); their gross product increased by a factor of more than 6 between 1960 and 1970. There are important enterprises in Lutsk (an automobile plant that produces the small-displacement Volyn’ freight and passenger automobile as well as refrigerator vehicles; instrument-making and electrical equipment plants) and Novovolynsk, Kivertsy, and Rozhishche (repair plants). A plant for agricultural machines was under construction in 1971 in Kovel’. The wood industry is represented by woodworking combines (Tsuman’, Kivertsy, Kovel’, and Novovolynsk) and furniture factories (Lutsk, Vladimir-Volynskii, Rozhishche, Manevichi, and Kovel’). The developed branches of light industry (20.7 percent) are clothing, footwear, flax processing, and cotton spinning (Lutsk, Kovel’, Vladimir-Volynskii, Novovolynsk, and Rozhishche). New plants for plastic articles, artificial leather, and footwear karton (a leather substitute made of cellulose, waste fabric, leather, and other material) are under construction (1971). Construction materials are produced (3.6 percent) in Lutsk, Novovolynsk, Kivertsy (plants producing reinforced-concrete material, brick factories), and elsewhere. A Ruberoid (roof-sheeting material) plant is being built (1971).

The main branches of agriculture are field-crop cultivation (grain, sugar beet, flax, and potato farming) and intensive livestock raising. In 1970, Volyn’ Oblast had 357 kolkhozes and 19 sovkhozes. A distinctive feature of the agricultural land, which totals 1.0 million hectares (ha), is the relatively small proportion of arable land (compared with the average for the Ukrainian SSR) —34.2 percent —and the larger proportion of haying land (10.3 percent) and pasture land (9.3 percent), some of which is swampy. During the postwar years 116,000 ha were drained and reclaimed. In 1969 the sown area totaled 687,400 ha, of which 289,500 ha were under cereals (rye, wheat, corn, barley, oats, and millet), 72,600 ha under industrial crops, 8,800 ha under vegetables, and 98,200 ha under potatoes. Plantings of winter wheat have been increased to 111, 300 ha (in 1960, 69,600 ha). Plantings of industrial crops have increased, particularly sugar beets (from 500 ha in 1940 to 44,100 ha in 1969), common flax (from 3,100 ha to 27,300 ha), and fodder crops. Plantings of winter wheat and sugar beets are primarily in the southern forest-steppe section; rye, common flax, and also the main tracts of potato plantings are in the Poles’e raions. Livestock raising is oriented toward dairy and meat production. In 1970 there were 664,000 head of cattle (of which 310,500 were cows); 429,600 swine, and 110,100 sheep and goats.

There are 582 km of railroad lines (1969). The main lines passing through the oblast are Kiev-Zdolbunov-Lutsk, Kiev-Kovel’ -Brest, and Kovel’-Lutsk-L’vov. Lines cross the oblast in six directions from the large railroad junction of Kovel’. The KoveF -Vladimir- Volynskii-Ivanichi-L’vov line passes through the coal basin. The main automobile roads are Kiev-Lutsk-KoveF-Brest, Lutsk- Vladimir- Volynskii-Novovolynsk, and Lutsk-L’vov.


Cultural institutions and public health. During the 1969-70 academic year, there were 207,400 students in 997 general-education schools of all types, 7,800 in 15 vocational and technical schools, 11,900 in 18 specialized secondary schools, and 3,300 in the pedagogical institute in Lutsk.

On Jan. 1, 1970, there were 775 general libraries with 8,069,000 books and journals, an oblast music and drama theater in Lutsk, the oblast Volyn’ Museum of Local Lore, the museum-estate of Lesia Ukrainka in the village of Kolodiazhnoe, 983 clubs, and 944 motion picture projectors.

Newspapers published in Ukrainian are the oblast paper Radians’ ka Volyn’ (Soviet Volyn’, since 1940) and the Komsomol paper Molodyi leninets’ (Young Leninist, since 1939). Oblast radio and television each transmit on one channel; broadcasts are also relayed from Kiev, Moscow, and L’vov.

On Jan. 1, 1970, there were 1,700 doctors in Volyn’ Oblast (one doctor per 586 persons); there were 9,800 hospital beds (10.0 beds per 1,000 persons).


Zapadnoe Poles’e USSR (Razvitie i razmeshchenie khoziaistva). Kiev, 1956.
Korets’kyi, L. M. Volyn’ska oblast’. Kiev, 1960.
Dostoprimechatel’ nosti Ukrainy, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1960.
Marynych, O. M. Ukrains’ke Polissia. Kiev, 1962.
Kalyta, F. I. Volyn’ nasha radians’ka. L’vov, 1967.
Istoriia mist i sil Ukrains’koi RSR: Volyns’ka oblast’. Kiev, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.