an oblast located in the southeastern Ukrainian SSR. Formed on Jan. 10, 1939. Area, 27,200 sq km; population, 1,801,000 (1971). The oblast is divided into 18 raions; it has 13 cities and 19 urban-type settlements. Its administrative center is the city of Zaporozh’e. On Feb. 26, 1958, Zaporozh’e Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin.
Natural features. The surface of Zaporozh’e Oblast is a lightly indented plain sloping slightly from the northeast to the southwest, forming a transition in the south to the Black Sea Lowland. Toward the Sea of Azov the lowland is broken up by benches (ranging from 18 to 25 m). Stretching along the seashore are long sandspits (Berdiansk, Obitochnaia). Located in the southeast is the hilly Azov Upland (200–220 m in elevation) with deeply indented river valleys. Rising in places are isolated “tomb” mounds, the highest of which is Bel’mak Mogila (324 m).
The climate is moderately continental, with a hot summer (the average July temperature ranges from 22° to 24°C) and a comparatively mild winter with little snow (the average January temperature ranges from ™4° to ™5°C). Annual precipitation is 400–450 mm in the north and 300–350 mm in the south. The maximum precipitation occurs in the summer, when there are frequent cloudbursts. There are dry, hot winds during April and May. The growing season averages about 210 days. The oblast’s principal river is the Dnieper; the Molochnaia, Obitochnaia, the Bol’shoi and Malyi Utiuk, Berda, Lozovatka, and Korsak rivers belong to the basin of the Sea of Azov. There are a number of estuaries and salt lakes along the shoreline of the Sea of Azov (the estuary of the Molochnaia River). The construction of the Dnieper and Kakhovka hydroelectric power plants has created V. I. Lenin Lake and Kakhovka Lake.
The soils are fertile, primarily chernozems (common as well as southern), which occupy three-fourths of the oblast’s territory. A narrow belt of dark-chestnut and chestnut soils combined with solonets soils stretches along the coastline of the Sea of Azov. Zaporozh’e Oblast is situated in the steppe zone. Almost the entire territory is under cultivation; the natural steppe vegetation has been preserved only on the slopes of ravines and gorges. Forests (maple, oak, ash, elm, and poplars along the rivers, and white acacia in forest belts) and scrub growth occupy 1.8 percent of the oblast’s territory. The area of field-protective forest strips is approximately 40,000 hectares (ha). Characteristic of the fauna are fox, gray hare, wolf, common hamster, and common vole; among the birds are quail, bustard, wild duck, and greylag goose, as well as calandra lark, skylark, and swamp owl; among fish in the Sea of Azov are the tfulka (Clupeonella delicatula), anchovy, sturgeon, starred sturgeon, and beluga; the rivers have bream, pike-perch, pike, and perch.
Population. Zaporozh’e Oblast is populated by Ukrainians (65.6 percent, 1970), Russians (28.9 percent), Bulgarians (2.1 percent), Jews (1.1 percent), and other nationalities. The average density is 66.2 persons per sq km (1971); 66 percent is urban (1971). The most important cities are Zaporozh’e (676,000 persons in 1971), Melitopol’, Berdiansk, Tokmak, and Orekhov. Most of the cities (including Tokmak, Pologi, Vasil’evka, Vol’niansk, Guliaipole, Dneproprudnoe, Kamenka-Dneprovskaia, and Molochansk) arose during the Soviet period with the development of a diversified industry.
Economy. The production volume of all industry in 1970 was 10.1 times that of 1940 and 2.4 times that of 1960. Zaporozh’e Oblast is characterized by highly developed industry, with machine building and metal processing playing a leading role, as well as ferrous metallurgy (based on the use of Donets coal, Krivoi Rog ore, and Nikopol’ manganese) and chemical and petrochemical industries. The oblast provides approximately 88 percent of the republic’s production of grinding tools, 100 percent of cable for long-distance communication, almost 100 percent of passenger automobiles produced in the Ukrainian SSR, and 90 percent of the electric power transformers. The basis of the electric power economy is provided by the V. I. Lenin Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant at Zaporozh’e (with a capacity of 650,000 kilowatts; after reconstruction its capacity will reach 1.5 million kilo-watts) and thermal power plants (Zaporozh’e, Melitopol’, Berdiansk), which operate on Donets and local brown coal. Under construction in 1972 was the Zaporozh’e State Regional Power Plant.
The greatest volume of industrial output in the oblast is produced by machine building and metal processing (34.1 percent). More than 11 percent of the grinding tools in the USSR are produced by the Zaporozh’e Grinding Tool Combine; the Kommunar Zaporozh’e Automotive Plant produces Zaporozhets automobiles; the Tokmak Diesel Plant makes diesel motors; the Melitopol’ Motor, Compressor, Avtotsvetlit, Bytmash, and Machine-Tool plants produce motors, machine tools, various types of compressors, and industrial cooling units; the Berdiansk, Pervomaiskii, and Orekhov machine-building plants manufacture farm machinery. Extensive development has been achieved in electrical machine-building, as represented by transformer, electrical-apparatus (Zaporozh’e), cable (Berdiansk), and other plants. Second place by volume in the oblast’s industrial structure belongs to ferrous metallurgy (31.4 percent). The S. Ordzhonikidze Zaporozhstal’ Plant, the Electrometallurgical Dneprospetsstal’ Plant, and iron alloy and heat refractory plants (all in Zaporozh’e) produce cast iron, high-quality steel, sheet steel, tin, and other kirjds of rolled metal, as well as grog and chromium-magnesite articles. The first stage of the Zaporozh’e Iron-Ore Combine was put into operation in 1971, and nonferrous metallurgy is also being developed.
An important position is occupied by the chemical and petrochemical industries. Operating in Zaporozh’e Oblast are the large Silicate Polymer Plant, and a coking-chemical plant linked by an engineering cycle with the Zaporozhstal’ Plant (in addition to coke, it turns out dozens of kinds of chemical products, including mineral fertilizers and sulfur), a plant for the manufacture of fiberglass, and a petroleum grease plant. The building-materials industry (2.8 percent of the oblast’s industrial output) is represented by a home-building combine and plants manufacturing bricks, tiles, wall blocks, and other building materials (in Zaporozh’e). The food-processing industry has also been developed (15.2 percent of industrial output), especially flour-milling, meat-packing, canning, fish-processing, butter-fat, and dairy plants (Zaporozh’e, Berdiansk, Melitopol’, Molochansk, Orekhov, and elsewhere). The largest enterprises in light industry (4.5 percent of industrial output), primarily garments, footwear, and knitted goods, are located in Zaporozh’e, Melitopol’, Berdiansk, Tokmak, and Guliaipole.
Agriculture has been highly mechanized and diversified. Zaporozh’e Oblast isan important region in the Ukrainian SSR for highly commercial grain culture, industrial crops, and productive meat and dairy livestock raising. By the beginning of 1971 there were 284 kolkhozes and 85 sovkhozes; agricultural machinery included 31,044 tractors (in the 15-hp units), 4,335 grain harvesters, 1,500 ensilage harvesters, and many other farm machines. In 1967 the electrification of kolkhozes and sovkhozes was completed. Of the total amount of land in 1970, arable lands comprised 73.2 percent, hayfields 0.5 percent, pasture lands 7.9 percent, and gardens, orchards, berry patches, and other perennial plantings 2.6 percent. As of 1970, the sown area was 1,825,800 ha, including 922,700 ha planted with grain crops, 247,600 ha with industrial crops, 72,600 ha with melons, vegetables, and potatoes, and 582,900 ha with fodder crops. The principal grain crop is winter wheat (394,200 ha). Spring barley is also grown (208,500 ha), as well as seed corn (175,000 ha). Foremost among the industrial crops are sunflowers (209,100 ha; second place among the oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR). Sown areas of grain and industrial crops are situated throughout the oblast. Vegetable growing has been developed primarily on the flood plains in river valleys. Gardens and orchards have been cultivated in the Kamenka-Dneprovskaia, Melitopol’, and Berdiansk raions and near Zaporozh’e and other cities. In 1970 the area of fruit and berry plantings (apples, pears, sweet and sour cherries, apricots, plums) was 67,100 ha, including 51,300 ha actually bearing fruit; the gross harvest of fruits and berries was 212,200 tons. In the south there are vineyards (7,800 ha); the grape harvest amounts to 15,400 tons. Operations are carried on to irrigate the lands, which has been facilitated by the creation of the Kakhovka Lake, a large part of which is located in the oblast. The Kamenka, Blagoveshchensk, and Ivanovka irrigation systems have been constructed, and in 1972 the Severorogachinsk irrigation system was under construction. In 1970 the area of irrigated lands was about 54,500 ha.
The principal branch of animal husbandry is livestock raising for meat and dairy; also well developed are pig farming, sheep raising, and poultry farming (water fowl in the coastal regions). At the beginning of 1971 the oblast had 903,200 cattle (including 335,800 cows), 945,400 pigs, and 696,000 sheep and goats. Auxiliary branches are rabbit raising, silk-worm raising, and pond fisheries. There is also fishing in the Sea of Azov.
The principal type of transportation is railroads, on which about 80 percent of all shipments arrive. As of 1970, the length of the railroads was 930 km. The main trunk lines are Moscow-Simferopol’ (connecting the entire railroad network of the USSR with the Crimea), Zaporozh’e-Volnovakha, and Zaporozh’e-Berdiansk. The chief railroad junctions are Zapororozh’e, Pologi, Melitopol’, Federovka, and Verkhnii Tokmak. Cheap electric power from the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant made possible railroad electrification. One of the first to be electrified in the Ukrainian SSR was the Zaporozh’e-Nikopol’-Krivoi Rog section of the Dnieper main line. The length of motor vehicular roads was 7,600 km (1970), including 3,500 km of paved roads. Automotive transport connects Zaporozh’e Oblast with all the economic regions of the Ukrainian SSR. The most important main high-ways are the Moscow-Simferopol’, Rostov-on-Don-Reni, Zaporozh’e-Zhdanov, Zaporozh’e-Dnepropetrovsk, and Kamenka-Kakhovka. The V. I. Lenin River Port is located in Zaporozh’e. Maritime transport is of great importance. Zaporozh’e is linked by airlines with Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, L’vov, and other centers of the Ukrainian SSR and the Soviet Union. M. N. VSEVOLOZHSKII
Education, cultural affairs, and public health. During the academic year 1914–15 there were 715 general education schools on the territory of the Zaporozh’e Oblast, with 63,500 pupils; prior to the October Revolution there were no higher educational institutions. During the academic year 1970–71 there were 310,500 pupils enrolled in 1,073 general education schools, 15,300 pupils in 39 vocational-technical schools, 28,300 pupils in 26 secondary specialized educational institutions, and 27,200 students in six higher educational institutions (machine-building, pedagogical, and medical institutes in Zaporozh’e, the institutes of farm mechanization and teacher training in Melitopol’, and the teacher training institute in Berdiansk). There are 79,000 children (1970) being trained and educated in preschool institutions.
As of Jan. 1, 1971, the oblast had 911 public libraries (with holdings of 10,233,000 copies of books and journals), museums of local lore in Zaporozh’e, Berdiansk, and Melitopol’, the Brodskii Art Museum in Berdiansk, 883 club-type institutions, the Zaporozh’e Theater of Music and Drama, 1,109 facilities for showing motion pictures; extracurricular institutions include four Pioneer palaces, 22 Pioneer houses, four stations for Young Engineers, four stations for Young Naturalists, 11 sports schools, and two children’s river flotillas.
Oblast newspapers are published in Ukrainian (Zaporizka pravda, since 1919) and in Russian (Industrial’noe Zaporozh’e, since 1939); a Komsomol newspaper appears in Ukrainian (Komsomolets’ Zaporizhzhia, since 1939). The oblast radio and television services carry broadcasts on one radio station and two television channels in Ukrainian and Russian; programs are also relayed from Kiev and Moscow. There is a television center in Zaporozh’e.
By Jan. 1, 1971, there were 169 hospital institutions in operation in Zaporozh’e Oblast, with a total of 19,300 beds (10.7 beds per 1,000 inhabitants); 4,900 physicians were working there (one physician per 436 inhabitants).
REFERENCESIstoriia mist i si I Ukrains’koi RSR: Zaporizka oblast’ [vol. 11]. Kiev, 1970.
Narodne gospodarstvo Ukrains’koi RSR: Stat. zbirnyk. Kiev, 1971.