Odessa Oblast

Odessa Oblast (also known as Odesa oblast; Ukrainian: Оде́ська о́бласть, romanizedOdeska oblast; Russian: Одесская область, romanizedOdesskaya oblast; Bulgarian: Одеска област, romanizedOdeska oblast; Romanian: Regiunea Odesa) is an oblast (province) of southwestern Ukraine, located along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Its administrative center is the city of Odesa (Ukrainian: Одеса, romanizedOdesa). Population: 2,368,107 (2021 est.)[3]

Odessa Oblast
Одеська область
Odeska oblast[1]
Flag of Odessa Oblast
Coat of arms of Odessa Oblast
Odessa in Ukraine.svg
Coordinates: 47°00′N 30°00′E / 47.000°N 30.000°E / 47.000; 30.000Coordinates: 47°00′N 30°00′E / 47.000°N 30.000°E / 47.000; 30.000
Country Ukraine
Administrative centerOdessa
 • GovernorSerhiy Hrynevetsky[2]
 • Oblast council84 seats
 • ChairpersonSerhiy Paraschenko (Petro Poroshenko Bloc)
 • Total33,310 km2 (12,860 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 1st
 • TotalDecrease 2,368,107
 • RankRanked 6
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code+380-48
ISO 3166 codeUA-51
Cities (total)19
• Regional cities7
Urban-type settlements33
FIPS 10-4UP17

The region, the largest in Ukraine by area, is approximately the size of Belgium.[4] The length of coastline (sea-coast and estuaries) reaches 300 km (190 mi), while the state border stretches for 1,200 km (750 mi).[4] The region has eight seaports, over 80,000 ha (200,000 acres) of vineyards, and five of the biggest lakes in Ukraine.[4] One of the largest, Yalpuh Lake, is as large as the city of Odesa itself.[4]


Evidence of the earliest inhabitants in this area comes from the settlements and burial grounds of the Neolithic Gumelniţa, Cucuteni-Trypillian and Usatovo cultures, as well as from the tumuli and hoards of the Bronze Age Proto-Indo-Europeans. In the 1st millennium B.C. Milesian Greeks founded colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea, including the towns of Olbia, Tyras, Niconium, Panticapaeum, and Chersonesus. The Greeks left behind painted vessels, ceramics, sculptures, inscriptions, arts and crafts that indicate the prosperity of their ancient civilisation.

The culture of Scythian tribes inhabiting the Black Sea littoral steppes in the first millennium B.C. has left artefacts in settlements and burial grounds, including weapons, bronze cauldrons, other utensils, and adornments. By the beginning of the 1st millennium A.D. the Sarmatians displaced the Scythians. In the 3rd–4th centuries A.D. a tribal alliance, represented by the items of Chernyakhov culture, developed. From the middle of the first millennium the formation of the Slavic people began. In the 9th century the eastern Slavs united into a state with Kiev as its centre. The Khazars, Polovtsy and Pechenegs were the Slavs' neighbours during different times. Archeological evidence of the period of the 9th–14th centuries survives in materials from the settlements and cities of Kievan Rus': Belgorod, Caffa- Theodosia, and Berezan Island.

The Mongols took over the Black Sea littoral in the 13th century.

From about 1290 parts of the region were territories of the Republic of Genoa, becoming a center of Genoese commercial activity until at least the middle of the 14th century.[5]

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania acquired the area at the beginning of the 15th century.

In 1593 the Ottoman Empire set up in the area what became known as its Dnieper Province (Özü Eyalet), unofficially known as the Khanate of Ukraine.[6] Russian historiography refers to the area from 1791 as the Ochakov Oblast.[7] The territory of the Odessa oblast passed to Russian control in 1791 in the course of the Russian southern expansion towards the Black Sea at the end of the 18th century.

After the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia the area became part of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1917-1918), but soon succumbed first to the Russian Volunteer Army (part of the White movement) and then to the Russian Bolshevik Red Army. By 1920 the Soviet authorities had secured the territory of Odesa Oblast, which became part of the Ukrainian SSR. The oblast was established on 27 February 1932 from five districts: Odessa Okruha, Pervomaisk Okruha, Kirovohrad Okruha, Mykolaiv Okruha, and Kherson Okruha.

In 1937 the Central Executive Committee of the USSR split off the eastern portions of the Odessa Oblast to form the Mykolaiv Oblast.[citation needed]

During World War II Axis forces conquered the area and Romania occupied the oblast and administered it as part of the Transnistria Governorate (1941-1944). After the war the Soviet administration reestablished the oblast with its pre-war borders.

Odesa Oblast expanded in 1954 to absorb Izmail Oblast (also known as the Budjak region of Bessarabia), formed in 1940 as a result of the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (from Romania), when Northern and Southern parts of Bessarabia were given to the Ukrainian SSR.

During the 1991 referendum, 85.38% of votes in Odessa Oblast favored the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. A survey conducted in December 2014 by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology found that 2.3% of the oblast's population supported their region joining Russia, 91.5% did not support the idea, and the rest were undecided or did not respond.[8] A poll reported by Alexei Navalny and conducted in September 2014 found similar results.[9]


Ukraine's largest oblast by area, the Odesa Oblast occupies an area of around 33,300 square kilometres (12,900 sq mi). It is characterised by largely flat steppes - part of the Black Sea Lowland - divided by the estuary of the Dniester river. Its Black Sea coast has numerous sandy beaches, estuaries and lagoons. The region's soils (especially chernozems) have a reputation for fertility, and intensive agriculture is the mainstay of the local rural economy. The southwest has many orchards and vineyards, while arable crops grow throughout the region.

Points of interestEdit

Akkerman fortress


Rapeseed field in Odesa Oblast.

Significant branches of the oblast's economy are:

The region's industrial capability is principally concentrated in and around Odesa.


The oblast's population (as of 2004) is 2.4 million people, nearly 40% of whom live in the city of Odessa.

Significant Bulgarian (6.1%) and Romanian (5.0%) minorities reside in the province.[10] It has the highest proportion of Jews of any oblast in Ukraine (although smaller than the Autonomous City of Kiev) and there is a small Greek community in the city of Odesa.

Bulgarians and Romanians represent 21% and 13% respectively, of the population in the salient of Budjak, within Odessa Obllast.

Year Fertility Birth
1990 1,8 33 166
1991 1,7 32 119
1992 1,6 30 155
1993 1,5 28 185
1994 1,4 26 197
1995 1,4 24 993
1996 1,3 23 666
1997 1,2 22 491
1998 1,2 21 273
1999 1,1 19 969
2000 1,1 20 042
2001 1,1 20 423
2002 1,2 21 227
2003 1,2 22 326
2004 1,3 23 343
2005 1,3 23 915
2006 1,4 25 113
2007 1,5 26 759
2008 1,6 28 780
2009 1,6 28 986
2010 1,6 28 690
2011 1,6 29 225
2012 1,7 30 384

Age structureEdit

0-14 years: 15.5%   (male 188,937/female 179,536)
15-64 years: 70.7%   (male 812,411/female 867,706)
65 years and over: 14.0%   (male 116,702/female 218,808) (2013 official)

Median ageEdit

total: 38.4 years  
male: 35.4 years  
female: 41.5 years   (2013 official)


Religion in Odessa Oblast (2015)[11]

  No religion (8%)
  Unaffiliated Christian (6%)
  Catholicism (0.5%)
  Protestantism (0.5%)
  Undecided (1%)

The dominant religion in Odessa Oblast is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, professed by 84% of the population. Another 8% declares to be non-religious and 6% are unaffiliated generic Christians. Adherents of Catholicism and Protestantism make up 0.5% of the population respectively.

The Orthodox community of Odesa Oblast is divided as follows:

Administrative divisionsEdit

Until 2020, the Odessa Oblast was administratively subdivided into 26 raions (districts) and 7 municipalities which were directly subordinate to the oblast government - (Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Chornomorsk, Izmail, Podilsk, Teplodar, Yuzhne and the administrative center of the oblast, Odesa).

On 18 July 2020, the number of districts was reduced to seven.[12][13] (see map).

Detailed map of Odesa Oblast
Name Ukrainian name Area
Admin.center Urban
Population Only*[14]
Odessa Одеса (місто) 139 1,010,490 Odessa (city) 1,010,490
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi ^ Білгород-Дністровський (місто) 31 57,559 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (city) 57,559
Chornomorsk Чорноморськ (місто) 25 72,553 Chornomorsk (city) 67,323
Izmail ^ Ізмаї́л (місто) 53 72,266 Izmail (city) 72,266
Podilsk Подільськ (місто) 25 40,613 Podilsk (city) 40,613
Teplodar Теплодар (місто) 3 10,277 Teplodar (city) 10,277
Yuzhne Южне (місто) 9 32,149 Yuzhne (city) 32,149
Ananiv Raion Ананьївський (район) 1,050 26,999 Ananiv 8,441
Artsyz Raion ^ Арцизький (район) 1,379 45,274 Artsyz 14,886
Balta Raion Балтський (район) 1,317 41,666 Balta 18,940
Berezivka Raion Березівський (район) 1,637 33,930 Berezivka 12,614
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion ^ Білгород-Дністровський (район) 1,852 60,774 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi (city) N/A *
Bilyayivka Raion Біляївський (район) 1,497 94,083 Biliaivka 14,334
Bolhrad Raion ^ Болградський (район) 1,364 69,148 Bolhrad 15,451
Ivanivka Raion Іванівський (район) 1,162 26,604 Ivanivka 8,807
Izmail Raion ^ Ізмаїльський (район) 1,194 51,584 Izmail (city) N/A *
Kiliya Raion ^ Кілійський (район) 1,358 52,400 Kiliya 28,434
Kodyma Raion Кодимський (район) 818 29,586 Kodyma 11,195
Lyman Raion Комінтернівський (район) 1,499 71,158 Dobroslav 14,028
Liubashivka Raion Любашівський (район) 1,100 30,688 Liubashivka 10,954
Mykolaivka Raion Миколаївський (район) 1,093 16,127 Mykolaivka 2,850
Ovidiopol Raion Овідіопольський (район) 829 78,941 Ovidiopol 32,486
Okny Raion Окнянський (район) 1,013 20,186 Okny 5,338
Podilsk Raion Подільський (район) 1,037 27,091 Podilsk (city) N/A *
Reni Raion ^ Ренійський (район) 861 58,352 Reni 25,527
Rozdilna Raion Роздільнянський (район) 1,368 37,353 Rozdilna 19,003
Sarata Raion ^ Саратський (район) 1,474 45,057 Sarata 4,351
Savran Raion Савранський (район) 617 19,083 Savran 6,420
Shyriaieve Raion Ширяївський (район) 1,502 27,151 Shyriaieve 6,781
Tarutyne Raion ^ Тарутинський (район) 1,874 41,603 Tarutyne 12,932
Tatarbunary Raion ^ Татарбунарський (район) 1,748 38,825 Tatarbunary 10,988
Velyka Mykhailivka Raion Великомихайлівський (район) 1,436 31,006 Velyka Mykhailivka 8,472
Zakharivka Raion Захарівський (район) 956 20,233 Zakharivka 8,881
  • Note: An asterisk (^) indicates the two municipalities and nine raions which previously constituted Izmail Oblast until that former oblast's merger with Odessa Oblast on 15 February 1954; these areas lie to the west of the Dniester River, and formerly constituted the territory known as the Budjak (southern Bessarabia).
  • Note: Asterisks (*) Though the administrative center of the rayon is housed in the city/town that it is named after, cities do not answer to the rayon authorities only towns do; instead they are directly subordinated to the oblast government and therefore are not counted as part of rayon statistics.

Notable peopleEdit

One of the most famous Odessits is Sergei Utochkin who was a universal sportsman excelling in cycling, boxing, swimming and played football for the Odessa British Athletic Club.[4] Utochkin had challenged a steam-powered tram while running, on a bicycle he beat a galloping horse, while on roller skates he was passing a bicyclist.[4] The next stage for him was to conquest skies.[4] Utochkin managed to buy an airplane from a local banker and completed dozens of exhibition flights.[4] Eventually, he managed to assemble his own Farman-type airplane.[4] In Kiev, Utochkin was demonstrating his piloting skills in front of some 50,000 people, among which was a future creator of helicopters Igor Sikorsky.[4]

A number of other notable people were born in Odessa, including the poet Anna Akhmatova, former NASA scientist Nicholas E. Golovin who worked with the Apollo program, as well as the founder of jazz in the Soviet Union Leonid Utyosov.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Syvak, Nina; Ponomarenko, Valerii; Khodzinska, Olha; Lakeichuk, Iryna (2011). Veklych, Lesia (ed.). Toponymic Guidelines for Map and Other Editors for International Use (PDF). United Nations Statistics Division. scientific consultant Iryna Rudenko; reviewed by Nataliia Kizilowa; translated by Olha Khodzinska. Kyiv: DerzhHeoKadastr and Kartographia. p. 20. ISBN 978-966-475-839-7. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) Zelensky appointed leaders of Kharkiv and Odesa regions, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 November 2020)
  3. ^ a b "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Tell about Ukraine. Odesa Oblast. 24 Kanal (youtube).
  5. ^ Browning, Robert (1991). "Asprokastron". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
  6. ^ Secrieru, Mihaela. "Republic of Moldavia – an Intermezzo on the Signing and the Ratification of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages" (PDF). Iași: "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iaşi. p. 2. Retrieved 2014-09-19. On the left shore of the River Nistru [Dniester] there was the Khanate of Ukraine and of the properties of the Polish Crown, and their inhabitants, until the end of the 18th century, were the Moldavians[.]
  7. ^ Friesen, Leonard G. (2008). Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774-1905. Harvard series in Ukrainian studies. 59. Harvard University Press. p. 40. ISBN 9781932650006. Retrieved 2014-09-19. [...] the war with the Ottoman Empire [...] ended with the Treaty of Eternal Peace in December 1791, whereby the so-called Ochakiv (Ochakov) oblast was brought into the empire.
  8. ^ Лише 3% українців хочуть приєднання їх області до Росії [Only 3% of Ukrainians want their region to become part of Russia]. Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (in Ukrainian). 3 January 2015.
  9. ^ Navalny, Alexei (23 September 2014). Соцопрос ФБК по Харьковской и Одесской областям. Европа, Россия, Новороссия [Survey of Kharkov and Odesa Oblasts] (in Russian). navalny.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014.
  10. ^ Results of the 2001 All-Ukrainian population census for the Odesa oblast
  11. ^ "Religious preferences of the population of Ukraine". Sociology poll by Razumkov Centre, SOCIS, Rating and KIIS about the religious situation in Ukraine (2015)
  12. ^ "Про утворення та ліквідацію районів. Постанова Верховної Ради України № 807-ІХ". Голос України (in Ukrainian). 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  13. ^ "Нові райони: карти + склад" (in Ukrainian). Міністерство розвитку громад та територій України.
  14. ^ a b "Населення та міграція, Чисельність населення на 1 грудня 2015 року та середня за січень-листопад 2015 року" [Population and migration, Population as of December 1, 2015 and average for January-November 2015]. UkrStat (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 7 January 2016.

External linksEdit