Kherson Oblast
Херсонська область
Khersonska oblast[1]
Kherson Oblast State Administration
Kherson Oblast State Administration
Coat of arms of Kherson Oblast
Херсонщина (Khersonshchyna)
Pre-July 2020 boundary shown
Pre-July 2020 boundary shown
Administrative centerKherson
 • GovernorOleksandr Prokudin[2]
 • Oblast council64 seats
 • Total28,461 km2 (10,989 sq mi)
 • Total1,001,598
 • RankRanked 22nd
 • Density35/km2 (91/sq mi)
Gross Regional Product
 • Total₴ 88 billion
(€2.283 billion)
 • Per capita₴ 87,378
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Area code+380-55
ISO 3166 codeUA-65
Vehicle registrationВT
Cities (total)9
• Regional cities3
Urban-type settlements30
FIPS 10-4UP08

Kherson Oblast (Ukrainian: Херсонська область, romanized: Khersonska oblast, IPA: [xerˈsɔnʲsʲkɐ ˈɔblɐsʲtʲ]; Russian: Херсонская область), also known as Khersonshchyna (Херсонщина, IPA: [xerˈsɔnʃtʃɪnɐ]), is an oblast (province) in southern Ukraine. It is located just north of Crimea. Its administrative center is Kherson, on the northern or right bank of the Dnieper river, which bisects the oblast. The oblast has an area of 28,461 km2 and a population of 1,001,598 (2022 estimate).[3] It is considered the 'fruit basket' of the country, as much of its agricultural production is dispersed throughout the country, with production peaking during the summer months.

Most of the area of the oblast has been under Russian military occupation since early in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. On 30 September 2022, Russia claimed to annex Kherson Oblast, along with the Donetsk (Donetsk People's Republic), Luhansk (Luhansk People's Republic) and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, but the referendums and subsequent claimed annexations are internationally unrecognized. Ukraine recaptured the whole area on the right bank of the Dnieper, including Kherson city, by mid-November 2022, in the Kherson counteroffensive.


In the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum, 90.13% of votes in Kherson Oblast were in favor of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine.[5]

A survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in December 2014 found that 90.9% of the oblast's population opposed their region joining Russia, 1% supported the idea, and the rest were undecided or did not respond.[5][6]

Russian invasion

Main article: Russian occupation of Kherson Oblast

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, Russian forces have occupied most of the oblast, with government by the "Kherson military–civilian administration"[7] from 28 April to 30 September 2022.

On 27 July 2022, the Ukrainian army destroyed the Antonivka Road Bridge as part of its wider campaign to isolate the Russian 49th Combined Arms Army on the right bank of the Dnieper river.[8] On 31 August, it was reported that the defenders of the occupied Kherson territory were the 49th Combined Arms Army and what was left of the 35th Combined Arms Army.[9]

On 5 September it was announced that the newly-installed Russian administration had postponed its plans to hold a referendum on the planned secession from Ukraine. The plebiscite had been scheduled to occur on 11 September, in order to coincide with the Russian electoral calendar. Due to the contestation of the oblast by the Ukrainian forces, it was found to be impractical to hold at this time.[10]

On 23–27 September 2022, the Russian Federation held referendums in the occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts for "independence and subsequent entry into the Russian Federation", recognized by most states to be staged and against international law.[citation needed]

On 29 September, the Russian Federation recognized Kherson Oblast as an independent state.[11] On 30 September, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the Kherson Oblast and three other Ukrainian territories, and signed "accession decrees" that are widely considered to be illegal.[12] At that time, Russia was not in control of the province as a whole.[13]

The United Nations General Assembly subsequently passed a resolution calling on countries not to recognise what it described as an "attempted illegal annexation" and demanded that Russia "immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw".[14]

On 9 November 2022, the city of Kherson and a remaining pocket of land on the right bank of the Dnieper were recaptured by Ukrainian forces.[15] The territory on the left bank is still under Russian control.

On 6 June 2023, the Kakhovka Dam was breached, causing extensive flooding and prompting mass evacuations in the oblast.[16]

Russian authorities claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin won 88.12% of the vote in the occupied Kherson region in the 2024 Russian presidential election,[17] which has been described as rigged and fraudulent.[18]


Kherson Oblast and subdivisions since July 2020

Kherson Oblast is bordered by Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the north, the Black Sea and Crimea to the south, Mykolaiv Oblast to the west, and the Azov Sea and Zaporizhzhia Oblast to the east. The Dnieper River, which includes the Kakhovka Reservoir, runs through the oblast.

Before the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, two bridges spanned the Dniper: the Khakovsky Bridge near Nova Kakhovka and the Antonivka Road Bridge at Kherson. Another significant bridge, the Daryivka Bridge crosses the Inhulets river and connects Kherson via the M14 highway to Beryslav, the other abutment of the Khakovsky Bridge.

The oblast's Henichesk Raion includes the northern portion of the Arabat Spit, a thin strip of land between the brackish Syvash and the Sea of Azov that is geographically part of the Crimean Peninsula. Due to Russia gaining de facto control of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in 2014, this strip within Kherson Oblast was the only part of the Crimean Peninsula under Ukrainian control immediately prior to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[citation needed]

Kherson is the only city with a population over 100,000. Four other cities have over 30,000 – they are, in order from largest, Nova Kakhovka, Kakhovka, Oleshky and Henichesk.

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Kherson Oblast

Until the 2020 re-organisation, the Kherson Oblast was administratively subdivided into 18 raions (districts) and 3 municipalities. The municipalities – Kherson (administrative center of the oblast), Nova Kakhovka, and Kakhovka – were directly subordinate to the oblast government. The Kherson municipality was subdivided into 3 urban districts. All information below was current as of 2015.[19]

Name Ukrainian name Area
Admin. center Urban population only
Kherson Херсон (місто) 423 333,737 Kherson 322,260
Hola Prystan Гола Пристань (місто) 9 14,883 Hola Prystan 14,568
Nova Kakhovka Нова Каховкa (місто) 223 68,205 Nova Kakhovka 62,128
Kakhovka Каховкa (місто) 16 36,958 Kakhovka 36,958
Beryslav Raion Бериславський (район) 1,721 48,025 Beryslav 16,682
Bilozerka Raion Білозерський (район) 1,534 66,564 Bilozerka 9,739
Chaplynka Raion Чаплинський (район) 1,722 35,219 Chaplynka 12,638
Henichesk Raion Генічеський (район) 3,008 59,991 Henichesk 33,748
Hola Prystan Raion Голопристанський (район) 3,411 45,827 Hola Prystan 14,666
Hornostaivka Raion Горностаївський (район) 1,018 19,788 Hornostaivka 6,681
Ivanivka Raion Іванівський (район) 1,120 13,995 Ivanivka 4,560
Kalanchak Raion Каланчацький (район) 916 21,568 Kalanchak 11,169
Kakhovka Raion Каховський (район) 1,450 35,968 Kakhovka N/A *
Novotroitske Raion Новотроїцький (район) 2,298 35,921 Novotroitske 14,979
Novovorontsovka Raion Нововоронцовський (район) 1,005 21,442 Novovorontsovka 6,379
Nyzhni Sirohozy Raion Нижньосірогозький (район) 1,209 15,985 Nyzhni Sirohozy 4,891
Oleshky Raion Олешківський (район) 1,759 71,888 Oleshky 36,317
Skadovsk Raion Скадовський (район) 1,456 47,930 Skadovsk 21,830
Velyka Lepetykha Raion Великолепетиський (район) 1,000 16,827 Velyka Lepetykha 8,326
Velyka Oleksandrivka Raion Великоолександрівський (район) 1,540 25,948 Velyka Oleksandrivka 9,747
Verkhniy Rohachyk Raion Верхньорогачицький (район) 915 12,003 Verkhniy Rohachyk 5,698
Vysokopillia Raion Високопільський (район) 701 15,121 Vysokopillia 6,148
Typical agricultural landscape of Kherson Oblast

.* Note: Though the administrative center of the raion is housed in the city/town that it is named after, cities do not answer to the raion authorities only towns do; instead they are directly subordinated to the oblast government and therefore are not counted as part of raion statistics.

At a lower level of administration, these district-level administrations are subdivided into:

The local administration of the oblast is controlled by the Kherson Oblast Rada. The governor of the oblast is the Kherson Oblast Rada speaker, appointed by the President of Ukraine.


People in Nova Kakhovka in 2017
Children in the Kherson Oblast in 2019
People in the resort village of Shchaslyvtseve in 2016

The population of the oblast is 1,083,367 (2012), which is 2.4% of the total population of Ukraine. It is also ranked 21st by its population. The population density is 38 per km2.

About 61.5% or 745,400 people live in urban areas of the Oblast and 38.5% or 467,600 people live in agricultural centers/villages. Men make up 46.7% or 565,400 people of the population, women make up 53.3% or 644,600 people, and pensioners make up 26.2% or 317,400 people of the Oblast population.

Ukrainian National Census (2001):

Age structure

0–14 years: 15.1% Increase (male 83,397/female 79,303)
15–64 years: 70.5% Decrease (male 364,907/female 393,933)
65 years and over: 14.4% Steady (male 50,404/female 104,856) (2013 official)

Median age

total: 39.5 years Increase
male: 36.2 years Increase
female: 42.7 years Increase (2013 official)



See also


  1. ^ Syvak, Nina; Ponomarenko, Valerii; Khodzinska, Olha; Lakeichuk, Iryna (2011). Veklych, Lesia (ed.). Toponymic Guidelines for Map and Other Editors for International Use (PDF). 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 6 October 2020 – via United Nations Statistics Division.
  2. ^ Zelenskyy appoints three chairmen of Oblast Military Administrations, Ukrainska Pravda (7 February 2023)
  3. ^ a b Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2022 [Number of Present Population of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2022] (PDF) (in Ukrainian and English). Kyiv: State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Валовии регіональнии продукт".
  5. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ "Press releases and reports – the views and opinions of South-Eastern regions residents of Ukraine: April 2014".
  7. ^ "Russia-Appointed Official In Ukraine Killed In Car Bombing". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 24 August 2022.
  8. ^ Axe, David (29 July 2022). "In Southern Ukraine, Kyiv's Artillery Drops Bridges And Isolates A Whole Russian Army". Forbes.
  9. ^ Kuczyński, Grzegorz (31 August 2022). "Ukraine Starts Counteroffensive In Country's South". Warsaw Institute.
  10. ^ "Russia 'pauses' Kherson annexation referendum over security concerns". DW News. 6 September 2022.
  11. ^ "Официальное опубликование правовых актов ∙ Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации". Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Putin annexes four regions of Ukraine in major escalation of Russia's war". the Guardian. 30 September 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Factbox: The four regions that Russia is poised to annex from Ukraine". Reuters. 30 September 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  14. ^ "Ukraine: UN General Assembly demands Russia reverse course on 'attempted illegal annexation'". 12 October 2022.
  15. ^ Santora, Marc (14 November 2022). "Zelensky Visits Kherson After Russian Retreat Turns River Into New Front Line". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Ukraine dam: What we know about Nova Kakhovka incident". BBC News. 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  17. ^ Vasilyeva, Olga (20 March 2024). "The election that wasn't". Novaya Gazeta Europe.
  18. ^ "The extent of fraud in Russia's presidential election begins to emerge". Le Monde. 20 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Population Quantity". UkrStat (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 7 January 2016.

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