Oblasts of Ukraine
CategoryFirst-level subdivision of a unitary state
Location Ukraine
  • 27 February 1932 (92 years ago) (1932-02-27)
Number24 (as of 1991)
Populations897,000 (Chernivtsi) to 4,157,000 (Donetsk)
Areas8,100 km2 (3,126 sq mi) (Chernivtsi) to 33,300 km2 (12,860 sq mi) (Odesa)
  • Oblast State Administration,
    Oblast Council

An oblast (Ukrainian: область, romanizedoblast, pronounced [ˈɔblɐsʲtʲ] ; pl. області, oblasti) in Ukraine, sometimes translated as region or province, is the main type of first-level administrative division of the country. Ukraine's territory is divided into 24 oblasts, as well as one autonomous republic and two cities with special status. Ukraine is a unitary state, thus the oblasts do not have much legal scope of competence other than that which is established in the Ukrainian Constitution and devolved by law. Articles 140–146 of Chapter XI of the constitution deal directly with local authorities and their competence.

Oblasts are divided into raions, each oblast having from 3 to 8 raions following the July 2020 reform.[1]

General characteristics

In Ukraine, the term oblast denotes a primary administrative division. Under the Russian Empire and into the 1920s, Ukraine was divided between several governorates. The term oblast was introduced in 1932 by Soviet authorities when the Ukrainian SSR was divided into seven oblasts, replacing the previous subdivision system based on okruhas and encompassing 406 raions (districts).[2] The first oblasts were Vinnytsia Oblast, Kyiv Oblast, Odesa Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Soon after that, in the summer of 1932, Donetsk Oblast was formed out of eastern parts of Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts; in the fall of 1932 Chernihiv Oblast was formed on the border of Kyiv and Kharkiv oblasts.

Between 1935 and 1938, there were several newly created and self-governed special border okrugs (okruhas) located along the western border of the Soviet Union in Ukraine and Belarus. Upon liquidation of the okruhas in 1937–1938, Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Odesa, and Kharkiv oblasts were each split into four additional oblasts (Zhytomyr Oblast, Kamianets-Podilsky Oblast (later Khmelnytskyi), Mykolaiv Oblast, Poltava Oblast). Just before World War II, the Donetsk Oblast was split into Stalino Oblast and Voroshylovhrad Oblast and the Kirovohrad Oblast was created out of portions of Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Odesa oblasts.

During World War II, Ukraine added eight more oblasts of the West Ukraine and Bessarabia. Upon the occupation of Ukraine by Nazi Germany the territory was split between General Government, Kingdom of Romania and Reichskommissariat Ukraine and carried out a completely different administrative division, see Reichskommissariat Ukraine. With the re-establishing of Soviet power in the state after the war, the administrative division by oblast resumed, adding one more oblast—Zakarpattia. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian SSR; parts of the surrounding oblasts were incorporated into the Cherkasy Oblast, while Izmail Oblast was absorbed by Odesa Oblast. In 1959, Drohobych Oblast was merged with Lviv Oblast.

Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their respective administrative centers, which are also the largest and most developed cities in the region. Oblast populations range from 904,000 in Chernivtsi Oblast to 4.4 million in the eastern Donetsk Oblast.

Original in 1932

Later there were added

Further division in 1937–1938

New creations and World War II territorial expansions in 1939–1940



Constitutional provisions and authority

The Ukrainian constitution establishes Ukraine as a unitary state. The specific text of the constitution that refers to the territorial structure is as follows.

The territorial structure of Ukraine is based on the principles of unity and indivisibility of the state territory, the combination of centralisation and decentralisation in the exercise of state power, and the balanced socio-economic development of regions that takes into account their historical, economic, ecological, geographical and demographic characteristics, and ethnic and cultural traditions.

Election results of the 2015 regional parliamentarian elections

Each of Ukraine's oblasts has its own legislative and executive authority, most of which is subordinate to the central government authorities in Kyiv. Each region is administered under laws passed by the Ukrainian government and the Constitution of Ukraine. Each region levies its own taxes and, in return, receives a portion of its budget from Kyiv, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies.[3]

Executive power in each of the oblasts (as well as in other subdivisions of Ukraine) is exercised by local elected administrations.[4] The heads of local administrations are in turn appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine upon nomination by the Cabinet of Ministers.[4][5] Since Ukraine is a unitary state, there is little true political power and weight that these local administrations actually hold. Carrying out their authority, the heads of local administrations are accountable to the President and are subordinate to higher bodies of executive leadership.[4] According to the Constitution the head of the heads of the local Oblast administrations should resign after a new President is elected.[6]

Legislative power in the oblast governments is exercised by their respective oblast councils, which in turn supervise the activities of local administrations.[4] They also have considerable budgets managed by an oblast council (Ukrainian: обласна рада) made up of people's deputies (representatives) voted into office in regional elections every four years, the last of which took place in 2020.


The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city. E.g. Poltava is a center of Poltavs'ka oblast' (Poltava Oblast). Most of them are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna". E.g. Poltava Oblast is also called Poltavshchyna (Ukrainian: Полтавщина).

Exceptions to this rule include two oblasts, Volyn and Zakarpattia, which retain the names of their respective historical regions, Volyn (Volhynia) and Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), whose respective capitals are Lutsk and Uzhhorod.[7]

The capital cities of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Kirovohrad Oblast were renamed to Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi in 2016 as part of a process of replacing Soviet toponyms. As the names of the oblasts are mentioned in the Ukrainian Constitution changing them requires a complicated and lengthy process, thus as of 2024 the two oblasts still formally retain their Soviet names.[7]


According to the Ukrainian constitution, Ukraine is divided into 24 oblasts.[8] However, 4 oblasts are disputed and mostly de facto under control of Russia.[9] These oblasts are written in the italic typeface.

Region Area (km2) Population (2022) Pop. density Administrative center Raions Hromadas License plate prefix
 Cherkasy Oblast 20,891 1,198,000 61.80 Cherkasy 4 66 CA, IA
 Chernihiv Oblast 31,851.3 994,000 34.67 Chernihiv 5 57 CB, IB
 Chernivtsi Oblast 8,093.6 897,000 111.67 Chernivtsi 3 52 CE, IE
 Dnipropetrovsk Oblast 31,900.5 3,214,000 104.83 Dnipro 7 86 AE, KE
 Donetsk Oblast 26,505.7 4,157,000 167.81 Donetsk (Kramatorsk) 8 66 AH, KH
 Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast 13,894.0 1,382,000 99.38 Ivano-Frankivsk 6 62 AT, KT
 Kharkiv Oblast 31,401.6 2,683,000 87.74 Kharkiv 7 56 AX, KX
 Kherson Oblast 28,449 1,026,000 38.35 Kherson 5 49 BT, HT
 Khmelnytskyi Oblast 20,636.2 1,274,000 64.52 Khmelnytskyi 3 60 BX, HX
 Kirovohrad Oblast 24,577.5 958,000 41.29 Kropyvnytskyi 4 49 BA, HA
 Kyiv Oblast 28,118.9 1,775,000 61.15 Kyiv 7 69 AI, KI
 Luhansk Oblast 26,672.5 2,145,000 86.25 Luhansk (Sievierodonetsk) 8 37 BB, HB
 Lviv Oblast 21,823.7 2,515,000 116.65 Lviv 7 73 BC, HC
 Mykolaiv Oblast 24,587.4 1,126,000 48.25 Mykolaiv 4 52 BE, HE
 Odesa Oblast 33,295.9 2,395,000 71.71 Odesa 7 91 BH, HH
 Poltava Oblast 28,735.8 1,392,000 51.98 Poltava 4 60 BI, HI
 Rivne Oblast 20,038.5 1,146,000 57.52 Rivne 4 64 BK, HK
 Sumy Oblast 23,823.9 1,094,000 48.97 Sumy 5 51 BM, HM
 Ternopil Oblast 13,817.1 1,035,000 78.65 Ternopil 3 55 BO, HO
 Vinnytsia Oblast 26,501.6 1,566,000 62.12 Vinnytsia 6 63 AB, KB
 Volyn Oblast 20,135.3 1,046,000 51.56 Lutsk 4 54 AC, KC
 Zakarpattia Oblast 12,771.5 1,247,000 97.59 Uzhhorod 6 64 AO, KO
 Zaporizhzhia Oblast 27,168.5 1,699,000 66.45 Zaporizhzhia 5 67 AP, KP
 Zhytomyr Oblast 29,819.2 1,213,000 43.03 Zhytomyr 4 65 AM, KM
Map of the administrative divisions of the Ukrainian SSR from 1946–1954 shows the Izmail Oblast and Drohobych Oblast
Map of Ukraine with oblasts and largest cities



The Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Kirovohrad Oblast are pending renaming following the renaming of their capital cities to Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi.


Governors and legislatures

See also: Chief of local state administration

Name Executive Legislature
Governor Current Governor Oblast Council Building No. of seats Seating plan
 Cherkasy Governor of Cherkasy Oblast Ihor Taburets Cherkasy Oblast Council 64
 Chernihiv Governor of Chernihiv Oblast Vyacheslav Chaus Chernihiv Oblast Council 64
 Chernivtsi Governor of Chernivtsi Oblast Serhiy Osachuk Chernivtsi Oblast Council 64
 Dnipropetrovsk Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Valentyn Reznichenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Council 120
 Donetsk Governor of Donetsk Oblast Pavlo Kyrylenko Donetsk Oblast Council 163
 Ivano-Frankivsk Governor of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Svitlana Onyschuk Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Council 84
 Kharkiv Governor of Kharkiv Oblast Oleh Synyehubov Kharkiv Oblast Council 120
 Kherson Governor of Kherson Oblast Hennadiy Lahuta[nb 2] Kherson Oblast Council 64
 Khmelnytskyi Governor of Khmelnytskyi Oblast Serhiy Hamaliy Khmelnytskyi Oblast Council 64
 Kyiv Governor of Kyiv Oblast Oleksiy Kuleba Kyiv Oblast Council 84
 Kirovohrad Governor of Kirovohrad Oblast Oleh Synyehubov Kirovohrad Oblast Council 64
 Luhansk Governor of Luhansk Oblast Artem Lysohor Luhansk Oblast Council 124
 Lviv Governor of Lviv Oblast Maksym Kozytskyy Lviv Oblast Council 84
 Mykolaiv Governor of Mykolaiv Oblast Vitaliy Kim Mykolaiv Oblast Council 64
 Odesa Governor of Odesa Oblast Maksym Marchenko Odesa Oblast Council 84
 Poltava Governor of Poltava Oblast Dmytro Lunin Poltava Oblast Council 84
 Rivne Governor of Rivne Oblast Vitaliy Koval Rivne Oblast Council 64
 Sumy Governor of Sumy Oblast Dmytro Zhyvytskyi Sumy Oblast Council 84
 Ternopil Governor of Ternopil Oblast Volodymyr Trush Ternopil Oblast Council 64
 Vinnytsia Governor of Vinnytsia Oblast Serhiy Borzov Vinnytsia Oblast Council 84
 Volyn Governor of Volyn Oblast Yuriy Pohuliaiko Volyn Oblast Council 64
 Zakarpattia Governor of Zakarpattia Oblast Viktor Mykyta Zakarpattia Oblast Council 64
 Zaporizhzhia Governor of Zaporizhzhia Oblast Oleksandr Starukh Zaporizhzhia Oblast Council 84
 Zhytomyr Governor of Zhytomyr Oblast Vitaliy Bunechko Zhytomyr Oblast Council 64

See also


  1. ^ A total of 136 raions exist within the first-level subdivisions of Ukraine, including the 24 oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
  2. ^ The position is disputed. Volodymyr Saldo was appointed Governor on 26 April 2022 by the Russian military following the occupation of Kherson Oblast.[10]


  1. ^ "Нові райони: карти + склад". decentralization.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 10 June 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Ukraine Regions". Statoids. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  3. ^ Constitution of Ukraine, Chapter IX: Territorial Structure of Ukraine, Article 143
  4. ^ a b c d "The Constitution of Ukraine". pravnyk.info (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  5. ^ Poroshenko to sign Saakashvili's resignation if Cabinet submits motion, Interfax-Ukraine (7 November 2016)
  6. ^ (in Ukrainian)"Чемпіон міста. Як Кличко втримав Київ" [Champion of the city. How Klitschko kept Kyiv]. www.pravda.com.ua, Ukrainska Pravda. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Ukraine". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Конституція України". Офіційний вебпортал парламенту України (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  9. ^ "Putin signs documents to illegally annex four Ukrainian regions, in drastic escalation of Russia's war". The Globe and Mail. 2022-09-30. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  10. ^ "Российские оккупационные силы назначили своих «руководителей» в Херсоне и области". Крым.Реалии (in Russian). 26 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-27.