Odesa Oblast
Одеська область
Odeska oblast[1]
Flag of Odesa Oblast
Coat of arms of Odesa Oblast
Coordinates: 47°00′N 30°00′E / 47.000°N 30.000°E / 47.000; 30.000
Country Ukraine
Administrative centerOdesa
 • GovernorOleh Kiper [uk][2]
 • Oblast council84 seats
 • ChairpersonHrihoriy Didenko
 • Total33,313.69 km2 (12,862.49 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 1st
 • TotalDecrease 2,351,392
 • RankRanked 6
Gross Regional Product
 • Total₴ 272 billion
(€7.034 billion)
 • Per capita₴ 115,129
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

Odesa Oblast (Ukrainian: Одеська область, romanizedOdeska oblast), also referred to as Odeshchyna (Одещина), is an oblast (province) of southwestern Ukraine, located along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Its administrative centre is the city of Odesa. Population: 2,351,382 (2022 estimate).[3]

The length of coastline (sea-coast and estuaries) reaches 300 km (190 mi), while the state border stretches for 1,200 km (750 mi).[5] The region has eight seaports and five of the biggest lakes, including Yalpuh Lake, in Ukraine.[5] With over 80,000 ha (200,000 acres)[5] of vineyards, it is also the largest wine-growing region in Ukraine.



Evidence of the earliest inhabitants in this area comes from the settlements and burial grounds of the Neolithic Gumelnița, Cucuteni-Trypillia and Usatove 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 Tyras and Niconium in the modern Odesa Oblast. 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 Kyiv 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.[6]

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.[7] The northern outskirts of the current oblast, forming part of Podolia, remained within Lithuania, and then passed to the Kingdom of Poland in 1569, within which they were located in Bracław County in the Bracław Voivodeship in the Lesser Poland Province. Savran, Kodyma and Józefgród were Polish private towns,[8] the two latter founded by the Lubomirski family. The bulk of the territory of the Odesa 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, whereas the northern outskirts were annexed by Russia in the Second Partition of Poland in 1793. Russian historiography refers to the annexed area from 1791 as the Ochakov Oblast.[9]

Odesa at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries

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: Odesa Okruha, Pervomaisk Okruha, Kirovohrad Okruha, Mykolaiv Okruha, and Kherson Okruha. It was the scene of Soviet genocidal crimes, including the Holodomor of 1932–1933 and Polish Operation of the NKVD of 1937.[10]

In 1937 the Central Executive Committee of the USSR split off the eastern portions of the Odesa 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 Odesa Oblast favored the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. A survey conducted in December 2014 by the Kyiv 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.[11] A poll reported by Alexei Navalny and conducted in September 2014 found similar results.[12]

On 4-5 July 2022 during international Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022) in Lugano Switzerland pledged to support the rebuilding of Odesa region.[13]


Ukraine's largest oblast by area, the Odesa Oblast occupies an area of around 33,314 square kilometres (12,863 sq mi). It is characterised by largely flat steppes – part of the Black Sea Lowland – divided by the estuary of the Dniester river, and bordered to the south by the Danube. 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 interest

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 at the start of 2021) was 2,368,107 people, nearly 43% of whom lived in the city of Odesa.

Significant Bulgarian (6.1%) and Romanian (5.0%) minorities reside in the province.[14] It has the highest proportion of Jews of any oblast in Ukraine (although smaller than the Autonomous City of Kyiv) 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 Odesa Oblast.

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


Native language in Odesa Oblast (2022)[15]

  Ukrainian (57.8%)
  Russian (28.8%)
  Other (5.4%)
  Undecided (7.9%)

According to the 2001 Ukrainian census, Ukrainian was the mother tongue of 46.3% of the population, for 42.0% it was Russian, for 4.9% — Bulgarian, and for 3.8% — Moldovan.

According to a sociological survey conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation [uk] from 21 to 27 October 2022, 57.8% of respondents in Odesa Oblast named Ukrainian as their native language, 28.8% — Russian, 5.4% — another language, 7.9% said they found it difficult to say which language they considered their native language or refused to answer.[16]

According to a sociological survey conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation from 10 to 21 July 2023 in Odesa Oblast, the share of respondents who speak Ukrainian at home has increased to 42% (from 26% in 2021), while the share of those who speak Russian at home has dropped to 54%. To the question "How do you feel about the mandatory use of Ukrainian in the service sector (shops, cafes, barber shops, entertainment venues)?" 59% answered "Positive", 13% — "Negative", 17% — "I don't care", 12% — "Hard to say". To the question "Do you think it is acceptable to perform songs in Russian in the public space of your village/city, for example, performances by street musicians, listening to such songs in cafes/restaurants or supermarkets, etc.?" 30% answered "No", 37% — "Yes", 20% — "I don't care", 12% — "I find it difficult to answer".[17]

Age structure

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

Median age

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


Religion in Odesa Oblast (2015)[18]

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

The dominant religion in Odesa 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 divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Odesa Oblast

Until 2020, the Odesa 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 centre of the oblast, Odesa).

Name Ukrainian name Area
Admin. centre Urban
Population Only*[19]
Odesa Одеса (місто) 139 1,010,490 Odesa (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 *
Biliaivka 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 *
Kiliia Raion ^ Кілійський (район) 1,358 52,400 Kiliia 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
Detailed map of Odesa Oblast

On 18 July 2020, the number of districts (raions) was reduced to seven, now also incorporating the formerly independent cities.[20][21] (see map). They are now divided into 91 municipalities (hromadas).

Name Ukrainian name Area
2001 Census[22]
Admin. centre Population
2021 Estimate
Number of
Berezivka Raion Березівський (район) 5,546 121,518 Berezivka 106,490 16
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion Білгород-Дністровський (район) 5,177 214,211 Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi 198,682 16
Bolhrad Raion Болградський (район) 4,477 167,464 Bolhrad 146,424 10
Izmail Raion Ізмаїльський (район) 3,505 239,096 Izmail 207,333 6
Odesa Raion Одеський (район) 3,946 1,353,314 Odesa 1,382,541 22
Podilsk Raion Подільський (район) 7,048 266,948 Podilsk 224,163 12
Rozdilna Raion Роздільнянський (район) 3,568 106,506 Rozdilna 102,584 9

Notable people

One of the most famous Odesits is Sergei Utochkin who was a universal sportsman excelling in cycling, boxing, swimming and played football for the Odesa British Athletic Club.[5] 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.[5] The next stage for him was to conquest skies.[5] Utochkin managed to buy an airplane from a local banker and completed dozens of exhibition flights.[5] Eventually, he managed to assemble his own Farman-type airplane.[5] In Kyiv, Utochkin was demonstrating his piloting skills in front of some 50,000 people, among which was a future creator of helicopters Igor Sikorsky.[5]

A number of other notable people were born in Odesa, including the poet Anna Akhmatova, former NASA scientist Nicholas E. Golovin who worked with the Apollo program, composer Tamara Maliukova Sidorenko, and the founder of jazz in the Soviet Union Leonid Utyosov.[5]



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 2020-10-06 – via United Nations Statistics Division.
  2. ^ "Zelensky appoints controversial official as governor of Odesa Oblast". The Kyiv Independent. 31 May 2023. Wikidata Q118917482. Archived from the original on 31 May 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 c d e f g h i j Tell about Ukraine. Odesa Oblast. 24 Kanal (youtube).
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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[.]
  8. ^ Krykun, Mykola (2012). Воєводства Правобережної України у XVI-XVIII століттях: Статті і матеріали (in Ukrainian and Polish). pp. 525, 531–532. ISBN 978-617-607-240-9.
  9. ^ Friesen, Leonard G. (2008). Rural Revolutions in Southern Ukraine: Peasants, Nobles, and Colonists, 1774–1905. Harvard series in Ukrainian studies. Vol. 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.
  10. ^ Deportacje ludności polskiej do Kazachstanu w 1936 roku. Zarys historyczny (in Polish). Warszawa: Kancelaria Senatu. 2016. p. 37.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Navalny, Alexei (23 September 2014). Соцопрос ФБК по Харьковской и Одесской областям. Европа, Россия, Новороссия [Survey of Kharkiv and Odesa Oblasts] (in Russian). navalny.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Провідні країни Європи відбудовуватимуть Україну, – Гайдай". LB.ua. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  14. ^ Results of the 2001 All-Ukrainian population census for the Odesa Region
  15. ^ https://suspilne.media/415236-bilse-polovini-ziteliv-odesini-vvazaut-ukrainsku-movu-ridnou-doslidzenna/
  16. ^ https://suspilne.media/415236-bilse-polovini-ziteliv-odesini-vvazaut-ukrainsku-movu-ridnou-doslidzenna/
  17. ^ "Демократія, безпека та соціальне становище: думка респондентів в Одеській області у 2023 році".
  18. ^ "Religious preferences of the population of Ukraine". Sociology poll by Razumkov Centre, SOCIS, Rating and KIIS about the religious situation in Ukraine (2015)
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Про утворення та ліквідацію районів. Постанова Верховної Ради України № 807-ІХ". Голос України (in Ukrainian). 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  21. ^ "Нові райони: карти + склад" (in Ukrainian). Міністерство розвитку громад та територій України.
  22. ^ State Statistics Committee of Ukraine (web).