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Kiev Governorate

Kiev Governorate
Кіевская губернія
Governorate of Russian Empire, Ukraine


Location of Kiev
Kiev Governorate in 1812
Capital Kiev
 •  Established November 30, 1796
 •  Disestablished 1923
Political subdivisions uyezds: 12
Today part of  Ukraine
Kiev Governorate just before the revolution

Kiev Governorate was an administrative division of the Russian Empire in 1796 until the Soviet administrative reform of the 1920s.


  • History 1
  • Principal cities 2
  • After 1917 3
    • List of okruhas 3.1
  • Maps 4
  • See also 5
  • Footnotes and references 6
  • Further reading 7


The Kiev Governorate was re-established by Emperor Paul I's edict of November 30, 1796. Three Left-bank Ukraine viceroyalties were merged into one Little Russia Governorate centered on Chernigov, while the Kiev Governorate was now comprised on Right-bank Ukraine. With Kiev still a capital, the governorate included the right-bank parts of the former Kiev Viceroyalty merged with territories of the former Kiev[1] and Bracław Voivodeships which were gained by the Russian Empire from the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the lands of the Polish Crown province).[2] The edict took effect on August 29, 1797, bringing the total number of uyezds to twelve.[2]

On January 22, 1832, the Kiev Governorate, along with the Volhynia and the Podolia Governorates formed the Kiev Governorate General, also known as the Southwestern Krai.[3] At the time, Vasily Levashov was appointed the Military Governor of Kiev as well as the General Governor of Podolia and Volhynia. In 1845, the population of the Governorate was 1,704,661.[2]

At the turn of the 20th century, the governorate included twelve uyezds named by their centers: Berdychiv, Cherkasy, Chyhyryn, Kaniv, Kiev, Lipovets, Radomyshl, Skvyra, Tarashcha, Uman, Vasylkiv and Zvenyhorodka.[4]

By the 1897 Russian Census, there were 3,559,229 people in the guberniya making it the most populous one in the whole Russian Empire.[4] Most of population was rural. There were 459,253 people living in cities, including about 248,000 in Kiev. According to the mother tongue, the census classified the respondents as follows: 2,819,145 Little Russians (the Russian government term for Ukrainians) representing 79.2% of the population, 430,489 Jews representing 12.1% of the population, 209,427 Great Russians (the Russian government's term for Russians) representing 5.9% of the population, and 68,791 Poles representing 1.9% of the population.[5] By faith, 2,983,736 census respondents were Orthodox Christians, 433,728 were Jews and 106,733 were of the Roman Catholic Church.[4][6]

Kiev Governorate remained a constituent unit of the larger Governorate General with Kiev being the capital of both well into the 20th century. In 1915, the General Governorate was disbanded while the guberniya continued to exist.

Principal cities

Russian Census of 1897

  • Kiev – 247,723 (Ukrainian – 6 578, Jewish – 2 921, Russian – 343)
  • Berdichev – 53,351 (Jewish – 41 125, Russian – 4 612, Ukrainian – 4 395)
  • Uman – 31,016 (Jewish – 17 709, Ukrainian – 9 509, Russian – 2 704)
  • Cherkassy – 29,600 (Ukrainian – 12 900, Jewish – 10 916, Russian – 4 911)
  • Skvira – 17,958 (Jewish – 8 905, Ukrainian – 7 681, Russian – 956)
  • Zvenigorodka – 16,923 (Ukrainian – 8 337, Jewish – 6 368, Russian – 1 513)
  • Vasylkiv – 13,132 (Ukrainian – 7 108, Jewish – 5 140, Russian – 820)
  • Tarascha – 11,259 (Ukrainian – 5 601, Jewish – 4 906, Russian – 575)
  • Radomysl – 10,906 (Jewish – 7 468, Ukrainian – 2 463, Russian – 778)
Smaller cities
  • Chyhyryn – 9,872 (Ukrainian – 6 578, Jewish – 2 921, Russian – 343)
  • Kaniv – 8,855 (Ukrainian – 5 770, Jewish – 2 710, Russian – 303)
  • Lipovets – 8,658 (Jewish – 4 117, Ukrainian – 3 948, Russian – 397)

After 1917

In the times after the Russian revolution in 1917–1921, the lands of Kiev Governorate switched hands many times. After the last Imperial governor, Alexey Ignatyev until March 6, 1917, the local leaders were appointed by competing authorities. At times, the Governorate Starosta (appointed by the Central Rada) and the Governorate Commissar (sometimes underground) both claimed the Governorate, while some of the short-lived ruling regimes of the territory did not establish any particular administrative subdivision.[7]

As chaos gave way to stability in the early 1920s, the Soviet Ukrainian authority re-established the Governorate whose leading post was titled the Chairman of the Governorate's Revolutionary Committee (revkom) or of the Executive Committee (ispolkom).[7]

In the course of the Soviet administrative reform of 1923–1929 the Kiev Guberniya was transformed into six okruhas in 1923, and, since 1932, Kiev Oblast at the territory.[7]

List of okruhas

Ukrainian okruhas in 1927
  • Berdychiv Okruha
  • Bila Tserkva Okruha
  • Kiev Okruha
  • Malyn Okruha (1923-24)
  • Uman Okruha
  • Cherkasy Okruha
  • Shevchenko Okruha (1923-25, initially as Korsun)


See also

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ Despite the loss of Kiev almost three centuries earlier, Poland still designated an administrative unit centered in Zhitomir as the Kiev Voivodship
  2. ^ a b c Иван Фундуклей. "Статистическое описание Киевской Губернии", Часть I. Санкт-Петербург, 1852. (Ivan Fundukley. Statistical Description of Kiev Governorate. St. Petersburg, 1852)
  3. ^ Киевское, Подольское и волынское генерал-губернаторство (Юго-Западный край) 22.01.1832–1915
  4. ^ a b c Киевская губерния and Киевская губерния (дополнение к статье) in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary
  5. ^ The First General Census of the Russian Empire of 1897. Breakdown of population by mother tongue and districts* in 50 Governorates of the European Russia Demoscope Weekly, Institute of Demography at the National Research University "Higher Schol of Economics." The Russian census grouped "Little Russians" (Ukrainians), "Great Russians" (Russians) and Belarusians together for an all-"Russian" total of 3,034,961
  6. ^ The 1897 Russian Census classified the population by the responses to the questions on religion and mother tongue. See, e.g. Маргарита Григорянц, "Первый демографический автопортрет России", Мир России, 1997, Т. VI, № 4, С. 45–48
  7. ^ a b c Киевская область

Further reading

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