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|Subdivisions of Ukraine|
The administrative division in Ukraine was directly inherited from the local republican administration of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and has not changed majorly since the middle of 20th century. It is somewhat complex as beside having couple of levels of a territorial subdivision, it also has its own classification for various settlements.
The administrative division has the following units: autonomous republic, oblast (region), raion (district), misto (city), raion in misto (district in city), selyshche miskoho typu (town), silrada (village council), selo (village).
There are three main criteria by which the mentioned administrative division units are divided.
Regions, cities, districts are governed by a state administration, a chief of which is appointed by the president. Crimea has its own cabinet of ministers, however the state administration is represented by the office of the Presidential Representative of Ukraine. A basic and the lowest level of administrative division is a settlement that is governed by a local council (rada). Cities as a settlement always carry a special status within a region and have their own form of self-administration (municipality - vykonkom) and some may consist of their own city's districts (raions). Bigger cities may include additional smaller cities, towns, and rural localities. City municipalities are governed by a mayor and a city council (miskrada). Towns as well as villages do not have a traditional administration and are governed by either a town council (selyshchena rada) or a village council (silrada). Village councils may carry a combined jurisdiction which may include several villages and hamlets (selyshche). Unlike villages, each town council always has a separate jurisdiction which may be part of bigger city's council. Hamlet (selyshche) is a non-governed rural locality and is governed by a village council of nearby village.
Status on January 1, 2011
The system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects country's status as a unitary state with unified legal and administrative regimes for each unit. In the post-World War II period, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic consisted of 25 oblasts and two cities with special status. Before Ukraine was subdivided into oblasts, the Ukrainian SSR was divided into 40 okrugs, which replaced the former Russian Imperial guberniya subdivision.
In 1932, the territory of the Ukrainian SSR was re-established based on oblasts. Excluded in the administrative changes was Western Ukraine, which was then part of the Second Polish Republic and was subject to their form of administrative division based on voivodeships. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea has obtained the status of an autonomous republic with its own government instead of a regional state administration. Each region of Ukraine has at least one city of oblast subordinance, which is always the region's administrative center. Also, each region is divided into many raions (districts) and may contain additional "city raions."
|Degree of division||Territory||Number||Corresponding settlements||Number||Total urban/rural|
|1 (regions)||autonomous republic||1||cities with special status||2||1344|
|2 (districts)||raion||490||region level city||178|
|raion within city||118|
|3 (councils)||city||454||district level city||274|
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, formerly the Crimean Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR, is geographically encompasses the major portion of Crimean peninsula in the south of Ukraine. The capital of the republic is the city of Simferopol. The autonomous republic is the only region within Ukraine that possesses its own Constitution.
Oblasts are the major and the most common administrative division in the country and the term is often interchangeably used with the term "region." Almost every oblast is named after its administrative center, while the two that are not are named after their historical regions.
There are two cities that carry a special status: the city of Kiev which is the capital, and the city of Sevastopol that carries exclusive rights that Ukraine handed over to Russia (Black Sea Fleet) in spite of the Constitution of Ukraine.
Raions are small territorial units of subdivision in Ukraine. There are 490 raions in the 24 oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The average area of a Ukrainian raion is 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi); the average population of a raion is 52,000 people.
|Status||Status (in Ukrainian)||Total Number (as of 2006)|
|misto / city||місто||457|
|municipality||місто зі спеціальним статусом||2|
|misto оblastnoho znachennia||місто областного значення||176|
|misto raionnoho znachennia||місто районного значення||279|
|selyshche miskoho typu / town||селище міського типу||886|
|selo / village||сільський населений пункт||28,552|
There are two types of settlements: rural and urban. Rural populated areas (сільський населений пункт) can be either a village (село, selo) or a rural settlement (селище). Urban populated areas (міський населений пункт) can be either a city (містo) or an urbanized settlement (селище міського типу). For the sake of brevity, urbanized settlements are often classified as towns in the English language.
Changes to a settlement's status can be made only by the Verkhovna Rada. Please note that the size of a settlement does not ultimately define its status, although is a major factor. For example, the city of Prypiat still retains its status, while having a population of zero, due to its infrastructure, including buildings, roads, and utility networks.
The typical Ukrainian misto ought to be considered a city, not a town (compare to City status in the United Kingdom). However, the city's subordination to either an oblast or raion also should be taken into account, especially in the political sense. Some of urbanized settlements may be cities of raion subordination, although it could seem confusing, a type of settlement should be considered first as its status is given for administrative purposes.
Cities may carry various status. Some may be of national importance, others of regional (oblast) importance, and the rest of district (raion) importance. For example, the cities of Kiev and of Sevastopol have special status of national significance and each is officially classified as a city with a special status, which administratively is equivalent to an oblast. Mayors of those cities, in general, as are governors of oblasts, are appointed by the President of Ukraine. However, the status of the mayor of Kiev is somewhat more complex, and for further information see Legal status and local government of Kiev. The status of Sevastopol is also unique.
Almost every oblast has at least one city of regional subordination (importance), which is the administrative center (capital) of that oblast. However, some other big cities within the oblast may have such status as well. The cities of oblast subordination have the same importance of a raion, and often are the administrative centers of such. Note that beside the regular raions there are several cities in Ukraine usually of national (mentioned earlier) or oblast status that are subdivided into several city raions of their own. Those raions may sometimes include other cities, towns, and/or villages. In 2010 there were 23 such cities that have city raions.
Many raions also have city municipalities of its level of subordination (importance). Those are usually the administrative centers (capitals). Notice that not all raions have a city as their administrative center; however all the raion centers are at least urban-like (urbanized). All administrative centers have their own form of self-administration. The municipalities of a raion subordination may administer several adjacent local councils (municipalities), usually rural. If a raion has several cities of raion (district) level, they may share administrative power for the raion.
Aside from city municipalities, there are urban-like municipalities. The lowest form of self-administration are the rural municipalities and villages. A rural municipality may consist of a single village, usually big, or a combination of other rural villages or localities. Note that some villages also have some additional, very small settlements. Those settlements, together with the home village, combine a local (rural) municipality (silrada). For simplicity's sake, a silrada (rural municipality) is usually referred to as a village and is the lowest level of administrative division. The status of any settlement is granted by the Verkhovna Rada.
There are also some former military installation settlements (viiskove mistechko). Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the secrecy of such settlements has been unveiled, however, the towns are subordinated directly to the Ministry of Defense and do not have their own civil administrations. Such military installations are like ghost towns that are not even identified on a map. One of them, on the border of the Kiev and Zhytomyr Oblasts is Makarov-1. There is also a special territory under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Emergencies. It is the territory which suffered the most from the Chernobyl disaster, known as the Zone of alienation. Some restricted territories belong to the Ministry of Ecology (former Nature Environment) and are considered nature sanctuaries (preserves).
Currently there are three enclaves. The city of Slavutych is administratively subordinated directly to Kiev Oblast, while being completely surrounded by neighboring Belarus and Chernihiv Oblast. Another enclave is the settlement of Bile which is located on Snake Island and is fully surrounded by the Black Sea. Bile was established in 2007 and is part of Vylkove, Odessa Oblast. Also the town of Kotsiubynske (Irpin municipality), which is part of the Kiev Oblast, is completely surrounded by the city of Kiev.
Other descriptive names for types of local settlements that are no longer used include khutir, and workers' settlement.
Ukraine has five major agglomerated metropolitan areas (conurbations). These conurbation areas are not officially recognized and remain to be administered according to official oblast-raion system of subdivision.
|Ukrainian||Romanized¹||English widespread||English recommended (formal use)||English recommended (informal use)|
|автономна республіка||avtonomna respublika||(autonomous) republic||autonomous republic||autonomy|
|район||raion||district, region³, area, county||raion||district|
|містo||misto||city, municipality||misto||city, municipality5|
|містo зі спеціальним статусом||misto zi spetsial'nym statusom||special-status municipality, special-charter municipality4||municipality||municipality, city|
|містo обласного значення||misto оblastnoho znachennia||city of oblast subordinance||misto оblastnoho znachennia||city of oblast subordinance|
|містo районного значення||misto raionnoho znachennia||city of raion subordinance||misto raionnoho znachennia||city of raion subordinance|
|селище міського типу||selysche mis'koho typu||town, urban-type settlement||selysche mis'koho typu||town, urban-type settlement|
|сільський населений пункт||sil'skyi naselenyi punkt||village, rural-type settlement||selo||village, rural-type settlement|
Beside the administrative divisions, there is also a loose concept of geographical division that is often used for reference purposes. The division splits Ukraine into 4 to six geographic parts: Western Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Southern Ukraine, Central Ukraine, and sometimes used Northern Ukraine and Southeastern Ukraine.
Coincidentally, in the 19th century Ukraine was also split into three general-governments of the Russian Empire (General-government of Kiev, General-government of Little Russia, and General-government of New Russian and Bessarabia), while the western portion of Ukraine was part of Austria-Hungary.
There also is another important divisions such as economical districts, a notion inherited from the Soviet Union.
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