Stories of Odessa Oblast

Odessa Oblast


Odessa Oblast, also written as Odesa Oblast (Ukrainian: Одеська область, translit. Odes’ka oblast’; also referred to as Odeshchyna—Ukrainian: Одещина), (Greek: Οδησσός) is an oblast (province) of south-western Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Odessa.

Formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire, the territory of Odessa Oblast passed into Russian and Soviet hands in various stages between the 18th and 20th centuries. The Russian Empire’s expansion along the Black Sea coast led to the creation of the territory of Novorossiya, which was colonised by a variety of peoples, of whom the Russians were dominant. Odessa Oblast corresponds to the most westerly portion of “New Russia”.

The Oblast was created on February 27th 1932 as part of the Ukrainian SSR. It was expanded further in 1954 by absorbing Izmail Oblast (formerly known as the Budjak region of Bessarabia).

The Oblast occupies an area of around 33,300 square kilometres (12,850 square miles). It is characterised by largely flat steppes divided by the Dniester river estuary. Its Black Sea coast comprises numerous sandy beaches, estuaries and lagoons. The region’s soils are renowned for their fertility, and intensive agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy. The southwest possesses many orchards and vineyards, while arable crops are grown throughout the region.