Stories of Zakarpattia Oblast

Zakarpattia Oblast


The Zakarpattia Oblast (there are names in other languages) is an administrative oblast (province) located in southwestern Ukraine. Its administrative center is the city of Uzhhorod. Other major cities within the oblast include Mukachevo, Khust, Berehove and Chop which is home to railroad transport infrastructure.
Zakarpattia Oblast was formally established on 22 January 1946 after the annexation of the Transcarpathian Hungary to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to fulfill the petition filled by the Carpatho-Ukraine before the World War II. Some scholars say that during the Ukrainian independence referendum held in 1991, Zakarpattia Oblast voters were given a separate option on whether or not they favored autonomy for the region. Although a large majority favored autonomy, it was not granted. However, this referendum was about self government status, not about autonomy (like in Crimea).

Situated in the Carpathian Mountains landscape of western Ukraine, Zakarpattia Oblast is the only Ukrainian administrative division which borders upon four countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The Carpathian Mountains play a major part in the oblast’s economy, making the region an important tourist and travel destination housing many ski and spa resorts.

The oblast is ranked 23rd by area and 17th by population. According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census, the population of Zakarpattia Oblast is 1,254,614. Excluding Ukrainians, this total includes people of many different nationalities of which Hungarians, Romanians and Rusyns constitute significant minorities in some of the province’s cities, while in others, they form the majority of the population (as in the case of Berehove).