Kharkiv gubernia [Харківська губернія; Kharkivska gubernia]. An administrative-territorial unit in Russian-ruled Slobidska Ukraine. Kharkiv was the capital. In 1765 Slobidska Ukraine gubernia superseded abolished Cossack regiments—Izium regiment, Okhtyrka regiment, Ostrohozke regiment, Sumy regiment, and Kharkiv regiment. It was replaced by Kharkiv vicegerency in 1780 but restored in 1796 and renamed Kharkiv gubernia in 1835. From 1835 the gubernia consisted of 11 counties: Bohodukhiv, Izium, Kharkiv, Kupianka, Lebedyn, Okhtyrka, Starobilsk, Sumy, Valky, Vovchansk, Zmiiv. In 1773 the gubernia had a male population of 666,000 living in 670 settlements; 58.6 percent consisted of Cossacks and military settlers, and 34 percent of peasants. The total population was 1,030,000 (90 percent peasant) in 1811, 1,590,900 in 1863, and 2,492,300 (18 percent urban) in 1897 (Ukrainians represented 82.7 percent; Russians, 16.3 percent). In 1924 the population was 2,728,400 (20 percent urban, of which only 55 percent was Ukrainian). The gubernia was primarily an agricultural region. Industry was underdeveloped and consisted mainly of the sugar-beet processing industry, the distilling industry, the brewing industry, and the metalworking industry. The gubernia was abolished in 1925, and its territory (36,727 sq km) was divided among Izium, Kupianka, Starobilsk, Sumy, and Kharkiv okruhas; most of it made up Kharkiv oblast in 1932.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]