Kursk region [Курщина; Kurshchyna]. (Map: Kursk region.) A mixed Russian-Ukrainian region northeast of Slobidska Ukraine. In the 16th century it became part of Muscovy. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it constituted Kursk gubernia, which bordered on Chernihiv gubernia, Poltava gubernia, and Kharkiv gubernia. In 1934, with somewhat changed borders, it made up Kursk oblast in the RSFSR, with an area of 50,800 sq km. The region's southern part (11,100 sq km) lies on Ukrainian ethnic territory and was inhabited by 554,700 Ukrainians (19.1 percent of the oblast's population) in 1926. In 1954 almost all of this southern part, of which about half of the population was Ukrainian, was incorporated into newly created Belgorod oblast. Since that time Kursk oblast has had an area of 29,800 sq km, of which only 1,200 sq km lies on Ukrainian ethnic territory. In 1979 Kursk oblast had a population of 1,395,400; only 19,500 identified themselves as Ukrainians, of which only 9,300 stated that Ukrainian was their native language.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]