Podilia gubernia

Podilia gubernia [Ukrainian: Подільська губерня, Podilska hubernia; Russian: Подольская губерня, Podolskaia gubernia]. (Map: Podilia gubernia.) An administrative-territorial unit created in Russian-ruled Right-Bank Ukraine in 1797 out of 7 counties of Podilia vicegerency, 9 counties of Bratslav vicegerency, and 4 counties (3 in part) of Voznesensk vicegerency.

Its territory (42,017 sq km) was subdivided into 12 counties: Balta, Bratslav, Haisyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Letychiv, Lityn, Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Olhopil, Proskuriv, Vinnytsia, Nova Ushytsia, and Yampil [see Yampil (Vinnytsia oblast)]. The capital was Kamianets-Podilskyi. In 1811 the gubernia had 1,297,800 inhabitants. In 1897 it had 3,018,300, of whom only 7.5 percent were urban. Ukrainians constituted 80.2 percent of the total population but only 1 percent of the urban population. The major ethnic minorities were Jews (12.2 percent), Russians (3.3), Poles (2.3), and Romanians (0.9). The gubernia was an economically backward, predominantly agricultural region. Its main industry was sugar refining. In 1914 only 8.8 percent of the population was urban. The gubernia was devastated during the First World War and Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21, and suffered many human losses. In 1923, 11.5 percent of its 3,457,000 inhabitants were urban; 31 percent of the urban population was Ukrainian, 55 percent was Jewish, and 9 percent was Russian. That year the counties were replaced by Haisyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Proskuriv, Vinnytsia, and Tulchyn okruhas, and in 1925 the gubernia was abolished.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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