Oblast of the Don Cossack Host. An administrative-territorial unit in the Russian Empire, situated in the basin of the middle and lower reaches of the Don River and incorporating most of the Don region. The area was settled primarily by Don Cossacks, though Ukrainians were concentrated in its western and northern parts. In 1914 the territory encompassed an area of 164,000 sq km and contained a population of 3.9 million. The Oblast of the Don Cossack Host (until 1870 known as the Don Cossack Land) was formally constituted in 1792; in 1887 it was enlarged to include Rostov-na-Donu county (from Katerynoslav gubernia) and the city and district of Tahanrih. Its administrative capital was Novocherkassk. The oblast was dismantled under Soviet rule in 1924, and the area now forms part of Rostov oblast and Volgograd oblast in the Russian Federation aas well as Donetsk oblast and Luhansk oblast in Ukraine.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine