Middle Beskyd

Image - Middle Beskyd near Ustryky Dolishni (Ustrzyki Dolne).

Middle Beskyd [Середній Бескид; Serednii Beskyd]. (Map: Carpathian Mountains, Division.) That part of the Beskyds lying between the Sian River in the west and Turka and Boryslav in the east and between the Low Beskyd in the northwest and the High Beskyd in the southeast. It has an area of approx 2,800 sq km and is one of the lower and more gently undulating parts of the Carpathian Mountains. It rises approx 200–300 m (rarely 400 m) above surrounding Subcarpathia. It has a lattice structure, with longitudinal sandstone ridges separated by parallel valleys and depressions carved out of soft schists and clays. The ridges reach elevations of over 1,000 m and are intersected by the Stryvihor River, the Dnister River, and the Stryi River valleys.

The Middle Beskyd is largely denuded, forests covering only 33 percent of the territory (47 percent is under cultivation, and 16 percent is hayfields and pastures). Before 1940 it was one of the most settled parts of the Carpathian Mountains, with a population density of 80 people per sq km. Most of the inhabitants were Boikos engaged in agriculture (rye, potatoes, and oats), animal husbandry (mostly sheep raising), forestry, or, in the vicinity of Boryslav, the petroleum industry. Towns and cities in the Middle Beskyd include Peremyshl, Nyzhankovychi, Dobromyl, Khyriv, Staryi Sambir, and Boryslav (on the edges of the Carpathians), and Turka and Ustryky Dolishni (in the mountains). Since 1945 the western part of the Middle Beskyd has been under Polish rule, and in the immediate postwar period the Ukrainian population was forcibly resettled during Operation Wisła. In recent decades, however, some Ukrainians have returned to their former homes.

Volodymyr Kubijovyč

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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