Military district

Military district [військова округа; viiskova okruha]. An organizational unit consisting of the military institutions and bodies located within a specific geographic region. In the Russian Empire, military districts were established in 1862, and Ukraine was divided into the Kyiv and Odesa military districts. The old districts remained intact under the Central Rada and were redrawn only in September 1918 by the Hetman government into the following military districts: Kyiv, Volhynia, Odesa, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkiv, and Katerynoslav. The plan to set up one army corps in each okruha could not be implemented before Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky was overthrown. The Ukrainian Galician Army divided Galicia into 13 military districts.

Under the Soviet regime the entire Ukrainian SSR formed one military district. In 1935 it was divided into the Kyiv, Odesa, and Kharkiv military districts, and in 1939 the Lviv (renamed the Carpathian in 1946) Military District was added. Later the Tavriia Military District was created. From 1956, there were these three districts: Kyiv, Odesa, and Subcarpathia.

In 1943 the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) divided its area of operations into military districts, which were about as large as oblasts. The UPA-North (in Volhynia and Polisia) consisted of 4, the UPA-South (in central Ukraine) of at least 2, and the UPA-West (Galicia) of 6 military districts. In 1945 the number of military districts was reduced to two in the north and four in the west: ‘Buh’ (Lviv), ‘Hoverlia’ (Carpathian Mountains]), ‘Lysonia’ (Podilia), and ‘Sian’ (Zakerzonnia). The military units within a district constituted a group, which was equivalent to an infantry division. In 1949 the UPA military districts ceased to function.

Petro Sodol

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

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