Administrative divisions of Ukraine

Administrative divisions of Ukraine

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view · Ukraine is subdivided into 24 oblasts (regions), one autonomous republic, and two "cities with special status".



The system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects country's status as a unitary state (as stated in the country's constitution) with unified legal and administrative regime for each unit. In the post-World War II period in the country as a tradition has established 25 regions (locally oblasts) and two cities with a special status. The system of oblasts however was established in 1932, except for the West Ukraine where existed the Polish form of administrative division. Prior to that the Soviet Ukraine Ukraine from 1925 to 1932 was divided into 40 okruhas, replacing the Russian Imperial administrative division of guberniyas.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimea has obtained the status of autonomous republic with its own government instead of a regional state administration. Each region has at least one city with a special status as well; always the region's administrative center. Also each region is divided into various districts (locally raions) and may contain additional cities with a special status.

For an understanding of the cultural and socioeconomic differences within the country, a knowledge of the Ukrainian historical regions is crucial in studying the administrative structure. For example the West Ukraine has some influence of the countries from Central Europe, while the East Ukraine is heavily influenced by the Russian Federation.

List of Ukraine's oblasts
Region Area (sq mi) Population (2010) Density Centre city Raions/Districts Important cities
 Crimea 10,038.0 1,965,031 195.76 Simferopol 14 11
 Cherkasy Oblast 8,069.5 1,291,135 160.00 Cherkasy 20 6
 Chernihiv Oblast 12,303.1 1,104,241 89.75 Chernihiv 22 3
 Chernivtsi Oblast 3,126.3 903,782 289.09 Chernivtsi 11 2
 Dnipropetrovsk Oblast 12,322.1 3,344,073 271.39 Dnipropetrovsk 22 13
 Donetsk Oblast 10,238.3 4,448,031 434.45 Donetsk 18 28
 Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast 5,366.8 1,380,770 257.28 Ivano-Frankivsk 14 5
 Kharkiv Oblast 12,129.4 2,755,177 227.15 Kharkiv 27 7
 Kherson Oblast 10,988.9 1,091,151 99.30 Kherson 18 3
 Khmelnytskyi Oblast 7,971.1 1,331,534 167.05 Khmelnytskyi 20 6
 Kiev Oblast 10,861.4 1,719,602 158.32 Kiev 25 13
 Kirovohrad Oblast 9,493.5 1,014,809 106.90 Kirovohrad 21 4
 Luhansk Oblast 10,302.7 2,300,412 223.28 Luhansk 18 4
 Lviv Oblast 8,429.8 2,545,634 301.98 Lviv 20 9
 Mykolaiv Oblast 9,497.3 1,186,452 124.93 Mykolaiv 19 5
 Odessa Oblast 12,861.1 2,387,636 185.65 Odessa 26 7
 Poltava Oblast 11,099.7 1,493,668 134.57 Poltava 25 5
 Rivne Oblast 7,740.2 1,152,576 148.91 Rivne 16 4
 Sumy Oblast 9,202.4 1,166,765 126.79 Sumy 18 7
 Ternopil Oblast 5,337.1 1,086,694 203.61 Ternopil 17 1
 Vinnytsia Oblast 10,236.7 1,646,250 160.82 Vinnytsia 27 6
 Volyn Oblast 7,777.6 1,038,223 133.49 Lutsk 16 4
 Zakarpattia Oblast 4,933.2 1,246,323 252.64 Uzhhorod 13 5
 Zaporizhia Oblast 10,494.3 1,805,431 172.04 Zaporizhia 20 5
 Zhytomyr Oblast 11,518.2 1,283,201 111.41 Zhytomyr 23 5
 Kiev (Kyiv) 323.9 2,782,016 8589.12 Kiev 10 1
 Sevastopol 416.6 380,301 912.87 Sevastopol 4 2

General scope of administrative division

Map of the first level of administrative division of Ukraine.

The administrative division in Ukraine was directly inherited from the local republican administration of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian SSR, and has not changed majorly since the middle of 20th century. It is somewhat complex as beside having couple of levels of a territorial subdivision, it also has its own classification for various settlements.


There are three major administrative subdivisions: oblast (region), raion (district), and settlements: city, urban and rural settlements.

Regions, cities, districts are governed by a state administration, a chief of which is appointed by the president. Crimea has its own incomplete cabinet of ministers, however the state administration is represented by the office of the Presidential Representative of Ukraine. A basic and the lowest level of administrative division is a settlement that is governed by a local council (rada). Cities as a settlement always carry a special status within a region and have their own form of self-administration (municipality - vykonkom) and some may consist of their own city's districts (raions). City municipalities are governed by a mayor.


Cities may carry various status, some may be of national importance, another - of regional (oblast) importance, and the rest - of a district (raion) importance. For example, the cities of Kiev and of Sevastopol have the special status of a national importance (significance) and each is officially classified as a city with a special status, which administratively is equivalent to an oblast (region). Mayors of those cities, in general, as governors of oblasts are being appointed by the President of Ukraine. However, the status of the Mayor of Kiev city, in particular, is somewhat more complex, and for further information see Legal status and local government of Kiev. The status of the Sevastopol city is also unique.

At the oblast level almost each have at least one city of regional subordination (importance) which is the administrative center (capital) of that oblast. However, some other big cities within the oblast may have such status as well. The cities of oblast subordination have the same importance of a whole raion and often are the administrative centers of such. Note that beside the regular raions there are several cities in Ukraine usually of national (mentioned earlier) or oblast status that are subdivided into several city raions of their own. Those raions may sometimes include other cities, towns, and/or villages. In 2010 there were 23 such cities that have city raions.

A lot of raions also have city municipalities of its level of subordination (importance). Those are usually the administrative centers (capitals). Notice that not all raions (districts) have a city as their administrative center, however all the raion (district) centers are at least urban-like (urbanized). All administrative centers have their own form of self-administration. The municipalities of a raion subordination may administer several other adjacent to them local councils (municipalities), usually rural. If raion has several cities of raion (district) level, they may share an administrative power for the raion.

Other municipalities

As it was mentioned above, beside city municipalities there are urban-like municipalities. The lowest form of self-administration are rural municipalities and villages. A rural municipality may consist of a single village, usually big, or combination of other rural villages or localities. Note that some villages also have some additional very small settlements. Those settlements together with the home village combine a local (rural) municipality (silrada). For simplicity sake, silrada (rural municipality) is usually referred to as a village and is the lowest level of administrative division. The status to any settlement is granted through the Verkhovna Rada.

Other administrations

There are also some former military installation-settlements (viiskove mistechko). Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the secrecy of such settlements was "unveiled", however, those towns being subordinated directly to the Ministry of Defense and do not have their own civil administration. Such military installations are like ghost towns that are not even identified on a map. One of them is on the border of the Kiev and Zhytomyr Oblasts called Makarov-1.[1] Also there is a special territory which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Emergencies. It is the territory which suffered the most from the Chernobyl Catastrophe, known as the Zone of alienation. Some restricted territories belong to the Ministry of Ecology (former Nature Environment) and are considered nature sanctuaries (preserves).

Currently there are three enclaves. The city of Slavutych is administratively subordinated directly to the Kiev region, while being completely surrounded by Belarus and Chernihiv region. Another enclave is a settlement Bile which is located on the Snake island and is fully surrounded by the Black Sea. Bile is part of the Vylkove city of Odessa region. Also a town of Kotsyubynske (Irpin municipality) which is part of the Kiev region is completely surrounded by the city of Kiev.

Other nomenclatures for local settlements that are now abandoned include khutir, workers' settlement etc.

The following table is based on the 2001 Ukrainian Census.

Degree of division Territorial Number Cities/other settlements Number Total settlements
1 Crimea 1 - - -
region/oblast 24 special status city 2 459
2 district/raion 490 region level city 178
- - city district 118
3 - - district level city 279
municipality, town/urban-type 783 other town/urban-type settlement 102 885
4 municipality, rural 10278 village 27190 28456
5 - - rural settlement/selyshche 1266

Types of settlements

Settlements by Status
Status [1] Status
(in Ukrainian)
Total Number
(as of 2006)
misto / city місто 457
  municipality місто зі спеціальним статусом 2
  misto оblastnoho znachennia місто областного значення 176
  misto raionnoho znachennia місто районного значення 279
selyshche miskoho typu / town селище міського типу 886
selo / village сільський населений пункт 28,552
  selysche селище 1,364
  selo село 27,188

There are two types of settlements: rural and urban.


Rural populated areas (сільський населений пункт) can be either a village (село, selo) or a rural settlement (селище).


Urban populated areas (міський населений пункт) can be either a city (містo) or an urbanized settlement (селище міського типу). Urbanized settlements for a brevity sake often are classified as towns in the English language.

The changes to a settlement status can be done only by the Verkhovna Rada. Please, note that the size of a settlement does not ultimately define its status although is a major factor. For example, the city of Prypiat in Ukraine still retains its status, while having a population of zero (0) residents due to its infrastructure: buildings, roads, utility networks, etc.

City vs. town in Ukraine

The typical Ukrainian misto ought to be considered a city, not a town (compare to City status in the United Kingdom). However, the city's subordination to either oblast or raion also should be taken into account, especially in the political sense. Some of urbanized settlements may be cities of raion subordination, although it could seem confusing, a type of settlement should be considered first as its status is given for administrative purposes.


Names of Ukraine's administrative units
Ukrainian Romanized¹ English widespread English recommended (formal use) English recommended (informal use)
автономна республіка avtonomna respublika (autonomous) republic autonomous republic autonomy
область oblast' region², province oblast province
район raion district, region³, area, county raion district
містo misto city, municipality misto city, municipality5
містo зі спеціальним статусом misto zi spetsial'nym statusom special-status municipality, special-charter municipality4 municipality municipality, city
містo областного значення misto оblastnoho znachennia city of oblast subordinance misto оblastnoho znachennia city of oblast subordinance
містo районного значення misto raionnoho znachennia city of raion subordinance misto raionnoho znachennia city of raion subordinance
селище міського типу selysche mis'koho typu town, urban-type settlement selysche mis'koho typu town, urban-type settlement
сільський населений пункт sil'skyi naselenyi punkt village, rural-type settlement selo village, rural-type settlement
селище selysche village selysche village
село selo village selo village


  1. Romanized using Ukrainian National standard. Details at Romanization of Ukrainian.
  2. Province is more precise because region may also refer to supranational geographic entity.
  3. Region is ambiguous since it usually refers to larger national-level units; area is inaccurate.
  • 4. Also may be referred as republican status.
  • 5. City refers exclusively to the city administration (usually smaller cities), while some cities include other urban and rural administrations such collective administrations form city councils - municipalities.


Uncommon in English language term oblast in Ukraine is interchangeably used with more common region which is a general term used for oblasts and the Republic of Crimea. Most of Ukraine's oblast (regions) are named after their administrative centers (all cities). Each region generally consists of about one to two million of people and has about 20 districts (raions).

Nomenclature grammatical aspect

The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city. E.g. Poltava is a center of Poltavs'ka oblast' (Poltava Oblast). Most of them are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna". E.g. Poltava Oblast is also called Poltavshchyna.

Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Two oblasts, Volyn and Zakarpattia, which retain the names of their respective historical regions, Volyn' (Volhynia) and Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), whose respective capitals are Lutsk and Uzhhorod.
  • Two cities: Kiev which is an independently administrated city from the surrounding Kiev Oblast and Sevastopol which is, while located on the Crimean peninsula, administratively not part of Crimea. Kiev is, however, also the administrative center of Kiev Oblast (administrative bodies of the oblast are situated inside the city).

An oblast center in Ukraine is usually the largest and most developed city in given region.

Oblasts sometimes referred to as provinces, however historically provinces were part of administrative division of the Russian Empire, territories of which today often are different. For example, the former Volhynian province encompasses the Rivne Oblast, the Volyn Oblast, and also includes some territories in the Ternopil Oblast. See also List of etymologies of country subdivision names: "Ukraine".

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, Avtonomna Respublika Krym, Crimean Tatar: Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti), formerly Crimea Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR, is geographically the main part of Crimean peninsula in the south of Ukraine. Its capital is Simferopol.


Raions are small territorial units of subdivision of Ukraine. There are 490 raions in 24 oblasts and Crimea autonomous republic of Ukraine. An average area of Ukrainian raion is 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi), an average population of raions is 52,000 people.

Metro Areas

Ukraine has five major agglomerated metropolitan areas (conurbations).

Other minor metro areas are:

These conurbation areas are not officially recognized and remain to be administered according to official oblast-raion system of subdivision.

See also

  • Geography of Ukraine
  • Historical regions of Ukraine
  • ISO 3166-2:UA
  • Administrative divisions development in Ukraine
  • Administrative divisions of the Ukrainian SSR


External links

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