Kharkiv Oblast – An Important Industrial and Tourist Hub
The Kharkiv Region or Oblast is situated in the northeastern parts of the Ukraine and was formed in 1932 on the 27th of February. Kharkiv is approximately 31,400 square kilometers and is made up mostly of rolling plains. Kharkiv borders the Belgorod, Lugansk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Sumy Oblasts. Balaklija, Izyum, Kupyansk and Chuguyiv are some of the main cities situated in the Oblast. Kharkiv Oblast has 3,170,000 people occupying the region, of which three quarters of the population lives in the city.
The Kharkiv region has become one of the major industrial centers in Ukraine, especially after serfdom was done away with in 1860. Before that, serfs were considered the lowest social class in the feudal society and were bound to the land forever. Now with the removal of serfdom, capitalism became the new form of rulership.
In the late 19th century Kharkiv’s industrial sector focused mainly on steel processing and mechanical engineering, which was aided by the construction of railways. Hundreds of factories and plants began operation, providing thousands of people with work. Today, Kharkiv’s industrial sector has expanded and includes tractor construction, motor plants, aviation plants and numerically controlled machine tool plants, which export goods to more than sixty countries throughout the world.
There are three main industrial zones: Central, Eastern and Southern. The Central zone is where specialized industries like electromechanical and the energy industries are located. The Eastern zone is where most of the mechanical engineering of parts for agricultural machinery and transport take place. There is also the production of food and construction materials that takes place here. Lastly, the Southern zone specializes in the chemical industry, construction materials and mechanical engineering, as well as food and light industry.
The Kharkiv Oblast is rich in culture and arts and provides visitors with many sights and attractions to see and visit. The Russian Drama Theatre named after A.Pushkin, the Kharkiv Opera and Ballet Theatre named after N.Lysenko, the Musical Comedy Theatre and the “UKRAINE” Movie and Concert Hall are just some of the many theatres found in Kharkiv. Museums like Kharkiv Historical Museum, Kharkiv Literature Museum and Kharkiv Arts Museum are also a must see.
The Kharkiv Oblast receives most of its water supplies from the Don River, which is fed by the Seversky Donets River as well as many others. The region also has many lakes, like Lake Liman, canals and dams, most of which were formed in the twentieth century. Some of the biggest dams include Krasnooskolskoye, Krasnopavlovskoye and Pechenezhskoye.