Luhansk Oblast – Vital Industrial Centre with a Flair for Theatre
Before 1938, Luhansk - an oblast in Ukraine - was part of the Donetsk Region. After 1938 Donetsk was divided into two parts, one was called Voroshylovograd and the other was called Stalin. Later, in 1958 the Donetsk Region was renamed and called Luhansk. Today Luhansk Oblast takes up an area of 26.7 thousand square kilometers with a population of about 2.9 million people. Luhansk has a high population density, the fourth highest in the country, with 105 people on every square kilometer.
The Luhansk Oblast is made up of 18 districts, 37 towns and 109 villages situated in urban areas. Altshevsk, Bryanka, Pervomaysk, Krasniy Luch, Lysychansk and Rubizhne are some of the main towns in the region of Luhansk. The oblast borders three Russian regions, namely Voronezka, Rostovska and Bilgorodska, as well as Donetsk and Kharkiv, which are two Ukrainian oblasts. Being so near to Russia, the region has a large population of Russian residents, who make up 41,7% of the Luhansk population.
The Luhansk Oblast plays an important role in the economy of Ukraine and is ranked as one of the top five industrial centers in the country. The Luhansk Region is rich in anthracites, coke coal and natural gas. Anthracite is a type of coal, which is harder than other varieties and burns with little smoke and with a small flame. The region of Luhansk first began using coal in 1795 for the processing of Iron.
The geography of Luhansk Oblast is made up of rolling plains, which eventually become part of the Donetsky mountain range. The soil of the region is made up of fertile black earth, which is great for agricultural crops. Luhansk has a temperate, continental climate with distinct winter and summer seasons. In summer the temperature on average is about +21°C and is relatively hot and dry. Winter has cold winds and frost and can see temperatures as low as -30°C.
Luhansk Oblast is one of the main cultural centers in Ukraine with a high density of cultural sights and attractions to visit and see. One of the first theatres to be established in the region was in 1922. Since then many other professional theaters have been developed, which includes Ukrainian Theater of Music and Drama, Luhans’k State Regional Theater of Puppets and Luhansk Regional Russian Theater of Drama.