Volyn Oblast – Ancient Slavic Settlements and a Fascinating History

The Volyn Oblast, also known as the Volynska Oblast, is situated in northwest Ukraine. The region was once a part of the historic region of Volhynia, which was home to one of the oldest Slavic settlements on the European continent. Today, the fascinating history of the Volyn Oblast shares some of that history and further adds to the region's allure.

Volyn’s prominence in history really started when the region was part of Kievan Rus. After the expansion and end of this ancient Slavic state, Volyn became a part of the Halych-Volynia. Some time later, during the 1400s, Volyn fell under the control of Lithuania, only to be passed over to Poland and later the Russian Empire as a consequence of World War I. Volyn only became an oblast in its current form in 1939 after it fell under the control of the Soviet Ukraine. This was a happy occasion for many Ukrainians, but the new Soviet Ukrainian rule had dire consequences for most of the Polish minority still living in the region. Thousands of Poles were deported to Siberia where they died from extreme conditions. A portion of the region’s inhabitants again suffered tragedy in 1941 when Volyn was invaded by Nazi Germany and the Jews living in the area became the new target. Their annihilation was completed by late 1942. The Volyn Region was very involved in several wars and resistances in later years, which seemed to have had a negative effect on the region as a whole. Despite attempts to industrialize the area through the construction of an Automobile plant, Volyn is still one of the poorest regions in Ukraine. Many of the people living here stay in rural settings and some parts of the oblast border on the area affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

Today visitors will find that the Volyn Region is divided into 16 different raions or districts. These are: Horokhivskyi, Ivanychivskyi, Kamin-Kashyriskyi, Kivertsivskyi, Kovelskyi, Lokachynskyi, Lutskyi, Lyubeshivskyi, Lyubomlskyi, Manevytskyi, Ratnivskyi, Rozhyshchenskyi, Shatskyi, Starovyzhivskyi, Turiyskyi and Volodymyr-Volynskyi. The four main municipalities in the region are Kovel, Novovolynsk, Volodymyr-Volynskyi and Lutsk. The city of Lutsk is the administrative center of the region and is probably the most popular city to visit in Volyn Oblast. However, there are many more cities and villages that you might want to explore, so do your homework thoroughly before setting off for the Volyn Oblast.

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