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General Information about Kyiv

Ukrainian Kyiv, Russian KIEV, oblast (province), north-central Ukraine. The oblast lies astride the Dnipro River, with the greater part on the western bank. Most of the oblast thus lies on the low, flat plain of the Dnipro and lower Pripet river courses; the southern part of the west-bank area extends on to the rolling hills of the Dnieper Upland. South of the oblast capital, Kyiv, the uplands approach the Dnieper to form a steep, high riverbank. The uplands are much dissected by river valleys and erosion gullies. The course of the Dnieper within the oblast began to be transformed in the 1960s into broad reservoirs created by the dams of the Kyiv and Kaniv hydroelectric stations, the latter of which was completed in 1975.

The natural vegetation of the oblast's low-lying northern part, known as the Kyiv Polissya, is mostly reed or grass marsh or oak and pine forest; the southern upland area is in forest-steppe, with groves of oak. Much of the oblast's natural vegetation has been destroyed by forest clearance, swamp reclamation, and subsequent plowing for agriculture. On the uplands this has seriously accelerated erosion.

Agriculture is well developed in the oblast. In the north, the cultivation of flax and potatoes and dairying prevail. In the south, grains and sugar beets are important, and there are many small sugar refineries. Around Kyiv intensive market gardening supplies the city. Although agriculture is significant, the oblast and its economy are completely dominated by the presence of the huge capital and industries of the city of Kyiv. Many workers commute into Kyiv from the adjacent region. Other cities in the oblast, apart from the industrial city of Bila Tserkva, are small centres of agricultural regions and process farm produce. Hydroelectric stations are at Kyiv and Trypillya. Area 11,200 square miles (28,900 square km). Pop. (1991 est.) 4,588,900.