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Ukrainian historical regions

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Traditional regions

A list of the various regions of Ukraine and/or inhabited by Ukrainians and their ancestors throughout history.


  • Traditional regions 1
  • Regions of Ukraine 2
  • Historical Ukrainian states 3
  • References 4

Traditional regions

The traditional names of the regions of Ukraine are important geographic, historical, and ethnographic identifiers.

  • Over-Dnieper Ukraine, Great Ukraine
    • Land of Kiev
      • Right-bank Ukraine (east of Zhytomyr Oblast, Kiev Oblast, Cherkasy Oblast), Central Ukraine
      • Polesia, Land of Turov (north of Kiev Oblast, east of Brest Oblast, west of Gomel Oblast), Northern Ukraine
    • Land of Pereyaslav (predominantly Poltava Oblast and east of Kiev Oblast), southern part of Left-bank Ukraine, Little Russia, Central Ukraine
    • Land of Chernihiv (predominantly Chernihiv Oblast, west of Bryansk Oblast, east of Gomel Oblast), northern part of Left-bank Ukraine, Little Russia, Northern Ukraine
    • Severia (Sumy Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Belgorod Oblast)
    • Sloboda Ukraine (mostly Kharkiv Oblast)
  • Ruthenia, Kingdom of Rus, Western Ukraine, Western Oblast, Liitle Poland
    • Volhynia (Volyn Oblast, Rivne Oblast, west of Zhytomyr Oblast, north of Ternopil Oblast, north of Khmelnytsky Oblast), former principality
    • Chełm, Belz, San River, Peremyshl (east of Podkarpackie Voivodeship and Lublin Voivodeship), former principality and a constituent land of Ruthenia
    • Berestia (west of Brest Oblast, south of Podlaskie Voivodeship)
    • Galicia (Lviv Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ternopil Oblast)
  • Podolia (Khmelnytsky Oblast, Vinnytsia Oblast, north of Odessa Oblast, west of Kirovohrad Oblast), Little Poland
  • Zaporizhzhia (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, east of Kirovohrad Oblast), New Serbia, Central Ukraine
  • Pontic steppe, Wild Fields, New Russia
    • Donbass ("Donets Basin") (Donetsk Oblast, Luhanks Oblast), also known as Cuman Land, Slavo-Serbia, Eastern Ukraine
    • Azov Littoral (Zaporizhia Oblast, south of Donetsk Oblast, southwest of Rostov Oblast)
    • Black Sea Littoral, Southern Ukraine
      • Over-Buh, Yedisan, Transnistria (Odessa Oblast, Mykolaiv Oblast)
      • Bugeac (Budzhak) (southwest of Odessa Oblast)
      • Tavria (Kherson Oblast)
  • Crimea (Krym), also known as Tavria, Taurida
  • Transcarpathia / Carpathian Ruthenia, Subcarpathian Rus, Carpatho-Ukraine and many others
  • Bukovina (Chernivtsi Oblast, Suceava County)

Regions historically inhabited by Ukrainians (mostly with other nations), which are partly or wholly outside modern Ukraine:

Regions of Ukraine

Sometimes more Oblasts can be referred to as "Eastern Ukraine":
  Orange - West Ukraine
  Yellow - Central Ukraine
  Blue - East Ukraine

Due to geopolitical, historical, and cultural factors, there are semi-official nominations to a certain region. The map right shows the broad sense of particular regions. The terms West, East, South and Central Ukraine are often used. There is no clear description on what includes/excludes one region or another, but rather a general reference. Here is a list of what constitutes such nominations:

  • Western Ukraine, may mean either the historic region of Galicia, or may also include Volhynia, Podolia, Transcarpathia, and/or Bukovina.
  • Eastern Ukraine may mean either the Don basin, Sloboda Ukraine, continental Taurida regions etc.
  • South Ukraine is often includes the whole Taurida, the Kryvyi Rih basin, and the regions of Mykolayiv and Odessa oblasts. Alternatively it may include the Don basin, in particularly the adjacent land to the Azov Sea.
  • Central Ukraine is more vague term and often denotes what is not included in Western or South-Eastern definitions.

Other terms are rarely used such as South-West Ukraine, which can denote either Transcarpathia, or Budjak. Sometimes the term South-Eastern Ukraine is used to define both regions of the Southern and Eastern Ukraine. Due to the shape of the country, in narrow definition, term Northern Ukraine is often used to denote either the bulge of Chernihiv/Sumy Oblasts or, in broader terms, the whole of Polesia. North-western Ukraine almost exclusively refers to the historic region of Volhynia. This makes the term North-Eastern Ukraine rarest of them all, and is either used as synonym for the narrow definition of Northern Ukraine, or as synonym for Sloboda Ukraine (particularly the Sumy Oblast).

Historical Ukrainian states


  • Paul Robert Magosci, Ukraine: A Historical Atlas, 1985. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. ISBN 0-8020-3428-4
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