Cherkasy Oblast (Черкаська область, translit. Cherkas’ka oblast’; also referred to as Cherkashchyna - Черкащина) is an oblast (province) of central Ukraine located along the Dnieper River. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Cherkasy).
With 20,900 km², the Cherkasy oblast is the 18th largest oblast of Ukraine, comprising about 3.5% of the area of the country. The south flowing Dnieper River with the hilly western bank and the plain eastern bank divides the oblast into two unequal parts. The larger western part belongs to the Dnieper Upland. The low-lying eastern part of the oblast' used to be subject to the frequent Dnieper flooding before the flow of the river became controlled by multiple dams of Hydroelectric Power Plants constructed along the river in the 20th century.
The oblast extends for 245km from south-west to north-east, and for 150km from north to south. The northern-most point of the oblast is located is near the village of Kononivka in the Drabivskyi Raion (district), the southern-most point near the village of Kolodyste in the Talnivskyi Raion, the western-most point near the village of Korytnya in the Zhashkivskyi Raion, and the eastern-most point near the village of Stetsivka in the Chyhyrynsky Raion. The geometric centre of the oblast is located near the village Zhuravky of the Horodyshchenskyi Raion. The oblast borders the Kiev Oblast to the north, the Kirovohrad Oblast to the south, the Poltava Oblast to the east, and the Vinnytsya Oblast to the west.
The Cherkasy Oblast was created as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on January 7, 1954. The oblast's territory was the major cities of Cherkasy, Smila and Uman, their correspoding raions (districts), as well as 30 former raions of the Vinnytsia, Kiev, Kirovohrad and Poltava Oblasts.
Archaeological discoveries, have shown that people have inhabited the valley of the Dnieper (Dnipro) River since the times immemorial. The oldest objects excavated on the territory of the region date back to the Stone Age – the Palaeolithic period.
Cherkasy Oblast is administratively subdivided into 20 raions (districts), as well as 6 cities (municipalities) which are directly subordinate to the oblast government: Vatutine, Zolotonosha, Kaniv, Smila, and the administrative center of the oblast, Cherkasy. There are a total of 25 cities, 34 towns, and 838 villages.
The following data incorporates the number of each type of administrative divisions of Cherkasy Oblast:
The local administration of the oblast is controlled by the Cherkasy Oblast Rada. The governor of the oblast' is the Cherkasy Oblast Rada speaker, appointed by the President of Ukraine.
The current estimated population is 1,335,064 (as of 2006).
According to the 2001 Ukrainian census, the oblast's population is almost equally divided between the urban and rural areas (53.7% and 46.3%, respectively).The demographic situation in this largely agricultural territory is somewhat complicated by population ageing.
By ethnic composition, Ukrainians represent the overwhelming majority of the oblast's population (93.6%). Ethnic Russians are the distant second group of population (5.4%), and are concentrated mainly in the city of Cherkasy.
The oblast is primarily Ukrainophone.
The economy of the Cherkasy Oblast is largely dominated by agriculture. While the winter wheat and sugar beets are the main products grown in the oblast, barley, corn, tobacco and hemp are also grown. Cattle breeding is also important.
The industry is mainly concentrated in Cherkasy, the oblast's capital and the largest city. A chemical industry was developed in the city in late 1960s in addition to machine building, furniture making and agricultural processing.
Most of Ukraine's oblasts are named after their capital cities, officially referred to as "oblast centers" (обласний центр, translit. oblasnyi tsentr). The name of each oblast is a relative adjective, formed by adding a feminine suffix to the name of respective center city: Cherkasy is the center of the Cherkas’ka oblast’ (Cherkasy Oblast). Most oblasts are also sometimes referred to in a feminine noun form, following the convention of traditional regional place names, ending with the suffix "-shchyna", as is the case with the Cherkasy Oblast, Cherkashchyna.