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General review Kherson

    City and geographical review

    Railway Station, Kherson, Ukraine
    Railway Station, Kherson

    Kherson is a city and the administrative center of Kherson region (oblast) in southern Ukraine. Kherson is situated on the high right (west) bank of the Dnipro River, not too far from the point where the river falls into the Dnipro Firth of the Black Sea. Kherson is a large rail junction. It is also an important port on the Black Sea and Dnipro River, and the home of a major shipbuilding industry. There are not only the railway station and the river port, but also bus terminals in Kherson. It is an important economic center of Southern Ukraine and the center of one of the biggest agglomerations in Ukraine.

    On the 23d February 2008 Kherson became famous because of a considerable event in the sphere of public health. For the first time in the South of Ukraine, in a regional clinical hospital, open-heart surgery with the usage of a cardiopulmonary bypass device was performed.

    City Administration, Kherson, Ukraine
    City Administration, Kherson, Ukraine

    Various nationalities live in Kherson: Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, Armenian, Tatar, Jewish, Polish and Turkish.

    Kherson Region's historical name is Tavria. Its landscape is a flat surface; the most part of the territory is situated in steppe zone. This area possesses favorable geographical and climatic position and famous for its fertile black soil. It is washed by the Azov Sea and the Black Sea. Kherson is situated about 90 kilometers from the Black Sea. Dnipro River, the third longest river in Europe, flows through the Kherson region giving its water to numerable agricultural fields. Dnipro is divided into some branches on the territory of Kherson Region. The biggest tributary is Ingulets (Minor Dnipro).

    The Dnipro River is the main transit watercourse. The width of the river valley is about 4-6 kilometers. The right bank of the river is high and the left one is flat, low-lying. On its way to the city Dnipro enters a low-lying sandy valley. Kherson overflow lands (so called “plavni”) lie in the water meadow of the sandy valley. Their width is about 10 kilometers with the system of islands, divided by channels and branches. Dnipro’s riverbed is very branchy. Fairways go along several branches. The depth is about 5 - 7 meters. River creeks abound in small lakes with their surfaces covered with white and yellow water lilies. There are also Koshova, and the Viryovchyna rivers in Kherson.

    Kherson climate is moderate continental, with warm and not too snowy winters and hot dry summers with a considerable amount of sunny days. Quite often hot dry winds and dust storms arise. The warmest summer month is July, with the temperature about +23°С. Max. temperature could be up to +40°С. The climate of the city is transitive from steppe to maritime.

    Azov Sea, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine
    Azov Sea, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine

    Natural resources are represented mainly by deposits of non-metallic building materials. There are about fifty of them in the region with deposits of clay used for production of cement, brick and tiles, as well as marl, limestone, peat and construction sand.

    The seaside territories of Kherson Region are rich in petrol and natural gas. Under development is the Strelkovoye deposit of natural gas situated in Arabatskaya Strelka on the Azov Sea. There are also deposits of mineral waters. On the Chongar Peninsula there is a deposit of thermal waters with 30 per cent iodine content, the only one in Ukraine. There are also two big extraction centers of sodium chloride (common salt) in the region. Sea salt is also being extracted for curative and cosmetics purposes. Recently, considerable deposits of phosphorite and bauxite were found on the right bank of Dnipro.

    A little bit of the history

    Potyomkin Monument, Kherson, Ukraine
    Potyomkin Monument, Kherson, Ukraine

    In 1737 during the Russian-Turkish War (1735—1739) a Russian Army fortification Aleksandr-Shants was built. Until 1774, the region belonged to the Crimean Khanate. On the 18th June 1778 Catherine the Great signed a decree concerning the foundation of the fortress and a shipyard. In October 19, 1778 the fortress, shipyard and the city, were founded. Its name derives from its location on the probable site of the Greek colony Chersonesus Heracleotica. (This city was named Kherson in honor of the ancient Chersonese as a source of Christianity for Rus.) The founder of the city was G. O. Potyomkin, favourite of the Empress Catherine the Great.

    Kherson become a cradle and the first base of the Black Sea fleet, and the economic and political center of the region, called Novorossiya. Grygoriy Olexandrovych Potyomkin became its governor. He was a well-known statesman and a military leader. General Ivan Abramovych Hannibal and later engineer-colonel N. Korsakov were managing the construction process. Sailors, soldiers, hard labour, state and free workers from different cities were used to build Kherson.

    Kherson Navy Institute, Ukraine
    Kherson Navy Institute, Ukraine

    The building of the Black Sea fleet began in Kherson. On September 16, 1783 the first big 66-gun ship «Catherine Glory» was set on water. At the end of 18th century Kherson played an important role in development of internal and external economic connections of Russia. Trade with France, Italy, Spain and other countries of Europe were carried out through Kherson port.

    Russian naval commander F.F.Ushakov was one of the leaders of building ships for the Black Sea fleet from 1783 till 1785. Later, from 1787 till 1791 A.V.Suvorov headed the construction of fortifications in Kherson city.

    In 1803 Kherson became the center of the Kherson province (Kherson Guberniya). Shipbuilding was developing in the city; enterprises concerned with the processing of agricultural production flourished. The city Coat of Arms and the city flag were approved.

    In 1813 the first district school was founded - public primary establishment. In two years province male gymnasium was open. School of the trade sea navigation was open in 1834, and agricultural school was open in forty years. The first newspaper «Kherson province news» was founded in 1838.

    Kherson Music and Drama Theatre, Ukraine
    Kherson Music and Drama Theatre, Ukraine

    In the second part of the 19th century a Theater, Library, Archaeological and Natural History museums were open. Later on, the railway traffic connecting Mykolayiv (Nikolayev) and Kherson was opened.

    After 1861 Kherson had considerable growth of economy. After deepening of the bottom in the Dnipro riverbed, Kherson became an important marine port again. The dredging of a deepwater canal along an arm of the Dnipro river to the sea in 1901 further stimulated Kherson's growth as a port.

    The city's importance was enhanced still more with the building of the Dniprohes power station in 1932 and the development of navigation on the Dnipro river.

    At the beginning of the 20th century ten million pounds of bread were taken to Europe from Kherson. Food enterprises, light industry, shipbuilding, agricultural machine building and wood processing industries were developing. In 1907 the railway line connected Kherson with the large cities of the country, and in 1908 the first city electrical station came into being.

    Kherson Navy Institute, Ukraine
    Kherson Navy Institute, Ukraine

    During the period from March 1917 till April 1920 city power was changing several times: it was under the control of the Austrian-German troops, Hetman Petro Skoropadsky, Ukrainian National Republic Directorate, Entente troops, A. I. Denikin Army and in February, 4, 1920 Soviet power was established in Kherson.

    After the Civil War, the works on renewal of industry and economy of the city began. In March 1923 Kherson became the center of the Kherson region.

    Before the liquidation of provinces in June 1925 Kherson was a part of Odessa province. In 1927 bus traffic was opened. Kherson became a large industrial center. Electrical machinery, pastry factories, cannery, cotton processing factory were built; construction of the grain elevator was complete. At that time it was one of the largest in Ukraine. An oil-processing factory was built.

    At the beginning of World War II many enterprises were evacuated to the east. Kherson defense continued from 15th till 18th August 1941. On the 19th August 1941 Kherson was occupied by German troops. Occupation lasted until March 1944.

    TSUM supermarket, Kherson, Ukraine
    TSUM supermarket, Kherson, Ukraine

    In post-war years Kherson grew into a large industrial, agricultural and cultural center in the south of Ukraine. In general, the forming of industry of the city had been completed in the 1950s of the last century, when the production capacities of shipbuilding factory, Petrovsky factory, oil-processing factory and the cotton plant began to work. The first trolleybus started to run in Kherson in 1960. In 1977 the construction of the Antonov Bridge started. In 1985 the bridge was ready.

    The city gained the status of having its airport classified as International and became International Airport “Kherson” in 2006.

    Modern Kherson is an administrative, industrial and cultural center of the Kherson region. It consists of three administrative districts. Suvorovskiy is the central district. Dniprovskyi is a lesser industrial district. Komsomol’s’kyi is the main industrial district.

    There are 8 towns in Kherson region, and more than 800 villages. Kherson region consists of 18 districts. There is the biggest sandy range in EuropeOleshkivs’ki Pisky located near Tsyurupins’k.

    Since 2004 the population of Kherson city was decreasing intensively, and only in recent years it began to increase slowly.

    Economy review

    Kherson Railway Station, Ukraine
    Kherson Railway Station, Ukraine

    Modern Kherson still remains a major shipbuilding center. There is a combine-building plant, engineering, oil refining, food processing and cotton-textile industries in Kherson.

    It is a rail junction and a sea and river port still, exporting grain, timber, and manganese ore and importing oil from the Caucasus. There is one of Ukraine's largest cotton textile mills in Kherson.

    Kherson region is an industrial agrarian region with highly developed agriculture and varied industry: food, mechanical engineering, metalworking and the electrical power industry.

    The leading branches of Kherson industry are: shipbuilding and machine building (7 shipbuilding plants and shipyards, combine plant, plant of cardan shafts and electrical machinery factory), food industry (butter-dairy and milk plant, tinned food factory, bread-baking plant, confectionery, etc.). The production of building materials, glass materials and furniture are well developed. Lately chemical and petrochemical industries started to develop (the production of plastic consumer products, State biological factory, which produces biological preparations for animals, etc.).

    Kherson Railway Station, Ukraine
    Kherson Railway Station, Ukraine

    The city's large railway junction connects Kherson with Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Simferopol, Odesa and other cities of the country.

    The large manufacturing enterprises are: plant of agricultural machines (1909), confectionery plant (1928), tinned food factory named after the 8th of March (1929), electrical machinery factory (Petrovsky) (1932), cotton plant (1933); elevator (1931), wine-producing plant (1924), shoe factory (1935), wagon train plant (later – plant of cardan shafts - 1926), clothes factory “Bilshovychka” (1927), oil-processing factory (petroleum refinery) (1938), plant of glass package (1938).

    «Zavod Karddannykh valov» (Cardan shaft factory) Ltd. is specialized in production of cardan shafts (and spare parts for them) for trucks, buses, trolley-buses of all kinds, and tractors. Besides, the factory manufactures filter elements for trucks, cardan joints, tie- rods, etc.

    The fuel branch of the Region is represented by the «Khersonneftepererabotka» (Kherson oil refining) Open Joint- Stock Company which is one of the biggest refineries in Ukraine. Structurally it is a ramified technological complex embracing two plants for the primary oil refining of various outputs, a plant for the secondary oil refining (reforming, coking), and some bitumen plants.

    «Elektromash» (Electrical machines) Ltd. manufactures electrical equipment and spare parts to automobiles and tractors. The factory cooperates successfully with Russian and inland companies.

    Light industry takes an important place in the city's industrial complex. It is represented by the largest Cotton Mill in Europe, the Joint-Stock Society «Krasen», which supplies men and women clothes to the customers from the USA, Germany, Slovakia and other foreign countries.

    The processing industry is represented by «Khersonskyi Kombinat Khliboproductiv» («Kherson Cereal Integrated Plant»), the dairy factory, the creamery, the Soft Drinks Factory «Dzherelo» and others. Kherson canned fruit and vegetables, produced by the «Pivdennyi Konservnyi Zavod Dytyachoho Kharchuvannya» («Southern Canning Factory of Infant Food») in particular, are well known among the customers. The Joint-Stock Society «UkrSkloProm» («Ukrainian Glass Works Industry») satisfies more than a half of needs for glass containers in Ukraine.


    Kherson oblast is a region of a high-developed agricultural production. Its natural climatic conditions and fertile black soils provide favorable conditions for growing various agricultural crops, vegetables and fruits. Diary and meat complex is well developed as well.

    There are 431.1 thousand hectares of irrigated land in Kherson region, which takes up to 22% of the total agricultural area of Ukraine. There are 430 agricultural farms and 3,634 farmsteads in the region. The main role in the gross output of the region's agriculture belongs to growing grain crops, oil-bearing crops, and vegetables. Grain crops are represented by wheat, including winter wheat, rye, barley, oats and millet. Corn, buckwheat, rape, mustard, coriander, legumes and fodder grasses of the legume-type are grown in Kherson region. Sunflowers take a very important place among the oil-bearing crops. Kherson region without exaggeration can be called the ‘bread basket’ of the country.

    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine
    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine

    Kherson region is rich in fruit orchards and gardens with sweet cherries, apples, apricots, peaches and plums. Kherson tomatoes and watermelons are famous all over Ukraine. Grapes grown on vast vineyards in Kherson oblast steppes add delicious savor and saturated color to the wines and cognacs of Kherson region.

    The agricultural branch has a considerable scientific and technical support represented by 4 scientific and industrial institutions: Kherson State Industrial University, Kherson State Agricultural University, the Institute of Cattle-breeding Askania Nova named after M. F. Ivanov, and also 4 scientific Research Stations.

    Animal husbandry of the region is based primarily on breeding cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry. Newly developing branches include breeding of quails and ostriches.


    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine
    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine

    Kherson region, one of the most beautiful regions in Ukraine, has unique possibilities for the tourism development. It is a perfect place to start a tour across the picturesque Southern part of Ukraine. Kherson region is a sort of gates to the sunny Crimea. Black and Azov Sea coasts stretch for 200 km along the borders of the region. There are excellent sand beaches, developed infrastructure of parks and houses for visitors. The air is soaked with tranquillizing and slackening aroma of steppe grasses and flowers, with resinous aroma of pine trees.

    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine
    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Ukraine

    Kherson region can offer many interesting places to visit. Romantic riverbanks covered with abundant greenness of trees, bending down over the blue ancient river Dnipro (ancient Greek name – Borisfen, ancient Slavic name - Slavutich). So called “plavni” preserved untouched by man and populated with wild ducks, gracious herons, colorful pheasants, invite all those who seek calmness and pacification. Small estuary lakes embellished with white and yellow water lilies are expecting admirers of eco-tourism.

    Those who prefer active tourism can pleasantly spend some time in the National Park «Askania Nova» and enjoy its unique diversity. World famous for its unique flora and fauna wildlife reserve with virgin Steppe zone, covering an area of 200 hectares, unique Hortus Botanicus, ornithological park and Cross-Breeding Center will provide you the opportunity to appreciate the unique beauty of Tavriya steppes. This Park was founded many years ago by baron Friedrich Falz- Feinstein in virgin steppes populated with herds of koulans and saigas and swarms of birds. This is the place where you can see animals from Africa, Australia, and South America pasturing side by side. Askania Nova can be reached by bus: 2 hour trip from Kherson and 4 hour from Yalta.

    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine
    Arabatskaya Strelka, Kherson region, Ukraine

    Those who love traditional rest with a lot of sunshine, sea, dances and music can enjoy numerous summer houses and health centers, holiday homes, and camps, which invite you to relax at the sun and sea, find new friends and have fun in numerous open-air cafes along the Black Sea and Azov Sea coasts.

    Splendid sandy sea beaches, picturesque river landscapes, curative combination of the sun and the steppe wind favor the development of a recreation and tourist complex in Kherson region.

    The international annual music festival «Tavria Games» («Tavriyski Igry») is held in May in Kahovka (Kherson region). It is a combination of various music, arts, sports and just fun with carnivals, dances, competitions and fire-works.

    Majestic Dnipro, Black and Azov Seas, variety of fruits and vegetables, fishing and hunting trips will make your stay in Kherson region unforgettable.

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