Kiev Governorate (1708–1764)

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Kiev Governorate
Кіевская губернія
Governorate of Russian Empire

Capital Kiev
 •  Established December 18 (29) 1708
 •  Disestablished November 7, 1764
Political subdivisions provinces: 4
lots: 5 (until 1719)
Division of the Russian Empire into eight guberniyas in 1708

Kiev Governorate (pre-reform Russian: Кіевская губернія), or the Government of Kiev, was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Tsardom of Russia and then the Russian Empire. The government was established in December 1708 as one of the eight guberniyas first created during the Peter the Great reform.

The Government of Kiev in the 18th century has greatly differed from the Government of Kiev in the 19th century. When one was exclusively located on the left banks of Dnieper, the other one happened to be located across the river. In territorial reform of Catherine the Great changed the name for government to the Russian vice royalty in 1781. The first Government of Kiev was established on the most part of the Cossack Hetmanate including a vast territory to east of the Hetmanate as well, while the Zaporizhian Sich was in a condominium of the Russian Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

In 1727 it was split into Government of Kiev and Government of Belgorod, becoming a separate province under government of Hetman Apostol. In 1764 there was another division when the government of Little Russia and New Russia were established. In 1781 the governments of Kiev and Little Russia were reorganized into vice-royalties of Kiev, Novhorod-Siversky, and Chernihiv soon after the partition of Poland (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). In 1796 the vice-royalty of Kiev was renamed back into the Government of Kiev. In 1917 the Government of Kiev was included into the Ukrainian People's Republic and Ukrainian State. With the establishment of the Soviet power in 1919, the government became part of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1923 the Government of Kiev was dissolved and its territory split into several okruha (districts) in the course of the Soviet-wide administrative reform.

The borders of the Governorate underwent significant changes, in particular in 1796 when most of its territory was relocated from the left-bank Ukraine to the right-bank Ukraine. Kiev was the administrative centre of the guberniya.

Foundation and early reforms

Russia in 1682–1762

Kiev Governorate, together with seven other governorates, was established on December 29 [O.S. December 18], 1708, by Tsar Peter the Great's edict.[1] As with the rest of the governorates, neither the borders nor internal subdivisions of Kiev Governorate were defined; instead, the territory was defined as a set of cities and the lands adjacent to those cities.[2] The original territory was roughly based on the Siever land surrounded by Smolensk, Moscow, and Azov Governorates.

Cities included into Kiev Governorate at the time of its establishment[1]
# City # City # City
1. Kiev 14. Sumy 27. Sevesk
2. Pereslavl 15. Krasnopolye 28. Kursk
3. Chernigov 16. Mezhirichi 29. Mtsensk
4. Nezhin 17. Zolochev 30. Putivl
5. Novobogoroditskoy 18. Buromlya 31. Karachev
6. Sergiyevskoy 19. Rublevka 32. Kromy
7. Kamennoy Zaton 20. Gorodnoye 33. Rylsk
8. Belgorod 21. Sudzha 34. Bryansk
9. Akhtyrka 22. Lebedyan 35. Orel
10. Bogodukhov 23. Miropol 36. Novosil
11. Murakhva 24. selo of Vena
12. Sennoye 25. Belopolye
13. Bolkhov 26. Olshanka

Additionally, seventeen cities (according to the source; only sixteen were actually listed) of Azov Governorate were assigned to Kiev due to their greater geographical proximity to Kiev than to Azov. Among such cities were Kharkov and Staroy Oskol. Also to Kiev was assigned Trubchevsk and two other cities from Smolensk Governorate while some cities of Kiev were assigned to Azov and Smolensk, respectively.[1]

As the administrative unit, the governorate was preceded by the Regimental division of the Cossack Hetmanate. Remarkable is the fact that both divisions existed through most of the 18th century during which the Regimental division as administrative was phased away and later existed solely for military purposes. At the time of its foundation the governorate covered 231,000 square kilometers (89,000 sq mi)[2] of territory of parts of modern Ukraine and southwestern Russia.

Initially divided into uyezds and razryads, the governorate abolished the obsolete administrative system of the rapidly growing empire. During the administrative reform of 1710, all governorates where subdivided into administrative-fiscal lots (doli), and Kiev Governorate consisted of five lots. The lots were administer by landrats, from the German land-councilor.

A new reform edict was issued on May 29, 1719. Lots were abolished and the governorate was subdivided into four provinces centered on Belgorod, Kiev, Oryol, and Sevsk, and named accordingly.[3] By 1719, the Governorate comprised forty-one cities.[4] The provinces, in their turn, were divided into districts. Despite the reform, the subdivision of the Governorate into regiments was still used in parallel with the provinces.[4]

In the course of the 1727 administrative reform, Belgorod, Oryol and Sevsk Provinces were split off into Belgorod Governorate, with only Kiev Province left in the Kiev Governorate.[3][5][6] The guberniya at this time was divided into uyezds that replaced districts.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Указ об учреждении губерний и о росписании к ним городов (Russian)
  2. 2.0 2.1 С. А. Тархов (2001). "Изменение административно-территориального деления России за последние 300 лет". Электронная версия журнала "География".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Сергей Тархов, "Изменение административно-территориального деления России в XIII-XX в." (pdf), Логос, No. 1 2005 (46), сс. 65–101, ISSN 0869-5377
  4. 4.0 4.1 Иван Фундуклей. "Статистическое описание Киевской Губернии", Часть I. Санкт-Петербург, 1852. (Ivan Fundukley. Statistical Description of Kiev Governorate. St. Petersburg, 1852)
  5. Киевская область
  6. Гербы украинских земель в составе Российской империи