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Historical arms of Podolia

The region of Podolia (Polish: Podole, Ukrainian: Podillya) lies in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine that correspond to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast.



Podolia lies:

It has an area of about 40,000 km, extending for 320 km from N.W. to S.E. on the left bank of the Dniester. In the same direction run two ranges of relatively low hills separated by the Southern Bug, ramifications of the Avratynsk heights.

Two large rivers, with numerous tributaries, drain the region: the Dniester, which forms its boundary with Moldova and is navigable throughout its length, and the Southern Bug, which flows almost parallel to the former in a higher, sometimes swampy, valley, interrupted in several places by rapids. The Dniester forms an important channel for trade in the areas of Mogilev Podolskiy, Kalus, Zhvanets, Porog and other Podolian river-ports.

In Podolia "black earth" (chernozem) soil predominates, making it a very fertile agricultural area. Marshes occur only beside the Bug. A moderate climate predominates, with average temperatures at Kamenets of 9 C (-4 C in January, 20 C in July).

Russian-ruled Podolia in 1906 had an estimated population of 3,543,700, consisting chiefly of Ukrainians. Significant minorities included Poles and Jews, as well as 50,000 Moldavians, some Germans, and a few Armenians.

The chief towns include Kamenets-Podolskiy, the traditional capital, Balta, Bratslav, Gaisin, Letichev, Litin, Mogilev Podolskiy, Novaya-Ushitsa, Olgopol, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia and Yampol.

Podolia is regarded for its cherries, mulberries, melons, gourds, and cucumbers.


The country has had human inhabitants since at least the beginning of the Neolithic period. Herodotus mentions it as the seat of the Graeco-Scythian Alazones and possibly Scythian Neuri. Subsequently the Dacians and the Getae arrived. The Romans left traces of their rule in the Wall of Trajan, which stretches through the modern districts of Kamenets, Ushitsa and Proskurov.

During the Human migration many nationalities passed through this territory or settled within it for some time, leaving numerous traces in archaeological remains. Nestor in the Primary Chronicle mentions four apparently Slav tribes: the Bujanes and Dulebes along the Bug River, and the Tivertsi and Ugliches along the Dniester. The Avars conquered these peoples in the 7th century. Prince Oleg of Kyiv, extended his rule over this territory known as the Ponizie, or "lowlands". These lowlands later became a part of the Ruthenian principalities of Volhynia, Kyiv, and Galicia. In the 13th century, the Mongols plundered the Ponizie; a hundred years afterwards Algirdas (Olgierd), prince of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, freed it from their rule, annexing it to his own territories under the name of Podolia, a word which has the same meaning as Ponizie. Polish colonisation began in the 14th century.

After the death of the Lithuanian prince Vytautas the Great (Vitovt) in 1430, Podolia became part of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, with the exception of its eastern part, the province of Bratslav, which remained in Lithuania until its union with Poland in the Union of Lublin of 1569. Apart from an Ottoman occupation (1672 - 1699), the Poles retained Podolia until the Partitions of their country in 1772 and 1793, when the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria and Imperial Russia annexed the western and eastern parts respectively.

Eastern Podolia

In 1793-1917 Eastern Podolia was the Podolia Guberniya (sometimes spelled Podolsk Guberniya) in South-Western Russia bordering with Austria across the Zbruch River and with Bessarabia across the Dniester. Its area was 36,910 km².

Western Podolia

The Austrian Habsburgs took control of Western Podolia in 1772 in the first partition of Poland by the Russian, Prussian and Austrian Empires. Poland disappeared as a state in a third partition in 1795 but the Polish gentry continued to maintain local control in both Eastern and Western Podolia over a peasant [serf] population which was primarily ethnically Ukrainian. Western Podolia became part of the autonomous Polish-administered province of Galicia within Austria-Hungary in 1868.

In November 1918 Western Podolia was included in the Western Ukrainian People's Republic, but returned to Polish control in 1919 and confirmed in the Poland–Ukrainian People's Republic agreement in April 1920. Podolia was briefly occupied in 1920 by Soviets during the course of the Polish-Soviet War. After the Peace of Riga the Polish control was recognized by the USSR.

In Poland, Podolia was part of the Tarnopol Voivodship. According to official data the population consisted of 50% Poles, 33% Ukrainians, and 17% Jews.

In 1939 after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the Soviet aggression of September 17th 1939, the area became part of Soviet Ukraine. Many local inhabitants were deported to concentration camps. Podolia was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941-1944; in 1945 the area fell far to the east of the Curzon line and was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Poles and Jews fled, or were expelled to the People's Republic of Poland.


it:Podolia pl:Podole


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