Volhynia: Wikis

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Volhynia
Lubart's Castle was the seat of the medieval princes of Volhynia.

Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn (Ukrainian: Волинь, Volyn’, Polish: Wołyń, German: Wolhynien or Wolynien, Russian: Волынь, Volyn’; Yiddish: װאָהלין, Vohlin) is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Western Bug, to the north of Galicia and Podolia. The area has some of the oldest Slavic settlements in Europe. Part of historical Volhynia now form the Volyn, Rivne, and parts of Zhytomyr and Ternopil Oblasts of Ukraine, as well as parts of Poland (see Chełm). Other major cities include Lutsk, Kovel, Kremenets, Volodymyr-Volynskyi, and Starokostiantyniv (Khmelnytskyi Oblast). Many Jewish shtetls (villages) like Trochenbrod and Lozisht were once an integral part of the region.[1]

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History

The ancient city of Halych first appears in history in 981 when taken over by Vladimir the Great of the Kievan Rus. Volhynia's early history coincides with that of the duchies or principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynsky. These two successor states of the Kievan Rus formed Halych-Volhynia between the 12th and the 14th centuries.

Pochayiv Lavra, the spiritual heart of the Orthodox in Volhynia.

After the disintegration of the Grand Duchy of Halych-Volhynia (also called Galich-Vladimir Rus) circa 1340, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania divided up the region between them, Poland taking Western Volhynia and Lithuania Eastern Volhynia (1352–1366). After 1569 Volhynia formed a province of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During this period Poles and Jews settled in the area. The Roman and Greek Catholic churches became established in the province, and many Orthodox churches were forcibly annexed by the latter. Records of the first agricultural colonies of Mennonites date from 1783.

After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 Volhynia became the Volhynian Governorate of the Russian Empire. By the end of the 19th century Volhynia had over 200,000 German settlers, most of whom immigrated from Congress Poland. A small number of Czech settlers also arrived. Although economically the area was developing rather quickly, upon the eve of the First World War it was still the most rural province in Western Russia.

Mezhyrich Abbey in Ostroh was endowed by the Ostrogski princes in the 15th century.

In 1921, after the end of the Polish-Soviet war, the treaty known as the Peace of Riga divided Volhynia between Poland and the Soviet Union. Poland took the larger part and established a Volhynian Voivodeship. Most of eastern Volhynia became part of the Zhytomyr Oblast.

From 1935-38 Joseph Stalin had the Poles of Eastern Volhynia deported — the first ethnic deportation in the history of the Soviet Union (see Polish minority in Soviet Union).

Following the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, and the subsequent invasion and division of Polish territories between the Reich and the USSR, Volhynia was annexed by the Soviet Union. In the course of the Nazi-Soviet population transfers which followed this German-Soviet reconciliation, most of the German minority population of Volhynia were transferred to Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany. Ethnic Germans in these areas were expelled from these areas starting in 1945. Volhynia remained a part of the Soviet Ukraine after the end of World War II. Most of the remaining ethnic Polish population were expatriated to Poland in 1945 (see Recovered Territories). Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Volhynia has been an integral part of Ukraine.

See also

References

Literature

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VOLHYNIA, a government of south-western Russia, bounded by the Polish governments of Lublin and Siedlce on the W., Grodno and Minsk on the N., Kiev on the E. and Podolia and Galicia (Austria) on the S., with an area of 27,690 sq. m. A broad, flat spur of the Carpathians - the Avratynsk plateau - which enters from the west and stretches out eastward towards the Dnieper occupies its southern portion, reaching a maximum elevation of 1200 ft.; another branch of the Carpathians in the west of the government ranges between 700 and goo ft. at its highest points. Both are deeply grooved in places, and the crags give a hilly aspect to the districts in which they occur. The remainder of the government, which is quite flat, with an imperceptible slope towards the marshes of Pinsk, is known as the Polyesie (see MiNsx).

The population in 1906 was estimated at 3,547,500. Some three-fourths of the population are Little Russians; the other elements are White and Great Russians, Poles (5.2%), Jews (13.2%) and Germans (5.7%). The government is divided into twelve districts, the chief towns of which are Zhitomir, the capital, Dubno, Kovel, Kremenets, Lutsk,. Novograd Volhynskiy, Ostrog, Ovruch, Vladimir Volhynskiy, Rovno, Staro-Konstantinov and Zaslavl. The conditions of peasant ownership differ from those which prevail in other parts of Russia, and of the total area the peasants hold approximately one-half; 42% of the total is in the hands of private owners, a considerable number of Germans having settled and bought land in the government.

Forests cover nearly 50% of the area in the north (that is, in the Polyesie) and 15% elsewhere. Agriculture is well developed in the south, and in 1900 there were 4,222,400 acres (24%) under cereal crops alone. In the Polyesie the principal occupations are connected with the export of timber and firewood, the preparation of pitch, tar, potash and wooden wares, and boat-building. Lignite and coal, some graphite and kaolin, are mined, as also amber, which is often found in big lumps. Manufacturing industries are not very highly developed. The factories are confined to sugar works, distilleries, woollen mills, and candle, tobacco, glass, cloth and agricultural machinery works. Domestic industry in the villages is chiefly limited to the making of wooden goods, including parquetry. The exports of grain and timber, chiefly to Germany and Great Britain, and of wool and cattle, are considerable.

Volhynia has been inhabited by Sla y s from a remote antiquity. In Nestor's Annals its people are mentioned under the name of Dulebs, and later in the 12th century they were known as Velhynians and Buzhans (dwellers on the Bug). From the 9th century the towns of Volhynia-Vladimir, Ovruch, Lutsk and Dubno were ruled by descendants of the Scandinavian or Varangian chief Rurik, and the land of Volhynia remained independent until the 14th century, when it fell under Lithuania. In 1569 it was annexed to Poland, and so remained until 1795, when it was taken possession of by Russia.


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