Podolia

Podolia

Overview
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Khmelnytskyi Oblast is an oblast of western Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Khmelnytskyi.The current estimated population is around 1,401,140 .-Geography:...

 and Vinnytsia Oblast
Vinnytsia Oblast
Vinnytsia Oblast is an oblast of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Vinnytsia.-Geography:The area of the region is 26,500 km²; its population is 1.7 million....

. Northern Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

, in Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, is also a part of Podolia.

Podolia lies south of Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

, southwest of the Kiev Region
Kiev Oblast
Kyiv Oblast, sometimes written as Kiev Oblast is an oblast in central Ukraine.The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Kyiv , also being the capital of Ukraine...

, northeast of the Dniester River, and east of Galicia across the Zbruch River
Zbruch River
Zbruch River is a river in Western Ukraine, a left tributary of the Dniester.It flows within the Podolia Upland starting from the Avratinian Upland. Zbruch is the namesake of the Zbruch idol, a sculpture of a Slavic deity in the form of a column with a head with four faces, discovered in 1848 by...

, a tributary of the Dniester
Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

.

It has an area of about 40,000 km², extending for from northwest to southeast on the left bank of the Dniester.
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Encyclopedia
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Khmelnytskyi Oblast is an oblast of western Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Khmelnytskyi.The current estimated population is around 1,401,140 .-Geography:...

 and Vinnytsia Oblast
Vinnytsia Oblast
Vinnytsia Oblast is an oblast of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Vinnytsia.-Geography:The area of the region is 26,500 km²; its population is 1.7 million....

. Northern Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

, in Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, is also a part of Podolia.

Geography


Podolia lies south of Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

, southwest of the Kiev Region
Kiev Oblast
Kyiv Oblast, sometimes written as Kiev Oblast is an oblast in central Ukraine.The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Kyiv , also being the capital of Ukraine...

, northeast of the Dniester River, and east of Galicia across the Zbruch River
Zbruch River
Zbruch River is a river in Western Ukraine, a left tributary of the Dniester.It flows within the Podolia Upland starting from the Avratinian Upland. Zbruch is the namesake of the Zbruch idol, a sculpture of a Slavic deity in the form of a column with a head with four faces, discovered in 1848 by...

, a tributary of the Dniester
Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

.

It has an area of about 40,000 km², extending for from northwest to southeast on the left bank of the Dniester. In the same direction run two ranges of relatively low hills separated by the Southern Bug
Southern Bug
The Southern Bug, also called Southern Buh), is a river located in Ukraine. The source of the river is in the west of Ukraine, in the Volyn-Podillia Upland, about 145 km from the Polish border, and flows southeasterly into the Bug Estuary through the southern steppes...

, 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 Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi is a city in the Mohyliv-Podilskyi Raion of the Vinnytsia Oblast , Ukraine. It is located at , on the border with Bessarabia, Moldova.-History:The first mention of the town dates from 1595...

, Zhvanets and other Podolian river-ports.

In Podolia, "black earth
Chernozem
Chernozem , also known as "black land" or "black earth", is a black-coloured soil containing a high percentage of humus 7% to 15%, and high percentages of phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia...

" (chernozem) soil predominates, making it a very fertile agricultural area. Marshes occur only beside the Bug. A moderate climate predominates, with average temperatures at Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamyanets-Podilsky or Kamienets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine, to the north-east of Chernivtsi...

 of ( in January, in July).

Russian-ruled Podolia in 1906 had an estimated population of 3,543,700, consisting chiefly of Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

. Significant minorities included Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 and Jews, as well as 50,000 Romanians, some Germans, and a few Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

.

The chief towns include Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamyanets-Podilsky or Kamienets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine, to the north-east of Chernivtsi...

, the traditional capital, Balta
Balta, Ukraine
Balta is a small city in the Odessa Oblast of south-western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Baltsky Raion , and located approximately 200 kilometers from the oblast capital, Odessa...

, Bratslav
Bratslav
Bratslav |Breslov]] as the name of a Hasidic group, which originated from this town) is a townlet in Ukraine, located in the Nemyriv Raion of Vinnytsia Oblast, by the Southern Bug river. It is a medieval European city having dramatically lost its importance during 19th-20th centuries...

, Haisyn
Haisyn
Haisyn or Guysin is a city in Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. Population is 25,640 ....

, Letychiv
Letychiv
Letychiv is a town in the eastern part of Khmelnytskyi Oblast of western Ukraine. 51 km from Khmelnytskyi and 33 km from the railway station Derazhnya. Administrative center since Tsarist times, formerly in Podolia Province. Population: 11,081 inhabitants . There are brickworks, dairy,...

, Lityn, Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi is a city in the Mohyliv-Podilskyi Raion of the Vinnytsia Oblast , Ukraine. It is located at , on the border with Bessarabia, Moldova.-History:The first mention of the town dates from 1595...

, Nova Ushytsia, Olhopil
Olhopil, Vinnytsia Oblast
Olhopil is a village in Chechelnytskyi Raion of Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine.First known since 1780 as Rohuzka Chechelnytska it was a border town between Rzeczpospolita and Budjak Horde. In 1795 it was renamed Olgopol by Ekaterina II in the name of her granddaughter, Olga Pavlovna...

, Khmelnytskyi
Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
Khmelnytskyi is a city in Ukraine in the region of Podillia. It is located on the Southern Buh River and about from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The town's original name was Płoskirów, later Proskurov, but in 1954 was renamed Khmelnytskyi. It is the center of the Khmelnytskyi Oblast in western...

, Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia is a city located on the banks of the Southern Bug, in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Vinnytsia Oblast.-Names:...

, and Yampil. In Moldova, the major Podolian cities are Camenca
Camenca
Camenca is a town in Transnistria, Moldova. It is composed of the town itself, population 10,323, and the village of Solnecinoe .Camenca is the seat of the Camenca sub-district....

 and Rîbniţa
Rîbnita
Rîbnița, also spelled Râbnița is a city in Moldova. The city is under the administration of the breakaway government of the Transnistria. According to the 2004 Census in Transnistria, it has a population of 53,648. Rîbniţa is situated in the northern half of Transnistria, on the left bank of the...

.

Podolia is known for its cherries
Cherry
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

, mulberries
Mulberry
Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

, melon
Melon
thumb|200px|Various types of melonsThis list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae with edible, fleshy fruit e.g. gourds or cucurbits. The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit...

s, gourd
Gourd
A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like cucumbers, squash, luffas, and melons. The term 'gourd' however, can more specifically, refer to the plants of the two Cucurbitaceae genera Lagenaria and Cucurbita or also to their hollow dried out shell...

s, and cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

s.

History


The country has had human inhabitants since at least the beginning of the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 mentions it as the seat of the Graeco
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

-Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

n Alazones
Halizones
The Halizones are an obscure people that appear in Homer's Iliad as allies of Troy during the Trojan War. Their leaders were Odius and Epistrophus, said by Apollodorus to be sons of a man named Mecisteus...

 and possibly Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

n Neuri. Subsequently the Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

ns and the Getae
Getae
The Getae was the name given by the Greeks to several Thracian tribes that occupied the regions south of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria, and north of the Lower Danube, in Romania...

 arrived. The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 left traces of their rule in Trajan's Wall
Trajan's Wall
Trajan's Wall is a complex of valla in Eastern Europe: in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine.Contrary to the name and popular belief, the ramparts were not built by Romans during Trajan's reign.-Romania:...

, which stretches through the modern districts of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Nova Ushytsia and Khmelnytskyi.

During the Great Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

, many nationalities passed through this territory or settled within it for some time, leaving numerous traces in archaeological remains. Nestor
Nestor the Chronicler
Saint Nestor the Chronicler was the reputed author of the Primary Chronicle, , Life of the Venerable Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, Life of the Holy Passion Bearers, Boris and Gleb, and of the so-called Reading.Nestor was a monk of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev from 1073...

 in the Primary Chronicle
Primary Chronicle
The Primary Chronicle , Ruthenian Primary Chronicle or Russian Primary Chronicle, is a history of Kievan Rus' from about 850 to 1110, originally compiled in Kiev about 1113.- Three editions :...

 mentions four apparently Slavic tribes: the Buzhans
Buzhans
The Buzhans or Buzhane were one of the tribal unions of Early East Slavs. They are mentioned as Buzhane in the Primary Chronicle. It appears that the name of the tribe derives from the Southern Bug River, where they chose to settle down. According to the Bavarian Geographer, the Buzhans had 230...

 and Dulebes
Dulebes
The Dulebs or Dulebi were one of the tribal unions of Early East Slavs between the 6th and the 10th centuries. Dulebi were among the twelve East Slavic tribes mentioned in the Primary Chronicle...

 along the Southern Bug
Southern Bug
The Southern Bug, also called Southern Buh), is a river located in Ukraine. The source of the river is in the west of Ukraine, in the Volyn-Podillia Upland, about 145 km from the Polish border, and flows southeasterly into the Bug Estuary through the southern steppes...

 River, and the Tivertsi
Tivertsi
Tivertsi, a.k.a. Tivertsy, Tiverians is a tribe of early East Slavs which lived in the lands near the Dniester, and probably the lower Danube, that is in modern-day western Ukraine and Moldova and possibly in eastern Romania and southern Odessa oblast of Ukraine...

 and Ulichs
Ulichs
The Ulichs were a tribe of Early East Slavs who between the eighth and the tenth century inhabited the territories along the Lower Dnieper, Bug River and the Black Sea littoral....

 along the Dniester
Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

. The Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 invaded in the 7th century. Prince Oleg of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, extended his rule over this territory known as the Ponizie, or "lowlands." These lowlands later became a part of the Rus' principalities of Volhynia
Volhynia
Volhynia, Volynia, or Volyn is a historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Prypiat and Southern Bug River, to the north of Galicia and Podolia; the region is named for the former city of Volyn or Velyn, said to have been located on the Southern Bug River, whose name may come...

, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, and Galicia, with the capital at Bakota
Bakota, Ukraine
Bakota was a historic town in the Halych-Volhynian Kingdom, modern-day Khmelnytskyi Oblast in western Ukraine. The village lies within the Dniester River Valley and is located in the historical Podillia region....

 at one time. In the 13th century, the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 plundered Ponizie; Algirdas
Algirdas
Algirdas was a monarch of medieval Lithuania. Algirdas ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1345 to 1377, which chiefly meant monarch of Lithuanians and Ruthenians...

 (Olgierd), prince of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, freed it from their rule following his victory against the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

 in the Battle of Blue Waters
Battle of Blue Waters
The Battle of Blue Waters was a medieval battle fought at some time between 24 September and 25 December 1362 near the Syni Vody of the Southern Bug between the armies of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Golden Horde....

 of 1362, annexing it to his own territories under the name of Podolia, which has the same meaning as Ponizie. Polish colonisation began in the 14th century.

After the death of the Lithuanian prince Vytautas the Great
Vytautas the Great
Vytautas ; styled "the Great" from the 15th century onwards; c. 1350 October 27, 1430) was one of the most famous rulers of medieval Lithuania. Vytautas was the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians...

 (Vitovt) in 1430, Podolia became part of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom
Crown of the Polish Kingdom
The Crown of the Kingdom of Poland , or simply the Crown , is the name for the unit of administrative division, the territories under direct administration of Polish nobility from middle-ages to late 18th century...

, with the exception of its eastern part, the Province of Bratslav
Bratslav
Bratslav |Breslov]] as the name of a Hasidic group, which originated from this town) is a townlet in Ukraine, located in the Nemyriv Raion of Vinnytsia Oblast, by the Southern Bug river. It is a medieval European city having dramatically lost its importance during 19th-20th centuries...

, which remained in Lithuania until its union with Poland in the Union of Lublin
Union of Lublin
The Union of Lublin replaced the personal union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with a real union and an elective monarchy, since Sigismund II Augustus, the last of the Jagiellons, remained childless after three marriages. In addition, the autonomy of Royal Prussia was...

 of 1569. Apart from an Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 occupation (1672 - 1699) and administration as Podolia Eyalet
Podolia Eyalet
Podolia Eyalet was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire. Its capital was Kamianets-Podilskyi .-History:In 1672 the Ottoman army, led by Sultan Mehmed IV, captured Kamaniçe after a short siege. The Treaty of Buchach confirmed Ottoman control of the city, which became the centre of a new eyalet...

, the Poles retained Podolia until the partition
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

s of their country in 1772 and 1793, when the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 of Austria
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 and Imperial Russia annexed the western and eastern parts respectively. During Ottoman rule, Podolia was a province with its center was Kamaniçe
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamyanets-Podilsky or Kamienets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine, to the north-east of Chernivtsi...

 and was divided sanjaks of Kamaniçe, Bar
Bar, Ukraine
Bar is a city located on the Rov River in the Vinnytsia Oblast of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Barskyi Raion , and is part of the historic region of Podolia. The current estimated population is 17,200 .-History:The city was a small trade outpost named Row...

, Mejibuji
Medzhybizh
Medzhybizh, previously known as Mezhybozhe, population 1731, is a town in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast of western Ukraine. It is located in the Letychivsky Raion , 25 kilometres from the Khmelnytskyi on the main highway between Khmelnytskyi and Vinnytsia at the confluence of the Southern Buh and...

 and Yazlofça
Yazlovets
Yazlovets is a village in the Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine and a Roman Catholic pilgrimage center of local significance. It's located at around , 16km south of Buchach and presently has around 600 inhabitants....

.

From 1793-1917, part of the region was the Podolia Governorate
Podolia Governorate
The Podolia Governorate or Government of Podolia, set up after the Second Partition of Poland, comprised a governorate of the Russian Empire from 1793 to 1917, of the Ukrainian People's Republic from 1917 to 1921, and of the Ukrainian SSR from 1921 to 1925.-Location:The Podolian Governorate...

 (Russian: Подольская губерния [Podol’skaja gubernija]; Ukrainian: Подільська губернія [Podil’s’ka hubernija]) in southwestern Russia bordering with Austria across the Zbruch River
Zbruch River
Zbruch River is a river in Western Ukraine, a left tributary of the Dniester.It flows within the Podolia Upland starting from the Avratinian Upland. Zbruch is the namesake of the Zbruch idol, a sculpture of a Slavic deity in the form of a column with a head with four faces, discovered in 1848 by...

 and with Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 across the Dniester
Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

. Its area was 36,910 km².

The Austrian Habsburgs took control of western Podolia (sometimes also called "Southern Podolia") in 1772 in the first partition of Poland by the Russian, Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n and Austrian Empires. At this time, the Emperor Joseph II toured the area, was impressed by the fertility of the soil, and was optimistic about its future prospects. 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 population which was primarily ethnically Ukrainian whose similarity to the other East Slavs already subject to the Habsburg Monarchy was showcased in a 1772 book by Adam F. Kollár
Adam František Kollár
Adam František Kollár − Adam Franz Kollár in older English sources, a Slovak lower nobleman, was a historian, ethnologist, and as Imperial-Royal Court Councilor and Chief Imperial-Royal Librarian, an influential advocate of Empress Maria Theresa's Enlightened and centralist policies...

 and was used as an argument in favor of annexation by the Habsburgs. The Ternopil
Ternopil
Ternopil , is a city in western Ukraine, located on the banks of the Seret River. Ternopil is one of the major cities of Western Ukraine and the historical region of Galicia...

 (Tarnopol) region of western Podolia was briefly taken by Russia in 1809 but reverted to Austrian rule in 1815. Within the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

, western Podolia was part of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria which, in 1867 with the formation of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

, became an ethnic Pole
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

-administered autonomous unit under the Austrian crown.
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Austrian Podolia witnessed a large scale emigration of its peasant population to western Canada.

Large scale emigration of the Jewish population of Russian Podolia had started nearly 20 years before in the aftermath of the March 1881 assassination of Tsar Alexander II. Rumors arose that Jews were behind the assassination, and anti-Jewish riots broke out in the late spring of 1881, starting in Podolia and spreading across the Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
The Pale of Settlement was the term given to a region of Imperial Russia, in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed, and beyond which Jewish permanent residency was generally prohibited...

. The riots and "pogroms" (from a Russian word meaning "destruction, organized devastation") lasted for four years, during which time thousands of Jewish homes and synagogues were destroyed, and countless Jews were lynched, murdered by "neighbors," severely injured, and impoverished. The pogrom perpetrators organized locally, sometimes with government and police encouragement. They raped and murdered their Jewish victims and looted their property. The new tsar, Alexander III, actually blamed the riots themselves on the Jews, and punished them by enacting new laws, the "May Laws", which restricted their freedoms even further. Jews in the Pale of Settlement were forbidden from residing in any town with fewer than 10,000 citizens, forbidden to own land, and limited in their professional employment and education opportunities. The May Laws compelled many Podolian and other Pale Jews to emigrate. These laws are credited with having caused more than two million Jews to leave Russia for the United States, England, South Africa, and Latin America.

It is estimated that between 200,000 and 500,000 Jews were murdered in Podolia and adjacent regions, between 1918 and 1920, in pogroms that occurred during the Ukrainian/Russian Civil War that followed the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. As a result, up to 300,000 Jewish children were orphaned. Ukrainian nationalists, Polish officials, Red Army troops, and White Army troops all engaged in pogrom violence in Podolia and in neighboring Galicia (then belonging to newly recreated Poland, and now a part of Ukraine). Up to ten thousand Jews, 40 percent of the city's Jews, perished in the city of Proskurov (since 1954 known as Khmelnitskyi) in 1919, where there is now an official memorial built on the mass grave of the victims. Proskurov was a town of 50,000, half of them Jews.

With the collapse of Austria-Hungary following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in November 1918, western Podolia was included in the West Ukrainian People's Republic, but came under Polish
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 control in 1919 which was confirmed in the Poland–Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic
The Ukrainian People's Republic or Ukrainian National Republic was a republic that was declared in part of the territory of modern Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, eventually headed by Symon Petliura.-Revolutionary Wave:...

 agreement in April 1920. Podolia was briefly occupied in 1920 by Soviets
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during the course of the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

. After the Peace of Riga
Peace of Riga
The Peace of Riga, also known as the Treaty of Riga; was signed in Riga on 18 March 1921, between Poland, Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine. The treaty ended the Polish-Soviet War....

 the Polish control was recognized by the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

In Poland from 1921 to 1939, western Podolia was part of the Tarnopol Voivodeship
Tarnopol Voivodeship
Tarnopol Voivodeship was an administrative region of interwar Poland with an area of 16,500 km², 17 counties, and capital in Tarnopol...

. Eastern Podolia remained to the Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

 and between 1922 and 1940, in the southwestern part, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created.

In 1927 there was a massive uprising of peasants and factory workers in Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi
Mohyliv-Podilskyi is a city in the Mohyliv-Podilskyi Raion of the Vinnytsia Oblast , Ukraine. It is located at , on the border with Bessarabia, Moldova.-History:The first mention of the town dates from 1595...

, Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamyanets-Podilsky or Kamienets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine, to the north-east of Chernivtsi...

, Tiraspol
Tiraspol
Tiraspol is the second largest city in Moldova and is the capital and administrative centre of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic . The city is located on the eastern bank of the Dniester River...

 and other cities of southern Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

 against Soviet authorities. Troops from Moscow were sent to the region and suppressed the unrest, causing around 4000 deaths, according to US correspondents sent to report about the insurrection, which was at the time completely denied by the Kremlin official press.

In 1939 after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 between Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939, the area became part of Soviet Ukraine
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

. Many local inhabitants were deported to concentration camps
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

. Following German invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 in 1941, most of Podolia was occupied by Nazi Germany and incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine , literally "Reich Commissariat of Ukraine", was the civilian occupation regime of much of German-occupied Ukraine during World War II. Between September 1941 and March 1944, the Reichskommissariat was administered by Reichskommissar Erich Koch as a colony...

. The area of Podolia between the Southern Bug below Vinnytsia and the Dniester was occupied by Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 as part of Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

.

Starting in July 1941, the Jewish inhabitants were subjected to mass extermination by shooting in a German campaign carried out by four Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

("operational groups") specially organized for the purpose. Reliable estimates including German, Soviet, and local records indicate that upwards of 1.6 million, perhaps as many as 2 million, Jews were murdered in this fashion. Most were buried in mass graves, but there were also instances of communities being forced en masse into community buildings or synagogues that were then burnt, or herded into local mines that were subsequently dynamited. Podolia had been the center of a thriving Jewish community and culture since the late 17th century. All of that was extinguished within less than three years. The Germans eventually concluded that the method of shooting populations where they resided was too inefficient. At the January 20, 1942, Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, held as a result of the German need for a new method of extermination, they implemented the method of shipping populations to designated extermination/death camps, euphemistically referred to as concentration camps, equipped with poison gas chambers and crematoria.

In 1944 the Soviets regained Podolia and in 1945, when Poland’s eastern border was formally realigned along the Curzon line
Curzon Line
The Curzon Line was put forward by the Allied Supreme Council after World War I as a demarcation line between the Second Polish Republic and Bolshevik Russia and was supposed to serve as the basis for a future border. In the wake of World War I, which catalysed the Russian Revolution of 1917, the...

, the whole of Podolia remained in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

. Most remaining Poles and Jews fled or were expelled to the People's Republic of Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

.

External links

  • Map of Podolia (1882) Petrov N. (1891) Podolia. Historical descriptiony (Подолия. Историческое описание) at Runivers.ru in DjVu
    DjVu
    DjVu is a computer file format designed primarily to store scanned documents, especially those containing a combination of text, line drawings, and photographs. It uses technologies such as image layer separation of text and background/images, progressive loading, arithmetic coding, and lossy...

     and PDF formats
  • Article from Encyclopedia of Ukraine