Kherson is a city in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Kherson Oblast, and is designated as a city of oblast significance. Kherson is an important port on the Black Sea and Dnieper River, and the home of a major ship-building industry. Population: 294,941
Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, Kherson also houses the office of the Presidential representative of Ukraine in Crimea, which is headed by Nataliya Popovych.
Until 1774, the region belonged to the Crimean Khanate.
Kherson was founded in 1778 by Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, on the orders of Catherine the Great. The city was built under the supervision of General Ivan Gannibal on the site of a small fortress called Aleksanderschanz. The name Kherson is a contraction of Chersonesos, an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2500 years ago in the southwestern part of Crimea. One of the first buildings in the Kherson Fort was the Church of St. Catherine where Potemkin was eventually buried. The last tarpan was caught near Kherson in 1866. During World War II, Kherson was occupied by the German Army from 21 August 1941 to 13 March 1944. During the Ukrainian revolution of 2014 the city was the scene of riots against president Yanukovich during which the main Lenin statue of the city was toppled by protesters. After the revolution the city became relatively calm.
As of Ukrainian National Census (2001), the ethnic groups living within Kherson are:
- Ukrainians – 76.6%
- Russians – 20.0%
- Other – 3.4%
The ethnic groups living within Kherson as of the 1926 Census:
- Ukrainians – 36%
- Russians – 36%
- Jews – 25%
- Belorussians – 0.2%
- Germans – 0.4%
There are three city raions.
- Suvorov Raion, central and oldest raion of the city, named after the Russian General Suvorov. Includes microraions: Tavrіjs'kij, Pіvnіchnij and Mlini.
- Dnipro Raion, named after the Dnieper river. Includes microraions: HBK, Tekstil'nij, Sklotara, Slobіdka, Vojenka, Skhіdnij.
- Korabelnyi Raion. Includes microraions: Shumens'kij, Korabel, Zabalka, Sukharne, Zhitloselishche, Selishche — 4, Selishche — 5.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Kherson has a borderline humid subtropical climate and humid continental climate (Cfa/Dfa).
Kherson is served by Kherson International Airport providing both passport and customs control. It operates a 2,500 x 42-meter concrete runway, accommodating Boeing 737, Airbus 319/320 aircraft, and helicopters of all series.
Kherson is connected to the national railroad network of Ukraine. There are daily long-distance services to Kiev, Lviv and other cities.
There are 77 high schools as well as 5 colleges. There are 15 institutions of higher education.
- Kherson State University of Agriculture
- Kherson State University
- Kherson National Technical University
- International University of Business and Law
- The Church of St. Catherine was built in the 1780s, supposedly to Ivan Starov's designs, and contains the tomb of Prince Potemkin.
- Jewish cemetery – Kershon has a large Jewish community which was established in the mid-nineteenth century. From 1959 until 1990 there was no synagogue in Kherson. Since then, both Jewish life and Kherson have really grown and developed in an atmosphere of peace. Nevertheless, the Jewish cemetery has regularly suffered from acts of vandalism. The graves have been repeatedly covered with trash and the tombstones destroyed and desecrated. On 6 April 2012, an act of vandalism, at the Jewish cemetery, occurred on the most important festival in the Jewish calendar, the festival of Passover. The fire, which was set, immediately spread over an area of about 700 square meters and caused severe damage to the graves and tombstones.
- Kherson TV Tower – is a famous construction located in the city.
- Adziogol Lighthouse, a hyperboloid structure designed by V.G.Shukhov, 1911
- Georgy Arbatov (1923–2010), political scientist.
- Maximilian Bern, writer and editor
- Sergei Bondarchuk, Soviet, Ukrainian-born film director, screenwriter, and actor.
- Lev Davidovitch Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist was born in Kherson in 1879.
- Ivan Abramovich Gannibal (1735–1801), founder of the city
- Yefim Golïshev (1897–1970) Painter and composer associated with the Dada movement in Berlin.
- Nikolai Grinko, Ukrainian Soviet-era film actor
- John Howard (died in Kherson in 1790)
- Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, a Romanian politician, writer, and jurist
- Oleksandr Karavayev, Ukrainian football player
- Evgeny Kucherevsky, Ukrainian football coach of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (died 2006)
- Larisa Latynina, a Soviet gymnast who was the first female athlete to win nine Olympic gold medals
- Tatiana Lysenko, a Soviet and Ukrainian gymnast who won the gold medal on the balance beam at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
- Sergei Polunin, Ukrainian ballet dancer
- Prince Grigory Potemkin (1739–1791), founder of the city
- Salomon Rosenblum, later known as Lieutenant Sidney Reilly, a secret agent and international adventurer and playboy who was at one time employed by the British Secret Intelligence Service. He is reputed to be the real inspiration for Ian Fleming's spy character, James Bond.
- Moshe Sharett, the second Prime Minister of Israel (1953–1955)
- Sergei Stanishev, Ex-Prime Minister of Bulgaria
- Prince Alexander Suvorov (1730–1800), founder of the city
- Mikhail Yemtsev, science fiction writer
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