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Nikolaev [Mykolayiv]

Nikolaev, with its seaport, is a large administrative, industrial, and cultural centre of Ukraine. It is situated in the south-east of Europe in the steppe zone of the Near-the-Black Sea lowland. Nikolaev is located on the peninsula 69 km from the Black Sea. It's drained by the rivers Southern Buh and the Ingoul. The total area of the town is about 120 sq. km. It has a population of more than 600 thousand people.

Mykolaiv administrative region (oblast) is located in the Southern steppe zone of Ukraine, in the confluence of Uzhniy Bug and Inhul rivers and occupies 24,600 km2 square. Population of region is 1,320.000 people. Most of the population (66%) live in the urban areas, of which almost 60% - 522.000 are residents of Mykolaiv [Nikolaev], the administrative, industrial, and cultural center of region. The leading role in the development of economy belongs to the shipbuilding because of great concentration of production. More then 55% of main means of Ukraine shipbuilding branch is concentrated in Mykolayiv. Nikolaev is the centre of the shipbuilding branch in Ukraine. Three of the largest shipbuilding factories built ships and vessels of different classes. The general headquarters of Ukrainian Shipbuilding Corporation is situated here.

Mykolayiv Oblast occupies an ancient steppe area of more than 24600 km2in the lower reaches of the river Southern Buh. On three sides this administrative region borders on other Ukrainian Oblasts and in the south its territory runs for several hundred kilometer -the Black Sea coast and estuaries. Here the boundary line twists and bends whimsically with the Dnieper-Buh, Buh, Berezan, and Tilihul estuaries cutting deep in the dry land, creating a scenic pattern of bodies of water. The mouths of the Southern Buh and Inhul meet precisely on the site of the regional center, Mykolayiv washing it on all sides.

In 1789, at the mouth of the river Inhul a wharf started being built. A year later a town appeared named Nikolaev [Mykolayiv], to commemorate the taking of Ochakov Fortress on the day dedicated to St. Nicholas, guardian of seafarers (Nicholas is My kola in Ukrainian, hence the name). In the early 19th century Mykolayiv became the center of a gubernia (province) of the same name. After the territory became part of the Russian empire its "specialty" was determined. Tilling, replenishing Russia's grain reserves. Mykolayiv was now a shipbuilding venue. In the 19th century Russia exported millions of poods of grain, of which the lion's share came from Prychornomorya, former Wild Field. Exports were carried out using also ships built and launched at Mykolayiv. Therefore, ships, grain, steppe, and the sea are the region's "visiting card."

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