Kholm Governorate (Russian Empire)

Kholm Governorate or Chełm Governorate (Russian: Холмская Губерния, Kholmskaya Guberniya; Ukrainian: Холмська губернія, Polish: gubernia chełmska) was an administrative unit (governorate) of the Russian Empire. Its capital was in Chełm (Russian and Ukrainian: Холм Kholm).

You may also be looking for Ukrainian Kholm Governorate from 1918–1919.
Kholm Governorate
Холмская Губерния
Governorate of Russian Empire
Coat of arms

10,460 km2 (4,040 sq mi)
 Creation of Kholm Governorate
8 September 1913
 Creation of Lublin Voivodeship
Political subdivisionsGovernorates of the Russian Empire
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Siedlce Governorate
Lublin Governorate
Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918)
Today part of Poland

It was created from eastern parts of Siedlce Governorate and Lublin Governorate in 1912. It was separated from the Privislinsky Krai and joined to Kiev General Governorate as "core Russian territory", as a precaution in case Privislinsky Krai territories should be taken from the Russian Empire in an upcoming war. Another reason for this administrative change was to facilitate Russification and conversion of the non-Eastern Orthodox Christians.[1]

According to Russian statistical sources for 1914, while the area of the governorate was 10 460 km2, it was inhabited by approximately 912,095 inhabitants of whom about 50 % were Little Russians (a demonym used for Ukrainians in Tsarist Russia), 30 % Poles, 16 % Jews.[2] However, during the retreat of the Russian Army in the summer of 1915, the Russian command gave orders to evacuate the "Russian population" of Kholm region. Due to that policy, about 2/3 of the Ukrainian population was deported to the Russian Empire in June–July 1915. The number of deported population was reaching some 300,000 people and thus significantly changing the national composition in the region.


In 1909 the population of the lands that were included in the Kholm province in 1912 was 703,000 people.


The entire population of the Kholm province, according to official statistics, was about 760 thousand people, of which Catholics were 311 thousand, Orthodox - 305 thousand, Jews - 115 thousand, Protestants - 28 thousand. Moreover, the Orthodox accounted for more than half of the population in Grubeshovsky, as well as some parts of the former Lubartovsk and Krasnostavsky districts. In parts of Tomashovo and Kholm districts, as well as in the former Wlodawa Uyezd, the number of Orthodox Christians exceeded the number of Catholics by about 5%. On January 1, 1914, in the Kholm province, out of a total population of 912,095 people, Ukrainians comprised 446,839, that is 50.1%, Poles - 30.5%, Jews - 15.8%.

The national composition of the territories of the districts, which were included in the Kholm province in 1912 according to the data of 1897 :

Uyezd Ukrainians Poles
Biłgoraj 20.8% 62.27%
Hrubieszów 59.6% 23.1%
Zamość 7.7% 73.9%
Tomaszów 49.5% 36.5%
Chełm 33.4% 34.5%


  1. Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, Columbia University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-231-12819-3, Print, p.278
  2. (in Russian)

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