Ukraine Transport and Communications

By | December 24, 2021

The development of communication routes and means of transport is certainly still insufficient: even in this case it is not, of course, a problem restricted to Ukraine alone. It is a fact that affects the whole of the USSR Ukraine, for mainly geographical reasons, is actually better favored than the other regions of the USSR Ordinary roads are more often than simple tracks, which run between the fields, widening to the right and left depending on soil conditions. When there is excessive stagnation of water, or the layer of mud is too deep, or the ruts left by the rolling stock are too frequent, the vehicles deviate as best they can to avoid obstacles. And if during the winter the frozen snow partly facilitates traffic, during the spring the melting of it leads to the so-called rasputica, i.e. it prevents traffic along the roads. The summer drought and the strong heat that accompanies it make the roads almost impassable due to the high layer of dust that covers them. There are many causes for such a deplorable state of the Ukrainian road network, but above all the inadequacy of the technical means to tackle and complete such a complex project.

No less difficult is the situation of the railways. As is well known, the tsarist state did not decide to start the construction of the railways until after the disastrous Crimean campaign, therefore in the second half of the century. XIX. The construction of the railway networks presented many difficulties: enormous distances between the centers, which had to be connected to each other, the need to firm the ground, the need to build very long and very solid bridges to withstand the impact of the ice at the time of thaw. The only advantage is the absence of mountain ranges, which required the excavation of deep trenches or the drilling of tunnels. How worrying is the problem of strengthening the ground, for which there is actually no material, is demonstrated by what happens along a section of the Nikolaev line in Odessa. For Ukraine travel information, please check

The main railway centers of Ukraine are primarily Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa; the most important lines are: the one that coming from Moscow and Kursk reaches Charkov, from which one continues to Zaporož′e, up to Sevastopol in the Crimea; the line, which from Kursk reaches Kiev and continues to Vinnica until it joins the Odessa-Balta-Leopoli line; the Charkov-Poltava-Kirov-Balta line and the Charkov-Vorošilovgrad (Lugansk) -Rostov-on-Don line; then the line from Rostov-on-Don to Dnepropetrovsk-Kremenčug (or Kirov); finally, the Berdičev-Šepetovka-Warsaw line, which branches off from the Kiev-Vinnica line. There are also numerous other less important lines, which connect the less notable centers to the main localities. Important are the connections with the Caucasus, for the Charkov-Rostov-on-Don line, with Warsaw and with Lviv, while the Odessa-Kiev connection occurs only by means of a detour. The operation on the Ukrainian lines has the same drawbacks, typical of the entire Russian railway network: reduced speeds, due to the weak armament of the lines, and the weight of the trains, and little frequency of trains, so much so that on some lines there is no they have more than two daily pairs.

River transport is an excellent subsidy for land transport, but it takes place almost exclusively along the Dnieper. But for the connection of this fluvial artery with the Pripeć and with the Desna they assume a particular importance. Another river line is the Donec, which allows the mining products of the mining and metallurgical region to be sent to the river port of Rostov-on-Don and from there to the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea. The Bug and the Dnestr are of lesser value. The latter, being badly navigable in the last stretch, obliges the transport of goods by land to Odessa.

Direct relations with overseas countries take place through the ports of Odessa, Nikolaev, and Cherson. These ports did not have too perfect equipment in the past, and during the revolution they were greatly damaged. However, in the decade 1925-1935 they were restored and enlarged, providing them with good equipment, more responsive to the needs of traffic. However, Odessa, once the main exporter of cereals, has lost this primacy, which has passed to the port of Novorossiysk and a few others in the Caucasian region. Part of the Ukrainian maritime traffic passes through the ports of Crimea or that of Rostov-on-Don. Also important is the port of Mariupol ′, an ancient fishing center, built at the mouth of the Kalmius by a group of Greeks, and now important for the export of hard coal.

Air communications are of particular interest to the connection of Kiev with Moscow and of Odessa with Charkov and Moscow. Given the great distances and the slowness of terrestrial communications, civil aviation is an essential necessity for the entire USSR and therefore also for Ukraine, which remains part of the largest network that affects the entire USSR and relations with the neighboring states.

The trade movement, subjected like any other initiative to state control, is, given the agricultural and industrial characteristics of the country, quite active. On the contrary, it could be deduced a priori that Ukraine must have been an eminently exporter country with a more than favorable trade balance. In fact, Ukraine is in a position to export agricultural products, fuel, fossils, iron ore, sea salt and rock salt, industrial raw materials and manufactured goods from various industries. The main imports should mainly include textile fibers, namely linen and cotton, and manufactured products of those few industries, which have not developed in the country, having been concentrated in cities in central and northern Russia due to their specialization. It is however possible, despite the lack of reliable data, indicate the main centers of Ukrainian trade. Kiev is the main market for sugars; Kharkov for cereals and horses; Nikolaev for cereals, particularly barley, for manganese, iron ore, and for sugars; Cherson for wool, wheat, fish, vegetables, fruit and timber; Berdičev for cereals and livestock; Žitomir for cereals and timber; Sumy for cereals; Čercasy for timber, iron, salt, sugar; Priluki for tobacco; Kremenčug for cereals, hard coal, salt, tobacco, leather, wood; Poltava for cereals, timber, horses; Odessa for cereals, linseed, wool, livestock, sugar, timber, hard coal, naphtha, iron, machinery, fabrics, etc. The major and most frequent relations with the abroad are reached through seaports and Poland. Trade relations with Romania are rather limited.

Ukraine Transport