The Biggest Cities In Ukraine

Covering a total area of 603,328 sq. km, Ukraine is a large country situated in Eastern Europe, on the southwestern part of the vast East European Plain. It is considered the 45th largest country in the world and the 2nd largest country by area in Europe. Ukraine is surrounded by Russia in the east and northeast; Belarus in the north; Romania and Moldova in the south and Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary in the west. It is also bordered by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south. With a population of 41,167,336 inhabitants, Ukraine is the 8th most populous country in Europe and the 36th most populous country in the world. A significant portion of Ukraine’s population resides in urbanized areas. The ten most important cities in Ukraine have been discussed below.

Contents:

  1. Kyiv
  2. Kharkiv
  3. Odessa
  4. Dnipro
  5. Donetsk
  6. Zaporizhzhya
  7. Lviv
  8. Kryvyi Rih
  9. Mykolaiv
  10. Mariupol

1. Kyiv (Kiev) – 3,000,604

Aerial view of the Motherland Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine
Aerial view of the Motherland Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine. Editorial credit: Ingus Kruklitis / Shutterstock.com

Situated in the north-central part of the country along the Dnieper River, Kyiv (Kiev) is the capital and the most populous city of Ukraine. It is also the most prominent and wealthiest city in Ukraine. As of 2021, with a population of 3,000,604 inhabitants, Kyiv is considered Europe’s 7th most populous city. The city of Kyiv is home to several historical landmarks, higher educational institutions, and high-tech industries. The city serves as the chief cultural, educational, industrial, and scientific center of the country as well as of entire Eastern Europe.

2. Kharkiv – 1,425,987

Holy Annunciation Cathedral in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Holy Annunciation Cathedral in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Editorial credit: Multipedia / Shutterstock.com

Also referred to as “Kharkov,” Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine. Situated in the northeastern part of the country, Kharkiv serves as the administrative center of the Kharkiv Oblast. The city is also considered the largest city of the historic Slobozhanshchyna region. From December 1919 to January 1934, the city of Kharkiv initially served as the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The city is home to several museums, orthodox churches, art galleries, theatres, public libraries, and Ukrainian educational institutions. Some of the acclaimed educational institutions in the city include the Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv National Aerospace University, Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv National University of Economics, and the Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics. The city of Kharkiv also serves as one of Ukraine’s major transportation centers.

3. Odessa – 1,008,508

Aerial view of the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine
Aerial view of the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre in Odessa, Ukraine. 

Located on the northwestern coast of the Black Sea in the southwestern part of the country, Odessa (or Odesa) is the third most populous city in Ukraine. Odessa serves as the administrative center of both the Odessa Raion and the Odessa Oblast. The city is also a multiethnic cultural center, a major transportation hub, and an important tourism center of Ukraine. The city’s splendid medieval architecture combined with the feel of a seaside town makes it one of Ukraine’s most popular tourist destinations.

4. Dnipro – 951,821

Panoramic view of the towers, skyscrapers and promenade in Dnipro, Ukraine.
Panoramic view of the towers, skyscrapers, and promenade in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Situated along the shores of the Dnieper River in the eastern part of the country, Dnipro is a city of regional significance and the fourth most populous city in Ukraine. Formerly referred to as Dnipropetrovsk, Dnipro serves as the administrative center of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The city is also one of Ukraine’s largest metallurgical and machine-building centers. Dnipro is also the country’s major educational center and houses many academic institutions, including the Dnipro Polytechnic National Technical University and the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University.

5. Donetsk – 899,325

Aerial view of the Donbas Arena soccer stadium in Donetsk, Ukraine
Aerial view of the "Donbas Arena" soccer stadium in Donetsk, Ukraine. Editorial credit: Fedorov Oleksiy / Shutterstock.com

Formerly referred to as Aleksandrovka, Donetsk is an industrial city situated on the banks of the Kalmius River in the disputed Donetsk Oblast in the eastern part of Ukraine. The city of Donetsk is under the de facto administration of the separatist-controlled Donetsk People’s Republic. Being the fifth-largest city of Ukraine, it serves as its principal scientific, economic, and industrial center. The city contains many heavy industries, including coal mining, metallurgical, and steel industries. In addition to this, the city also houses several educational institutions, museums, sports centers, and tourist attractions. Donetsk has also been recognized as the “best city” in the Commonwealth of Independent States and one of the best cities for doing business in Ukraine.

6. Zaporizhzhya – 731,984

Aerial view of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
Aerial view of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station, the city of Zaporizhzhya, the structures of the Sich, and the island of Khortytsia. 

Situated on the shores of the Dnieper River just below the Dnieper Rapids, Zaporizhzhya is a city of regional significance located in the Zaporizhzhya Oblast in the southeastern part of Ukraine. Being the country’s sixth most populous city, Zaporizhzhya serves as the administrative center of the Zaporizhzhya Oblast. Zaporizhzhya is also the country’s most important industrial center and is well known for the Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Station. The large Khortytsia Island is also included within the Zaporizhzhya city limits.

7. Lviv – 722,476

Panoramic aerial view of the colorful houses in the historical center of Lviv, Ukraine
Panoramic aerial view of the colorful houses in the historical center of Lviv, Ukraine. 

The city of Lviv is located at the tip of the Roztochia Upland in the western part of Ukraine. Being the country’s seventh-largest city, it serves as the administrative center of both the Lviv Oblast and the Lviv Raion. The historic center of Lviv that features several old buildings and cobblestone streets has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Lviv is considered one of Ukraine’s major cultural centers and the most important business center in Western Ukraine. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the city has been declared the country’s de facto western capital.

8. Kryvyi Rih – 613,696

View of an iron ore quarry in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.
View of an iron ore quarry in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.

Situated at the meeting point of Saksahan and Inhulets Rivers, Kryvyi Rih is a large city in the central part of Ukraine. Kryvyi Rih serves as the administrative center of the Kryvyi Rih Raion and is considered the country’s eighth-most populous city. The city is well known for the Kryvorizkyi Iron Ore Basin that functions as an important historical and economic region in Ukraine and is recognized worldwide as a vital center for metallurgy and iron-ore mining.

9. Mykolaiv – 482,873

Aerial view of a river port in Mykolaiv, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine.
Aerial view of a river port in Mykolaiv, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine. 

Formerly referred to as Nikolaev, Mykolaiv is a large city located in the southern part of Ukraine. The city is situated along the estuary of the Southern Buh River, approximately 65km from the Black Sea. Being the country’s ninth most populous city, Mykolaiv serves as the administrative center of the Mykolaiv Oblast. At present, Mykolaiv is Ukraine’s major transportation hub and one of the most vital Ukrainian Black Sea ports. It is also one of the country’s largest shipbuilding centers.

10. Mariupol – 436,644

A large coal mine station in Mariupol, Ukraine
Powerful diesel locomotive TEM7 pulls wagons loaded with anthracite along a large coal mine station in Mariupol, Ukraine. Editorial credit: Zahnoi Alex / Shutterstock.com

Mariupol is a city of regional significance situated at the mouth of the Kalmius River, on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, in the southeastern part of Ukraine. Mariupol is considered the second-largest city of the Donetsk Oblast and the tenth-largest city in Ukraine. The city has played a vital role in the industrialization of Ukraine and, at present, serves as the country’s important center for higher education, business, grain trade, and heavy industries.

The above article is a brief discussion about the 10 Biggest Cities In Ukraine based on the estimated population of 2021.  However, the population of these biggest cities of Ukraine is subjected to change due to the ongoing Russian invasion. The full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, as declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the early hours of February 24, 2022, has led to the displacement of many people to the neighboring countries from the major cities of Ukraine. Moreover, there have been reports of the death of several people in Ukraine due to heavy ground fighting and Russian missile bombings.

10 Biggest Cities In Ukraine

Rank City Estimated population (2021)

1

Kyiv (Kiev)

3,000,604

2

Kharkiv

1,425,987

3

Odesa

1,008,508

4

Dnipro

951,821

5

Donetsk

899,325

6

Zaporizhzhya

731,984

7

Lviv

722,476

8

Kryvyi Rih

613,696

9

Mykolaiv

482,873

10

Mariupol

436,644

Share