A Government Of European Russia, in Ukraine, bordering on Tchernigov, Kursk, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Kherson, and Kiev; area, 19,265 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 2,102,614. The surface is an almost unbroken plain, which declines gradually to the southwest, where the Dnieper flows along the frontier for upward of 200 m., and receives the entire drainage by several rivers, the most important of which are the Sula and Vorskla. Potters' clay, lime, chalk, and saltpetre are the most valuable minerals. The soil is remarkably fertile, and it is one of the best cultivated portions of the empire. The principal crops are barley, oats, wheat, buckwheat, and millet. Large numbers of cattle and sheep are reared." Bee culture is an important industry. The manufactures are limited, and consist chiefly of woollen goods, leather, and brandy.
A City, capital of the goveminent, near the junction of the rivers Pol-tavka and Vorskla, 445 m. S. S. W. of Moscow; pop. in 1867, 31,852. Is is surrounded by a wall and defended by a citadel near the centre of the town. It has a cathedral, 11 churches, a convent, and a school for cadets. The streets are broad and well laid out, and there is a large square in which is a column commemorating the great battle (July 8, 1709) in which the Swedes were totally routed. (See Charles XII.) A mound 40 ft. high, surmounted by a cross, marks the battle field 4 m. S. W. of the city. Poltava has considerable trade, and is connected by rail with Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Odessa.