Transcarpathia (Russian: Закарпатье, Zakarpat'ye), officially known as the Transcarpathian Autonomous Republic, is an autonomous republic of the Soviet Union that is under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. The autonomous republic is located along the western slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe, marking the westernmost point in the contiguous USSR (with Baltia marking the westernmost point in the entire nation). Transcarpathia shares a unique border with four other nations: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
Prior to the region's annexation by the Soviet Union in 1946, Transcarpathia was under the control of the Kingdom of Hungary throughout the 19th Century and by Czechoslovakia prior to World War II. Throughout the Cold War, Transcarpathia was organized as an oblast of the Ukrainian SSR, with the Rusyn people formally being labeled as being ethnically Ukrainian. These policies were relaxed as part of Mikhail Gorbachev's Glasnost policies. Following the ratification of the New Union Treaty in 1991, both the USSR and Ukraine allowed for a referendum to be held in Transcarpathia on whether they wished for greater autonomy, with over 80% of the population favoring this.
Transcarpathia is one of the more culturally diverse regions within the Soviet Union, which is due in great part to the region being a junction in Eastern Europe. Ethnic Ukrainians currently make up the majority of the region, with Hungarians, Romanians, Russians, and Rusyns making up the largest minority groups. The autonomous republic recognizes five official languages: Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Rusyn, and Ukrainian (the later being the most spoken throughout the region). Unique within both the USSR and the broader region of Eastern Europe, the majority of the region adheres to the Eastern Catholic Church, with Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox being the minority.
The economy of Transcarpathia is reliant on agriculture, viticulture, and woodworking (with minor fields in industry and mechanical engineering). Much of the autonomous republic's economy is dependent on trans-border trade with its western neighbors.