Khmelnytskyi is a city in western part of Ukraine, the administrative center for the Khmelnytskyi Oblast (region) and the Khmelnytskyi Raion (district). Khmelnytskyi is located in the historic region of Podolia on the banks of the Buh River. The city received its current local government designation in 1941. In 2015, the city's population was 267,973, making it the second largest city of the former, archaic Podolia region after Vinnytsia and the largest city of the western part of the region.
The city foundation date is uncertain. The territory, where Khmelnytskyi is situated, has been inhabited for a very long time. Many archaeological discoveries have been discovered in the city suburbs. For example, to the East of Lezneve district, there was a settlement from the Bronze Age 2000 B.C., and from Skyths times from 7-3 century B.C. From 1431 it was known as Płoskirów (Ploskirov) and was part of the Kingdom of Poland. It was a royal city. After the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, the city was annexed by the Russian Empire and was renamed Proskurov. According to the Russian census of 1897, Proskurov with a population of 22,855 was the fifth largest city of Podolia after Kamianets-Podilskyi, Uman, Vinnytsia and Balta. In 1920 it became part of Soviet Ukraine. In 1954 the city was finally renamed Khmelnytskyi in the honor of the 300th anniversary of a treaty negotiated by Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
A series of pogroms have been carried out in the region, known together as the Proskurov pogrom. According to Vinnytsia's city archives the pogrom was conducted on the Friday night of February 15, 1919 by one of the otamans (generals) of the Ukrainian People's Army, Otaman Semysenko (also rendered as Semesenko). In total 390 men, 309 women and 76 children were killed, and 500 individuals were wounded.
The Chief Otaman Petliura had been appointed head of state just two days prior to the tragedy, on February the 13th. Petliura issued Order 131 in which he mentioned the fact that numerous Jewish parties in Ukraine (Bund, Poale Zion, Folks-Partei, Unificationists) rose to defend the sovereignty of the Ukrainian Republic and were cooperating with the Ukrainian government. He condemned such pogroms, calling those initiating them deserters and enemies of the State that must be liquidated. The order was co-signed by the Chief of Staff, Otaman Yunakiv. The order was published in the Ukraina newspaper on February 20 (March 4, old style). Later, Petliura issued a special order to execute Semysenko for being the pogrom initiator. The order was carried out on March 20, 1920. The Wikipedia article on Symon Petliura states that Semysenko's execution was postponed until November 1920 due to the "difficult situation".
During the Schwartzbard trial, at the end of which Petliura's assassin was pardoned on the grounds of self-trail (revenge), the main argument of the defense was that Schwartzbard had acted as an avenger of the Jews killed in pogroms perpetrated during Petliura's rule.
Khmelnytskyi has infrastructure for transportation connections with Moscow, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Budapest, Belgrade and all major Ukrainian cities. The distance from Khmelnytskyi to Kiev by railway is estimated to be 366 km (227 mi), by highway it is estimated to be 384 km (239 mi). The highways Kiev-Lviv, Odessa-Lviv and Chernivtsi-Kiev pass through Khmelnytskyi. The city is served by the Khmelnytskyi Ruzhychna Airport. Khmelnytskyi's airport has a 2,200 m (7,217.85 ft) concrete runway; at the airport there is a check point for crossing the state border of Ukraine.