CHEŁM Kholm (Rus).
Voivodship (Województwo chełmskie), 1975-99, in eastern Poland, lying on the border with Ukraine and, for a short distance, Belorussia, across the River Bug. It was named after its capital, which is east of Lublin and south of Brest (Litovsk).
The town of Chełm belonged to the Russian Principality of Volhynia until it came under the control, of the Polish King, Casimir the Great, in 1366, as did a finger of territory to the east of the River Bug as well as the town of Bełz, which, like Chełm, lay west of the river. This Chełm/Bełz district, which included the uppermost course of the River Pripetyat (Pripyat), separated Volhynia from Podlasia.
Chełm became Austrian in the final partition of Poland in 1795, but the lands east of the Bug became Russian. The Austrian gains of 1795 (called West Galicia) were transferred to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, Napoleon’s client state, in 1809 and in the Vienna Settlement in 1815 became part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, whose King was the Tsar. When Poland was reduced to being a Russian possession, Chełm belonged to the province of Lublin until 1912, when the eastern part of that province became a new province of Kholm, a province with a considerable Ukrainian population.
After the First World War Chełm became Polish and belonged to the voivodship of Lublin until 1975, when that of Chełm was formed. Only 4 of the 49 voivodships were smaller in area and none had fewer people, so it is unsurprising that the 1999 reform, which reduced the number of voivodships to 16, returned Chełm to Lublin.