Cherkasy (chĭrkäˈsē) [key], city (1989 pop. 290,000), capital of Cherkasy region, in central Ukraine, a port on the Dnieper River. Situated on the shore of the Kremenchuk Reservoir, Cherkasy has food processing, chemical-fiber, and fertilizer industries. Founded at the end of the 13th cent., Cherkasy was a fortress in the 14th cent. and served as the seat of the Ukrainian hetmans of right-bank Ukraine from 1386 to 1694. The city passed to Russia in 1793.