Kovel (kōˈvəl, Rus. kôˈvĭl) [key], Pol. Kowel, city (1989 pop. 67,000), NW Ukraine, on the Tura River. A rail junction and agriculture center, it has food and peat processing plants, railroad shops, and sewing, flax, and woodworking industries. First mentioned in the 14th cent., Kovel belonged to Lithuania and passed to Poland when the two states were united in 1569. The city was taken by Russia during the third partition of Poland in 1795. It was again under Polish rule from 1921 to 1945, when it was absorbed by the USSR.