oblasts of Russia
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An oblast (russian: область) is a type of
federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (russian: ...
of the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
.


Overview

Oblasts are a constituent
political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resource ...
in a
federal union A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
under with representation in the
Federation Council The Federation Council (russian: Сове́т Федера́ции; ''Soviet Federatsii'', common abbreviation: Совфед (''Sovfed'') or ru , Сенат , translit = Senat , translation = Senate) is the upper house of the Federal Assem ...
, and serve as a first-level
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
. Each oblast features a
state government A state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The S ...
holding authority over a defined geographic territory, with a
state legislature A state legislature is a Legislature, legislative branch or body of a State (country subdivision), political subdivision in a Federalism, federal system. Two federations literally use the term "state legislature": * The legislative branches of e ...
, the ''Oblast Duma'', that is
democratically Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to choose their governing legislators. The decisions on who is consi ...

democratically
elected. The
Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
is the highest
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
position of the state government in an Oblast, and is elected by people. Oblasts are divided into ''
raions
raions
'' (districts), cities of oblast significance (district-equivalent independent cities), and
autonomous okrug Autonomous okrug ( rus, автономный округ, t=avtonomny okrug), occasionally referred to as "autonomous district", "autonomous area", and "autonomous region", is a type of federal subject of Russia and simultaneously an administrativ ...
s, which are legally federal subjects equal to an oblast but are administratively subservient to one. Currently only 2 oblasts still have autonomous okrugs:
Arkhangelsk Oblast Arkhangelsk Oblast (russian: Арха́нгельская о́бласть, ''Arkhangelskaya oblast'') is a federal subjects of Russia, federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It includes the Arctic Ocean, Arctic archipelagos of Franz Josef Land a ...
(
Nenets Autonomous Okrug Nenets Autonomous Okrug (russian: Не́нецкий автоно́мный о́круг; Nenets languages, Nenets: Ненёцие автономной ӈокрук, ''Nenjocije awtonomnoj ŋokruk'') is a federal subjects of Russia, federal subjec ...
) and
Tyumen Oblast Tyumen Oblast (russian: Тюме́нская о́бласть, ''Tyumenskaya oblast'') is a federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российс ...
(
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra or Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug–Yugra (Russian language, Russian and Mansi language, Mansi: Ханты-Мансийский автономный округ — Югра, ''Khanty-Mansiysky avtonomny okr ...
and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug). The term ''oblast'' can be translated into English language, English as "province" or "region", and there are currently 46 oblasts, the most common type of the 85 federal subjects in Russia. The majority of oblasts are named after their Administrative_centre#Russia, administrative center, the official term for a capital city in an oblast, which is generally the largest city. Exceptions to this include Leningrad Oblast and Moscow Oblast, which have no official capital, and Sakhalin Oblast, which is named after a geographic location. Leningrad Oblast and Sverdlovsk Oblast retain the previous names of Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, respectively. Oblasts are typically areas that are predominantly populated by ethnic Russian people, Russians and native Russian language speakers, and are mostly located in European Russia. The largest oblast by geographic size is
Tyumen Oblast Tyumen Oblast (russian: Тюме́нская о́бласть, ''Tyumenskaya oblast'') is a federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российс ...
at 1,435,200km2 (excluding autonomous okrugs Irkutsk Oblast is the largest at 767,900km2) and the smallest is Kaliningrad Oblast at 15,100km2. The most populous oblast is Moscow Oblast at 7,095,120 and the least populous is Magadan Oblast at 156,996.


Comparison with other types of federal subjects

Krais of Russia, Krais, another type of federal subject, are legally identical to oblasts and the difference between a political entity with the name "oblast" and one named "krai" is purely traditional.


History

In the Russian Empire, Oblasts of the Russian Empire, oblasts were a third-level administrative division, organized in 1849 and few in number, dividing the larger ''governorate (Russia), guberniyas'' (governorates) within the first-level Krais of the Russian Empire, krais. Following the numerous administration reforms during the history of the Soviet Union, Soviet era, the number of oblasts gradually increased as they became the primary top-level administrative division of the Republics of the Soviet Union, Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), the constituent political entities of the Soviet Union. These oblasts held very little autonomy or power, but when the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Soviet Union dissolved into sovereign states along the lines of the SSRs, they became the first-level administrative divisions. The oblasts of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR, which transitioned into the Russian Federation, became the first-level administrative divisions of the new country and received greater devolution, devolved power.


List of oblasts in Russia


See also

*Federal subjects of Russia *Republics of Russia *Volost {{Subdivisions of Russia Oblasts of Russia, Federal subjects of Russia