Oblast

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An oblast ( /ˈɒblæst/ ; also UK: /ˈɒblɑːst/ ) [1] is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union and Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

British English is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

Administrative division A territorial entity for administration purposes

An administrative division, unit, entity, area or region, also referred to as a subnational entity, constituent unit, or country subdivision, is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. A country may be divided into provinces, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities.

Belarus country in Eastern Europe

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

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Official terms in successor states of the Soviet Union differ, but some still use a cognate of the Russian term, e.g., voblast (voblasts, voblasts', [ˈvobɫasʲtsʲ] ) is used for regions of Belarus, and oblys (plural: oblystar) for regions of Kazakhstan.

Succession of states is a theory and practice in international relations regarding successor states. A successor state is a sovereign state over a territory and populace that was previously under the sovereignty of another state. The theory has its root in 19th-century diplomacy. A successor state often acquires a new international legal personality, which is distinct from a continuing state, also known as a continuator, which despite change to its borders retains the same legal personality and possess all its existing rights and obligations.

Cognate word that has a common etymological origin

In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. Cognates are often inherited from a shared parent language, but they may also involve borrowings from some other language. For example, the English words dish and desk and the German word Tisch ("table") are cognates because they all come from Latin discus, which relates to their flat surfaces. Cognates may have evolved similar, different or even opposite meanings, but in most cases there are some similar sounds or letters in the words, in some cases appearing to be dissimilar. Some words sound similar, but do not come from the same root; these are called false cognates, while some are truly cognate but differ in meaning; these are called false friends.

Regions of Belarus regions of the country of Belarus

At the top level of administration, Belarus is divided into six regions and the city of Minsk, which has a special status being the capital of Belarus. Minsk is also the capital of Minsk Region.

Often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region". The last translation may lead to confusion, because "raion" may be used for other kinds of administrative subdivision, which may be translated as "region", "district", or "county" depending on the context.

A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".

A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet states. The term is from the French "rayon", which is both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district".

District Administrative division, in some countries, managed by local government

A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, several municipalities, subdivisions of municipalities, school district, or political district.

Bulgaria

Since 1999, Bulgaria has been divided into 28 oblasts, usually translated as "provinces". Before, the country was divided into just nine units, also called oblast.

Bulgaria country in Southeast Europe

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. The capital and largest city is Sofia; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country.

Russian Empire

In the Russian Empire, oblasts were considered to be administrative units and were included as parts of Governorates General or krais. The majority of then-existing oblasts were on the periphery of the country (e.g. Kars Oblast or Transcaspian Oblast) or covered the areas where Cossacks lived.

Russian Empire former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire was an empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

A krai or kray was a type of geographical administrative division in the Russian Empire and in the Russian SFSR, and it is one of the types of the federal subjects of modern Russia.

Kars Oblast was one of the oblasts of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire between 1878 and 1917. Its capital was the city of Kars, presently in the Republic of Turkey. The governorate bordered with the Ottoman Empire, Batum Oblast, Tiflis Governorate, Erivan Governorate, and from 1883 to 1903 the Kutais Governorate. It covered all of Turkey's present provinces of Kars and Ardahan and the northeastern part of Erzurum Province as well as a small part of Armenia.

Soviet Union

In the Soviet Union, oblasts were one of the types of administrative divisions of the union republics. As any administrative units of this level, oblasts were composed of districts ( raions ) and cities/towns directly under oblasts' jurisdiction. Some oblasts also included autonomous entities called autonomous okrugs. Because of the Soviet Union electrification program under the GOELRO plan, Ivan Alexandrov, as director of the Regionalisation Committee of Gosplan, divided the Soviet union into thirteen European and eight Asiatic oblasts, using rational economic planning rather than "the vestiges of lost sovereign rights". [2]

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Republics of the Soviet Union top-level political division of the Soviet Union

The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Union Republics were the ethnically based proto-states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). For most of its history, the USSR was a highly centralized state; the decentralization reforms during the era of Perestroika ("Restructuring") and Glasnost ("Openness") conducted by Mikhail Gorbachev are cited as one of the factors which led to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

GOELRO plan

GOELRO plan was the first-ever Soviet plan for national economic recovery and development. It became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans drafted by Gosplan. GOELRO is the transliteration of the Russian abbreviation for "State Commission for Electrification of Russia".

The names of oblasts did not usually correspond to the names of the respective historical regions, as they were created as purely administrative units. With a few exceptions, Soviet oblasts were named after their administrative centers.

Post-Soviet countries

The oblasts in other post-Soviet countries are officially called:

Territorial entityLocal termEnglish termDetailsComment
Armenia marzprovince or region [3] see Marz (country subdivision) Oblast in the Russian version of a 1995 law. [4]
Belarus voblast (vobłaść) / oblastregion [5] see Regions of Belarus Russian and Belarusian are both state languages.
Georgia mkhareregionsee Mkhare
Kazakhstan oblysregionsee Regions of Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan oblus / oblastregionsee Regions of Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz and Russian are both official languages
Russia oblastoblast or region [6] see Oblasts of Russia According to the Constitution of Russia, oblasts are considered to be subjects of the Federation, which is a higher status than that of administrative units they had within the Russian SFSR before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The federal subject status gives the oblasts some degree of autonomy and gives them representation in the Federation Council.
Tajikistan viloyatregionsee Regions of Tajikistan
Turkmenistan welaýatregion [7] see Regions of Turkmenistan
Ukraine oblastoblast or region [8] [9] see Oblasts of Ukraine
Uzbekistan viloyatregion [10] see Regions of Uzbekistan

Viloyat and welaýat are derived from the Turkish language term vilayet , itself derived from the Arabic language term wilāya (ولاية)

Yugoslavia

In 1922, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was divided into 33 administrative divisions called oblasts. In 1929, oblasts were replaced with larger administrative units known as banovinas.

During the Yugoslav Wars, several Serb Autonomous Oblasts were formed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. These oblasts were later merged into the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska.

See also

Related Research Articles

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A governorate, or a guberniya, was a major and principal administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire and the early Russian SFSR and Ukrainian SSR. The term is usually translated as government, governorate, or province. A governorate was ruled by a governor, a word borrowed from Latin gubernator, in turn from Greek kybernetes. Sometimes the term guberniya was informally used to refer to the office of a governor.

An Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a type of administrative unit in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) created for certain nations. The ASSRs had a status lower than the union republics of the USSR, but higher than the autonomous oblasts and the autonomous okrugs.

Oblasts of Russia administrative division of Russia

An oblast is a type of federal subject of the Russian Federation.

Krais of Russia Administrative division of Russia

A krai is a type of federal subject of Russia. The country is divided into 85 federal subjects, of which nine are krais. Oblasts, another type of federal subject, are legally identical to krais and the difference between a political entity with the name "krai" or "oblast" is purely traditional, similar to the commonwealths in the United States; both are constituent entities equivalent in legal status in Russia with representation in the Federation Council. During the Soviet era, the autonomous oblasts could be subordinated to republics or krais, but not to oblasts.

Autonomous okrugs of Russia

Autonomous okrug, occasionally also referred to as "autonomous district", "autonomous area", and "autonomous region", is a type of federal subject of Russia and simultaneously an administrative division type of some federal subjects. As of 2014, Russia has four autonomous okrugs of its eighty-five federal subjects. The Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is the only okrug which is not subordinate to an Oblast. The others three are Arkhangelsk Oblast's Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug within Tyumen Oblast.

Administrative divisions of Ukraine

Ukraine is divided into several levels of territorial entities. On the first level there are 27 regions: 24 oblasts, one autonomous republic, and two "cities with special status". Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, Crimea and Sevastopol became de facto administrated by the Russian Federation, which claims them as the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The international community recognises them as being Ukrainian territory.

Oblasts of Ukraine first level administrative division of Ukraine

An oblast, in English referred to as a region, refers to one of Ukraine's 24 primary administrative units. Ukraine is a unitary state, thus, the regions do not have much legal scope of competence other than that which is established in the Ukrainian Constitution and by law. Articles 140-146 of Chapter XI of the constitution deal directly with local authorities and their competency.

Selsoviet is a shortened name for a rural council and for the area governed by such a council (soviet). The full names for the term are, in Belarusian: се́льскi Саве́т, Russian: се́льский Сове́т, Ukrainian: сільська́ ра́да. Selsoviets were the lowest level of administrative division in rural areas in the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, they were preserved as a third tier of administrative-territorial division throughout Ukraine, Belarus, and some of the federal subjects of Russia.

Kazakh Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic

The Kazakh Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic, abbreviated as Kazak ASSR and simply Kazakhstan, was an autonomous republic of the Soviet Union within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) existing from 1925 until 1936.

Lyelchytsy District District in Gomel, Belarus

Lyelchytsy District or Lieĺčycki Rajon is a district (raion) of Belarus located in the Gomel Region. Its administrative center is Lieĺčycki.

Raions of Ukraine type of administrative territorial entity in Ukraine

Raions of Ukraine are the second level of administrative division of Ukraine, below the oblast, and are the most common division of regions of Ukraine. Equivalent type of regional subdivision are also raions in city, and cities of regional significance.

Russia has international borders with 16 sovereign states, including two with maritime boundaries, as well as with the partially recognized states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. With a land border running 20,241 kilometres (12,577 mi) in total, Russia has, the second-longest land border of any country.

Development of the administrative divisions of Ukraine

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Oblasts of the Russian Empire

Oblasts of the Russian Empire were considered to be administrative units and were included as parts of Governorates General or krais. The majority of then-existing oblasts were located on the periphery of the country or covered the areas where Cossacks lived.

Okruhas of the Ukrainian SSR 1923—1930

Okruha refers to the historical administrative divisions of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic that existed between 1923 and 1930. The system was intended as a transitional system between the Russian Imperial division of governorates and the modern equivalent of oblasts.

References

  1. "Oblast". Collins English Dictionary / Webster's New World College Dictionary .
  2. Ekonomicheskoe raionirovanie Rossii, Gosplan, Moscow 1921
  3. Helix Consulting LLC. "Government - Regions - The Government of the Republic of Armenia". gov.am.
  4. "Legislation: National Assembly of RA". parliament.am.
  5. "Geography, Belarus - Belarus.by". belarus.by.
  6. "Chapter 3. The Federal Structure - The Constitution of the Russian Federation". constitution.ru.
  7. "Microsoft Word - Newsletter II-2 2010-06-30.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  8. "Regions of Ukraine - MFA of Ukraine". mfa.gov.ua.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2014-10-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2014-10-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)