Tue 31 Dec, 2002 11:24 am
There are several kinds of provinces in Russia- can anyone help me understand the differences between them?
REPUBLIC: I THINK this is a province that is largely autonomous and often ethnically different from typical Russian.
OBLAST: I THINK this is a full-fledged ethnic Russian state.
OKRUG: I have no idea whatsoever what this is, and how it is different from the others. I suppose it is somewhere between Oblast and Republic?
KRAY: I THINK this is like a 'territory' - not a full-fledged state.
Equus an Oblast is the same as a Province according to this web site:
Maps of Ukrainian Oblasts
Okay. I'm pretty well decided that an Oblast is a province, and a Kray is a territory. But what is an Okrug?
Sorry Equus the only reference I could find to Okrug was in Russian and I do not read, write, or speak Russian.
hmmmmmm - i wonder if we can get nimh or walterH over here. They might be able to help with this. I'd never heard of an oblast til i looked at nimh's thread on Kaliningrad (which is apparently an oblast, i think, maybe).
The fellow you want is Steissd. Immigrated from old USSR to Israel.
Good idea Asherman I will send him a PM with the link.
Okrug means circle. It represents a district or county like region.
While being on my active reserve service, I got a personal message from one of the participants of the discussion on the issue, where I was asked to make clarifications on the terms Oblast[/i] and Okrug[/i]. I have responded to a specific member, but I think that this response may be of interest of the other participants, so I post the text of my reponse here after having edited it a bit.
Oblast[/i] is a civil territorial unit somewhat parallel to the American county (it may be tens of times larger in both area and population than the average U.S./UK county, but degree of its autonomy in the framework of Russia resembles this of the latter). There is one more term referring to OblastAutonomous OblastAutonomous OblastsOblast[/i] is retained up to date). The non-Russian minorities enjoy some degree of autonomy in such districts. The Autonomous Oblasts[/i] are a part of a larger administrative districts called Kray[/i]: the main difference between simple Oblast[/i] and Kray[/i] is that the latter includes autonomies of the the assimilated ethnic minorities.
The word Okrug[/i] has two connotations: military and civil.
The military Okrug[/i] is a territorial command of the Soviet or Russian Army. It can include territories of several Oblasts[/i].
Izbiratel'nyi Okrug[/i] is a territory possessing a single polling station for election of members of the Russian Parliament (Duma[/i]) or of municipal councils.
Autonomous Okrug[/i] is something like an American Indian reservation intended to preserve the authentic cultures of small and primitive non-Russian ethnic minorities (for example, Eskimos that live on the Russian side of the Bering Strait).
About Autonomous Republics: these are also areas with sufficient non-Russian population that enjoy a greater deal of autonomy than the Autonomous Oblasts: their autonomy is close to this of the States of the USA. For example, the Tartar Autonomous Republik with capital in Kazan: Tartars are an ethnic group of Turkish origin confessing Sunni Islam. If Chechens were ready to peaceful coexistence with Russia they could have got the same status of their territories.
Thanks, steissd. I thought Chechnya was an autonomous republic- has its status changed since the rebellion?
No, formally status of Chechnya has not changed; but hostilities do not permit local people to enjoy their rights; no local authorities are efficient either, for the same reasons.