The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (Russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, romanized: subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (Russian: субъекты федерации, romanized: subyekty federatsii), are the constituent entities of Russia, its top-level political divisions according to the Constitution of Russia. Kaliningrad Oblast is the only federal subject geographically separated from the rest of the Russian Federation by other countries.
Субъекты федерации (Russian)
|Category||Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic|
|Populations||41,431 (Nenets Autonomous Okrug) – 13,010,112 (Moscow)|
|Areas||864 km2 (334 sq mi) (Sevastopol) – 3,103,200 km2 (1,198,200 sq mi) (Sakha Republic)|
According to the Russian Constitution, the Russian Federation consists of republics, krais, oblasts, cities of federal importance, an autonomous oblast and autonomous okrugs, all of which are equal subjects of the Russian Federation. Three Russian cities of federal importance (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Sevastopol) have a status of both city and separate federal subject which comprises other cities and towns (Zelenograd, Troitsk, Kronstadt, Kolpino, etc.) within each federal city—keeping older structures of postal addresses. In 1993, the Russian Federation comprised 89 federal subjects. By 2008 the number of federal subjects had decreased to 83 because of several mergers. In 2014 after being annexed from Ukraine, the Russian government claimed Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea to be the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia, a move that is not recognized internationally. During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, four Ukrainian oblasts were annexed by Russia, though they remain internationally recognized as part of Ukraine and are only partially occupied by Russia.
Every federal subject has its own head, a parliament, and a constitutional court. Each federal subject has its own constitution or charter and legislation, although the authority of these organs differ. Subjects have equal rights in relations with federal government bodies. The federal subjects have equal representation—two delegates each—in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. They do, however, differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy; republics are offered more autonomy.
Post-Soviet Russia formed during the history of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the USSR and did not change at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1992, during so-called "parade of sovereignties", separatist sentiments and the War of Laws within Russia, the Russian regions signed the Federation Treaty (Russian: Федеративный договор Federativny dogovor), establishing and regulating the current inner composition of Russia, based on the division of authorities and powers among Russian government bodies and government bodies of constituent entities. The Federation Treaty was included in the text of the 1978 Constitution of the Russian SFSR. The current Constitution of Russia, adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993, came into force on 25 December 1993 and abolished the model of the Soviet system of government introduced in 1918 by Vladimir Lenin and based on the right to secede from the country and on unlimited sovereignty of federal subjects (in practice secession was never allowed), which conflicts with the country's integrity and federal laws. The new constitution eliminated a number of legal conflicts, reserved the rights of the regions, introduced local self-government and did not grant the Soviet-era right to secede from the country. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the political system became de jure closer to other modern federal states with a republican form of government in the world. In the 2000s, following the policies of Vladimir Putin and of the ruling United Russia party, the Russian parliament changed the distribution of tax revenues, reduced the number of elections in the regions and gave more power to the federal authorities.
An official government translation of the constitution of Russia from Russian to English uses the term "constituent entities of the Russian Federation". For example, Article 5 reads: "The Russian Federation shall consist of republics, krays, oblasts, cities of federal significance, an autonomous oblast and autonomous okrugs, which shall have equal rights as constituent entities of the Russian Federation." A translation provided by Garant-Internet instead uses the term "subjects of the Russian Federation".
Tom Fennell, a translator, told the 2008 American Translators Association conference that "constituent entity of the Russian Federation" is a better translation than "subject". This was supported by Tamara Nekrasova, Head of Translation Department at Goltsblat BLP, saying in a 2011 presentation at a translators conference that "constituent entity of the Russian Federation is more appropriate than subject of the Russian Federation (subject would be OK for a monarchy)".
|Rank (as given in constitution and ISO)||Russian||English translations of the constitution||ISO 3166-2:RU (ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-2 (2010-06-30))|
|—||субъект Российской Федерации||sub'yekt Rossiyskoy Federatsii||constituent entity of the Russian Federation||subject of the Russian Federation||(not mentioned)|
|3||город федерального значения||gorod federalʹnogo znacheniya||city of federal significance||city of federal importance||autonomous city|
(the Russian term used in ISO 3166-2 is автономный город avtonomnyy gorod)
|5||автономная область||avtonomnaya oblastʹ||autonomous oblast||autonomous region||autonomous region|
|6||автономный округ||avtonomnyy okrug||autonomous okrug||autonomous area||autonomous district|
Each federal subject belongs to one of the following types.
|The most common type, with a governor and locally elected legislature. Commonly named after their administrative centres.|
Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are partially occupied and were annexed in 2022 and are not internationally recognized as parts of Russia.
|Nominally autonomous, each with its own constitution, language, and legislature, but represented by the federal government in international affairs. Most are home to a specific ethnic minority (or group of minorities, in the cases of Dagestan and Mordovia).|
Donetsk and Luhansk Republics are partially occupied since 2014 and were annexed in 2022 and are not internationally recognized as parts of Russia; Crimea was annexed in 2014 and is not internationally recognized as part of Russia.
|For all intents and purposes, krais are legally identical to oblasts. The title "krai" ("frontier" or "territory") is historic, related to geographic (frontier) position in a certain period of history. The current krais are not related to frontiers.|
|Occasionally referred to as "autonomous district", "autonomous area", or "autonomous region", each with a substantial or predominant ethnic minority. With the exception of Chukotka, each of the autonomous okrugs are a part of another oblast (Arkhangelsk and Tyumen), as well as its own federal subject.|
|Major cities that function as separate regions.|
Sevastopol was annexed in 2014 and is not internationally recognized as part of Russia.
|The only one is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.|
a. ^ The largest city is also listed when it is different from the capital/administrative centre.
b. ^ According to Article 13 of the Charter of Leningrad Oblast, the governing bodies of the oblast are located in the city of St. Petersburg. However, St. Petersburg is not officially the administrative centre of the oblast.
c. ^ According to Article 24 of the Charter of Moscow Oblast, the governing bodies of the oblast are located in the city of Moscow and throughout the territory of Moscow Oblast. However, Moscow is not officially the administrative centre of the oblast.
d. ^ Internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine.
e. ^ In February 2000, the former code of 20 for the Chechen Republic was cancelled and replaced with code 95. License plate production was suspended due to the Chechen Wars, causing numerous issues, which in turn forced the region to use a new code.
f. ^ Claimed, but only partially controlled by Russia.
g. ^ As Russia only partially controls the region, this is a claimed figure.
Statistics of federal subjects
- List of federal subjects of Russia by GRP
- Armorial of Russia (Coat of arms of Russian federal subjects)
- List of federal subjects of Russia by incidence of substance abuse
- List of federal subjects of Russia by GDP per capita
- List of federal subjects of Russia by murder rate
- List of federal subjects of Russia by life expectancy
- List of federal subjects of Russia by population
- List of federal subjects of Russia by total fertility rate
- List of federal subjects of Russia by Human Development Index
- List of federal subjects of Russia by unemployment rate
- Regional parliaments of Russia
- List of current heads of federal subjects of Russia
- Forest cover by federal subject in Russia
- ISO 3166-2:RU
Mergers, splits and internal territorial changes
Starting in 2005, some of the federal subjects were merged into larger territories. In this process, six very sparsely populated subjects (comprising in total 0.3% of the population of Russia) were integrated into more populated subjects, with the hope that the economic development of those territories would benefit from the much larger means of their neighbours. The merging process was finished on 1 March 2008. No new mergers have been planned since March 2008. The six territories became "administrative-territorial regions with special status". They have large proportions of minorities, with Russians being a majority only in three of them. Four of those territories have a second official language in addition to Russian: Buryat (in two of the merged territories), Komi-Permian, Koryak. This is an exception: all the other official languages of Russia (other than Russian) are set by the Constitutions of its constituent Republics (Mordovia, Chechnya, Dagestan etc.). The status of the "administrative-territorial regions with special status" has been a subject of criticism because it does not appear in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
|Date of referendum||Date of merger||Original entities||Original codes||New code||Original entities||New entity|
|2003-12-07||2005-12-01||1, 1a||59 (1), 81 (1a)||90||Perm Oblast (1) + Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug (1a)||Perm Krai|
|2005-04-17||2007-01-01||2, 2a, 2b||24 (2), 88 (2a), 84 (2b)||24||Krasnoyarsk Krai (2) + Evenk Autonomous Okrug (2a) + Taymyr Autonomous Okrug (2b)||Krasnoyarsk Krai|
|2005-10-23||2007-07-01||3, 3a||41 (3), 82 (3a)||91||Kamchatka Oblast (3) + Koryak Autonomous Okrug (3a)||Kamchatka Krai|
|2006-04-16||2008-01-01||4, 4a||38 (4), 85 (4a)||38||Irkutsk Oblast (4) + Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug (4a)||Irkutsk Oblast|
|2007-03-11||2008-03-01||5, 5a||75 (5), 80 (5a)||92||Chita Oblast (5) + Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug (5a)||Zabaykalsky Krai|
In addition to those six territories that entirely ceased to be subjects of the Russian Federation and were downgraded to territories with special status, another three subjects have a status of subject but are simultaneously part of a more populated subject:
- Nenets Autonomous Okrug (2010 population of 42090) is a subject since 1993, but is also, according to its Constitution, a part of Arkhangelsk Oblast
- Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug obtained autonomy in 1977, but is simultaneously part of Tyumen Oblast
- Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug obtained the status of subject in 1992 (after obtaining autonomy in 1977), but is also part of Tyumen Oblast.
With an estimated population of 49348 as of 2018, Chukotka is currently the least populated subject of Russia that is not part of a more populated subject. It was separated from Magadan Oblast in 1993. Chukotka is one of the richest subjects of Russia (with a Gross Regional Product [GRP] per capita equivalent to that of Australia) and therefore does not fit in the pattern of merging a subject to benefit from the economic dynamism of the neighbour.
In 1992, Ingushetia separated from Chechnya, both to stay away from the growing violence in Chechnya and as a bid to obtain the Eastern part of Northern Ossetia (it did not work: the Chechen conflict spread violence to Ingushetia, and North Ossetia retained its Prigorodny District). Those two Muslim republics, populated in vast majority (95%+) by closely related Vainakh people, speaking Vainakhish languages, remain the two poorest subjects of Russia, with the GRP per capita of Ingushetia being equivalent to that of Iraq. According to 2016 statistics, however, they are also the safest regions of Russia, and also have the lowest alcohol consumption, with alcohol poisoning at least 40 times lower than the national average.
Until 1994, Sokolsky District, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast was part of Ivanovo Oblast.
In 2011–2012, the territory of Moscow increased by 140% (to 2,511 km2 (970 sq mi)) by acquiring part of Moscow Oblast.
On 13 May 2020, the governors of Arkhangelsk Oblast and Nenets Autonomous Okrug announced their plan to merge following the collapse of oil prices stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The process was scrapped on 2 July due to its unpopularity among the population.
- Subdivisions of Russia
- Federal districts of Russia
- Economic regions of Russia
- History of the administrative division of Russia
- Armorial of Russia
- Republics of the Soviet Union
- Flags of the Soviet Republics
- Flags of the federal subjects of Russia
- List of federal subjects of Russia by population
- List of heads of federal subjects of Russia
- ^ a b c d e "Constitution of the Russian Federation". Government of the Russian Federation. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
- ^ a b Heaney, Dominic, ed. (2022). "Territorial Surveys". The Territories of the Russian Federation 2022 (23rd ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781032249698.
- ^ Steve Gutterman and Pavel Polityuk (March 18, 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty as Ukraine serviceman dies in attack". Reuters. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- ^ "Putin to annex seized Ukrainian land, U.N. Warns of 'dangerous escalation'". Reuters. September 29, 2022.
- ^ This treaty consisted of three treaties, see also Concluding and Transitional Provisions:  
- ^ a b "The Constitution of the Russian Federation". Garant-Internet. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
- ^ Knizhnik, Irina (2009). "On legal terminology, the jury is still out" (PDF). SlavFile. Slavic Languages Division, American Translators Association. 18 (1): 20. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
- ^ Nekrasova, Tamara (2011). "Traps & Mishaps in Legal Translation" (PDF). Eulita. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
- ^ The Territories of the Russian Federation 2012. Taylor & Francis. 2012. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-135-09584-0. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- ^ Saunders, R.A. (2019). Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Historical Dictionaries of Europe. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-5381-2048-4. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- ^ "Таблица 5. Численность населения России, федеральных округов, субъектов Российской Федерации, городских округов, муниципальных районов, муниципальных округов, городских и сельских поселений, городских населенных пунктов, сельских населенных пунктов с населением 3000 человек и более". Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- ^ "Оценка численности постоянного населения по субъектам Российской Федерации". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
- ^ a b "Crimea becomes part of vast Southern federal district of Russia". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- ^ a b "В России создан Крымский федеральный округ". RBC. March 21, 2014. Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
- ^ a b c d Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2021 / Number of Present Population of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2021 (PDF) (in Ukrainian and English). Kyiv: State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
- ^  Archived March 26, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ ""Рейтинг трезвости-2017": кто в России меньше всех пьет".
- ^ Quinn, Eilís (May 14, 2020). ""Catastrophic" economic situation prompts merger talks for Nenets AO and Arkhangelsk Oblast". The Barents Observer. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- ^ "Russian Regions to Become Single Federal Subject in Decade-First". The Moscow Times. May 13, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- ^ Antonova, Elizaveta (July 2, 2020). "The head of the Nenets Autonomous District declared refusal to unite with the Arkhangelsk region". RBC (in Russian). Retrieved July 6, 2020.
- 12 декабря 1993 г. «Конституция Российской Федерации», в ред. Федерального конституционного закона №7-ФКЗ от 30 декабря 2008 г. Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская газета", №237, 25 декабря 1993 г. (December 12, 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation, as amended by the Federal Constitutional Law #7-FKZ of December 30, 2008. Effective as of the official publication date.).