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An uezd (also spelled uyezd; Russian: уе́зд, IPA: [ʊˈjest]), or povit in a Ukrainian context (Ukrainian: повіт), or Kreis in Baltic-German context, was a type of administrative subdivision of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Russian Empire, and the early Russian SFSR, which was in use from the 13th century. For most of Russian history, uezds were a second-level administrative division. By sense, but not by etymology, uezd approximately corresponds to the English "county".

Uezds of the Russian Empire in 1897

General descriptionEdit

Originally describing groups of several volosts, they formed around the most important cities. Uezds were ruled by the appointees (namestniki) of a knyaz and, starting from the 17th century, by voyevodas.

In 1708, an administrative reform was carried out by Peter the Great, dividing Russia into governorates. The subdivision into uyezds was abolished at that time but was reinstated in 1727, as a result of Catherine I's administrative reform.

By the Soviet administrative reform of 1923–1929, most of the uezds were transformed into raions (districts). In Ukraine, uezds were reformed into forty okruhas which were the primary-level of administrative division from 1925 to 1930.

Baltic governoratesEdit

In the Baltic governorates the type of division was known as Kreis.


The uezds of Bessarabia Governorate were called Ținut or Județ in Romanian, which would translate as "county".[citation needed]


The Ukrainian word for uezd is povit (Ukrainian: повіт, plural повіти, povity), also called powiat under Polish administration.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • (in Russian) "Administrative territorial division of Russia in the 18th-20th centuries" («Административно-территориальное деление России XVIII—XX веков») "Otechestvennye Zapiski", No.6, 2002.
  • (in Russian) Тархов, Сергей, "Изменение административно-территориального деления России в XIII-XX в." (pdf), Логос, #1 2005 (46), ISSN 0869-5377