Autonomous republic

An autonomous republic is a type of administrative division similar to a province or state. A significant number of autonomous republics can be found within the successor states of the Soviet Union, but the majority are located within Russia. Many of these republics were established during the Soviet period as Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics, or ASSRs.

Autonomous republics within the former republics of the Soviet Union

Eastern Europe

French territories

The designation also can refer to the following 13 former French territories in Africa before 1960, when all gained independence:

Dutch Autonomous Republic

The Designation before 1950 Independence Day, when Indonesia gained independence:

See also


Abkhazia ( (listen); Abkhazian: Аҧсны́, translit. Apsny [apʰsˈnɨ]; Georgian: აფხაზეთი, Apxazeti, [ɑpʰxɑzɛtʰi]; Russian: Абха́зия, tr. Abháziya, IPA: [ɐˈpxazʲɪjə]), officially the Republic of Abkhazia, is a de facto and partially recognized republic on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the Greater Caucasus mountains, in northwestern Georgia. It covers 8,660 square kilometres (3,340 sq mi) and has a population of around 240,000. Its capital is Sukhumi and it is recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia legally part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.

The status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict and Georgia–Russia relations. The region had autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s. Simmering ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz—the region's "titular ethnicity"—and Georgians—the largest single ethnic group at that time—culminated in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia which resulted in Georgia's loss of control of most of Abkhazia, the de facto independence of Abkhazia, and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia. Despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. In August 2008, Abkhaz forces fought against Georgian forces during the Russo-Georgian War, which led to the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and the termination of the UN mission. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, a stance supported by the vast majority of the international community.


Adjara (Georgian: აჭარა Ač’ara [at͡ʃʼara] (listen)), officially known as the Autonomous Republic of Adjara (Georgian: აჭარის ავტონომიური რესპუბლიკა Ač’aris Avt’onomiuri Resp’ublik’a [at͡ʃʼaris avtʼɔnɔmiuri rɛspʼublikʼa] (listen)), is a historical, geographic and political-administrative region of Georgia. Located in the country's southwestern corner, Adjara lies on the coast of the Black Sea near the foot of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, north of Turkey. It is an important tourist destination and includes Georgia's second-largest city of Batumi as its capital. About 350,000 people live on its 2,880 km2.

Adjara is home to the Adjarians, a regional subgroup of Georgians. Adjara's name can be spelled in a number of ways, including Ajara, Ajaria, Adjaria, Adzharia, Atchara and Achara, among others. Under the Soviet Union, Adjara was part of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic as the Adjarian ASSR.


The Adjarians (Georgian: აჭარლები) are an ethnographic group of Georgians living mainly in Adjara in south-western Georgia and speaking the Adjarian dialect of the Georgian language.

The Adjarians had their own territorial entity, the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, founded on July 16, 1921 as the Adjara ASSR. After years of post-Soviet stalemate, the region was brought closer within the framework of the Georgian state in 2004, retaining its autonomous status.

Adjarian settlements are also found in the Georgian provinces of Guria, Kvemo Kartli, and Kakheti, as well as in several areas of neighbouring Turkey.

Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is administratively divided into the following subdivisions:

59 districts (rayonlar; sing.– rayon),

11 cities (şəhərlər; sing.– şəhər),

1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika), which itself contains:

7 districts

1 cityThe rayons are further divided into municipalities (Bələdiyyəsi).

Additionally, Azerbaijan is subdivided into 9 (economic) regions (İqtisadi Rayonar; sing.– İqtisadi Rayonu).

This is not an administrative division. Each region contains a number of districts. The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic forms a separate, the 10th economic region.

Administrative divisions of Crimea

The Crimean Peninsula is a disputed area which as a result of the 2014 Crimean crisis is controlled and recognized by Russia as the Republic of Crimea, a federal subject of Russia. At the same time, Ukraine and nearly all countries around the world recognize the territory as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a part of Ukraine.

The Republic of Crimea continues to use the administrative divisions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and is subdivided into 25 territorial entities: 14 districts (raions) and 11 city municipalities, officially known as territories governed by city councils.Under both the Russian (post-April 2014) and the Ukrainian (pre-April 2014) administrative systems, the territory of Crimea excludes the City of Sevastopol.

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.

The administrative division in Ukraine was directly inherited (grandfathered) from the local republican administration of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and has not changed significantly since the middle of the 20th century. It is somewhat complex as beside having several levels of a territorial subdivision, it also has a classification for various populated places, particularly cities.

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, translit. Avtonomna Respublika Krym; Russian: Автономная Республика Крым, translit. Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti, Къырым Мухтар Джумхуриети or Ҡырым Мухтар Җумхуриети) is, de jure, an autonomous republic of Ukraine encompassing most of Crimea, though, de facto, it was annexed by Russia and incorporated as a Russian federal subject - the Republic of Crimea - in 2014.

Crimea was previously under Russian control from 1783 until 1954 (punctuated by short periods during political upheavals and wars), when it was transferred, within the USSR, to the Ukrainian SSR. Later, following a referendum on 20 January 1991, the results of the pro-independence referendum were discarded and it became an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Ukraine became an independent country, Crimea remained part of the newly independent Ukraine.

In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces took over the territory. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia which official results indicated was supported by a large majority of Crimeans. Russia formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, although the annexation is not recognized internationally.

Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union

An Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: автономная советская социалистическая республика, АССР) 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.

In the Russian SFSR, for example, Chairmen of the Government of the ASSRs were officially members of the Government of the RSFSR. Unlike the union republics, the autonomous republics did not have a right to disaffiliate themselves from the Union. The level of political, administrative and cultural autonomy they enjoyed varied with time—it was most substantial in the 1920s (Korenizatsiya), the 1950s after the death of Joseph Stalin, and in the Brezhnev Era.

Autonomous administrative division

An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subdivision or dependent territory of a country that has a degree of self-governance, or autonomy, from an external authority. Typically, it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Decentralization of self-governing powers and functions to such divisions is a way for a national government to try to increase democratic participation or administrative efficiency or to defuse internal conflicts. Countries that include autonomous areas may be federacies, federations, or confederations. Autonomous areas can be divided into territorial autonomies, subregional territorial autonomies, and local autonomies.

Autonomous republics of Ukraine

Ukraine is administratively divided into 27 regions, one of which is an autonomous republic, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Its administrative status is recognized in the Ukrainian Constitution in Chapter X: Autonomous Republic of Crimea and is governed in accordance with laws passed by Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.


Crimea (; Russian: Крым; Ukrainian: Крим, translit. Krym; Crimean Tatar: Къырым, translit. Kirim/Qırım; Ancient Greek: Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit. Kimmería/Taurikḗ) is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.

Crimea (or Tauric Peninsula, as it was called from antiquity until the early modern period) has historically been at the boundary between the classical world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Its southern fringe was colonised by the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Crimean Goths, the Genoese and the Ottoman Empire, while at the same time its interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads and empires, such as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols and the Golden Horde. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century.

In 1783, Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire as the result of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became an autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR. During World War II, Crimea was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast after its entire indigenous population, the Crimean Tatars, were deported to Central Asia, an act recognized as a genocide. In 1954, it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR.With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was formed as an independent state in 1991 and most of the peninsula was reorganized as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, while the city of Sevastopol retained its special status within Ukraine. The 1997 Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet partitioned the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet and allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Crimea: both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and Russian's Black Sea Fleet were to be headquartered in Sevastopol. Ukraine extended Russia's lease of the naval facilities under the 2010 Kharkiv Pact in exchange for further discounted natural gas.

In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces took over the territory. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia which official results indicated was supported by a large majority of Crimeans. Russia formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia.

Emblem and logo of Abkhazia

Abkhazia is ruled by the partially recognised de facto independent Republic of Abkhazia, even though the de jure majority internationally recognized Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia claims to be its legitimate government.

French Cochinchina

French Cochinchina, sometimes spelled Cochin-China (French: Cochinchine Française, Vietnamese: Nam Kỳ, Hán tự: 南圻), was a colony of French Indochina, encompassing the Cochinchina region of southern Vietnam. Formally called Cochinchina, it was renamed in 1946 as Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina, a controversial decision which helped trigger the First Indochina War. In 1948, the autonomous republic, whose legal status had never been formalized, was renamed as the Provisional Government of South Vietnam (not to be confused with the 1969–76 Viet Cong government). It was reunited with the rest of Vietnam in 1949.

In Vietnamese, Cochinchina was called Nam Kỳ (Southern country) although the independentists preferred to use the term Nam Bộ (Southern region).

Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia

The Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (Georgian: აფხაზეთის ავტონომიური რესპუბლიკის მთავრობა, translit.: apkhazetis avt'onomiuri resp'ublik'is mtavroba) is an administration recognized by Georgia as the legal and only government of Abkhazia. Abkhazia has been de facto independent of Georgia – though with very little international recognition – since the early 1990s. Vakhtang Kolbaia, elected in April 2013, is the current head of the government-in-exile.

After the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993) Georgia proposed five-party talks involving the Government of the Autonomous Republic, the government of the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, and the government of Georgia, along with Russia and the UN as interested parties, in order to settle the final status of Abkhazia within the framework of the Georgian state. The Abkhaz side wanted assurances that Georgia would not try to solve the issue by force of arms before being a party to the talks.

Between September 2006 and July 2008, the Georgian recognized government was headquartered in Upper Abkhazia. However it was forced out of all of Abkhazia in August 2008 during the Russo-Georgian war by the Abkhazian armed forces. Upper Abkhazia is a territory that has population of c. 2,000 (1-1.5% of Abkhazia's post-war population) and is centered on the upper Kodori Valley (roughly 17% of the territory of the former Abkhaz ASSR). The government-in-exile is partly responsible for the affairs of some 250,000 internally displaced persons who were forced to leave Abkhazia following the War in Abkhazia and the resulting ethnic cleansing of Georgians from the area.

Karki, Azerbaijan

Karki (also Kərki, Kiarki, Kyarki) or Tigranashen is a village that is de jure an exclave of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. The village is near the border with Armenia, located on the bank of the Arpachay River near the Yerevan-Jermuk highway, which is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away from the district center. The area of the village itself is 950 hectares (2,300 acres). Karki is de jure within the administrative territory of the Sadarak Rayon of Nakhchivan. It was occupied on January 19, 1990, by Armenian forces.Since May 1992, following the Nagorno-Karabakh War, Karki has been controlled by Armenia, which administers the 19 km2 (7.3 sq mi) territory as part of its Ararat Province. The main highway connecting northern Armenia with southern Armenia passes right by the village, which is today mostly inhabited by Armenians, both locals and refugees from Azerbaijan. The village has been renamed Tigranashen by the Armenian government after the ancient king Tigranes the Great, under whose reign the Kingdom of Armenia attained its greatest power.After the war, many of the former inhabitants of Karki resettled in a new village, Yeni Kərki (New Karki), created within the Kangarli District of Azerbaijan.

Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası, [nɑxt͡ʃəˈvɑn muxˈtɑr rɪsˈpublikɑsə]) is a landlocked exclave of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The region covers 5,500 km2 (2,100 sq mi) with a population of 414,900, bordering Armenia (border 221 km [137 mi]) to the east and north, Iran (border 179 km [111 mi]) to the south and west, and Turkey (border 8 km [5.0 mi]) to the northwest.

The area that is now Nakhchivan became part of the Safavid dynasty of Iran in the 16th century. In 1828, after the last Russo-Persian War and the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the Nakhchivan Khanate passed from Iranian into Imperial Russian possession. After the 1917 February Revolution, Nakhchivan and its surrounding region were under the authority of the Special Transcaucasian Committee of the Russian Provisional Government and subsequently of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the TDFR was dissolved in May 1918, Nakhchivan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezur (today the Armenian province of Syunik), and Qazakh were heavily contested between the newly formed and short-lived states of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA) and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). In June 1918, the region came under Ottoman occupation. Under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottomans agreed to pull their troops out of the Transcaucasus to make way for British occupation at the close of the First World War. In July 1920, the Bolsheviks occupied the region and on July 28, declared the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic with "close ties" to the Azerbaijan SSR, beginning seventy years of Soviet rule. In January 1990 Nakhchivan declared independence from the USSR to protest against the suppression of the national movement in Azerbaijan, and became the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan a year later.

The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is an autonomous area of Azerbaijan, governed by its own elected legislature. The region continues to suffer from the effects of the Armenia-Azerbaijan War, and its Karki exclave has been under Armenian occupation ever since. The administrative capital city is Nakhchivan. Vasif Talibov has been the leader since 1995.

South-East Ukrainian Autonomous Republic

South-East Ukrainian Autonomous Republic (Ukrainian: Південно-Східна Українська Автономна Республіка, PSUAR) was a Ukrainian political project of pro-Viktor Yanukovych politicians and officials in 2004. Initiated on 26 November 2004 by the Luhansk Oblast Council, the project was discontinued the next month by the Donetsk Oblast Council. The republic was intended to consist out of nine regions of Ukraine.

The idea on creating of the political entity arose at a session of the Luhansk Oblast Council chaired by Viktor Tikhonov and attended by Oleksandr Yefremov. The session adopted a decision to discontinue subordination to the Luhansk State Regional Administration and create a separate executive committee headed by Oleksandr Yefremov. The session also included for revision by the congress of bodies of local self-government and executive power in Southeastern territories of Ukraine a proposition in organization of working group in creation of tax, payment, banking and finance institutions of the Southeastern territories.Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, however, stated that no one wanted autonomy, but rather sought to stop Orange Revolution demonstrations going on at the time in Kiev and negotiate a compromise.

State Council of Crimea

The State Council of Crimea (Russian: Госуда́рственный Сове́т Респу́блики Крым, Ukrainian: Державна Рада Республіки Крим, Crimean Tatar: Къырым Джумхуриетининъ Девлет Шурасы) is the parliament of the Republic of Crimea. It had previously been called the 'Supreme Council of Crimea but changed its name in March 2014 following a vote by the Ukrainian parliament to dissolve the Supreme Council of Crimea. The Parliament is housed in the Parliament building in the centre of Simferopol.

Following the events of 2014, Crimea is a territory currently under dispute between Russia and Ukraine with Russia administering the territory but most countries continuing to recognise the territory as Ukrainian.

During the period of time in which Crimea was controlled by Ukraine, the Parliament was unable to appoint the Prime Minister of Crimea on its own, being able to appoint him only with the advice and consent of the President of Ukraine. This restriction did not sit well with the Parliament and its constituents, creating a long-standing rift between them and the national government of Ukraine.

As the Crimean crisis unfolded, the Parliament building was seized by unidentified pro-Russian gunmen. Under their control, the Parliament removed the incumbent Ukrainian-consented Prime Minister of Crimea and unilaterally appointed Sergey Aksyonov in his stead. The disbandment was also caused by the belief that the Crimean Parliament collaborated with Russian troops in the region against Ukrainian authorities. Days later, the Crimean Parliament reunified its territorial jurisdiction with the city of Sevastopol into a single united nation and unilaterally declared their independence from Ukraine following a referendum that reflected such desire. This newly formed nation then acceded to Russia which ultimately transferred the Crimean Parliament under a newly formed federal subject of Russia.

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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