Raion

A raion (also rayon) is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet states (such as part of an oblast). The term is from the French "rayon" (meaning "honeycomb, department"),[1] which is both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district".[2]

The term "raion" also can be used simply as a kind of administrative division without anything to do with ethnicity or nationality. A raion is a standardized administrative entity across most of the former Soviet Union and is usually a subdivision two steps below the national level. However, in smaller USSR republics, it could be the primary level of administrative division. After the fall of the Soviet Union, some of the republics kept the raion (e.g. Azerbaijan) while others dropped it (e.g. Armenia).

In Bulgaria, it refers to an internal administrative subdivision of a city not related to the administrative division of the country as a whole, or, in the case of Sofia municipality a subdivision of that municipality.[3]

Etymology

The word "raion" (or "rayon") is often used in translated form: Azerbaijani: rayon; Belarusian: раён, rajon; Bulgarian: район; Georgian: რაიონი, raioni; Latvian: rajons; Lithuanian: rajonas; Polish: rejon; Romanian: raion; Russian: райо́н and Ukrainian: райо́н.

The source of the word in French, rayon, comes from pre-medieval Frankish *hrāta 'honeycomb' and is not related with the English region or its source, Latin regio.

List of countries with raion subdivisions

Fourteen countries have or had entities that were named "raion" or the local version of it.

Country From Until Local name Comment Details
Abkhazia (partially recognised state) (existing) araion (араион) inherited from the Abkhaz ASSR Districts of Abkhazia
Armenia 1995 inherited from the Armenian SSR Districts of Armenia
Austria ~ 1918 Rayon, Rajon Used only by the k.k. Gendarmerie to designate police districts ("Behördenrayon", lit. authorities' raion).
Azerbaijan (existing) rayon, pl. rayonlar; inherited from the Azerbaijan SSR Districts of Azerbaijan
Belarus (existing) Belarusian: раён, rajon inherited from the Belorussian SSR Districts of Belarus
Bulgaria (existing) raions are subdivisions of three biggest cities: Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. Sofia is subdivided to 24 raions (Sofia districts), Plovdiv - 6, Varna - 5 raions
China (existing) 行政分区 restricted to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as influenced by the USSR. The districts of Ürümqi City and Karamay City are called رايون (SASM/GNC/SRC and ULY: rayon) in Uyghur.
Crimea (Republic of Crimea - short lived Republic recognized by only a few UN member states) 2014-03-16 2014-03-16 inherited from Ukraine. The Republic is now split into the federal subjects of Russia named Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol
Estonia 1990 Estonian: rajoon inherited from the Estonian SSR. In 1990 transformed into district municipalities (Estonian: maakond) Districts of Estonia
Georgia 2006 Georgian: რაიონი raioni inherited from the Georgian SSR ; 2006 as first-level entities reorganized into municipalities. A raioni remains a territorial subdivision of Georgia's capital, Tbilisi. Districts of Georgia
Kazakhstan (existing) Russian: райо́н inherited from the Kazakh SSR Districts of Kazakhstan
Latvia 2009-07-01 rajons; pl. rajoni inherited from the Latvian SSR Districts of Latvia
Lithuania 1994 Lithuanian: rajonas inherited from the Lithuanian SSR. In 1994 transformed into district municipalities (Lithuanian: rajono savivaldybė) Districts of Lithuania
Moldova (existing) Moldovan: raion introduced in administrative reform in 2003 Districts of Moldova
Romania 1968-02-16 Romanian: raion one of the Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of Romania Districts of the People's Republic of Romania
Russian Federation (existing) Russian: райо́н inherited from the Russian SFSR Districts of Russia
South Ossetia-Alania (partially recognised state) (existing) inherited from the South Ossetian AO Districts of South Ossetia
Soviet Union 1991-12-26 (end of entity) At various levels below the constituent republics.
Transnistria (breakaway territory; de jure part of Moldova) (existing) inherited from the Moldavian SSR Districts of Transnistria
Ukraine (existing) inherited from the Ukrainian SSR, there are a about 500 raions which are the administrative divisions of oblasts (provinces) and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Major cities of regional significance as well as the two national cities with special status (Kiev and Sevastopol) are also subdivided into raions (constituting a total of 111 nationwide). Districts of Ukraine

History

Raions in the Soviet Union

In the Soviet Union, raions were administrative divisions created in the 1920s to reduce the number of territorial divisions inherited from the Russian Empire and to simplify their bureaucracies.[4] The process of conversion to the system of raions was called raionirovanie ("regionalization"). It was started in 1923 in the Urals, North Caucasus, and Siberia as a part of the Soviet administrative reform and continued through 1929, by which time the majority of the country's territory was divided into raions instead of the old volosts and uyezds.[4]

The concept of raionirovanie was met with resistance in some republics, especially in Ukraine, where local leaders objected to the concept of raions as being too centralized in nature and ignoring the local customs. This point of view was backed by the Soviet Commissariat of Nationalities.[4] Nevertheless, eventually all of the territory of the Soviet Union was regionalized.

Soviet raions had self-governance in the form of an elected district council (raysovet) and were headed by the local head of administration, who was either elected or appointed.

Raions outside the Soviet Union

Following the model of the Soviet Union raions have been introduced in Bulgaria, Romania. In China the term is used in Uyghur in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

In Romania they have been later replaced.

Raions after the dissolution of the Soviet Union

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, raions as administrative units continue to be used in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.

They are also used in breakaway regions: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria.

Set Quantity Comment
Districts of Abkhazia 7 first-level
Districts of Azerbaijan 59 first-level, 18 other entities at that level exist
Districts of Belarus 118 second-level below oblasts and Minsk City
Districts of Moldova 32 first-level, 5 other entities at that level exist
Districts of South Ossetia 4 first-level, 1 other entity at that level exists
Districts of Russia second-level below federal subjects
Districts of Transnistria 5 first-level
Districts of Ukraine 490 and 118 city raions second-level, numbers as of 2004, including Sevastopol and Crimea

In Georgia they exist as districts in Tbilisi.

Modern raions

Abkhazia

Abkhazia is divided into seven districts.

Belarus

In Belarus, raions (Belarusian: раён, rajon[5]) are administrative units subordinated to oblasts. See also: Category:Districts of Belarus.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, raions are subdivisions of three biggest cities: Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. Sofia is subdivided to 24 raions (Sofia districts), Plovdiv - 6, Varna - 5 raions.

Moldova

Ukraine

In Ukraine, there are a total of 450 raions which are the administrative divisions of oblasts (provinces) and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Major cities of regional significance as well as the two national cities with special status (Kiev and Sevastopol) are also subdivided into raions (constituting a total of 111 nationwide).

Notes

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961, repr. 1981), s.v. raion.
  2. ^ Saunders, R.A., Strukov, V. Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. "Scarecrow Press", 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-5475-8, S. 477.
  3. ^ "Lex.bg - Закони, правилници, конституция, кодекси, държавен вестник, правилници по прилагане". lex.bg. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c James R. Millar. Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. New York, 2004. ISBN 0-02-865693-8
  5. ^ According to the Instruction on Latin Transliteration of Geographical Names of the Republic of Belarus, Decree of the State Committee on Land Resources, Surveying and Cartography of the Republic of Belarus dated 23.11.2000 No. 15 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine recommended for use by the Working Group on Romanization Systems of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) — "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2009-07-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). See also: Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script; Romanization of Belarusian.

References

  • 6 мая 2001 г. «Конституция Республики Тыва», в ред. Конституционного закона №1419 ВХ-2 от 10 июля 2009 г «О внесении изменений в статью 113 Конституции Республики Тыва». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тувинская правда", 15 мая 2001 г. (May 6, 2001 Constitution of the Tyva Republic, as amended by the Constitutional Law #1419 VKh-2 of July 10, 2009 On Amending Article 113 of the Constitution of the Tyva Republic. Effective as of the official publication date.).
Azovsky Nemetsky National District

Azovsky Nemetsky (German) National District (Russian: Азо́вский Неме́цкий национа́льный райо́н; German: Deutscher Nationalkreis Asowo) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the thirty-two in Omsk Oblast, Russia. It is located in the south of the oblast. The area of the district is 1,400 square kilometers (540 sq mi). Its administrative center is the rural locality (a selo) of Azovo. Population: 22,925 (2010 Census); 22,346 (2002 Census). The population of Azovo accounts for 26.2% of the district's total population.

Chernobyl

Chernobyl () is a ghost city in the restricted Chernobyl Exclusion Zone situated in the Ivankiv Raion of northern Kiev Oblast, Ukraine, near Ukraine's border with Belarus. Chernobyl is about 90 kilometres (56 mi) north of Kiev, and approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) southwest of the Belarusian city of Gomel and 16 km [10 mi] from Ukraine’s border with Belarus. The city was the administrative center of Chernobyl Raion (district) from 1923, until it was disestablished in 1988. Before its evacuation, the city had about 14,000 residents.The city was evacuated on 27 April 1986, 30 hours after the Chernobyl disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which was the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. The power plant was within the Chernobyl Raion district. Pripyat, a city of 50,000 people and closer to the power plant than Chernobyl, had been built in the 1970s as a home for the power plant workers. After the accident, administration of the Chernobyl Raion district was transferred to the neighboring Ivankiv Raion. The city of Slavutych, built for those evacuated from Pripyat, received the population evacuated from Chernobyl.

Today Chernobyl is mostly a ghost town, but a small number of people still reside in houses marked with signs stating: "Owner of this house lives here". Workers on watch and administrative personnel of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are stationed in the city on a long-term basis. There are two general stores and a hotel for tourists.

City of regional significance (Ukraine)

City of regional significance (Ukrainian: Місто обласного значення, Misto oblasnoho znachennya) is a city municipality that is designated as a separate district within its region (i.e. oblast, Crimea). In Crimea, these cities are referred to as cities of republican significance, while in regular oblasts those municipalities are referred to as cities of oblast significance. The designation of regional significance was created with the introduction of oblasts in 1932.

Such city municipality is complex and usually combines the city proper as well as the adjacent populated places. The city of regional (oblast) significance is governed by a city council known as mis'krada which is chaired by a mayor. There are instances where a municipality may include only the city alone (city proper), while in others instances a municipality may consists of its own subdivisions such as districts in city, similarly to the cities with special status or even other cities which carry designation of cities of district significance.

Districts of Russia

A district (raion) is an administrative and municipal division of a federal subject of Russia.

As of 2014, excluding Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sevastopol, there are 1,873 administrative districts (including the 14 in the Republic of Crimea) and 1,823 municipal districts (also including the 14 in the Republic of Crimea) in Russia. All these districts have an administrative center, which is usually the same locality for both the administrative and municipal entity.

In modern Russia, division into administrative districts largely remained unchanged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "district" ("raion") is used to refer to an administrative division of a federal subject or to a district of a big city.

In two federal subjects, however, the terminology was changed to reflect national specifics: in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, where they are known as ulus (улус), and in Tyva Republic, where they are known as kozhuun (кожуун).

Kudymkarsky District

Kudymkarsky District (Russian: Кудымкарский райо́н) is an administrative district (raion) of Komi-Permyak Okrug in Perm Krai, Russia; one of the thirty-three in the krai. As a municipal division, it is incorporated as Kudymkarsky Municipal District. It is located in the west of the krai. The area of the district is 4,741 square kilometers (1,831 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Kudymkar (which is not administratively a part of the district). Population: 25,808 (2010 Census); 29,528 (2002 Census); 35,392 (1989 Census).

Lebyazhyevsky District

Lebyazhyevsky District (Russian: Лебя́жьевский райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Kurgan Oblast, Russia. It is located in the east of the oblast. The area of the district is 3,180 square kilometers (1,230 sq mi). Its administrative center is the urban locality (an urban-type settlement) of Lebyazhye. Population: 16,557 (2010 Census); 21,178 (2002 Census); 23,490 (1989 Census). The population of Lebyazhye accounts for 39.0% of the district's total population.

Lviv Oblast

Lviv Oblast (Ukrainian: Львівська область, translit. L’vivs’ka oblast’; also referred to as L’vivshchyna, Ukrainian: Львівщина) is an oblast (province) in western Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Lviv. Population: 2,534,174 (2016 est.).

Lyuberetsky District

Lyuberetsky District (Russian: Любере́цкий райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the thirty-six in Moscow Oblast, Russia. It is located in the central part of the oblast east of the federal city of Moscow. The area of the district is 122.31 square kilometers (47.22 sq mi). Its administrative center is the city of Lyubertsy. Population: 265,113 (2010 Census); 255,720 (2002 Census); 139,730 (1989 Census). The population of Lyubertsy accounts for 65.1% of the district's total population.

Orekhovo-Zuyevsky District

Orekhovo-Zuyevsky District (Russian: Оре́хово-Зу́евский райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the thirty-six in Moscow Oblast, Russia. It is located in the east of the oblast. The area of the district is 1,821.28 square kilometers (703.20 sq mi). Its administrative center is the city of Orekhovo-Zuyevo (which is not administratively a part of the district). Population: 121,916 (2010 Census); 119,803 (2002 Census); 132,446 (1989 Census).

Poltava Oblast

Poltava Oblast (Ukrainian: Полтавська область, translit. Poltavs’ka oblast’; also referred to as Poltavshchyna – Ukrainian: Полтавщина) is an oblast (province) of central Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Poltava. Most of its territory is part of the historic Cossack Hetmanate (its southern regions: Poltava, Myrhorod, Lubny, and Hadiach). Population: 1,438,948 (2015 est.)Two other important cities there are Horishni Plavni and Kremenchuk.

Rivne Oblast

Rivne Oblast (Ukrainian: Рівненська область, translit. Rivnenska oblast, Polish: Obwód rówieński) is an oblast (province) of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Rivne. The area of the region is 20,100 km²; population: 1,162,763 (2017 est.). Previously part of the Second Republic of Poland's Wojewódstwo Wołyńskie, the Rivne Oblast was created as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on December 4, 1939 after the Soviet invasion and occupation of eastern Poland on 17 September 1939.

Before 1992, under the policy of Russification, the region was officially known under its Russian name of Rovno Oblast. Afterwards, it was called by its Ukrainian name Rivnenshchyna - Ukrainian: Рівненщина.

The Rivne Nuclear Power Plant is located in the oblast, near the city of Varash.

Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District

Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District (Russian: Таймы́рский Долга́но-Не́нецкий райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the forty-three in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. It is located in the north of the krai above the Arctic Circle on the Taymyr Peninsula and borders with Laptev and Kara Seas in the north, the Sakha Republic in the east, Evenkiysky and Turukhansky Districts in the south, and with Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the west. The area of the district is 879,900 square kilometers (339,700 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Dudinka. Population: 34,432 (2010 Census); 39,786 (2002 Census); 55,111 (1989 Census). The population of Dudinka accounts for 64.4% of the district's total population.Since one can only arrive by either air or sea, Norilsk is often thought of as an island entirely surrounded by the Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District. However, it is not under the administration of Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District. In 2005, the central city of Norilsk merged with its satellite cities or neighborhoods (Talnakh and Kayerkan) as a municipal division. Greater Norilsk, or Big Norilsk (Russian: «Большой Норильск» ), is the Norilsk Industrial Region (Russian: Нори́льский промы́шленный райо́н, (НПР)) and is the Krai city of Norilsk. Greater Norilsk includes Norilsk, the remote area (Russian: отдалённый район) of Oganer, and the urban-type settlement of Snezhnogorsk and is equal to a district within the Krasnoyarsk Krai and is not part of the Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District.

Ternopil Oblast

Ternopil Oblast (Ukrainian: Тернопільська область, translit. Ternopilska oblast; also referred to as Ternopilshchyna - Ukrainian: Тернопільщина, Polish: Obwód Tarnopolski) is an oblast (province) of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Ternopil, through which flows the Seret River, a tributary of the Dnister.

One of the natural wonders of the region are its cave complexes. Although Ternopil Oblast is among the smallest regions in Ukraine, over 100 caves have been discovered there. Scientists believe these are only 20% of all possible caves in the region. The biggest cave is Optymistychna Cave. Measuring 230 km (140 mi) in total length, it is the longest cave in Eurasia and the fifth longest in the world (see list of longest caves). Twenty percent of the land in the region is chernozem soil.Among its attractions, Ternopil Oblast has 34 castles. By at least one account, the most prominent is the Zbarazh Castle with fortifications that expand over 16 ha (40 acres) and was the was the epicenter of a 17th Century standoff between troops of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Dniester Canyon passes through the oblast; it is considered one of the wonders of Ukraine stretching for 250 km (160 mi).

Verkhnevilyuysky District

Verkhnevilyuysky District (Russian: Верхневилю́йский улу́с; Yakut: Үөһээ Бүлүү улууһа, Üöhee Bülüü uluuha, IPA: [ˈyøheː bylyː uluːha]) is an administrative and municipal district (raion, or ulus), one of the thirty-four in the Sakha Republic, Russia. It is located in the western central part of the republic and borders with Vilyuysky District in the east, Gorny District in the southeast, Olyokminsky District in the south, Suntarsky and Nyurbinsky Districts in the west, and with Olenyoksky District in the northwest. The area of the district is 42,000 square kilometers (16,000 sq mi). Its administrative center is the rural locality (a selo) of Verkhnevilyuysk. Population: 21,661 (2010 Census); 21,383 (2002 Census); 20,626 (1989 Census). The population of Verkhnevilyuysk accounts for 29.8% of the district's total population.

Vinnytsia Oblast

Vinnytsia Oblast (Ukrainian: Вінницька область, translit. Vinnyts’ka oblast’; also referred to as Vinnychchyna - Ukrainian: Вінниччина) is an oblast of Ukraine. Its administrative center is Vinnytsia. Population: 1,610,573 (2015 est.)

Volyn Oblast

Volyn Oblast (Ukrainian: Волинська область, translit. Volyns’ka oblast’, Polish: Obwód wołyński; also referred to as Volyn’ or Wołyń) is an oblast (province) in north-western Ukraine. Its administrative center is Lutsk. Kovel is the westernmost town and the last station in Ukraine of the rail line running from Kiev to Warsaw. Population: 1,042,918 (2015 est.)

Yuryev-Polsky District

Yuryev-Polsky District (Russian: Ю́рьев-По́льский райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the sixteen in Vladimir Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast. The area of the district is 1,910 square kilometers (740 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Yuryev-Polsky. Population: 36,747 (2010 Census); 39,023 (2002 Census); 42,219 (1989 Census). The population of the administrative center accounts for 53.3% of the district's total population.

Yuryevetsky District

Yuryevetsky District (Russian: Ю́рьевецкий райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-one in Ivanovo Oblast, Russia. It is located in the east of the oblast. The area of the district is 788 square kilometers (304 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Yuryevets. Population: 15,930 (2010 Census); 19,366 (2002 Census); 24,522 (1989 Census). The population of Yuryevets accounts for 64.1% of the district's total population.

Zhytomyr Oblast

Zhytomyr Oblast (Ukrainian: Житомирська область, translit. Zhytomyrs’ka oblast’; also referred to as Zhytomyrshchyna - Ukrainian: Житомирщина) is an oblast (province) of northern Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Zhytomyr. Its population is approximately 1,240,482 (2017 est.).

Current
Historical
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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