An uyezd (Russian: уе́зд, IPA: [ʊˈjest]) was an 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, uyezds were a secondary-level of administrative division. By sense, but not by etymology, uyezd approximately corresponds to the English term county.

General description

Originally describing groups of several volosts, they formed around the most important cities. Uyezds were ruled by the appointees (namestniks) 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 uyezds were transformed into raions (districts). In Ukraine, uyezds were reformed into forty okrugs which between 1925 and 1930 were the primary-level of administrative division.


The uyezds of Bessarabia Governorate were called Ținut or Județ in Romanian, which would translate as "county".


In Ukraine uyezds were known as povit (Ukrainian: повіт).

See also

External links

  • (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
Arkhangelsk Governorate

Arkhangelsk Governorate (Russian: Архангельская губерния, Arkhangelskaya guberniya) was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire, which existed from 1796 until 1929. Its seat was in Arkhangelsk. The governorate was located in the north of the Russian Empire and bordered Tobolsk Governorate in the south-east, Vologda Governorate in the south, Olonets Governorate in the southwest, Sweden (later Grand Duchy of Finland and later independent Finland) in the west, and Norway in north-west. In the north, the governorate was limited by the White and Barents Seas.

The area of the governorate is currently split between Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Oblasts, the Komi Republic, the Republic of Karelia, and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

Ağdaş, Azerbaijan

Ağdaş (transliterated, Aghdash; until 1919, Arash Mahal or Aresh Mahal) is a city in and the capital of the Agdash Rayon of Azerbaijan. Ağdaş suffered considerable damage during the June 4, 1999 earthquake but has since been thoroughly repaired.

Borchaly Uyezd

The Borchaly Uyezd (Russian: Борчалинский уезд) was a county of the Tiflis Governorate of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire and then of Democratic Republic of Georgia with its administrative center in Shulaveri. It is part of the Georgia's present day region of Kvemo Kartli.

Chernigov Governorate

The Chernigov Governorate (Russian: Черниговская губерния; translit.: Chernigovskaya guberniya), also known as the Government of Chernigov, was a guberniya in the historical Left-bank Ukraine region of the Russian Empire, which was officially created in 1802 from the Malorossiya Governorate with an administrative centre of Chernihiv. The Little Russian Governorate was transformed into the General Government of Little Russia and consisted of Chernigov Governorate, Poltava Governorate, and later Kharkov Governorate.

Chernigov Governorate borders are roughly consistent with the modern Chernihiv Oblast, but also included a large section of Sumy Oblast and smaller sections of the Kiev Oblast of Ukraine, in addition to most of the Bryansk Oblast, Russia.

Kursk Governorate

Kursk Governorate (Russian: Ку́рская губе́рния, tr. Kúrskaya gubérniya) was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire, located in European Russia. It existed from 1796 to 1928; its seat was in the city of Kursk.

Minsk Governorate

The Minsk Governorate (Russian: Минская губерния) or Government of Minsk was a governorate (guberniya) of the Russian Empire. The seat was in Minsk. It was created in 1793 from the land acquired in the partitions of Poland, and lasted until 1921.

Novgorod Governorate

Novgorod Governorate (Russian: Новгоро́дская губе́рния, Novgorodskaya guberniya, Government of Novgorod), was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire and the Russian SFSR, which existed from 1727 to 1776 and from 1796 to 1927. Its administrative center was in the city of Novgorod. The governorate was located in the northwest of the European part of the Russian Empire.

Ozurget Uyezd

The Ozurget Uyezd (Russian: Озургетский уезд; Georgian: ოზურგეთის მაზრა, Ozurgetis mazra) was an uyezd (county) of the Kutais Governorate of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire. It roughly corresponds to modern-day Guria. It was created in 1846 and lasted until the formation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, when the historic name Guria was restored.

Perm Governorate

Perm Governorate (Russian: Пермская губерния) was an administrative unit of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union from 1781 to 1923. It was located on both slopes of the Ural Mountains, and its administrative center was the city of Perm. The region gave its name to the Permian period.

Podolian Governorate

The Podolia Governorate or Government of Podolia, set up after the Second Partition of Poland, comprised a governorate (guberniya) of the Russian Empire from 1793 to 1917, of the Ukrainian People's Republic from 1917 to 1921, and of the Ukrainian SSR from 1921 to 1925.

Saratov Governorate

Saratov Governorate (Russian: Саратовская губе́рния, Saratovskaya guberniya, Government of Saratov), was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, which existed from 1797 to 1928. Its administrative center was in the city of Saratov.

Smolensk Governorate

Smolensk Governorate (Russian: Смоленская губерния, romanized: Smolenskaja gubernija), or the Government of Smolensk, was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Tsardom of Russia, the Russian Empire, and the Russian SFSR, which existed, with interruptions, between 1708 and 1929.

Smolensk Governorate, together with seven other governorates, was established on December 29 [O.S. December 18], 1708, by Tsar Peter the Great's edict. As with the rest of the governorates, neither the borders nor internal subdivisions of Smolensk Governorate were defined; instead, the territory was defined as a set of cities and the lands adjacent to those cities.

Tiflis Governorate

Tiflis Governorate (Old Russian: Тифлисская губернія; Georgian: ტფილისის გუბერნია) was one of the guberniyas of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire with its centre in Tiflis (present-day Tbilisi, capital of Georgia). In 1897 it constituted 44,607 sq. kilometres in area and had a population of 1,051,032 inhabitants. The governorate used to border Elisabethpol Governorate, Erivan Governorate, Kutais Governorate, Zakatal Okrug, Dagestan Oblast, Terek Oblast, and Kars Oblast. It covered present southeastern Georgia, northern Armenia and northwestern Azerbaijan.

Tiflis Governorate was established in 1846 along with the Kutais Governorate, after the dissolution of the Georgia-Imeretia Governorate. It was initially formed from uyezds of Tiflis, Gori, Telavi, Signakh, Yelizavetpol, Erivan, Nakhichevan and Alexandropol and okrugs of Zakatal, Ossetian and Tushino-pshaw-Khevsurian. In 1849, uyezds of Erivan, Nakhichevan and Alexandropol were attached to Erivan Governorate. In 1859 Ossetian okrug became part of Gori district and Tushino-pshaw-Khevsurian okrug was renamed to Tionets. In 1867, the northern part of Tiflis uyezd was separated as Dusheti one, while Akhaltsikhe uyezd which was created after ceding from Ottoman Empire to Russian Empire in 1829, was detached from Kutaisi Governorate and part of Tiflis one. In 1868 Yelizavetpol uyezd (in the same decree, Kazakh uyezd was formed from northwestern part of Yelizavetpol one and was attached to Elisabethpol Governorate) was part of Elisabethpol Governorate. In 1874, the southern part of Akhaltsikhe uyezd was to become Akhalkalaki one and Tionets okrug was elevated as uyezd. Finally southern part of Tiflis Uyezd was to become Borchali Uyezd. The governorate lasted in these boundaries for 50 years, until the Democratic Republic of Georgia was founded.

Tver Governorate

Tver Governorate (Russian: Тверская губерния, Tverskaya guberniya) was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire and Russian SFSR, which existed from 1796 until 1929. Its seat was in Tver. The governorate was located in the center of the European part of the Russian Empire and bordered Novgorod Governorate in the north, Yaroslavl Governorate in the east, Vladimir Governorate in the southeast, Moscow Governorate in the south, Smolensk Governorate in the southwest, and Pskov Governorate in the west.

The area of the governorate is currently split between Tver and Moscow Oblasts. Minor parts of Tver Governorate also currently belong to Yaroslavl and Novgorod Oblasts.

Vitebsk Governorate

Vitebsk Governorate (Russian: Витебская губерния, Vitebskaya guberniya) was an administrative unit (guberniya) of the Russian Empire, with the seat of governorship in Vitebsk. It was established in 1802 by splitting the Byelorussia Governorate and existed until 1924. Today most of the area belongs to Belarus, the northwestern part to Latvia and the northeastern part to Pskov and Smolensk Oblasts of Russia.


Volost (Russian: во́лость, IPA: [ˈvoləsʲtʲ]) was a traditional administrative subdivision in Eastern Europe.

In earlier East Slavic history, volost was a name for the territory ruled by the knyaz, a principality; either as an absolute ruler or with varying degree of autonomy from the Velikiy Knyaz (Grand Prince). Starting from the end of the 14th century, volost was a unit of administrative division in Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Poland, Muscovy, lands of modern Latvia and Ukraine. Since about the 16th century it was a part of provincial districts, that were called "uyezd" in Muscovy and the later Russian Empire. Each uyezd had several volosts that were subordinated to the uyezd city.

After the abolition of Russian serfdom in 1861, volost became a unit of peasant's local self-rule. A number of mirs are united into a volost, which has an assembly consisting of elected delegates from the mirs. These elect an elder (starshina) and, hitherto, a court of justice (volostnoy sud). The self-government of the mirs and volosts was, however, tempered by the authority of the police commissaries (stanovoi) and by the power of general oversight given to the nominated "district committees for the affairs of the peasants".Volosts were abolished by the Soviet administrative reform of 1923–1929. Raions may be roughly called a modern equivalent of both volosts and uyezds.

Vyatka Governorate

Vyatka Governorate (Russian: Вятская губерния) was a governorate of the Russian Empire and Russian SFSR, with its capital in city Vyatka (now known as Kirov), from 1796 to 1929. In the governorate’s area were situated most parts of modern Kirov Oblast and Udmurt Republic.

It was formed on territory of the historical lands of Vyatka (Latin: Veticiae).

Yekaterinoslav Governorate

The Yekaterinoslav Governorate (Russian: Екатеринославская губернія; translit.: Yekaterinoslavskaya guberniya; Ukrainian: Катеринославська губернія) or Government of Yekaterinoslav was a governorate in the Russian Empire. Its capital was the city of Yekaterinoslav (modern Dnipro). Its territory lies within what is now Ukraine.

Yeniseysk Governorate

Yeniseysk Governorate (Russian: Енисе́йская губе́рния) was a governorate (guberniya) of the Russian Empire and later of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.

The Governorate was established on January 26, 1822 when the territory of Siberia was divided into two governorates general: West Siberian and East Siberian. Yeniseysk Governorate, with the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk, became a part of East Siberian Governorate General. As of its foundation, the governorate included five okrugs: Achinsky, Kansky, Krasnoyarsk, Minusinsky, and Yeniseysk (with Turukhansky Krai).

On April 17, 1914, Uryankhay Krai (conforming roughly to the territory of modern Tuva) was added to Yeniseysk Governorate. This krai existed until August 14, 1921, when it was incorporated as the Tuvan People's Republic independent of Russia. Apart from Mongolia, however, no other country recognized its independence.

On November 14, 1923, parts of the governorate's Minusinsky and Achinsky Uyezds were merged with one volost of Kuznetsky Uyezd of Tomsk Governorate to form new Khakassky Uyezd. On March 19, 1924, Siberian Revolutionary Committee (Sibrevkom) approved the enlargement of the governorate's uyezds (districts).

On June 23, 1924, new Turukhansky Uyezd was formed in the governorate. Its Yuzhnaya Volost was formed on the part of the territory of Antsiferovskaya Volost of Yeniseysky Uyezd. After that, Yeniseysky Uyezd itself was abolished and its remaining territory split between Kansky and Krasnoyarsky Uyezds. At the same time, Daurskaya Volost of Achinsky Uyezd was transferred to Krasnoyarsky Uyezd.

Also in 1924, parts of Znamenskaya and Tashtypskaya Volosts of Minusinsky Uyezd were transferred to Khakassky Uyezd. The former territory became a part of Charkovskaya Enlarged Volost, while the latter was merged into Tashtypskaya Enlarged Volost.

The governorate was abolished on May 25, 1925, when it was included into newly formed Sibirsky Krai along with the territories of Oyrat Autonomous Oblast and Altai, Novo-Nikolayevsk, Omsk, and Tomsk Governorates. Achinsky, Kansky, Krasnoyarsky, Minusinsky, and Khakassky Uyezds of the governorate were at the same time transformed into okrugs, while Turukhansky Uyezd was renamed Turukhansky Krai and transferred to Krasnoyarsk Okrug.


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