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Federal subjects of Russia

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (Russian: субъекты Российской Федерации subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (Russian: субъекты федерации subyekty federatsii), are the constituent entities of Russia, its top-level political divisions according to the Constitution of Russia.[1] Since March 18, 2014, the Russian Federation consists of eighty-five federal subjects,[2] although the two most recently added subjects are internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.[3][4]

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.[5] Three Russian cities of federal importance have a status of both city and separate federal subject which comprises other cities and towns (Zelenograd, Troitsk, Kronstadt, Kolpino, etc.) within federal city keeping old structure of postal address. In 1993, there were 89 federal subjects listed. By 2008, the number of federal subjects had been decreased to 83 because of several mergers. In 2014, Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea became the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia.

Every subject of the Russian Federation has its own president/governor/head (executive branch), regional parliament (legislative branch) and regional constitutional/charter court (the highest and the only judicial body on intra-regional constitutional/charter issues). Federal subjects shall have their own constitution/charter and legislation (adopted by regional parliaments). Subjects shall have equal rights as constituent entities of the Russian Federation. All federal subjects of the Russian Federation shall be equal with one another in relations with federal government bodies.[6][7] 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 (asymmetric federalism).

Composition of post-Soviet Russia was formed during the history of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the USSR and didn't change in the moment of dissolution of the USSR. 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),[8] establishing and regulating the current inner composition of Russia, based on 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 was adopted by national referendum, came into force on December 25, 1993 and abolished the model of Soviet system of government introduced in 1918 by Vladimir Lenin based on right to secede from the country and unlimited sovereignty of federal subjects (in practice it was never allowed), which conflicts with country's integrity and federal laws. The new constitution eliminated a number of legal conflicts, reserved rights of the regions, introduced the institute of local self-government and didn't grant Soviet-time 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, according to the policy of Vladimir Putin and the United Russia party (dominant party in all federal subjects), 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.

There are several groupings of Russian regions. Federal subjects should not be confused with the eight Federal districts which are not subdivisions of Russia, are much larger and each encompass many federal subjects. Federal districts were created by Executive Order of the President of Russia specially for presidential envoys. Time zones are defined by the Order of the federal government, the composition of Judicial districts is defined by the federal law "On arbitration courts", Economic regions are administrated by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Defense uses the terminology of Military districts.


  • Terminology 1
  • Types 2
  • Lists of federal subjects 3
  • Mergers 4
    • Further proposals for mergers 4.1
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Sources 7


An official government translation of the Constitution of Russia in Article 5 states:[9] "1. 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."

Another translation of the Constitution of Russia gives for article 65: "The Russian Federation includes the following subjects of the Russian Federation:".[10]

How to translate the Russian term was discussed during the 49th annual American Translators Association conference in Orlando, in which Tom Fennel, a freelance translator, argued that the term "constituent entity of the Russian Federation" should be preferred to "subject".[11] This recommendation is also shared by Tamara Nekrasova, Head of Translation Department, Goltsblat BLP, who in her "Traps & Mishaps in Legal Translation" presentation in Paris stated that "constituent entity of the Russian Federation is more appropriate than subject of the Russian Federation (subject would be OK for a monarchy)".[12]

Rank (as given in constitution and ISO) Russian (Cyrillic) Russian (Latin) English - official translation of the constitution [13] English - unofficial translation of the constitution[10] ISO 3166-2:RU (ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-2 (2010-06-30))
- субъект Российской Федерации subyekt Rossiyskoy Federatsii constituent entity of the Russian Federation subject of the Russian Federation (not mentioned)
1 республика respublika republic republic republic
2 край kraĭ kray territory administrative territory
3 область oblast oblast region administrative region
4 город федерального значения gorod federal'nogo znacheniya city of federal significance city of federal importance autonomous city (the Russian term used in ISO 3166-2 is avtonomnyy gorod)
5 автономная область avtonomnaya oblast autonomous oblast autonomous region autonomous region
6 автономный округ avtonomnyĭ okrug autonomous okrug autonomous area autonomous district


Federal subjects of Russia

Each federal subject belongs to one of the following types:

Legend Description
  46 oblasts
most common type of federal subjects with a governor and locally elected legislature. Commonly named after their administrative centers.
  22 republics
nominally autonomous, each has its own constitution and legislature; is represented by the federal government in international affairs; is meant to be home to a specific ethnic minority.
essentially the same as oblasts. The title "territory" is historic, originally given because they were once considered frontier regions.
with substantial or predominant ethnic minority
major cities that function as separate regions.
the only autonomous oblast is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast

Lists of federal subjects


Federal subjects of Russia

Starting in 2005, some of the federal subjects were merged into larger territories. The merging process was finished on March 1, 2008. No new mergers have been planned since March 2008.

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

Further proposals for mergers

The following merger proposals have been made in recent years; most have since become inactive.

Proposals Federal subjects Map
6, 6a Arkhangelsk Oblast + Nenets Autonomous Okrug = Pomorsky Krai
7, 7a, 7b Khabarovsk Krai + Jewish Autonomous Oblast + Amur Oblast = Amur Krai
8, 8a Magadan Oblast + Chukotka Autonomous Okrug = Magadan Krai
9, 9a, 9b Irkutsk Oblast + Buryat Republic + Zabaykalsky Krai = Baykalsky Krai
10, 10a, 10b Tyumen Oblast + Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug + Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug = Tyumen Krai
11, 11a, 11b Novosibirsk Oblast + Omsk Oblast + Tomsk Oblast = Novosibirsk Krai
12, 12a, 12b Kemerovo Oblast + Altai Republic + Altai Krai = Altai Krai
13 St. Petersburg + Leningrad Oblast = St. Petersburg Oblast
14 Moscow + Moscow Oblast = Moscow Oblast
15, 15a Yaroslavl Oblast + Kostroma Oblast = Yaroslavl Krai
16, 16a Novgorod Oblast + Pskov Oblast = Novgorod Krai
17, 17a Krasnodar Krai + Republic of Adygea = Krasnodar Krai
18, 18a Republic of Ingushetia + Chechen Republic = Checheno-Ingushetia

See also


  1. ^ "The Constitution of the Russian Federation: Chapter 3, The Federal Structure". Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  2. ^ "Constitution of the Russian Federation". Russian Presidential Executive Office. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  3. ^ Договор между Российской Федерацией и Республикой Крым о принятии в Российскую Федерацию Республики Крым и образовании в составе Российской Федерации новых субъектов (Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on Ascension to the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and on Establishment of New Subjects Within the Russian Federation) (Russian)
  4. ^ Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Chapter 1. The Fundamentals of the Constitutional System | The Constitution of the Russian Federation. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  8. ^ this treaty consisted of three treaties, see also Concluding and Transitional Provisions: [3] [4]
  9. ^ (accessed="2014-10-17")
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ SlavFile Archive | Slavic Languages Division. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  12. ^
  13. ^


  • 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.).
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