Federal subjects of Russia
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the Russian Federation
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. Since March 18, 2014, the Russian Federation constitutionally has consisted of 85 federal subjects, although the two most recently added subjects are recognized by most states as part of Ukraine.
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. Three Russian cities of federal importance (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Sevastopol) have a status of both city and separate federal subject which comprises other cities and towns (Zelenograd, Troitsk, Kronstadt, Kolpino, etc.) within each federal city—keeping older structures of postal addresses. In 1993 the Russian Federation comprised 89 federal subjects. By 2008, the number of federal subjects had 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 federal subject has its own head, a parliament, and a constitutional court. Each federal subject has its own constitution and legislation. Subjects have equal rights in relations with federal government bodies. 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).
Post-Soviet Russia formed during the history of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the USSR and didn't change at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. 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), establishing and regulating the current inner composition of Russia, based on the 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, adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993, came into force on December 25, 1993 and abolished the model of the Soviet system of government introduced in 1918 by Vladimir Lenin and based on the right to secede from the country and on unlimited sovereignty of federal subjects (in practice it[clarification needed] was never allowed), which conflicts with country's integrity and federal laws. The new constitution eliminated a number of legal conflicts, reserved the rights of the regions, introduced local self-government and didn't grant the Soviet-era 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, following the policy of Vladimir Putin and of 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 — the federal districts are much larger and each encompasses many federal subjects. Federal districts were created by Executive Order of the President of Russia especially 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 administered by the Ministry of Economic Development.
- The Ministry of Defense uses the terminology of Military districts.
An official government translation of the Constitution of Russia in Article 5 states: "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."
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". 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)".
|Rank (as given in constitution and ISO)||Russian (Cyrillic)||Russian (Latin)||English – official translation of the constitution ||English – unofficial translation of the constitution||ISO 3166-2:RU (ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-2 (2010-06-30))|
|N/A||субъект Российской Федерации||subʺyekt Rossiyskoy Federatsii||constituent entity of the Russian Federation||subject of the Russian Federation||(not mentioned)|
|4||город федерального значения||gorod federalʹnogo znacheniya||city of federal significance||city of federal importance||autonomous city|
(the Russian term used in ISO 3166-2 is автономный город avtonomnyy gorod)
|5||автономная область||avtonomnaya oblastʹ||autonomous oblast||autonomous region||autonomous region|
|6||автономный округ||avtonomnyy okrug||autonomous okrug||autonomous area||autonomous district|
Each federal subject belongs to one of the following types:
|The most common type of federal subject with a governor and locally elected legislature. Commonly named after their administrative centres.|
|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 "krai" ("frontier" or "territory") is historic, related to geographic (frontier) position in a certain period of history. The current krais are not related to frontiers.|
|With a substantial or predominant ethnic minority.|
|Major cities that function as separate regions.|
1 autonomous oblast
|The only autonomous oblast is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.|
b. ^ According to Article 13 of the Charter of Leningrad Oblast, the governing bodies of the oblast are located in the city of St. Petersburg. However, St. Petersburg is not officially named to be the administrative center of the oblast.
c. ^ According to Article 24 of the Charter of Moscow Oblast, the governing bodies of the oblast are located in the city of Moscow and throughout the territory of Moscow Oblast. However, Moscow is not officially named to be the administrative center of the oblast.
e. ^ In February 2000, the former code of 20 for the Chechen Republic was cancelled and replaced with code 95. License plate production was suspended due to the Chechen Wars, causing numerous issues, which in turn forced the region to use a new code.
Lists of federal subjects
- List of federal subjects of Russia by GRP
- List of federal subjects of Russia by incidence of substance abuse
- List of federal subjects of Russia by GDP per capita
- List of federal subjects of Russia by murder rate
- List of federal subjects of Russia by life expectancy
- List of federal subjects of Russia by population
- List of federal subjects of Russia by total fertility rate
- List of federal subjects of Russia by Human Development Index
- List of federal subjects of Russia by unemployment rate
- Regional parliaments of Russia
- List of current heads of federal subjects of Russia
- Forest cover by federal subject in Russia
- ISO 3166-2:RU
Mergers, splits and internal territorial changes 
Starting in 2005, some of the federal subjects were merged into larger territories. In this process, six very sparsely populated subjects (comprising in total 0.3% of the population of Russia) were integrated into more populated subjects, with the hope that the economic development of those territories would benefit from the much larger means of their neighbours. The merging process was finished on 1 March 2008. No new mergers have been planned since March 2008. The six territories became "administrative-territorial regions with special status". They have large proportions of minorities, with Russians being a majority only in three of them. Four of those territories have a second official language in addition to Russian: Buryat (in two of the merged territories), Komi-Permian, Koryak. This is an exception: all the other official languages of Russia (other than Russian) are set by the Constitutions of its constituent Republics (Mordovia, Chechnya, Dagestan etc.). The status of the "administrative-territorial regions with special status" has been a subject of criticism because it does not appear in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
|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|
In addition to those six territories that entirely ceased to be subjects of the Russian Federation and were downgraded to territories with special status, another three subjects have a status of subject but are simultaneously part of a more populated subject:
- Nenets Autonomous Okrug (2010 population of 42090) is a subject since 1993, but is also, according to its Constitution, a part of Arkhangelsk Oblast
- Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug obtained autonomy in 1977, but is simultaneously part of Tyumen Oblast
- Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug obtained the status of subject in 1992 (after obtaining autonomy in 1977), but is also part of Tyumen Oblast.
With an estimated population of 49348 as of 2018, Chukotka is currently the least populated subject of Russia that is not part of a more populated subject. It was separated from Magadan Oblast in 1993. Chukotka is one of the richest subjects of Russia (with a GRP per capita equivalent to that of Australia) and therefore does not fit in the pattern of merging a subject to benefit from the economic dynamism of the neighbour.
In 1992, Ingushetia separated from Chechnya, both to stay away from the growing violence in Chechnya and as a bid to obtain the Eastern part of Northern Ossetia (it did not work: the Chechen conflict spread violence to Ingushetia, and North Ossetia retained its Prigorodny District). Those two Muslim republics, populated in vast majority (95%+) by closely related Vainakh people, speaking Vainakhish languages, remain the two poorest subjects of Russia, with the GRP per capita of Ingushetia being equivalent to that of Iraq. According to 2016 statistics, however they are also the safest regions of Russia, and also have the lowest alcohol consumption, with alcohol poisoning at least 40 times lower than the national average.
In 2011–2012, the territory of Moscow increased by 140% (to 2511 km²) by acquiring part of Moscow Oblast.
In 2016, Russian senators suggested two new possible mergers (not appearing on the above map), but with no active step taken so far.
- Subdivisions of Russia
- Federal districts of Russia
- Economic regions of Russia
- History of the administrative division of Russia
- Flags of the federal subjects of Russia
- Armorial of Russia
- Republics of the Soviet Union
- Flags of the Soviet Republics
- "The Constitution of the Russian Federation: Chapter 3, The Federal Structure". Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Constitution of the Russian Federation". Russian Presidential Executive Office. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Kremlin.ru. 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) (in Russian)
- Steve Gutterman and Pavel Polityuk (March 18, 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty as Ukraine serviceman dies in attack". Reuters. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- "Chapter 1. The Fundamentals of the Constitutional System – The Constitution of the Russian Federation". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- "Конституция Российской Федерации". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- Chapter 1. The Fundamentals of the Constitutional System | The Constitution of the Russian Federation. Constitution.ru. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- This treaty consisted of three treaties, see also Concluding and Transitional Provisions:  
- http://archive.government.ru/eng/gov/base/54.html (accessed="2014-10-17")
- "Chapter 3. The Federal Structure – The Constitution of the Russian Federation". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- SlavFile Archive | Slavic Languages Division Archived August 3, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Ata-divisions.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- http://eulita.eu/sites/default/files/Tammy_presentation.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Official Website of the Government of the Russian Federation / The Russian Government". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (May 21, 2004). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)". Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
- Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)". Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
- "1.1. ОСНОВНЫЕ СОЦИАЛЬНО-ЭКОНОМИЧЕСКИЕ ПОКАЗАТЕЛИ в 2014 г." [MAIN SOCIOECONOMIC INDICATORS 2014]. Regions of Russia. Socioeconomic indicators – 2015 (in Russian). Russian Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- "Crimea becomes part of vast Southern federal district of Russia". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- "В России создан Крымский федеральный округ". RBC. March 21, 2014.
- "Autonomous Republic of Crimea". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- "Population as of February 1, 2014. Average annual populations January 2014". ukrstat.gov.ua. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
- "A General data of the region". Sevastopol City State Administration. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- 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.).