Talk:Subdivisions of Russia

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Old talk[edit]

I happened to notice Image:Rusfedmap.jpg which has the seven federal districts nicely outlined, but I figured it was removed for copyright reasons.

I went on to investigate the original site and found this page:

Unlike the currently linked page, it seems to be properly marked as Cyrillic so my browser shows Cyrillic letters rather than mojibake. It also has less text and more pleasant, pastel colors.

However, I wouldn't want to replace the link because I can't read Russian so I can't figure out which page is more recent and/or authoritative. The same site seems to have even more detailed maps, at advice from someone who knows Russian would be appreciated. --Shallot 15:33, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

This is the official site, so I'm putting the link into relevant articles. I noticed they are planning to provide English pages as well. Mikkalai 00:01, 6 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Being totally confused with millions of ways subdivisions of Russia are named, translated, transliterated, and so on, I have devised the following naming system that I am currently trying to implement throughout Russia-related articles. Please try to follow it as well as it adds to consistency of wikipedia. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please contact me on my user page, but remember that any change to the table below will necessitate making of dozens of minor corrections across articles.

Proposed Naming Convention for Russian subdivisions
Subdivision type (in Russian) English Translation (use for clarification only) English (use in the names of articles and links) English Transliteration
Федеральный округ Federal District Federal District Federalny Okrug
Республика Republic Republic Respublika

Край Territory Krai Kray (or Krai)
Область Province Oblast Oblast
Федеральный город (город федерального значения) Federal City Federal City Federalny Gorod
Автономная область Autonomous Region Autonomous Oblast Avtonomnaya Oblast
Автономный округ Autonomous District Autonomous District Avtonomny Okrug
Район District District Rayon
Улус Ulus (a district in Sakha) Ulus Ulus
Сельсовет Rural council (in Nenetsia) Selsovet Selsovet
Волость Rural district (in Karelia) Volost Volost

--Ezhiki 19:36, Apr 27, 2004 (UTC)

Region for oblast sounds pretty weird and it is sure to blur the distinction when it comes to economic regions. Wouldn't it be correct to refer to oblast as province? --apoivre 11:57, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Good point. I have actually thought of it, but overlooked when compiling the table. This, however, is proposed to be used as clarification only (as in "a Russian oblast means province"), not in the links (e.g. a link to Amur Oblast should look like this - Amur Oblast, and never like this - Amur Province. Redirects would be fine, of course, but since all of the oblasts' articles are currently named with oblast in their names (which I personally dislike, but have no desire to take on a (rather meaningless) project of renaming every single reference), province should be used sparingly to clarify a point when necessary.
Hope this does make sense. --Ezhiki 14:28, Apr 28, 2004 (UTC)

oblast vs. province[edit]

You say you dislike "oblast". It is not the matter of likes or dislikes, it is a matter of clarity when it comes to subdivisions of various countries of various subdivisions. For example, I live in Santa Clara County, my girlfriend was born in Département Indre-et-Loire, France. Why Russian oblast is to be translated? Mikkalai 20:26, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

As you may have noticed, I am OK with using oblast despite personally disliking it. I also dislike cinnamon rolls and country music, which does not give me rights to go around wikipedia and to replace all references with crappy bakery and rural music-like noises. I do, however, believe, that the terms oblast and krai must be clarified as (but not replaced with!) province and territory when it is feasible to do so. This is, in fact, what my proposition is all about. After all, it is quite easy for a western person to guess what a département or a canton means, while it is not so obvious with Russian words, which, besides being from language quite different from English, occur quite rarely in everyday speech or news broadcasts.
Sure hope that this will clear the misunderstanding.
--Ezhiki 20:37, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

Renaming proposal[edit]

A brief discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russian Subdivisions have led to the proposal of renaming this page to Federal Subjects of Russia. Main reason: "subdivision" is not a specialized term, which leads to confusion about what should be covered by the article and by the Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian Subdivisions. Please cast your votes. Mikkalai 17:05, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

I vote for this proposal with the following provisions: information in this article should be splitted and moved to the Federal districts of Russia, Economic regions of Russia, and Federal subjects of Russia articles. The Subdivisions of Russia article should be retained, but it should only give overview information on various kinds of subdivisions that exist in modern Russia and provide links to the articles listed above.--Ezhiki 18:15, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Ezhiki, especially that the article is now too long. --Kpalion 19:53, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Me too. Mikkalai 15:56, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Per voting results, I created the Federal districts of Russia (merged info), Economic regions of Russia, and Federal subjects of Russia articles. Mostly copied content from this article and edited/re-formatted it a bit. Please check those articles and make corrections if necessary.
Now, this article (Subdivisions of Russia) needs to be re-written and duplicate information needs to be removed. I will do it myself if no one else wishes to. Please, let know here.--Ezhiki 16:22, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
Thank you, Jao, for re-working this article. You beat me by mere minutes - I was going to work on this today :)
Also, I made some other changes to this edit:
  • removed most of the info on the federal subjects (it duplicates the Federal subjects of Russia article - what's left still needs to be revised and compressed;
  • removed an incorrect statement about federal cities not being subdivided into the districts (they are);
  • removed the link to the List of capitals of subnational entities - it is a circular reference as the list points back to this same article.
--Ezhiki 14:29, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)

Naming 2005[edit]

initially moved from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Subnational entities/Naming

Hi Tobias. Do you really think it makes sense to do such a massive rename of oblasts to provinces? As for me I strongly against massive renames and especially against of this one. Yes, I'm not a native English speaker, but this rename is against the Wikipedia rule that claims that most common English names must be used for articles, all others should be redirects. Just try to search in google for example "Amur Oblast" - 85,300, "Amur Province" - 695. Did you see how many articles are referenced "... Oblast" articles? Had you thought why we had articles about oblasts for so long period of time and did not rename them to provinces, regions or other? Yes, for sure, we were not so clever as you are. Thank you for your work... MaxiMaxiMax 06:37, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for my rudeness, I'm really upset with your changes. I hope you understood your mistake and will revert you changes by yourself or I will have to do it today or tomorrow later. MaxiMaxiMax 06:40, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hi Maxim, yeah your post was a little rude, but nice that you came back again. :-) As you can see from Ukrainia-section I was already exposed to much much worse postings. Mmmh that something existed for a long time does not mean it is the best thing. I do not know whether you tried to restrict google to english, e.g. for german "Amur oblast" is the same, province wouldn't. Then subtract wikipedia mirrors, something that can be done for those pages that included the term wikipedia at time of going into Googles index.
Okay, but still probably more pages use oblast. Do the other pages have to care about worldwide subdivision naming or do they write more for a specific purpose? Wikipedia might have to use wikipedia-translation rules. How many people cite Oxford English Dictionary? And I do not think OED uses "most common name" - rule. The latter could lead to strange results. Imagine 60% of -ise/-ize words beeing most common in -ize and 40% most common in -ise.
As someone who writes a book you maybe better stick to one way, especially if it is an encyclopedia. And as editor one has to be bold. E.g. I found in Britannica that they translated "Raion" as "Sector". I can imagine they just run out of words, "district" was allready used to translate okrug and so they took "sector". This seems courages to me (I might be wrong here - and anywhere else of course).
I started a translation table Subdivisions of Russia#Territorial administrative units and User:Ezhiki pointed me to his much more complete and nice table and improved the translation table. For Raion there is no good solution but the rest is not that bad.
Except for Belarus (voblast), Ukraine (oblast') and the special cases Spain (comarca) and Poland (Voivodship) all subnational entities are named by words used in english speaking countries. No japanese, korean, turkish.
And the other way around what are the other wikipedias doing? de:Oblast but for "jewish autonomous oblast/province" they use "Gebiet", nl:Oblast, pl:Obwód eo:Provincio - the eo-people seem to take care about not letting foreign words in that have an eo-counterpart. You know what ia an oblast, and I know (to some existent), because I am interested in geography and linguistics and I grew up in East Germany that had some connections to Soviet Union and made russian obligatory in school. Tobias Conradi 07:48, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(while I did my best to explain my position Maxim just reverted)

I reverted your changes, because I found that they were really messy - some oblasts were renamed, some not, some articles were edited, some were not, so it was the worst case I could ever see in Wikipedia. I was very disappointed and upset. I also cannot understand why User:Ezhiki did not stop you from doing such nasty piece of work. MaxiMaxiMax 07:20, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

it seems talking is over Tobias Conradi 08:01, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
calling my changes vandalism (see:Wikipedia:Vandalism) is defamation. While reverting you reinserted some errors. Tobias Conradi 08:16, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I already said my sorry, I was really shocked at that moment. Excuse me again, for "vandalism" especially (it was absolutely wrong), I need to be more calm. About the changes itself - let's discuss them with more people involved, I'm sure we will find a good solution. At the moment I don't think that your explanation is good enough to change my mind. I tried to search just for English. 60,500 "Amur Oblast", 733 "Amur Province" (loks a little strange) - so anyway oblasts are dominated almost in 100 times. "Sector" for raions looks terrible - i think they were drunk when writing it. MaxiMaxiMax 08:27, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"Amur Province" looks strange to me too, maybe because I have already seen so many oblasts. I reverted Template:Subdivisions of Russia to a middle position. Because Economic regions and federal districts use this as well. As well now again lowercased are things like "Autonomous District" -> "Autonomous district". I go to bed now. lets talk later. Tobias Conradi 08:37, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The following comment is copied from User talk:Ezhiki#Subdivisions of Russia:

Well, Tobias, one—you've got your first feedback, and two—whoa! It looks like a little war was fought this night, and the smoke is just settling down. Guys, please, don't fight like that. The last thing we need is editors reverting each other on sight. From other comments I see there is a truce in effect now, so well, let's talk.

To clarify, when I suggested to do some moves to see what the response is going to be, I did not mean half of the oblast articles. Just one or two would probably have been sufficient. I would have interfered, of course, if I had noticed it right away, but unfortunately Tobias started moving articles after I logged off from Wikipedia for the day (which, considering the fact that he lives in Europe and I—in North America, is not surprising).

Speaking of the actual change itself (from "oblasts" to "provinces"), I am myself divided. I never liked the articles being named "XXX Oblast" and "XXX Krai" in the first place, and indeed I was thinking of renaming them to "provinces"/"territories" when I just joined Wikipedia over a year ago. Also, it did not look like there was a consunsus at that time—someone merely created the articles under "oblasts"/"krais" without probably giving much thought to it. It was a workable first-time solution, especially because most of the articles didn't even exist. Later, due to the later lack of general interest to the articles on Russian federal subjects (I hate to admit that until fairly recently I was pretty much the only one doing any significant work on them, but that's the truth), the original naming convention stayed there. Two things stopped me from moving the articles to "provinces"/"territories" a year ago—first (the silly one) being new, I did not even know that non-admins could move articles at all (as you may remember, of the skins did not have a "Move this article" link; incidentally, that was the skin I used), and second, by the time I learned otherwise, I became unsure if such a move was at all possible without introducing numerous inconsistencies and ambiguities ("districts" case being the best example of that). So, I left the article titles alone in hopes that may be one day a clear non-conflictious system would emerge, that would allow for use of English terms. I am yet to see such a system to come out of Tobias' project, but at least he's working on it. So far, the results only reassure me that we either have to stick with "oblasts", or resort to awkward solutions (such as Britannica's "sectors"). A mix of terms, of course, is also possible (such as using "provinces" for oblasts, and native terms like "krai" and "okrug" for the rest), but the benefits of this are questionnable, and they do not live up to my consistency-keeping efforts. Thus, I prefer to remain neutral pending the community's solution. Perhaps a poll could be conducted on the Russian wikipedians' notice board to agree upon terminology once and for all.

To answer Max's questions. Even if all oblasts are renamed to provinces, there is no way further renaming (e.g., to "regions") could be substantiated. "Province"/"oblast" are clearly the best names for oblasts—"region" sounds too generic, and other terms are probably even less accurate. Plus, while at least some benefits can be seen from changing "oblasts" to "provinces" (even if one disagrees with the whole concept of such a renaming), none such benefits exist when "provinces" are renamed into "regions" or anything else. So, if I were to support this renaming, it would be one-time deal only.

As for the "BTW" question (which English-speaking countries have provinces)—the answer is Canada. Not that I think it matters in this case, though.

Finally, to make my point of view even more clear, I would like to say that I strongly dislike Wikipedia's policy of "the most common English name". I would prefer to see the articles to be placed under the "official long names" (i.e., "Russian Federation" instead of "Russia", "United States of America" instead of "United States", or (*gasp*) "Kyiv" instead of "Kiev"). To me, in the vast majority of cases there is only one "official" name, while there can be a slew of more or less "common English names" (for which the redirects could be the best solution). While there are some merits to the "most common name" policy in some cases (mostly when political POVs are involved), I strongly believe that placing an article under the "full official" name is of more educational value. The community, however, does not seem to agree with my opinion, so I am sticking with consensus and am enforcing it when necessary. For this case, the problem is also that there is no "official English name" for Russian oblasts—a quick scan of official oblasts' websites confirms that (they can call themselves "oblasts", "provinces", "regions", "territories", or sometimes a mix of these terms on the same page). This is where a community consensus (reinforced by the poll results) would come most handy.

Well, I hope this leads to a more productive discussion and actions. Please let me know what you think. Please leave the articles alone for now until more people can voice their opinions. Thanks!—Ëzhiki (erinaceus europeaus) 16:02, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)

So, Ëzhiki, I hope that now I can see clear the difference in our positions - you want to use the "most correct" names and I want to use "most used" names. I'm sure that my position is better because it is unbiassed and simple checked - we can just search by google and find what name is used more for this or that object. Your method is not so good because it is just your opinion how articles should be named and there are a lot of people who also think that they know it and their and your opinions are different. As for me using of name that is in 100 times less popular than another name is nonsense. Can you also tell me what is common between provinces in Canada (thanx, I forgot about it) and oblasts in Russia? I thought that provinces in Canada are similar to states in USA and oblasts in Russia have much less own rights than these provinces, I think they are more similar to departments in France (may be I'm wrong, so just tell me). Anyway, my strongest point is the popularity of the name - 100 times less popular name is 100 times less possible candidate. Just as example - if we name articles about cities using coordinates of they borders (or centers if it is too long) we will get totally correct system and avoid any ambiguation. But actually we always use names of cities because we are people and for people "names" are something that may be not so precise but understandable. If oblasts in Russia are popular between English speakers using this name - it is not a task for Wikipedia to change the situation. Here we do not change our imperfect world, we just describe it with all of its lacks. MaxiMaxiMax 16:44, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Max, let me reassure you that my point of view (to use official names) is strictly my point of view. I have no intentions to circumvent the established policy of using the most common English names or to persuade anyone that it is better (chances of success here would be pretty slim, as you very rightfully noted). You are right, there are downsides to using the official names as opposed to the most common names, but it works the other way, too. "Amur Oblast" outnumbers "Amur Province" ~10:1, so we stick with "oblast". But what if a different oblast for some reason googles up more hits the other way? What if, for example, "Amur Oblast" is more common than "Amur Province", but "Kaliningrad Province" is more common than "Kaliningrad Oblast" (this is just a theoretical example)? What if there is an act of terrorism performed in Amur Oblast tomorrow, and the press starts to refer to it as "Amur Region", boosting the google count overnight (again, just a theoretical example)? How do you decide which name is "more common" when the very parameter defining "most common" may be inconsistent or change altogether? "Official name", on the other hand, is usually just one name. It would be logical to use it as a primary title.
Anyway, the point is moot. This is not about "official" vs. "most common" names.
To answer your question—yes, Canadian provinces are more like the US states (or, even closer, like Russian republics). Oblasts are much less autonomous. On the historical side, however, in the 18th century Russia used to call its subdivisions "provinces" (провинции), into which the guberniyas were subdivided. They were eventually replaced with oblasts. Historical Russian provinces and modern Russian oblasts have a lot in common, unlike Canadian provinces and Russian oblasts.
On other points (re: names) I agree with you and understand your point of view wholeheartedly. We are not computers to use binary assignemnts to refer to the real-world entities. I, however, also understand what Tobias wants to do, and agree to some of his points as well. Which is exactly why I prefer to remain neutral and let the community consensus sort it out. Both sides have merits, but only one can serve as a final solution if cosistency is to be maintained. So, let's figure out which one it is going to be, and have as many people involved as possible. I'll try to draft a poll myself if I have time, but anyone can feel free to do it, if I don't get to it soon enough.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus europeaus) 18:49, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)
Hi Ëzhiki. Thank you for your explanation, it was pretty clear and especially thank you that you don't insist that you are right (unfortunately it is my problem very often, sometimes I too stubborn). One small note - "Amur Oblast" outnumbers "Amur Province" not ~10:1 but almost 83:1 (and it is a big difference). Additionally, I suggest another reason not to translate names of russian federal subjects: there is no difference between oblasts and krais except of name (yes, it's stupid but it's true). So if you translate names, you have to translate both names to one. The system will look simpler for foreign readers, but it will become less correspondent with real world and if they ever read in news for example that this or that event we happened there they will be confused about names. I'm sure that Russian system of federal subjects is too complicated due to historical reasons and for me it would be better if it is changed in future, but at the moment is is so. I'm sure that anybody who wants to know something about Russia (just people for whom we write our articles) should be clearly notified about real structure of Russian subnational entities and their history, using examples how to compare these entities with subnational entities in other countries, but not about our own ideas how this structure should look in ideal world. Translation of names will not help our readers, but will make their task harder. So for my opinion we should not translate entity types and we should leave them as is and provide really good explanation of system in article Federal subjects of Russia and in all 6 articles about particular types of subjects, like Oblasts of Russia. The last one at the moment is less than as stub - just a list without any explanations what is the difference between oblasts and other types and how this difference was established. I think we should concentrate our forces to make the system more clear but not to hide its complexity by replacing real names with names like "Province" which have another meaning in English. Unfortunately my English is not good enough to write these articles by myself so if you tell me that I'm just lurking and criticize all your ideas instead of doing real work I have no other chouice but agree with you. I really like both of you intention to improve articles about Russian subentities but I think that names of them are not a point we should improve, names are good (for me even perfect), but articles themself are not good enough. Thank you for your cooperation, hope we will not fight and revert each others changes anymore, excuse me for my lack of self-control yesterday. MaxiMaxiMax 05:23, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Chinese entities are less complex? Japan and Korea have less history? Is this the reason why the articles there are named with english words? - Do you think Wikipedia should be a mirror of Google's content? Did you read what I wrote about your Google analysis? - Why should Krai and Oblast be translated the same way? Are all provinces in the world the same? Would it harm to call oblasts provinces? Would it harm a lot? Would it benefit? Are the slavic CIS countries something special, so they can be the only one to use local names for article titles? Shall we use selsoviet? Shall we use sumon? Why did people switch from selsoviet to sumon? Tobias Conradi 06:12, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hi Tobias, nice to see you online. You have so many questions... Are they just to ask them or you are really interested? If it is your sincer interest I can prepare my answers later, but these questions have no connection to our problem. Rules of English part of Wikipedia claim that we must use the most common English names for articles, so we must use them or change our rules. So at first change these rules and then we will rename all erticles to whatever you want. Note: after this next guy will come and rename them to whatever he wants. If it is your intention you may insist on it. MaxiMaxiMax 07:08, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
BTW "oblast" is recognized as English word by Merriam-Webster: . It has no "selsoviet", so I don't insist on using of it, for me "rural administration" is perfect, it does not know the word "sumon" (and me as well). Let's go further, Britannica: "Tomsk - city and administrative centre of Tomsk oblast, ...", etc, so I'm sure that the term "oblast" is known for English speakers and it is the best choice for naming of oblast articles MaxiMaxiMax 09:34, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
ok m-w is something, but also WP has an entry for Oblast ... and one for sumon. It is not possible to derive from an entry that people in general actually know the word. I asked the questions because in the previous statement you said somethings that where (in my opinion) not correct. Regarding the naming uppper vs. lower case english vs. local, what would you do with subdivisions of Ukraine, subdivisions of Belarus, provinces of Kazakhstan, provinces of Kyrgyzstan? What with those that now are called viloyat (Provinces of Tajikistan, Provinces of Turkmenistan) viloyat (Provinces of Uzbekistan. The most common name rule is less important than the aim of wikipedia: provide an encyclopedia. Tobias Conradi 19:08, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I used a cite from Britannica's article about my home city to show you that word "oblast" is actively used in other encyclopedias, and not only in article's titles but also everywhere through the text, what else do you need to believe that the word "oblast" was absorbed by English? I have no idea about subdivisions of other countries, may be in English their names are traditionally translated, but names of Russian subdivisions traditionally used untranslated. The language itself is the result of history and is often not so logical as we want it to have. But it is not Wikipedia aim to change English language or the world itself. Wikipedia should reflect the real state of things. If in future in English Russian subdivisions become translated we will change article names, but not before this fact happened. I absolutely agree with you that aim of wikipedia is to provide the real knowledge to people, so I do as well. And for this purpose using the most common names is better than inventing of names that nobody actually knows and use. MaxiMaxiMax 04:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So, anyone was up to compiling a poll yet? I, while I was online a lot, could not devote a chunk of time necessary to develop one.

Also, to answer Tobias' question about sumons. According to the Russian Constitution, Russian federal subjects themselves decide on their administrative structure. While most of them kept Soviet selsovets, some of them went with the more ethnic names, like sumon, somon, or nasleg. Basically, they are the same old selsovets, only called differently. Russian administrative classificator (OKATO) clearly distinguishes them, though.

Buryatia has both somons and selsovets.

Speaking of using "rural administration" for "selsovet"—it would not be entirely accurate. The Republic of Karelia already has rural administrations (сельские администрации). Again, these are the same selsovets, but the official name for them is different.

If I missed anything, let me know, please.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus europeaus) 22:04, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that we need a poll about renaming. As for me the problem looks closed. If not - notify me, please and I will take a part in the poll. MaxiMaxiMax 06:14, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
what about Ukraine (..._oblast') and Belarus (..._voblast)? For me the problem does not look that closed, but at first we should try to solve it here. Somewhere above it was said we could ask Russian Wikipedian, I think this might be a little biased. ;-) sorry for my short answers but I am short of time right now. best regards + Happy Easter (christian bias- sorry)Tobias Conradi 19:57, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I've considered naming issues over the last few months, I've come to think that the English word oblast should be used in the text of most of the Ukrainian articles, but proper names in each article's intro should still be formally transliterated with oblast’. This is something to discuss at WikiProject Ukrainian subdivisions before making any changes. Michael Z. 2005-03-26 22:47 Z

Municipal Formation[edit]

Is that term the equivalent of Municipality? If nobody objects I will change it. RamBow 17:39, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

It is equivalent to "municipality", but it is not the term used in the official documents, which use "municipal formation" exclusively. "Municipality" is more generic.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?);

Municipal formation, 2[edit]

Please syncronize the ru:Муниципальное образование with Subdivisions of Russia#Municipal divisions. (And cross-verify. What's with this municipal reform?) I would suggest to spawn a separate English article. `'Míkka>t 06:21, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

A separate English article is on my to-do list; I only created this subsection as a temporary plug. As for the synchronizaton, could you, please, point out the discrepancies? It seems to me that the Russian article pretty much repeats the same categorization this section does (which is no wonder, as both pieces are based on the same law). Or did you just mean that the Russian version includes more information than this section? Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 16:42, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Made the edit[edit]

annotated: links to state and State (administrative division), with reformatting for image. to tie in with similar entities.

Tumbled onto the article trying to chase down the difference between Department and Autonomous district in Template:Types_of_administrative_country_subdivision(edit talk links history). From what I can see, Subjects per the article are merely a differently named form of state (administrative division), though perhaps Autonomous districts are true Federal states ala the USA and Germany??? (These things need looked at and integrated across articles)

Overall, the article should also be tied into that template if the terms don't translate per the terms of Table of administrative country subdivisions by country— which is pretty exhaustive. Putting in a Russian translation (In Parenthesis) of an equivalent term is far more desirable than creating a dic-def page as Autonomous district seems to be. But I'll let that be decided by the projects... Note the project on that template and perhaps consult with Wikipedia:Wikiproject countries recommendations to get a similar style and wording with other similar articles. // FrankB 19:31, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Federal subjects of Russia should not be added to this template, because they are not "administrative divisions". Federal subjects of Russia are constituent members of the Federation, although some types of federal subjects (namely, republics), have more state attributes than other. All, nevertheless, are equally represented in the Federation Council. I suppose one can call them "states" without technically being incorrect, but I've never seen Russian federal subjects called that in English, so this choice of terminology is unlikely to pass WP:UE. "Administrative divisions" of Russia start at the okrug/district/city level. Calling federal subjects "administrative divisions" is simply wrong, and so would be their inclusion into this template (although, incidentally, the "oblast" entry should stay, because while it is not an administrative division of Russia, it is an administrative division of Ukraine).
As for the dictdef page such as autonomous district, it should simply be changed to a redirect to autonomous okrugs of Russia (as I see you already have done), unless it can be expanded with entries pertaining to other countries.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 01:56, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Yah, making that a redirect t'was in a backup edit as we discoursed on the other page. On the above Adm-Div vs. states... sounds like you're saying these are sovereign states (nation states) that have subordinated some functions to the larger government as part of a federation...
   I'd think one test would be whether they have diplomatic corps of their own. Another, how the CIA world fact book represents them.
   The whole point of my concern is that this article was not making that clear last week, so the point is that those with expertise in Eurasian affairs need tend to that unclarity. If I knew, I wouldn't be asking! Cheers // FrankB 15:58, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
"Sovereign states that have subordinated some functions to the... federation" is actually a pretty good description of what the republics of Russia are. Other types of federal subjects (krais, oblasts, autonomous okrugs, an autonomous oblast, and federal cities) have the same rights as the republics as far as the matters of the Federation are concerned, but a far lesser degree of autonomy in their local matters. This is not a simple issue at all, as it was subject of much controversy in the early 1990s and was contrary to the organization of the Russian SFSR (in which autonomous republics were considered "states" within the federation, but the rest of the divisions were strictly administrative in nature). A good thorough explanation certainly needs to be added to the article, but it is not a matter of making a simple edit, as it would require a good amount of research, organization, and presentation (in other words, it is yet another resource-intensive task on my to-do list, one which I keep hoping someone starts to tackle before I get to it some time in the future). I realize that I probably don't have my priorities straight, but there is a load of other things I would like to finish before I get to something like this...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:15, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
In the land of the blind, the one eyed will be king... or something like that. I'd urge you to do at least a half-assed job soonest, so as to maybe stir and inspire someone else to do the more thorough edit you identify. Something that needs refined, yet gives clues that it is complex is better than sidestepping the issue for later perfection, as in the meantime, the coverage is lacking or perhaps even misleading... On your head let it be! (What do I know—my Grandparents were Polish or Lithuanian, which is close enough to the same thing given the region's history up to the late 17th century! <g>) Cheers // FrankB 17:31, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Frank, what the hell are you now, my consciousness? :) It's not like I don't have pages and pages of lists with issues that need to be addressed "a.s.p.c.s., if not sooner" (®Charlie Gordon), you know. All I can promise you is to move this particular article a couple pages up and hope that I can devote uninterrupted couple of hours to develop it some time soon (I can't write even half-assed material with the minute distractions my work duties so helpfully provide every fifteen minutes or so; I really need uninterrupted chunks of time, which, in my line of work, are scarce). Maybe add a ref to the statement that the "federal subjects are not administrative divisions". I can't do it all alone, even though I desperately want to :)—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:13, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

federal subject vs federated entity and naming convention[edit]

Hi, Ёzhiki! I just want to comment on some terms you're using in your articles on Russia's subnational units. I'm not native English speaker, but "federal subject" sounds really awkward to me. Don't you think it's better to use "federated entity"? "Federated entity" is an official term used both in the Forum of Federations' documents (; - which is an international organization of federal states in the world - and by the Venice Commission in its alphabetical index of keywords (

Then it would be great to set up a kind of repertoire of words to define different types of those Russian federated entities. I'd rather dwell on a convention adopted by the Russian Federal Statistics Service ( and the CIS Interstate Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification ( I mean republic for respublika, region for oblast, autonomous region for avtonomnaya oblast, territory for kray, autonomous area for avtonomny okrug, federal city for gorod federalnogo znacheniya, even if a federal city might come for, mistakingly, a city which is governed directly by presidential or governmental nominees and has no legislature of its own. To my mind, when you say sth like the "Kemerovo Oblast", it's a little bit odd in terms of translation rules which state that you should either translate a word or transliterate it. In our case you translate the word "Kemerovskaya" with "Kemerovo", but do not translate the word "Oblast" with "Oblast", since there's no such a word in the English language. You should either transliterate the whole set with the "Kemerovskaya Oblast" or translate it with the "Kemerovo Region". Otherwhise we have a hybrid, which is not really great.

You might then ask: "Why using "area" not "district" to designate an "okrug"? I think the word "district" is best suited either for federal districts or districts as municipalities (so-called rayony). With autonomous districts/okrugs we make things more complicated. Admittedely, they are in Russian, but why doing this for those who haven't a clue about Russia and consult Wikipedia articles precisely to get a general idea in a few lines? Finally, "municipal formation" looks like a literal translation of "munitsipalnoye obrazovaniye", uf-f-f. I'd use municipal entity or simply municipality. What do you think? Let me know! --George SPb (talk) 11:56, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi, George! Thanks much for taking time to do the research and to share the results!
Before I start addressing the points you have raised, I would like to point out that the naming conventions currently in place are in fact a result of much thought and deliberation, which occurred over several years and had to take into account the issues of English usage of the terms, the needs of the encyclopedia, its scope, and related practices.
Let me start off with the easy stuff first. Regarding the terms "oblast", "krai", and "okrug", you are not correct when you say that these are not valid English words but are merely transliterations. They are in fact all valid English loanwords (albeit obscure to most Anglophones). All are listed in major dictionaries (such as, for example, the mighty OED), and enjoy usage in academic works on the topic. Britannica, for example, uses these terms pretty consistently (see, for example, Kemerovo (oblast), Primorsky (kray), and Chukotskiy (autonomous okrug)). They do clarify what an oblast/krai/okrug is when the term is first used, but the actual terms are then used throughout the articles. We, by the way, also do clarify what an "oblast" is by linking to the appropriate article upon the first use of the term.
Is using "region" for "oblast", "territory" for "krai", etc. wrong? Absolutely not! These are all valid translations of the specialized terms. Ultimately, however, the choice of the terminology is influenced not just by what "sounds better" or is "more familiar", but by how well that terminology integrates into the project with regards to the project's scope. Now, as we all know, Wikipedia's scope is nothing short of grand and ambitious ("the sum of all human knowledge"). Naturally, this presents many problems when ambiguity issues start to arise. For example, using "Kemerovo Region" instead of "Kemerovo Oblast" may be fine in a document which lists some statistics by oblasts, or for an agency that only reports something by federal subjects, but when used in Wikipedia, "Kemerovo Region" can be interpreted as a number of things—it could be Kemerovo Oblast, Kemerovsky District, Kemerovo Urban Okrug, or an unspecified region (territory, area—see how the ambiguities start to pile up?) around the city of Kemerovo. If one is writing an article about, say, a village in "Kemerovo Region", there is no easy way to determine at the first glance which of these many meanings is meant. There is not such problem with a village in "Kemerovo Oblast", "Kemerovsky District", or under the jurisdiction of the city of "Kemerovo". Consider, for instance this fun example: "Kemerovo Region (=oblast) is divided into regions (=districts) one of which is Kemerovo Region (=Kemerovsky District), although the region around Kemerovo (=territory under the jurisdiction of the city of Kemerovo) is not included in the territory of the region (=district) (but is included into the territory of the region (=oblast)). This, of course, is an extreme example, but it is not at all uncommon, and when you really put thought into how to best re-word it, you'll ultimately end up with pretty much the same terminology which is already in place in the English Wikipedia. And on top of all that, the jurisdictional specifiers are the first choice when articles need to be disambiguated between one another. It's really a recipe for disaster to disambiguate by specifiers which are themselves ambiguous.
Using "area" to refer to an okrug is also not a good idea for precisely the same reasons—the term "area" is overly ambiguous. It is, of course, a valid translation (one of several, in fact), but there is nothing wrong with using "okrug", which is a perfectly good loanword.
If this approach seems overly complicated, it should not be forgotten that the issue we are dealing with is in itself not exactly straightforward. Not many native Russians will be able to accurately describe in their native Russian how the federative composition and the underlying administrative divisions structure play out; fewer yet will be able to coherently explain the difference between an administrative district and a municipal one (or between a selsoviet and a municipal rural settlement). Using overly ambiguous terms to describe a complicated issue is never a good idea. It is more productive to expect interested readers to learn once what the heck an "oblast" is rather than to have them guess every single time whether an "area" is an "okrug", a "raion", just a park area of no administrative significance, or something else entirely. Our ultimate goal is to create an accurate encyclopedia, not to play to the lowest common denominator by eradicating established and very specific terms and replacing them with layman explanations.
I hope I explained this clearly enough. And I've only used the modern examples! Being the "sum of all human knowledge", however, means that Wikipedia deals not only with the modern entities, but also with the historical ones (a problem which Rosstat or the CIS Interstate Council will never face). There were many now no longer existing types of entities in Russia which, too, could be (and often are) translated as "regions", "areas", "districts", "provinces", "territories", and so on.
The bottom line? We are using the terminology which works and helps us build Wikipedia, as well as trying to avoid using the terminology which does not work or makes the task of developing the encyclopedia (and, subsequently, of understanding the articles by the readers) unnecessarily difficult.
Now, let's turn to the "federal subjects". In the interest of full disclosure, I am, myself, not a great fan of this term, although I did and will continue to advocate for its use, at least at this point in time. Let me explain why.
It has been pointed out on more than one occasion that the term "federal subjects" sounds unnatural in English or is even plain incorrect grammatically. On the other side, this very same term (together with "subjects of the Federation") is the most widely used term in the English language when one needs to refer to the Russian "subyekty Federatsii" (I'll abbreviate it as СФ for convenience from here on). Actually, let me correct that. The most common way to refer to the Russian СФs is... to not use any term at all. Most sources I've seen masterfully sidestep the issue of what the constituent members of the Russian Federation are to be called. Naturally, even though it's the most common practice, it's not an approach Wikipedia could take :) We gotta call them something!
Which brings us to the necessity to go through the English sources, compile a list of terms which are used to refer not to just any "subyekty" (as your SAIC and Venice Commission examples do), but specifically to the "subyekty" of the Russian Federation. During my six-year tenure as a Wikipedian, I've been taking notes from any English-language documents on the subject (pardon the pun) I could lay my hands on. First, as I mentioned above, most sources deliberately avoid calling СФs by any term at all. Second, I don't believe I've ever seen the term "federated entity" applied to the СФs—if it is in fact ever used, it can't be very common, and "common use" is something that we must consider if we are to comply with our own policies and guidelines. Third, the terms "federal subject"/"subject of the (Russian) Federation"/"federation subject" does enjoy quite a bit of use in English, and you can easily find examples in sources written by native speakers and are not just English translations by the Russians. Runner-ups include "(constituent) members of the Federation", "constituent entities", and other "constituent"-based varieties. Unfortunately, those are not used as often, and do not work well for some purposes.
On the final note, if you think of it, "субъект Федерации" is just incorrect grammatically in Russian as "federal subject" is perceived to be by some in English. I'd say the translation is pretty close in spirit to the original :) We, the Wikipedia, are not in business of correcting the obtuse legalese used by the Russian bureaucrats, especially if that legalese made it as far as the Constitution of Russia itself.
Last but not least is the "municipal formation". It is indeed a literal translation of the Russian "муниципальное образование", but I've never had a native speaker complain about it; nor does it seem unnatural to me. "Municipality" or "municipal entity" would equally work, but I see no reason why a translation which is both correct and closer to the original should not be used. Could you, please, elaborate on this point?
I hope this clarifies things for you somewhat. I will be delighted to continue this discussion if you have anything to add or need to clarify any points I've made. Best,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 5, 2010; 15:13 (UTC)

Municipal divisions[edit]

I think this section could use some clarification. (talk) 03:53, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I'll be happy to oblige, but could you, please, elaborate on what exactly needs to be clarified? Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); February 20, 2012; 14:31 (UTC)


How can we input municipal areas such as Volgadmin: ? Twillisjr (talk) 15:43, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Not quite sure what it is you are asking, but the information about municipal divisions is typically included into the articles about the corresponding administrative divisions. For Volgograd Oblast, for example, information about Frolovsky Municipal District is a part of the Frolovsky District article, information about Volgograd Urban Okrug is covered in Volgograd#Administrative and municipal status, and Petrov Val Urban Settlement is covered in Petrov Val#Administrative and municipal status. Additionally, Volgograd Urban Okrug and Petrov Val Urban Settlement are redirects to the appropriate sections.
Rural settlements will be handled in a similar manner, once articles about corresponding selsoviets are created.
Municipal formations which do not correspond 1:1 to an administrative division may have their own articles. Mikhaylovka Urban Okrug is one such example.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); March 14, 2014; 16:33 (UTC)

New Municipal Divisions[edit]

I see some new types of municipal divisions were added this year. I had a question. So, let me get this straight, now instead of just Moscow and St. Petersburg being able to divide themselves below the federal subject-level of municipal divison, other large cities (urban okrugs) can divide themselves below that level, too? And, then below even this new municipal division level within an urban okrug in these large cities, you can now form intra-urban districts? So, this is three different levels of municipal division, so you could literally have an urban okrug divided into (intra-urban) divisions, which themselves could be potentially divide into (intra-urban) districts?! Could someone try to explain the reasoning behind these new additions? Were these large/significant cities deemed too large to effectively be governed from the urban orkug level of governance?

Lastly, just so I get this straight as I may have asked this before, on the administrative division side of things, are administrative divisions just statsitical divisions that don't have a corresponding local government? I guess what I'm asking is that where City/Town/Urban-type Settlements correspond with the boundaries of municipal formations, are the mayors and local councils of these places the mayors and local councils of the former, the latter, or both? I also have the same question in the rarer cases where a municipal formations actually covers multiple administrative divisions, or when a municipal formation (particularly an Urban Okrug) doesn't correspond to with even a single, whole administrative division (does that even occur at all anywhere in Russia)? --Criticalthinker (talk) 10:32, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

First off, the divisions of Moscow and St. Petersburg are not the same as the municipal divisions of other cities. Moscow and St. Petersburg are the federal cities and are the only two federal subjects which may have municipal divisions of a type that's different from what's mandated by the federal law. As far as the municipal divisions go, what's going on in these two is in no way related to what's going on in the rest of Russia.
As for the changes you mentioned, the urban okrugs may now indeed contain intra-city municipal formations (normally organized around the already existing city districts—which have so far been strictly administrative, not municipal entities). This is basically the same approach that existed prior to the 2004–2005 municipal reform (at that time, the types of municipal divisions were not federally defined and each federal subject was free to invent their own kind—just like they still can do with the administrative divisions). There can, however, be no other divisions below this new level. If you are thinking about microdistricts, those are strictly the units of urban planning and have neither administrative nor municipal status.
On the difference between the administrative and municipal divisions, no, the former are not strictly statistical. The municipal divisions framework is where the local government operates. The administrative divisions are used by the government of the federal subject and by the federal government. So, simply speaking, things like landscaping, trash removal, local social services, urban planning, local roads maintenance, etc. would be the responsibility of the local government (i.e., the municipality), while things like policing, pensions, judicial questions, military, communications, etc. would be the responsibility of either the federal government or the government of the federal subject. The latter uses the administrative divisions, not municipal. And while the borders of the administrative and municipal divisions often match (which makes sense, since it makes coordinating the work at the various levels of government so much easier), that's not always the case. Anapa Urban Okrug in Krasnodar Krai and Mezhdurechensky Urban Okrug in Kemerovo Oblast, for example, each cover the territories of two administrative divisions. Solovetsky District (an administrative division) in Arkhangelsk Oblast is incorporated as a rural settlement (a low-level municipal division) within Primorsky Municipal District (a high-level municipal division). Primorsky District (an administrative division), of course, does not include the territory of Solovetsky District (a separate administrative division). Such discrepancies are much more common on the lower levels. In Yaroslavl Oblast, for example, there are currently 227 rural okrugs (low-level administrative divisions), but municipally they are incorporated into just 70 rural settlements (low-level municipal divisions).
Hope this helps!—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 8, 2014; 15:02 (UTC)
Back on the Urban Okrugs, though. What's the difference between an intra-urban divisions and intra-urban districts? I guess I thought the latter was a newly created constituent of the former. Also, could you give a general example of how administrative city districts would relate to these intra-urban municipal divisions and districts in terms of the delivery of services? Lastly, is it technically possible that these new municipal divisions within Urban Okrugs could be incorporated from parts of multiple city districts? I realize it wouldn't likely make sense, but are these new municipal divisions required to exist within a single administration city district? --Criticalthinker (talk) 15:24, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not entirely sure what exactly you mean by "intra-urban divisions" and "intra-urban districts". Could you please clarify? Is it "city districts" (administrative unit) vs. "intra-city municipalities" (new municipal units)?
At any rate, in the administrative sense, large cities (normally those with populations of over one million) may (but are not required to) be divided into the "city districts", which are considered to be administrative divisions of the city (and to clarify, by "city" here I mean the city of federal subject significance—an administrative unit; not the inhabited locality). These divisions have been in existence for a long time, since at least the 1930s if not the 1920s. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and with the introduction of the municipal governments in the 1990s, some of those city districts were incorporated into municipalities (of a lower level; below the level of the "city municipality", or "urban okrug" in current parlance). The incorporation was strictly a local matter with no consistency across the country. That approach lead to all kinds of problems, since there was no legal framework for separating the duties of the local government from the duties of the regional/federal government. In Vladivostok, for example, a whole "garbage war" took place over the question who should be paying for trash removal. The city literally stank for weeks :) This type of problem is what the municipal reform of 2004–2005 targeted. The 2004 municipal law delineated which service is the responsibility of which level of government, as well as standardized the types of possible municipal divisions and the criteria for their formation. This is why the municipal divisions types are uniform across the whole country, while the types of the administrative divisions are federal subject-specific.
But I seem to digress again. The 2004 law did not allow for any low-level municipal divisions within urban okrugs. Only this year an amendment was introduced to allow the incorporation of parts of the cities into lower-level municipal formations. So far only a handful of cities actually pursued this opportunity. Chelyabinsk, I believe, is currently the only one that actually implemented them, although some others are still in the process of adopting them. In Chelyabinsk, the municipal status was granted to existing city districts (administrative units), although like with any other administrative divisions, there is no requirement that the administrative and municipal units had identical borders. To answer your question, a city may theoretically have administrative city districts and municipal city districts which are completely different, but as you noted, the practicality of such an approach would be rather questionable. Still, yes, it's possible.
In terms of service delivery, it's the same as with any other situation involving administrative vs. municipal units. Municipal services are provided on the territories of the municipal divisions, while the regional/federal government continue to utilize the administrative divisions. And as far as the responsibilities of the new municipal divisions go (compared to the responsibilities of the overall urban okrug), delineating those is up to the urban okrug itself. In Chelyabinsk, for example, the biggest change is to the process of the formation of the City Duma (which is now formed from the representatives of the legislative bodies of the municipal city districts).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 8, 2014; 16:09 (UTC)
The page was updated some time ago that talks of both "Urban okrug with "intra-urban divisions" and "intra-urban districts." The page specifically says that these "intra-urban districts" can be created within urban okrugs with "intra-urban divisions." This seems to give the impression that "intra-urban districts" are subordinate to "intra-urban divisions" which themseleves are subordinate to the urban okrugs. They are written as two distinctly different things. If "intra-urban districts" are simply the intra-urban divisions within urban okrgus, perhaps that needs to be foled into that definition instead of set apart from the main category, because that almost makes it read as if there is a possibility of three different levels concern urban okrugs instead of two. Does that make sense? --Criticalthinker (talk) 16:34, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
As someone who added this particular bit, you'd think I'd remember using these terms... Duh! :) Anyway, I see what you mean now. "Urban okrug with intra-urban divisions" is simply a term referring to an "urban okrug" that has "intra-urban districts" (like in Chelyabinsk). It is technically a new unit (because it's not the same as the regular "urban okrug"), which is why it's under a separate bullet. I do see how the present organization of the bullets may lead to confusion, though. If you have an idea on how to improve it, by all means please do. The Russian system is so convoluted, it's not often easy to maintain clarity... especially considering how alien that system looks to the rest of the world. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 8, 2014; 17:09 (UTC)
What I'd do is take away the second bullet and simply keep "intra-urban districts" as a bolded term within the "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions" bulletpoint. How does that sound? BTW, thanks for all your continued help. BTW, someone should work on a "city districts" definition page for Russia. I realize it wouldn't be that long of an article, but most other administrative divisions seem to have their own definition pages (i.e. selsoviets, towns and urban-type settlements of the administrative district significance). --Criticalthinker (talk) 06:31, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
No, thank you for your interest in this! Its hard to work on a topic without any feedback whatsoever, so your comments are appreciated more than you likely realize!
As for your suggestion, it sounds reasonable, although if we are to take away a bullet, it would probably make sense to refactor the whole thing into a single paragraph (with no bullets), with the newly introduced terms in bold.
Regarding the city district page, it's on my to-do list. The problem with it (and indeed, with any type of administrative divisions in Russia) is that it's rather difficult to find generic sources to support an article. Since these divisions are federal subject-specific, one is either to engage in original research/synthesis of sorts when trying to summarize all the information, or to go into very specific details and address each federal subject separately (which, with 83/85 federal subjects, gets ugly real quick).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 9, 2014; 15:22 (UTC)
Actually, the more I think about it, "intra-urban district" should be a sub-bullet under the existing "urban okrug" bullet much like we have "urban settlement" and "rural settlement" under the "municipal district" bullet. Then, we don't even have to bold the term "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions" as that would be rather obvious. How does that sound?
As for a city districts article, I do imagine there must not be much online information about them. I'll just be patient to see if you find anything. ;) While I'm sure their competencies differ from federal subject to federal subject, there are some basics they all share. For instance, I imagine that they can only be created within cities, towns and urban-type settlements of federal subject significance. --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:05, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, we could do as you are suggesting, but then the point that these two are the new types of municipal divisions is going to be lost. In a couple of years, when the novelty wears off and as these divisions are actually implemented in practice, it would make sense to have them all in one list (with sub-bullets), but do you not think their newness should be emphasized for now? Or am I misunderstanding your proposal?
As for the city districts, truth be told, there is not much information about them offline either. They do have many common traits (in Soviet times they could only be created in cities over a certain size, for example, and while it's no longer a rule now, it still holds for the most part), but while those traits are easy to pinpoint, they are a total bitch to source; hence my OR/SYNC concern. If you were ever wondering why the modern aspects in articles like selsoviet have so few sources, that would be for the same reason. City districts are even worse in that regard. I am keeping my eyes peeled, of course, but it seems that Russian specialized periodicals on law and government would be the best source for something like this, but that's not something I have easy access to, unfortunately. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 10, 2014; 19:04 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding me. To go over this again, there has only been one type of new municipal division introduced: "intra-urban districts." By still bulleting and bolding "Urban okrug with intra-urban divisions", it makes it appear that two new types of municipal division have been introduced instead of just one. "Intra-urban districts" should be bulleted and bolded, and then within the definition you would put that this is a new, lower-level municipal division for urban okrugs.
Either that, or you should do like you've done "Municipal District (raions)." In this case, you could keep both categories bulletted and bolded but simply indent the "intra-urban districts" part. Again, without the identation or folding the defintions into a single definition, it appears that there are two new municipal divisons when there is just one. --Criticalthinker (talk) 06:24, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
But there have been two types of municipal divisions introduced :) "Urban okrug with intra-urban divisions" is also a new type; it's not the same as a regular urban okrug. A regular urban okrugs cannot implement intra-urban districts unless its status is first (or at the same time) changed to an "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions".—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 11, 2014; 17:10 (UTC)
Ugh. Okay, I'm getting frustrated. Again, "intra-urban districts" is the new municipal division being created, here. That's it. All you have to do is indent the "intra-urban districts" category beneath the "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions" heading, just as the "urban and rural settlements" bullets are indented beneath the umbrella term of "municipal district." "Intra-urban districts" are under the umbrella term of "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions." That's it; it's that simple. Does that make sense? I'm at a lost how to be any more clear. --Criticalthinker (talk) 03:07, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, here is an even easier idea: Simply move "intra-urban districts" as a bullet point under "urban okgrus," since that's what they are. A footnote or even the current sentence stating when they were passed into law can either be put into the definition of "intra-urban districts" or left where it currently is. --Criticalthinker (talk) 03:16, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm getting a bit frustrated myself as well. We seem to be going in circles.
First and foremost, no (and I can't stress it enough), there is not just one new municipal division type created here. There are two. The federal law which deals with the municipal divisions lists all available types in its Article 2, and the May 27 amendment added two new entries. Not one; two. This is the reason why there are two bullets in this article.
From your comments, it seems that you are equating the urban okrugs' situation with the municipal districts'. A municipal district may comprise urban settlements, it may comprise rural settlements, it may comprise both types, or it may comprise neither. Whatever the setup, it has no bearing on the status of the municipal district itself. From the top, there simply is no difference. Not so with the urban okrugs. An urban okrug may not comprise any other divisions, period. This has been the case from the beginning of the municipal reform in 2004, and this has not changed with the May 27 amendment. If a territory currently organized as an urban okrug wants to implement lower-level divisions, its status first needs to change. The May 27 amendment provides an option for that. Once the status is changed to "urban okrug with intra-urban divisions", intra-urban districts can start being implemented. And changing the status of an urban okrug requires a whole lot of hoops to jump through. It may require holding a public hearing, or even a referendum. At the very least, local representatives need to formally approve the change. Once the approval is in place, a law needs to be passed, officially changing the status. Compare this to a (theoretical) municipal district with, say, two rural settlements. If those rural settlements are dissolved (a scenario which is not entirely implausible in the Extreme North, for example), the status of the municipal district remains exactly what it was before. There is no change in status. There are no public hearings. There is no need to pass an extra law. Do you see what I'm getting at here?
I do agree that the municipal divisions section in this article could use a bit more clarity. But what you are proposing to change will simply compromise the accuracy, and that, of course, is not good at all. If you find my above explanation sufficient to agree that there are, in fact, two new division typess being introduced and not one, can we revisit the question of section re-design from the top? And if you don't find it sufficient, can you explain which parts remain confusing? Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 12, 2014; 14:34 (UTC)
Okay, I think I get it. So, an "urban okrug with intra-urbant districts" is something distinct from (though on the same municipal level as) an "urban okrug." Still, that means that the "intra-urban districts" bullet needs to be indented beneath the "urban okrug with intra-urbant districts" bullet, since this these are the divisions of this new formation. --Criticalthinker (talk) 02:41, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think we are on the same page now. I see no problems with indenting the intra-urban districts entry. Would you mind terribly to implement that change, since it is your suggestion (and perhaps make other improvements, if you can think of any)? I'll be sure to comment here if I see anything potentially confusing. Thanks again for all your feedback!—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 15, 2014; 18:29 (UTC)
It is done. BTW, I left a similar question about the administrative divisions of Ukraine on its Talk page. Are you familiar enough with that country to answer my questions, there, too? It seems the lower-level administrative and municipal divisions and heirarchy are both more and less complicated than Russia's at the same time. Perhaps, there is a better way to structure that page so that there is a clear divide between the terms so we know when we're talking about administrative divisions, municipal divisions, and localities like how we have it here on this page. --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:49, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Could you try again, please? It looks like something has glitched, and a whole bunch of stuff got deleted, with refs and everything. Not sure if the deletion of the intra-urban territory section is a part of the glitch or if you intended that, but at any rate, those are not the same as the urban okrugs with intra-urban divisions. The former only apply to federal cities; the latter only apply to cities of federal subject significance.
As for Ukraine, I'm afraid I'm not of much help as my interests/expertise are primarily focused on Russia. I can, however, tell you for sure that Ukraine does not have an odd parallel municipal structure the way Russia does :) The municipalities of Ukraine are simply an aspect of the administrative-territorial divisions. The administrative divisions themselves aren't as complicated as they seem either and correspond more or less to the Soviet system. I could probably answer your questions from that standpoint, but seeing how I don't know the extent of the changes in the post-Soviet period, you'd probably be better off if you find a Ukrainian editor knowledgeable about the subject. I'm pinging User:DDima and User:Aleksandr Grigoryev as I've seen them making good contributions to the coverage of the Ukrainian divisions and I know they are fairly active.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); December 16, 2014; 19:43 (UTC)


Hello, everyone, I found my way back to this page. After much discussion here with a few other wiki users, might I suggest adding some clarification about how administrative divisions and municipal divisions/formations interact with one another, namely that they are seperate layers? For instance, how a "city" as an administrative division (of either federal subject or administrative district significance) or district, for example, can contain one or more municipal formations, or even how a single municipal formation can include multiple administrative divisions? It took me quite a bit of discussion with those who understand to Russian system to understand that these were seperate layers of governance - it is unusual, for instance, in quite a few countries for a "city" to be an administrative division by itself (usually, they are included within and are a territorial part of the county/district), whereas it's more common for a "city" to simply be a municipal formation within a district. It seems that in Russia, most "cities" - even smaller ones - are more often organized as what many elsewhere would call independent cities, which are cities that are independent of the respective counties/districts that may surround them. To put it with fewer words, I've found that a lot of countries usually have a single administrative level underneath their equivalent federal subject level of administration, and that is usually just the county/district, and within those, urban settlements are usually "incorporated" as municipal formations/governments while still being under the jurisdiction/oversight of the county/district governments. That is to say that the residents of these municipal formations are also residents of the county/district in which the municipal formation resides.

Finally, could it be explained the difference in governance between administrative divisons and municipal formations? For instance, when the two layers are coterminous and share the same boundaries, is there a local government for administrative division and the municipal formation? Do administrative divisions have local governments apart from municipal formations, at all? Like administrative divisions, do municipal divisions cover the entire country? If so, that is sometimes rare for other countries, where a country might be entirely divided into administrative divisions, but where municipal formations are the choice of those in mostly urban settlements, which makes them much more rare than administrative divisions.

I'm asking a lot of questions, I know, but I'm really just trying to offer some points on how the page could be further clarified. Not much more has to be added, but an additional few sentences for the "administrative divisions" and "municipal divisions" categories could be added to make things even more clear. Thanks for the discussion! --Criticalthinker (talk) 09:29, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

The main difference between the administrative and municipal divisions is the level of governance, or the service focus, if you will. For "federal" and "federal subject" (for a lack of better terms) purposes, such as policing and social security, administrative divisions are used. For the purposes of the local self-government (trash removal, parks and recreation, schools, etc.), municipal divisions are used. There is no "local government" at the administrative divisions level. Of course, I'm simplifying this quite a bit—while the tasks performed on the federal, federal subject, and municipal level are strictly delineated, it is not uncommon, for example, to delegate federal subject tasks to the local governments, although in each case this requires a separate legal arrangement. And to add to the confusion, since both the structure and the implementation of the administrative divisions grid is the domain of the federal subject government, both the structures and implementation details vary wildly from one federal subject to another (with the municipal divisions, the structure is federally mandated, and the implementation is subject to a set of fairly rigid rules, and although there is some flexibility, in the end the municipal grids tend to be fairly uniform across regions).
To answer your other question (do municipal divisions cover the entire country), it's complicated (of course!). The municipal framework covers the whole territory of the country, yet some areas (even those which contain inhabited localities) fall outside of any low-level municipal formations. Such territories are formally classified as "inter-settlement territories" and the responsibility to provide local services there usually falls to the upper-level municipal division. In Krasnoyarsk Krai, for example, Boguchansky Municipal District contains eighteen municipal rural settlements, but the combined territory of those rural settlements is smaller than the total area of the municipal district. The remainder is the inter-settlement territory, and in Boguchansky Municipal District it contains three rural localities (the villages of Kamenka, Priluki, and Zaimka).
I agree that explaining all this would be very helpful in the article, but I just can't ever seem to be able to compile all this information in any coherent way, without making things sound even more confusing than they are. Sourcing all these fine points is also quite a challenge—I have no problem finding concrete examples to illustrate any given point, but my library is lacking in the area of generalized information. Still, if you are willing to take a jab at this, I'd be more than happy to assist with any questions you might have. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); October 11, 2016; 13:51 (UTC)
You basically answered my questions. So, administrative divisions don't have an associated local government, and every settlement in Russia is covered by some municipal division whether it be a higher or lower level local government. I think this could be a simple way to add it to this page.
This is really not that different than how it works in the United States where many rural areas and settlements (and even some highly urbanized settlements) may not be under the subordination of a local government at the lower municipal level (what we call villages, towns, or cities), but is still covered by a higher level local government, which are almost always a county. The only real difference is that this higher level of local government (county) is also and always an administrative division, and that with few exceptions the lower level of local government (villages, towns, and cities) are rarely their own administrative division instead being under the subordination of the surrounding county(ies). There is ONE particular case with the state of Virginia, however, where "cities" are by default seperated from their surrounding "counties" and form their own administrative division. There are also notable exception in other states (St. Louis, Baltimore, etc...) and this concept in America is termed "independent" cities. There is another exception where a city and county have consolidated as a city-county and they are upper-level administrative equivalents. --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:26, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I think towns of district significance and urban-type settlements of district significance are a close parallel to your Virginia example, and a few districts in Chelyabinsk Oblast are organized in a way that's pretty much a US version of "city-county" (the full official name of Kartalinsky (administrative) District, for example, is "the Town of Kartaly and Kartalinsky District"). The rest look like valid comparisons, too, although I would question the utility of adding US-centric comparisons to the article, as most English speakers are not from the US, and the US system of governance would sound just as alien to them as the Russian one. (I wasn't sure if adding this was even your intent; never mind if it wasn't).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); October 12, 2016; 15:22 (UTC)
To be clear, I wasn't suggesting adding US-centric terms to this article, rather I was using them as an example for you to understand my questions better. Like I said, the only thing I'd really like to see in this article is 1.) the fact that the entire territory of Russia is covered by local government (whether it be an upper level or lower level municipality) with a few exceptions(?) and 2.) that the administrative divisions aren't local governments with their own mayors/councils/etc. like they are in a lot of other countries. 3.) that an administrative division can include multiple municipal formation and vice versa. --Criticalthinker (talk) 02:28, 13 October 2016 (UTC)