Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English,[1] but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region". The last translation may lead to confusion, because the subdivision of "oblast" is called "raion" which is translated as "region" or "district", depending on the context.

Oblasts are a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the now-defunct Soviet Union. Official terms in successor states of the Soviet Union differ, but some still use a cognate of the Russian term, e.g. voblast (voblasts, voblasts' , [ˈvobɫasʲtsʲ]) is used for provinces of Belarus, and oblys (plural: oblystar) for provinces of Kazakhstan.


Oblasts of Bulgaria

Since 1997, Bulgaria has been divided into 28 oblasti, usually translated as provinces. Before, the country was divided into nine bigger units, also called oblast.

Oblasts of the Russian Empire

In the Russian Empire, oblasts were considered to be administrative units and were included as parts of Governorates General or krais. The majority of then-existing oblasts were located on the periphery of the country (e.g. Kars Oblast or Transcaspian Oblast) or covered the areas where Cossacks lived.

Oblasts of the Soviet Union

In the now-dissolved Soviet Union, oblasts were one of the types of administrative divisions of the union republics. As any administrative units of this level, oblasts were composed of districts (raions) and cities/towns directly under oblasts' jurisdiction. Some oblasts also included autonomous entities called autonomous okrugs.

The names of oblasts did not usually correspond to the names of the respective historical regions, as they were created as purely administrative units. With a few exceptions, Soviet oblasts were named after their administrative centers.

Terms used to describe oblasts in post-Soviet countries

The oblasts in other post-Soviet countries are officially called:

Viloyat and welayat are derived from the Arabic language term wilāya (ولاية)

Oblasts of Russia

According to the Constitution of Russia, oblasts are considered to be subjects of the Federation, which is a higher status than that of administrative units they had within the Russian SFSR before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The federal subject status gives the oblasts some degree of autonomy and gives them representation in the Federation Council.

Oblasts of Ukraine

Voblasts of Belarus

Oblasts of Former Yugoslavia

Oblasts were administrative units of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes between 1922 and 1929. During that period, the country was divided into 33 oblasts. In 1929, oblasts were replaced with larger administrative units known as banovinas.

During the Yugoslav Wars, several Serbian Autonomous Oblasts were formed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. These oblasts were later merged into the Republic of Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska.

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. Entry on "oblast"

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • oblast — ȍblāst ž <G asti, I asti/ ašću> DEFINICIJA 1. a. veliko područje ili zona koja ima prepoznatljiv reljef, klimu, biljni i životinjski svijet, srodnost jezika, naroda itd.; područje b. područje istraživanja, područje djelatnosti itd.,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • oblast — [äb′last] n. [Russ oblast ] an administrative subdivision, or region, of a republic in the U.S.S.R …   English World dictionary

  • Oblast — Oblast, 1) (Rechtsw.), so v.w. Servitut; 2) was auf die Langholzflöße gelegt wird …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Oblast — (Oblastj, russ., »Gebiet«), Bezeichnung solcher Provinzen des russischen Reiches, in denen (im Gegensatz zu den Gouvernements) infolge des Überwiegens fremder (nicht russischer) Bevölkerung neben den allgemein geltenden Rechtsbestimmungen noch… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • oblast — ● oblast nom masculin (mot russe signifiant région) Division administrative de l ex U.R.S.S. (Des régions autonomes [avtonomnyïe oblasti] furent constituées au sein des républiques fédérées, jouissant de l autonomie culturelle.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oblást — í in i ž (ȃ) 1. možnost vplivati na koga, da ravna po določenih zahtevah, željah, če noče čutiti neprijetnih posledic: v družini je imel oblast oče; izgubiti ekonomsko oblast; po prihodu novega direktorja se je oblast te skupine v podjetju še… …   Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika

  • Óblast — Una óblast o vóblasts (en ruso область (femenino), en ucraniano: область, en búlgaro: област y en bielorruso: вобласьць, transcrito: vóblasts) es una entidad subnacional (región) de Bielorrusia, Bulgaria, la Federación Rusa, Ucrania, y la antigua …   Wikipedia Español

  • Oblast — Ein(e) Oblast (russisch und ukrainisch область; weißrussisch вобласць, Woblasz; serbisch und bulgarisch област; Mehrzahl im Deutschen: Oblaste oder Oblasts[1]; wörtlich „Gebiet“) ist die Bezeichnung für einen größeren Verwaltungsbezirk (ähnelt in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oblast — Un oblast (en russe et en ukrainien : область, prononcé oblast´, le mot est féminin, en bulgare : oбласт) est une unité administrative de type « région » de la Fédération de Russie, de l Ukraine, du Kirghizistan ou encore de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Óblast — Un óblast (en ruso y ucraniano: область) es el nombre de una entidad subnacional de Bulgaria, la Federación Rusa, Ucrania, y la antigua Unión Soviética. En la Unión Soviética y las repúblicas que la sucedieron, los óblast están un nivel por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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