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Reblogged from FuturisTrendcast

Posts in this series appear under category Ask Lada

For the new Ask Lada episode, I chose the following question.

In response to my latest video, WHO REALLY RULED USSR? The Secret of Brezhnev’s Passport

Question: Is an Oblast comparable to any American governmental subdivision such as a State or County? 

Lada’s reply

If located in the densely populated European part, oblast in size could be between a US state and county. It’s typically bigger than any US county, but usually (not always) smaller than a state. If it’s located in Siberia, it tends to be bigger than many of the world’s countries.

Sometimes oblast is incorrectly translated as a ‘region.’

Russia’s administrative structure is federative, which means that there is a federative agreement between various parts of the country. This is due to the multinational, multi-confessional and multi-cultural composition of Russia. In fact, Russia is the most multi-national country in the world, with about 100 nationalities living on its territory. It is also one of the few truly multi-confessional countries, although the main religion is considered Russian Orthodoxy.

Russian_Regions-EN.svgMany, but not all, federation subjects are oblasts. Oblasts are generally the predominantly and traditionally Russian-populated territories within Russia, directly subordinate to the capital, Moscow. Such as Moskovskaya Oblast (area around Moscow – excluding Moscow proper, which is a separate subject of the Federation), Voronezhskaya Oblast in central Russia (city of Voronezh and surrounding areas) and Novosibirskaya Oblast in Western Siberia.

Another administrative subdivision in addition to oblast is kray. A great example is Krasnodarsky Kray, which includes some of the most fertile agricultural lands in Russia, as well as the famous Black Sea resorts, such as Sochi. Kray (krai) means a parcel of land, or alternatively, ‘the end, edge or outskirts.’ Incidentally, the word Ukraine ‘ u-krai-na’ is a derivative of the word kray.

sochi palms

Black Sea resort of Sochi (Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 venue), Krasnodarsky Kray

Normally, krays are those lands where the cossacks had traditionally settled. They were given land and special rights by the Russian Empire, and later, by the Russian Federation. Their administration was a little different. Kray is often bigger than oblast, although some are comparable in size and population. Other examples are Krasnoyarsky Kray in Eastern Siberia (capital Krasnoyarsk) and Dalnevostochniy Kray (the Far Eastern Kray).

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