Raion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the song by the band Jinn, see Raion (song). For the synthetic fiber, see rayon.

A raion (also rayon) (pl. raiony) is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet states (such as part of an oblast). The term, which is from French "rayon" (meaning "honeycomb, department"),[1] describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district".[2]

The term "raion" also can be used simply as a second degree of administrative division without anything to do with ethnicity or nationality. A raion is a standardized administrative entity across most of the Soviet Union and is usually a subdivision two steps below the national level. However, in smaller countries, it could be the primary level of administrative division (Administrative divisions of Armenia, Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan). After the fall of the Soviet Union, some of its former republics dropped raion from their use (Armenia).

Etymology[edit]

The word "raion" (or "rayon") is often used in translated form: Azerbaijani: rayon; Belarusian: раён, rajon; Bulgarian: район; Georgian: რაიონი, raioni; Latvian: rajons; Lithuanian: rajonas; Romanian: raion; Russian: райо́н and Ukrainian: райо́н.

List of countries with raion subdivisions[edit]

Existing[edit]

Former[edit]

History[edit]

Raions in the Soviet Union[edit]

In the Soviet Union, raions were administrative divisions created in the 1920s to reduce the number of territorial divisions inherited from the Russian Empire and to simplify their bureaucracies.[3] The process of conversion to the system of raions was called raionirovanie ("regionalization"). It was started in 1923 in the Urals, North Caucasus, and Siberia as a part of the Soviet administrative reform and continued through 1929, by which time the majority of the country's territory was divided into raions instead of the old volosts and uyezds.[3]

The concept of raionirovanie was met with resistance in some republics, especially in Ukraine, where local leaders objected to the concept of raions as being too centralized in nature and ignoring the local customs. This point of view was backed by the Soviet Commissariat of Nationalities.[3] Nevertheless, eventually all of the territory of the Soviet Union was regionalized.

Soviet raions had self-governance in the form of an elected district council (raysovet) and were headed by the local head of administration, who was either elected or appointed.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, raions as administrative units continued to be used in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.

Raions in the People's Republic of Romania[edit]

Latvia[edit]

Georgia[edit]

Modern raions[edit]

Azerbaijan[edit]

See: Districts of Azerbaijan

Belarus[edit]

In Belarus, raions (Belarusian: раён, rajon[4]) are administrative units subordinated to oblasts. See also: Category:Districts of Belarus.

Bulgaria[edit]

In Bulgaria, raions are subdivisions of three biggest cities: Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. Sofia is subdivided to 24 raions (Sofia districts), Plovdiv - 6, Varna - 5 raions.

Moldova[edit]

Transnistria[edit]

Russian Federation[edit]

Administrative districts[edit]

In modern Russia, division into administrative districts largely remained unchanged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "district" ("raion") is used to refer to an administrative division of a federal subject or to a district of a big city. In two federal subjects, however, the terminology was changed to reflect national specifics:

Municipal district[edit]

A municipal district (муниципа́льный райо́н) is a type of municipal formation which comprises a group of urban and/or rural settlements, as well as inter-settlement territories, sharing a common territory. The concept of the municipal districts was introduced in the early 2000s and codified on the federal level during the 2004 municipal reform.

Municipal districts are commonly formed within the boundaries of existing administrative districts, although in practice there are some exceptions to this rule—Sortavalsky Municipal District in the Republic of Karelia, for example, is formed around the town of Sortavala, which neither has a status of nor is a part of any administrative district.

City districts[edit]

Many major cities in Russia (except for federal cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg) are divided into city districts (intra-city districts (other languages)). Such city districts are usually considered to be administrative divisions of the city but cannot be a separate municipal formation. Examples of such city districts are Sovetsky City District in Nizhny Novgorod and Adlersky City District in Sochi.

Ukraine[edit]

In Ukraine, there are a total of 450 raions which are the administrative divisions of oblasts (provinces) and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Major cities of regional significance as well as the two national cities with special status (Kiev and Sevastopol) are also subdivided into raions (constituting a total of 111 nationwide).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961, repr. 1981), s.v. raion.
  2. ^ Saunders, R.A., Strukov, V. Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. "Scarecrow Press", 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-5475-8, S. 477.
  3. ^ a b c James R. Millar. Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. New York, 2004. ISBN 0-02-865693-8
  4. ^ According to the Instruction on Latin Transliteration of Geographical Names of the Republic of Belarus, Decree of the State Committee on Land Resources, Surveying and Cartography of the Republic of Belarus dated 23.11.2000 No. 15 recommended for use by the Working Group on Romanization Systems of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) — http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/9th-uncsgn-docs/e-conf-98-crp-21.pdf. See also: Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script; Romanization of Belarusian.
  5. ^ Constitution of the Tyva Republic, Article 138.2a

References[edit]

  • 6 мая 2001 г. «Конституция Республики Тыва», в ред. Конституционного закона №1419 ВХ-2 от 10 июля 2009 г «О внесении изменений в статью 113 Конституции Республики Тыва». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тувинская правда", 15 мая 2001 г. (May 6, 2001 Constitution of the Tyva Republic, as amended by the Constitutional Law #1419 VKh-2 of July 10, 2009 On Amending Article 113 of the Constitution of the Tyva Republic. Effective as of the official publication date.).