Talk:Oblasts of Ukraine

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Square miles[edit]

Square miles, seriously? What about using this article readable for the 95% people who do not use medieval units? Don't be afraid people, welcome into the 19th century. The metric system, the horseless cars on metallic roads and other wonders will amaze you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


It sounds very weird, if you understand slavic languages, because "oblast" or "oblasť" means area or region in Ukrainian (and also in Czech). I don't see any reason to not translate it. Plural form "oblasts" sounds ridiculous. Better name of article is "Regions of Ukraine". --Korytaacheck (talk) 12:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't sound weird for me. It has been established that the world "oblast" now became a loanword in the English language, which is why we are using it to refer to Ukrainian subdivisions here on Wiki. Since it's a loanword, the plural english form needs an "s" ending, and that's why we are here with "Oblasts" today. This has been discussed through and through and been decided to use oblasts over regions. § DDima 18:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
That is violation of Wikipedia naming policies. The common names are using "Region". Derianus (talk) 02:21, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Oppose. No consensus to move. Page not moved. Ricky81682 (talk) 10:15, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Oblasts of UkraineRegions of UkraineWP:UE, common English. Sources support this, e.g. and ISO 3166-2:UA. Compare other "oblast"-entities: Category:Regions of Kazakhstan, Category:Regions of Belarus. Also other former Soviet Union countries all except Russia use common English words for the first level entities. But maybe the separatists in Eastern Ukraine are right, and Ukraine should be treated like an appendix of Russia? Derianus (talk) 02:11, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment - (question) What has this got to do with separatism in the east of Ukraine? Is your move request motivated by a desire to not use words that are used in regard to Russia? Imc (talk) 16:51, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
    • All "oblast"-entities for current countries, except Russia and Ukraine, use a common English term in Wikipedia. Russia may have its reasons, I cannot tell. But why Ukraine does? I see no justification for this. So I wonder whether there is some Russian "underground" influence here. Derianus (talk) 03:59, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Cherkasy Region, Chernihiv Region, Chernivtski Region, Dnipropetrovs'k Region .... Derianus (talk) 20:49, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – I've been dealing a lot with stuff like this lately, and I've noticed that English sources simply do not use "oblast", except some specialist scholarly works. As an example, here are two articles from The New York Times[1][2] that use "Donetsk region", "Luhansk region", &c. Here is a BBC article, an article from The Economist. Quality English-language press, and no sign of "Oblast" anywhere. As one can see with this Google Ngrams search, "region" tends to be more common on the whole. Therefore, I support this request. We use the English-language common name, and what's more, we use what's natural for the reader. "Region" is much more natural than "oblast". RGloucester 00:54, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. "Oblast" is a recognizable term in English, just like other words for regions that have moved into English, e.g. canton. Dekimasuよ! 10:24, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
This is not the case in common usage. Ask someone on the street what an "oblast" is, and they'll have no idea. They will, however, know what a "region" is. We go by what is commonly used, not by terms only familiar to specialists. The fact that neither the BBC nor The New York Times use "oblast" is quite telling, in this regard, as they certainly are not "low-brow" publications. RGloucester 18:30, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Er, except that the term is not in common English usage (WP:UCN). Reliable sources refer to these as regions, just as we can and should. Any size and level of land area can be called an "oblast", too. Any size and level of land can be called a "state", or a "county", or a "province". That doesn't change the fact that this word is commonly translated as "region" by reliable sources. RGloucester 22:07, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not about what can be done, e.g. one could also call an "elk" a "lion", or a "state" of the U.S. a "region", but about what is done. Several English language sources have decided to call these entities region - in English texts, that is why it is proposed to drop the Wikipediism and use "region". Derianus (talk) 22:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
"Times World Atlas" doesn't dictate common usage. No one said that "no one" uses the word "oblast". What was said was that the word "oblast" is not in common use, is not the most common name, is un-natural to the average English-speaker, and hence inappropriate. Specialist sources using technical terminology are quite different from reliable newspapers. Next time you're waiting for the bus, why not ask the old lady standing next to you if she knows what an "oblast" is? RGloucester 04:46, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
"Eastern Ukraine" is a geographic region, not an administrative region. Most countries have both historical, cultural, and geographic regions, along with modern administrative regions. There is a difference. If reliable sources like The New York Times call these so-called "oblasts" regions, how can you say that "regions are not oblasts? RGloucester 13:49, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
@IP - Regions are not oblasts. - Some are, according to sources given. And I trust UA Gov, ISO, BBC, NYT, Statoids more than one IP that does not even bother to prove its claim. The IP seems to engage in WP:OR. Derianus (talk) 14:54, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
It may be in the dictionary, but many words are in the dictionary. That's not the concern. The concern is whether it is in common usage amongst the general population. It isn't. In fact, it isn't even used in mainstream newspapers and broadcasters like the BBC and The New York Times. RGloucester 18:48, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
The term is in the dictionary, but that's because everybody uses the term for the Soviet and Russian administrative subdivisions. Are they used for the post-Soviet Ukrainian subdivisions, though? That's the question here. —innotata 20:42, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
UA Gov, ISO, Statoids, BBC, NYT, The Economist, Kyiv Post [3], TASS [4] decided to use region. Derianus (talk) 00:52, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Regions" is just too vague and ambiguous. Wikipedia's scope is enormous (unlike the scope of any of the sources pointed out above—they simply don't have that problem and can pick the lowest common denominator they can afford), so when it is possible to use a more specific, established term to alleviate that ambiguity, that's what needs to be done. Furthermore, since "oblast" is a loanword and not merely a transliteration, that's another uptick in its favor. If anything, it's the "regions" of Belarus/Kazakhstan that need to be fixed and moved to "oblasts"! We are not reporting news here; we are building an encyclopedia. Even Britannica is using "oblast" (at least for Russia; it seems their coverage of Ukraine isn't extensive enough), so why should we go solely with the mainstream news? They dumb down a lot of things; that doesn't mean their choices should always be our choices. If we were to use only what the news outlets are using, we'd have a pretty unreadable encyclopedia, simply because everything would have become so ambiguous and confusing.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); October 17, 2014; 15:16 (UTC)
Using the English language in an English encylopaedia is not "dumbing anything down". Do I force the Ukrainian Wikipedia to call what Americans call a "county" as such? I do not. They rightfully call these округ (okrug). Likewise, we do not call these administrative units "oblasts". It means nothing in English, to the average English speaker, or to most people in general that are not familiar with Slavic languages or Eastern European history. RGloucester 15:41, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but the "county" example is quite absurd. "County" is not a loanword in Ukrainian, but "oblast" is a loanword in English (and one that's used quite extensively in academic literature, too). Using generic terms is fine when reporting news or in a passing mention (if one's focus is on a plane crash in Ukraine, for example, it makes very little difference whether one refers to the oblast where it happened as "oblast", "province", or "region"; indeed, using simpler language in that context helps keep focus on the subject at hand). But when the oblasts themselves are the subject (as they are in the articles about the administrative divisions, their types and historical development, and in the articles about the actual oblasts), then using simplified terms isn't helping anyone; in fact, it starts to interfere with proper understanding of the topic. And that's the definition of "dumbing down".—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); October 17, 2014; 16:06 (UTC)
It is not a loanword. It is a foreignism. It may be recorded in a dictionary because academic specialists use it, but we go by common names here. Joe Bloggs doesn't know the word, but he does know what a region is. That's because he doesn't speak Ukrainian, and hence, shouldn't have to either. The "oblasts" are not the subject, because to average Joe Bloggs, there is no such thing as an "oblast". The "regions" are the subject.RGloucester 18:01, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you're underestimating the intelligence of readers. I have no specialist knowledge of Ukraine, but I was familiar with "oblast". "Region" might be appropriate for Simple Wikipedia, but I would hope we respect readers of the full version a little more. Number 57 18:18, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I respect the English language. That's what I respect. As such, I respect it by honouring its words, and not corrupting it with foreignisms. Regardless, this is even verified by the OED, now that I've taken the time to get out my print copy. In all examples provided for usage of the word "oblast", it is either italicised, put in inverted commas or parentheses. The definition provided is "a province or region". All come from explicitly technical works that how no relation to common usage. RGloucester 18:21, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
A little misleading - 2 of the 7 examples are not marked out any different to normal text ("The term ‘kray’ is given to those divisions which contain autonomous oblasts." and "They [sc. the soviets] in their turn send delegates to the rayons, above which are the oblasts."). Number 57 18:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The fact remains that these are entirely technical works not related to common usage. Even in the majority of these technical works, the word is treated as a foreignism through italicisation, inverted commas, or parenthetical glosses. Putting these aside, common usage clearly does not favour this foreign word, "oblast", as has been adequately demonstrated above. RGloucester 18:45, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @User:Ezhiki - alleviate that ambiguity - which ambiguity? Is "Odessa Region" ambiguous? How is it alleviate for other sets, where no foreignism is available? Derianus (talk) 23:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC) And what about the claim on your user page "I am also a self-appointed keeper of consistency" - is it consistent, to use foreignisms in articles about first-level and second level subdivisions if the entities belong to Russia or Ukraine? Derianus (talk) 23:45, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Odessa Region is ambiguous and can mean an area around Odessa (including, for example, Mykolaiv or southern Moldova, but excluding the Izmail area. Odessa Oblast is unambiguous (I oppose the move, for the record).--Ymblanter (talk) 09:07, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
It isnt' ambiguous at all. "Odessa Region" with a capitalised "R", can only prefer to the proper noun administrative region. "Odessa region" might potentially refer to what you just said, but that's irrelevant. We have no article on this unknown "Odessa region" that you mention, so there is no ambiguity. RGloucester 14:56, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Can User:Ymblanter also say why s/he is opposing the move to a name used by ISO, UA Gov, BBC, NYT and other reliable sources? For the ambiguity: Having no article about any of the non-administrative entities that Odessa region could refer to, does not mean the name is not ambiguous. But so is the name "Russia" - it is ambiguous, while an unambiguous term "Russian Federation" -here even in proper English- exists. I would also like to see evidence for the claim "Odessa Region is ambiguous and can mean an area around Odessa (including, for example, Mykolaiv or southern Moldova". Derianus (talk) 16:11, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
That's ok, a closing user will evaluate all the arguments. Mine are precisely the same as Ezhiki. May I please also remind you that you failed to inform Wikipedia:WikiProject Ukraine of this discussion, and I do not see a single Ukrainina user here indeed (I am likely the one having the most edits on Ukrainian topics).--Ymblanter (talk) 16:14, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No one is required to notify the Ukrainian Wikiproject. That's exactly the problem, Ymblanter. Ukrainian users don't dictate English language usage. That's exactly what is happening. Non-native speakers of English express a preference for using the indigenous terms, even though these terms are not commonly used in English or by English speakers. If this was poll solely of average native English speakers, there would be almost no support for "oblast". It is utterly absurd. RGloucester 17:23, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
You know, if presence of non-English native speakers is now considered to be a problem (which so far was different here), well, we can leave. I vaguely remember that you were looking recently for someone to expand an article on Donbass - I volunteered, and you did not onject, on the opposite, you thanked me for volunteering. Why do not you find a native English speaker for this article? Would be perfectly fine with me.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:29, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I highly value the presence of non-native English speakers, as they help counter systemic bias, translate important articles, and provide a comprehensive view of world history that would otherwise be lost. Without non-native English speakers, this project would be moribund. That was not what I was suggesting. What I am suggesting, however, is that it is problematic for non-native English speakers, who are otherwise essential to the project, to determine that terms not frequently used in English should be used by this encyclopaedia, in defiance of our policies on common name and English usage. This is something that often happens, and frankly, is a great problem on this encyclopaedia. Titles of articles should be the most natural and common term used by native language English speakers, and non-native speakers of the language are often unable to recognise that this means translating words that are otherwise familiar to them. This is exactly the case here. The word "oblast" is only obfuscating in this instance. English has perfectly good words that describe the same thing as an "oblast". "Region" is instantly recognisable to any speaker of English, and instantly conveys meaning. "Oblast" means nothing to the vast majority of English speakers, and conveys no meaning. It is entirely un-natural, and for that reason, our title criteria suggest that we should not use it. This is compacted by WP:UCN, where most English language sources use "region" as opposed to "oblast". RGloucester 17:40, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
The kind of blackmailing by User:Ymblanter reminds me of WP:OWN. Only because a certain person does a lot of editing to certain articles does not mean that person defines the rules that are applied to it. I would not go so far as to ask for that the majority of English native speaker needs to understand an English Wikipedia article title. But here there is ISO, UA Gov and other reliable sources all using "Region" instead of "Oblast". Derianus (talk) 00:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

───────────────────────── For anyone that claims that using Oblast makes article names unambigous: Look at the two entities named Belostok Oblast. Derianus (talk) 00:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm confused as to what that is meant to prove. According to your move request, both those articles should be named "Belostok Region", which would create more ambiguity than having one still named Oblast. Number 57 21:59, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Not really, since the native form of each is some form of "oblast", or in this case, "voblast" (White Ruthenian language). RGloucester 22:28, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
@User:Number 57 - as long as you are confused, please remove your voting. Try first to understand the topic. Derianus (talk) 01:46, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
This is great how a user who registered a month ago teaches Wikipedia policies users who have been here a lot longer, but may I please ask you to read WP:CONSENSUS first. It looks that you have been so busy moving articles all over the place, that you forgot to read the policies first. And, yes, also WP:NPA may apply to you as well. Thank you for understanding.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Stay focused to the topic of finding a name for the article "Oblasts of Ukraine". This " It looks that you have been so busy moving articles all over the place, that you forgot to read the policies first." constitutes a personal attack. Just from my editing elsewhere you cannot judge whether I read a certain policy or not. Derianus (talk) 01:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────Comment - Derianus, please revert all of your changes to Belarus, Ukraine, etc. until some form of WP:CONSENSUS is achieved. You have not even attempted to bring the issue up for discussion elsewhere but are, instead, treating Wikipedia as a WP:BATTLEGROUND. One look at your special contributions has convinced me that you're WP:NOTHERE, but have approached nomenclature for these countries as an WP:SPA. Your efforts have now left articles for the countries involved littered with red links. Please look at the Brest Region article with broken links to Volyn Region and Rivne Region as a superficial indication of what a massive and intricate impact such a change would have on a multitude of existing articles, and meaning that a clear consensus would be needed in order to ensure a collaborative clean-up involving many, many editors.

I would also ask that you remove your retaliatory attack on my talk page (do not post warning templates on an experienced editor's talk page), and use appropriate edit summaries: calling my reversion of your content changes vandalism when I am not a mind reader, and you have not indicated anywhere what changes you are trying implement, is WP:UNCIVIL.

This Ukrainian will weigh into the discussion once she can see her way clear to approaching the issue on a cool head. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Derianus, your tendentious editing practices are not appreciated. Firstly, you deleted my WP:TALK on this page, quickly obfuscated the red links you'd created in the Brest article I'd noted here, spammed my talk page with more templates here and removed my reinstated comment on this talk page a second time and went WP:FORUMSHOPPING on the Grodno Region talk page. I'd say that is a prime example of WP:TPO. If that isn't, going back into my talk page to make changes here using an edit summary of "tone down section title and provide reply" in order to change the section name from "Harassment, nonsense insertion" to "Controversy" is simply not on. If you considered the "comment" I'd left to be a personal attack and removed it on this premise, I would consider it an overreaction on your behalf. If, however, you truly believe you were justified in interpreting it as a personal attack, please read WP:RPA in order to establish how best to handle a personal attack in a reasonable manner. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:28, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I inserted a section header. The talk by Iryna has nothing to do with the renaming of the article Oblasts of Ukraine. Derianus (talk) 03:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
... and now, after removing my comment twice, you've just restored it making the entire thread ridiculous and inserting a separate header ("Behaviour discussion")! In fact, my comment was directly related to the discussion. You've been changing articles left, right and centre without bothering to start any form of dialogue with other editors. Other editors are not mind readers and need to be made aware of what you're trying to accomplish. I finally managed to track your rationale down via this RM after seeing your changes to content on many of the articles on my watchlist popping up. Does it not strike you, just as a matter of common sense, that letting your objectives be known is a productive method by which to build an encyclopaedia, and that behaving as you have been is abusive, disruptive and just downright rude? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:44, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
They also renamed all Belarusian raions to districts though the consensus was exactly the opposite. (I was myself advocating districts in the discussion, so I will not move them all back, but may be in the future smth like RFC/U will be appropriate).--Ymblanter (talk) 05:42, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Blatant lie by User:Ymblanter. Derianus (talk) 23:08, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
WP:NPA and blocks are approaching.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:05, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
I must also add that I had tom revert pretty much every recent mainspace edit by Derianus with the comment "get consensus first"/ However, I do not have time and energy to follow user whose main dispute resolution means is edit warring. I am also very disappointed with ANI which I unwatched a long time ago and will not take them there, though if someone else does I might support. Otherwise I probably let them do what they want and wait till they get indeffed (and users with battleground mentality always get indeffed). Then I will revert all of their contribution which went against consensus.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:30, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ezhiki. Some terms are country specific and forcing an awkward not-really-an-English-translation term onto them confuses matters more than it helps. Volunteer Marek  06:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Just bringing this up, where similar issues have been discussed twice, with consensus for voivodeship established in the end.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:56, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Stuff from 8 and 4 years ago is hardly relevant here, and I'd be happy to throw "voivodeships", whatever those are, out the window at a later date. I find it bizarre how this is "not really an English translation" even though it is used by the preponderance of reliable sources. RGloucester 13:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
This is ok, and I respect your opinion, I was just trying to reflect on whether indeed Oblasts (which are currently used in the English Wikipedia for Russia and Ukraine, and should have been also used for Belarus if the topic starter have not moved all of them out of consensus) the only non-English-origin word used in this context (along with Russian Krais). That would be really odd. Now I see that we also use one for Poland. I am pretty sure the consensus for Poland did not change, but you can try of course to move them. I myself have currently no opinion about the voivodeships vs regions.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:32, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
You are incorrect about Belarus. They were moved to "region" by a consensus-based RM discussion. You'll notice that these disputes only apply to administrative divisions in Eastern-Central Europe, indicative of the problem we face here. No one anywhere suggests that we move Provinces of China to shěng of China. The vast majority of articles on administrative divisions in countries use English-language terminology. The only ones that do not are these few Eastern-Central European ones. Krais, oblasts, voivodeships. I'm surprised we're not being made to refer to Russian federal subjects as "subyekty of Russia". I'm also surprised that Polish editors like the bizarrely half-translated "Voivodeship", which seems more insulting than either no translation or a full translation. RGloucester 17:38, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I apologize, they only moved distrits. Striking this out.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
User:Ymblanter is also wrong with his claim "They also renamed all Belarusian raions to districts though the consensus was exactly the opposite.". He invents things to put me in a bad light. Derianus (talk) 03:28, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, no. Talk:Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script#Discussion on Belarusian settlements naming was not concluded as there was no consensus on the naming. Indeed the part with the districts was settled, but not with the names themselves (otherwise I would renamed them myself a long time ago). Concernbing this page, pls stop reverting my edits until THIS RFC has been closed. The info who calls what in English does not belong to the page per WP:UNDUE.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:34, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Not "well, no.". Provide evidence for your claim about my edits that says "They also renamed all Belarusian raions to districts though the consensus was exactly the opposite." - But you will not be able to. You made it up to put me in a bad light. Derianus (talk) 02:17, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fact removal by User:Ymblanter[edit]

User:Ymblanter removed sourced facts - with the edit summary "get consensus first". For sourced facts??? How crazy is that? It is one of Wikipedia's highest priority to have well sourced correct information. So, there is consensus for citing sources, Mr Ymblanter. Derianus (talk) 03:25, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

I will remind you again of WP:TALKNEW: "Never use headings to attack other users: While no personal attacks and assuming good faith apply everywhere at Wikipedia, using headings to attack other users by naming them in the heading is especially egregious..." --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:22, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
"especially egregious" is fact removal in the first place. Derianus (talk) 02:12, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
It would be great if at one moment you could start reading policies.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:24, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
It would be great if you would stop fact removals. You blatantly did it again. Where is the difference to vandalism? You do not act in good faith. You remove facts, like a vandal. Derianus (talk) 02:12, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

The third fact removal [5]. Derianus (talk) 19:54, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

This is not a fact and does not belong to the article. This is original research, and it should not be there per WP:UNDUE.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:09, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Searching a source and citing it, falls under "original research"? How else is one supposed to provide sourced facts? How is UNDUE applicable here? What do you consider not-balanced? Derianus (talk) 20:59, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
It is not a fact, it is a result of your research.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:02, 31 October 2014 (UTC)