A correspondent has pointed out an error in the Territorial extent section. I had listed Novaya Zemlya and Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa as part
of Nenets autonomous province. Instead, they belong to Arkhangel'sk region. Nenets was a subregion of Arkhangel'sk until 1993. I'm not
sure whether these archipelagoes were part of Nenets before that date.
Update 4 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was issued on 2011-04-30. It has a code for the new territory.
Russia will abandon daylight saving time, and advance its standard time by one hour, by failing to "fall back" on the date when DST would
otherwise have ended: 2011-10-30.
Update 2 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was published on 2010-11-30. In Russia, it officially revokes the FIPS code for the defunct
Ust-Orda Buryat autonomous province, which had been left in the standard by an oversight.
The new Zabaykal'ye territory created in 2008 is reflected in the ISO standard by Newsletter II-2 (2010-06-30), and in the U.S. standard
"Geopolitical Entities and Codes" by Update 1 (2010-08-20).
According to Julia Kusznir, writing in the Russian Analytical Digest of 2008-06-17, there are several local proposals for new mergers.
Kemerovo region could merge with Altay territory and Gorno-Altay republic. Moscow city could merge with Moscow region; St. Petersburg
city with Leningrad region, forming Baltic territory. Chechen republic could merge with Stavropol' territory. A proposal to merge Adygey
republic with Krasnodar territory is apparently stalled.
FIPS PUB 10-4 Change Notice 13 was issued on 2008-02-04. It shows the merger of Kamchatka and Koryak.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-9 was published on 2007-11-28. It shows the new status of Kamchatka and Perm' territories.
FIPS 10-4 Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11, has FIPS codes changes for Krasnoyarsk. There is also a new country code
designate the four southern Kuril Islands which I have assigned to Sakhalin region, and which are claimed by Japan.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, updates the list of ISO codes to take into account the Perm' merger. FIPS 10-4 Change
Notice 11, dated 2006-07-11, has assigned a new FIPS code to the newly merged Perm' territory.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-7 was published on 2005-09-13. The only change affecting Russia was to add the local language name to one
okrug, changing it to "Khanty-Mansiyskiy avtonomnyy okrug [Yugra]". I understand that this name became official in 2003.
President Putin divided Russia into seven federal okrugs, effective 2001-03. Each federal okrug has its own president's representative.
The federal okrug is a intermediate structure between the federal government and the government of a federal subject. Here are some maps
of the new okrugs: Clik
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on 1998-12-15. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Russia,
the draft standard showed 89 divisions of six different types. The final standard shows the same 89 divisions, but several of their codes
were changed. The ISO codes for two divisions of Russia - Altay territory and Gorno-Altay republic - were accidentally interchanged in
"Administrative Subdivisions of Countries". Changes that should be made to ISO codes in the book are shown in boldface. A
number of divisions also had the wrong time zone listed in the book, but several of the time zones have also been changed since then, so
the list in the book would be outdated anyway.
|Time zone||(see table)|
Russia is the largest country in the world in area. Fittingly, it requires a long article. At the beginning of the 20th century, the
Russian Empire embraced almost all of what later became the Soviet Union, as well as Finland and much of Poland. On 1917-03-15, Czar
Nicholas II abdicated, and a provisional government was installed. On 1917-11-07, Bolsheviks led by Lenin overthrew this government,
replacing it with a Communist one. (Russians call this the October Revolution because Russia still observed the Julian calendar at the
time.) Many of the peripheral territories of the empire became independent or were conquered and alienated from Russia by peace
settlements. A civil war ensued. It ended with the Red faction victorious in 1920. In 1922, a new constitution created the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R., or Soviet Union). The U.S.S.R. gained territory as a result of World War II. The Communist system
eventually proved unviable. On 1991-12-25, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved, breaking into 15 countries corresponding to its
constituent republics (some of them had already unilaterally declared independence). The Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.) was
formed to replace it on 1991-12-21. The members at its foundation were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan,
Moldavia, Russia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The C.I.S. still endures as a very loose federation.
Note: this article uses the abbreviations G. for Government (Guberniya), S.S.R. for Soviet Socialist Republic (Sovyetskaya
Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), S.F.S.R. for Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (Sovyetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya
Respublika), A.S.S.R. for Autonomous S.S.R. (Avtonomnaya S.S.R.), Obl. for Region (Oblast'), A.Obl. for Autonomous Region (Avtonomnaya
Oblast'), and A.Okr. for Autonomous Province (Avtonomnyy Okrug, formerly called Natsional'niy Okrug). The Russian names in context may be
inflected, as in Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), where S.S.R. is in the genitive
plural. "Constituent republics" refers to S.S.R.s and the S.F.S.R.
Other names of country:
- Danish: Rusland
- Dutch: Rusland, Russische Federatie (formal)
- English: Russian Federation (formal)
- Finnish: Venäjä
- French: Russie, Fédération f de Russie f (formal), Fédération Russe (formal)
- German: Rußland, Russland n, Russische Föderation f (formal)
- Icelandic: Rússland
- Italian: Russia f
- Norwegian: Den russiske føderasjon (formal) (Bokmål), Den russiske føderasjonen (formal) (Nynorsk), Russland
- Portuguese: Rússia f, Federação f Russa (formal)
- Russian: Российская Федерация
- Spanish: Rusia, Federación f de Rusia f (formal)
- Swedish: Ryssland
- Turkish: Rusya Federasyonu
Other names of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (obsolete):
- English: Soviet Union, U.S.S.R.
- French: Union f des républiques fp socialistes soviétiques, U.R.S.S., Union soviétique
- German: Union f der sozialistischen Sowjetrepubliken fp, U.d.S.S.R., Sowjetunion
- Italian: Unione f delle Repubbliche fp Socialiste Sovietiche, U.R.S.S.
- Norwegian: Sovjet-Unionen
- Portuguese: União f das Repúblicas fp Socialistas Soviéticas, União Soviética
- Russian: Союз Советских
- Spanish: Unión f de Repúblicas fp Socialistas Soviéticas, U.R.S.S., Unión Soviética
- Swedish: Sovjet-Unionen
- Turkish: Sovyet Sosyalist Cumhuriyetler Birliği
Origin of name:
land of the Rus (possibly a group of Vikings)
Russia is divided into one avtonomnaya oblast' (autonomous region); four avtonomnyy okrug (autonomous province); two gorod ([federal]
cities); nine kray (territory); 46 oblast' (region); and 21 respublika (republic). The phrase "federal subjects" covers all of these
types of division.
|Saint Petersburg City||g|
- Tp: b = autonomous region, a = autonomous province, g = federal city, k = territory, o = region, r = republic.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "
RU-" to the
RU-TUL represents Tula).
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Reg: Federal okrug containing the subject. For key, see table below.
- Post: First three digits of typical postal code (usually the capital).
- TZ: Time zone (hours offset from GMT). Some divisions are in more than one time zone.
- Population: 2002-10-09 census.
Notes: Under the Soviet Union, some of these divisions were subordinate to others. They have been called "matryoshka
regions" by analogy to nesting dolls - regions within regions. Under the 1993 constitution, the subordinate subdivisions were all
promoted to full subject status. All the same, the 2002 census results show the "composite districts" as units with their subordinate
divisions indented below them. The following list shows subordination status as of about 1990. Regions marked with an asterisk (*)
were still being treated as subordinate in the 2002 census.
Subordinate subdivisions: Altay contained Gorno-Altay; Arkhangel'sk contained Nenets*; Chita contained Aga Buryat*;
Irkutsk contained Ust-Orda Buryat*; Kamchatka contained Koryak*; Khabarovsk contained Yevrey; Krasnodar contained Adygey; Krasnoyarsk
contained Evenk*, Khakass, and Taymyr*; Magadan contained Chukot; Perm' contained Komi-Permyak*; Stavropol' contained Karachay-Cherkess;
Tyumen' contained Khanty-Mansiy* and Yamal-Nenets*. In each case, the composite district had some territory that was not in any of the
These are the federal okrugs.
- Reg: Arbitrary one-letter okrug code.
- English: English translation of okrug name.
- Population: 2002-10-09 census, preliminary results.
Russia uses six-digit postal codes. The system hasn't been changed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, so blocks of codes
used for the old union republics are no longer in use. The first three digits usually indicate the federal subject in which the code
is located, but the system is complex, and I have only displayed representative codes for each subject.
See the Raions of the Russian Federation page.
- Adygey is entirely surrounded by Krasnodar.
- Arkhangel'sk includes the White Sea islands of Morzhovets, Solovetskiye, and Anzerskiy, and the Arctic island groups of Novaya Zemlya
(New Land) and Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa (Franz Joseph Land).
- Astrakhan' includes Caspian Sea islands in the Volga River delta, such as Zyudev.
- Chukot includes Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island) and Ayon Island in the Arctic Ocean.
- Dagestan includes the Caspian Sea islands of Chechen and Tyuleniy.
- Irkutsk includes Ol'khon Island in Lake Baykal.
- Kaliningrad contains the northern end of the Baltiyskaya Kosa, a spit of land attached to the mainland in Poland. It is an exclave,
since it is not adjacent to any other part of the Russian Federation, although it has access to Saint Petersburg by sea.
- Kamchatka includes the Commander Islands and Karaginskiy Island.
- Khabarovsk includes the Shantarskiye Ostrova (Shantar Islands), the biggest of which is Bol'shoy Shantar.
- Krasnoyarsk includes the islands of Severnaya Zemlya (North Land): October Revolution Island, Komsomolets Island, Bolshevik Island,
Pioneer Island, etc., and other islands along the Arctic coast as far west as Sibiryakova.
- Leningrad includes islands in the Gulf of Finland: Bol'shoy Berezovyy, Gogland, Kotlin, Moshchnyy, etc.
- Moscow City is entirely surrounded by Moskva region. It also has three small exclaves within Moskva region, one each containing the
towns of Elino and Rasskazovka, and one north of Reutov.
- Murmansk includes Kil'din Island.
- Nenets includes Kolguyev and Vaygach Islands.
- Primor'ye includes Ostrov Russkiy (Russian Island).
- Sakha includes the Arctic islands and groups of Novosibirskiye Ostrova (New Siberian Islands), Lyakhovskiye Ostrova, and Bol'shoy
- Sakhalin consists of Sakhalin Island, the Kuril'skiye Ostrova (Kuril Islands), and adjacent islets. I count the southern Kuril Islands
as part of this region. They are disputed with Japan. FIPS describes them as Etorofu, Habomai, Kunashiri, and Shikotan Islands, with a
- Samara has a tiny exclave inside Orenburg containing a village called Dal'niy, north of Buzuluk.
- Yamal-Nenets includes the Arctic islands of Belyy, Oleniy, and others.
Origins of names:
- Adygey: people of the sea, from Abkhazian adi: water
- Altay: after the Altay Mountains, originally Turkic Altun: gold, Tagh: mountain
- Amurskaya: after the Amur River, from Tungus amor: big river
- Arkhangel'sk: named for a convent there, dedicated to the archangel Michael
- Astrakhan: from Turkish haci: hajji (pilgrim to Mecca), tarhan: free from taxes
- Belgorod: Russian byelo: white, gorod: city
- Buryat: Mongol buriad: forest-dwelling people
- Chuvash: ethnic name, from Turkic dzhyvash: peaceful
- Dagestan: Turkish dag: mountain, Iranian ostan: land (land of mountains)
- Ivanovo: named for Tsar Ivan IV of Russia (Ivan the Terrible = Ivan Groznyy)
- Kaliningrad: city of (communist leader Mikhail Ivanovich) Kalinin, renamed from Königsberg in 1946
- Kalmyk: after the ethnic name Kalmuk, from Mongolian kalimak: beyond the shore
- Kamchatka: named by Semyon Dechnev in 1648 from Russian kamtsatka: a type of patterned cloth
- Karelia: possibly from Finnish karja: herds
- Khabarovsk: after Zherofey Pavlovich Khabarov, explorer of the area
- Kirov: renamed from Vyatka in 1934 on the assassination of Kirov (Sergey Mironovich Kostrikov), communist leader
- Komi: ethnic name, from Zyrian komi: men
- Krasnodar: Russian krasniy: red, dar: gift, renamed from Yekaterinodar in 1920, as the Red Army displaced the tsars
- Krasnoyarsk: shortened from Krasnoyarskiy Ostrov, from Russian krasniy: red, yar: bank, -skiy: adjectival suffix,
ostrov: island (island with red clay banks)
- Kurgan: Turkic for walled city
- Leningrad: renamed in 1924, along with the city, in honor of Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, 1870-1924)
- Mari: ethnic name, from Iranian word for men
- Mordovia: from the ethnic name Mordvin
- Moscow/Moskva: after the Moscow River (Moskva in Russian)
- Murmansk: corruption of the Russian adjective for Normans or Norsemen
- Nizhniy-Novgorod: Russian for lower Novgorod; Novgorod means new city (called Gorkiy 1932-1992)
- North Ossetia: Northern part of Ossetia, from Georgian osi: ethnic name
- Novgorod: Russian noviy: new, gorod: city
- Omsk: Om (River) + -sk: adjectival suffix
- Orenburg: Or (River) + German burg: fort, originally planned as a fort on the Or, but actually built elsewhere
- Perm': probably from Finnish perä: back, maa: land (considered back country by the Finns) (called Molotov 1940-1957)
- Primor'ye: Russian pri: by, morye: sea (seaside, maritime)
- Rostov: after the capital, Rostov-na-Donu (Rostov on the Don), which was originally called Krepost Dmitriya Rostovskovo (fortress of
Dmitri of Rostov), after the patron saint of its church, a native of a different city named Rostov
- Sakhalin: the Manchus called the island Sakhalin anga hata, the island at the mouth of the Black River (meaning the Amur), simplified
to Sakhalin (Black River)
- Smolensk: adjectival form of Russian smola: pitch (area was a source of pitch for boats)
- Stavropol: Byzantine Greek stavros: cross, polis: city (city of the cross)
- Sverdlovsk: after revolutionary hero Yakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov (Yekaterinburg before 1924 and after 1991)
- Tatarstan: land of the Tatars (ethnic name used by the Mongols)
- Tomsk: Tom (River) + -sk: adjectival suffix
- Udmurt: after an ethnic name
- Ul'yanovsk: after Lenin (nom de guerre of Vladimir Ilyich Ul'yanov (1870-1924))
- Vladimir: after the city, named for its founder, Prince Vladimir Monomakh (1053-1125)
- Volgogradskaya: after the city, from Volga (River) + grad: city
- Voronezhskaya: after the Voronezh River, from Russian voron: crow
- Yakutsk: inhabitants are Yakuts, from Yakut yeko: stranger
- Yaroslavl': named for Iaroslav Vladimirovich the Wise, Prince of Kiev
- Zabaykalsky: beyond (za) Lake Baikal
For additional information about the divisions of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union that are not included in the Russian Federation, see
individual country listings.
- According to source , in the 15th to 17th centuries, Russia's
primary divisions were called uezd, and its secondary divisions, volost'. Tsar Peter the Great initiated a reform in the administrative
geography of Russia, under which it was divided into guberniya, province, uezd, and volost'. In 1775, Catherine the Great introduced
another reform, dividing the country into 41 guberniy, subdivided into uezd and volost'. A period of stability ensued, lasting until the
1917 revolution. The Bolshevik government imposed many changes. In 1920-24, a number of autonomous ethnic regions were created at all levels of the
hierarchy. The guberniya was supplanted by the oblast', the uezd by the raion, and the volost' by the sel'soviet (rural council). In
1927-29, Stalin formed a set of okrugs by grouping oblasts. The okrugs were disbanded in the World War II period. Khrushchev did more or
less the same thing in 1957, creating economic regions. These were disbanded when Khrushchev fell from power in 1964.
- According to source , under Peter the Great, a set of eight guberniy was established in 1708. They were superseded in 1719 by a set
of fifty provintsy (provinces), which were subdivided into districts.
- Source  shows the population of the Russian Empire and its components according to the first general census, 1897-01-28. The columns show
the division name, area in square versts, number of men, number of women, total population, and population density.
- 1905: Japan acquired the southern half of Sakhalin Island and the Kwantung peninsula (now part of Liaoning province, China) from
Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. The divisions of Russia before World War I were as follows:
|Åbo-Björneborg||Abo-B'yorneborgskaya G.||Finland/Turku ja Pori||Åbo|
|Don Cossacks||Voyska Donskovo Obl.||Russia/Rostov||3,591,900||63,532||Novocherkassk|
|Livonia||Liflyandskaya G.||Estonia, Latvia||1,466,900||17,574||Riga|
|Saint Michel||Sankt-Mikhel'skaya G.||Finland/Mikkeli||Sankt-Mikhel'|
|Saint Petersburg||Sankt-Peterburgskaya G.||Russia/Leningrad||2,903,000||17,226||Sankt-Peterburg|
|Syr Daria||Syr-Darinskaya Obl.||Kazakhstan/S. Kazakhstan||1,874,100||194,147||Tashkent|
|Uralsk||Ural'skaya Obl.||Kazakhstan/W. Kazakhstan||782,300||137,679||Ural'sk|
|Vilna||Vilenskaya G.||Lithuania, Belarus||1,957,000||16,181||Vil'no|
|Vitebsk||Vitebskaya G.||Latvia, Belarus/Vitsyebsk||1,850,700||16,983||Vitebsk|
- Modern: the present-day country and division that best approximate the territory under the Russian
many cases the old division has been cut into several pieces since 1900.
- Population: 1911 estimate. Entire population and area of Finland is listed under Nyland.
- There were also larger divisions called general-guberniy (general governments, or governor-generalships), comprising several oblasts
or guberniyas. They included Caucasus, Finland, Kiev, and Warsaw (Poland).
- 1914: Name of capital of Russia changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd.
- 1917-07-20: Finland declared independence from the Russian Empire.
- 1917: Erivan government became independent and took the name Armenia.
- 1918: Capital of Russia moved from Petrograd to Moscow.
- 1918-01-24: Bessarabia government declared independence.
- 1918-02-16: Lithuania, consisting mainly of the governments of Kovno and parts of Vilna and Suwalki, declared independence.
- 1918-02: Estonia, consisting of the government of Estonia and part of Livonia, declared independence.
- 1918-03-03: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk allowed Germany to occupy Byelorussia, consisting of the governments of Minsk, Mogilev, most of
Grodno, part of Vitebsk, and part of Vilna. Both Germany and Russia later renounced this treaty.
- 1918-03: Capital of Russia moved from Petrograd to Moscow.
- 1918-05-26: Georgia, consisting of the governments of Kars, Kutais, and Tiflis, declared independence.
- 1918-05-28: Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, consisting of the governments of Baku, Elizabethpol, and Zakataly, declared
- 1918-07-10: Under a new constitution, Russia became the Russian (Rossiyskaya) S.F.S.R.
- 1918-11-09: Poland, consisting of the Kingdom of Poland (a part of Russia, divided into the governments of Kalish, Kel'tsy, Lomzha,
Lyublin, Petrokov, Plotsk, Radom, Sedlets, Suvalki, and Varshava) and parts of Germany and Austria, declared independence.
- 1918-11-18: Latvia, consisting of the governments of Courland and parts of Livonia and Vitebsk, declared independence.
- 1919-01-01: Byelorussian (Byelorusskaya) S.S.R. was declared. Its territory remained in dispute.
- 1919-06-28: Treaty of Versailles signed. Poland's independence confirmed.
- 1920-04-06: Far Eastern Republic (Dal'nye-Vostochnoy Respublika; capital Chita) formed from Amur, Kamchatka, Maritime, and
Transbaikalia. It was nominally independent, although coastal areas were occupied by Japan.
- 1920-08-26: Kirghiz A.S.S.R. formed from Akmolinsk, Semipalatinsk, Turgay, and Ural'sk regions, and the northern part of Transcaspian
- 1920-10-07: Poland occupied the southeastern part of Vilna, including the city of Vilnius.
- 1921-03-18: Treaty of Riga between Poland and Russia divided Byelorussia into a western section, annexed to Poland, and an eastern
section, the Byelorussian S.S.R. The latter contained almost all of Minsk and parts of Gomel', Mogilev, and Vitebsk.
- 1921-04-11: Turkestan A.S.S.R. formed from Amu-Darya, Ferghana, Pamir, Samarkand, Semirechensk, and Syr Darya regions, and the
southern part of Transcaspian.
- 1922: Russia annexed the Transcaucasian Federation, which became the Transcaucasian S.S.R. (Armenia 1922-03-12, Azerbaijan
1922-12-30, Georgia 1922-12-15).
- 1922-11-15: Far Eastern Republic merged with Russian S.F.S.R., becoming Far Eastern Obl.
- 1922-12-30: Treaty of Union adopted, creating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) (capital Moscow). The
constituent republics were Byelorussian S.S.R., Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (R.S.F.S.R.), Ukrainian S.S.R., and
- 1924-03-03: Byelorussian S.S.R. annexed the remainder of Mogilev and Vitebsk, and part of Gomel'.
- 1924: Central Asian republics reorganized in the autumn to match nationalities more closely. The northern part of Turkestan was
annexed to Kirghiz.
- 1924: Kazakh A.S.S.R. formed by merging Kirghiz A.S.S.R. with most of Semirechensk and Syr Darya.
- 1924: Moldavian A.S.S.R. split from Ukraine, consisting of Bessarabian territory on the left bank of the Dniestr River.
- 1924: Name of Petrograd oblast and city changed to Leningrad.
- 1924-10: Turkmen A.S.S.R. and Uzbek A.S.S.R. formed.
- 1924-10-14: Kara-Kirghizskaya autonomous region, consisting of parts of Ferghana, Semirechensk, and Syr Darya, separated from
Turkestan and became part of the Russian S.F.S.R.
- 1925: Name of capital of Kara-Kirghizia changed from Pishpek to Frunze.
- 1925-05: Status of Uzbek and Turkmen changed from A.S.S.R.s to S.S.R.s.
- 1926-02-01: Status and name of Kara-Kirghizia changed to Kirghizskaya A.S.S.R.
- 1926-12-06: Remaining part of Gomel' transferred from Russia to Byelorussia.
- 1929: Capital of Kirghiz moved from Kzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata.
- 1929-12: Status of Tadzhik changed from A.S.S.R. to S.S.R.
- 1936-12-05: Under a new constitution, Transcaucasian S.S.R. split into Armenian S.S.R., Azerbaijan S.S.R., and Georgian S.S.R.;
status of Kazakh and Kirghiz changed from A.S.S.R. to S.S.R.
- 1936-12-05: Name and status of Kirghiz changed to Kazakh (Kazakhskaya) S.S.R.
- 1938: Far Eastern territory split into Khabarovsk and Maritime territories.
- 1939-09-17: The Soviet Union invaded Poland. By November, Poland had been divided between Germany and the Soviet Union. West
Byelorussia (from Poland) merged with the Byelorussian S.S.R. The territory changed hands back and forth during the war. By 1946,
Byelorussia had essentially the territory that is now Belarus.
- 1940-03-12: Soviet Union gained about half of Kymen province (with the port of Viborg) and part of Kuopio from Finland.
- 1940-03-31: Karelian A.S.S.R. merged with territory ceded by Finland to form Karelo-Finnish S.S.R.
- 1940-06: Northern Bukovina ceded to Soviet Union by treaty.
- 1940-08-02: Moldavian S.S.R. created by merging most of the conquered Bessarabian territory with half of the Moldavian A.S.S.R.
Northern Bukovina, the other half of the Moldavian A.S.S.R., and part of Bessarabia, merged with Ukraine.
- 1940-08: Soviet Union annexed the three Baltic republics: Lithuania (1940-08-03), Latvia (1940-08-05), and Estonia (1940-08-06).
All three became S.S.R.s.
- 1944: Tannu Tuva, independent from Mongolia since 1921-07-11 as the Urjanchai Republic, became an autonomous oblast of the Soviet
- 1945-06-29: Soviet Union acquired Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia by treaty. It became the region of Transcarpathia within the
- 1945-07-16: Potsdam Conference began. As a result, the northern part of East Prussia became Kaliningrad region of the Russian
S.F.S.R. (1946-04-07). The Soviet Union recovered territory lost in the Russo-Polish War, annexing it to the republics of Byelorussia,
Lithuania, and Ukraine.
- 1945-09-02: Former Russian territories reverted to the Soviet Union by Japan's surrender. They included the southern half of
Sakhalin Island, Kwantung peninsula, and all of the Kuril Islands.
- 1946: Crimean A.S.S.R. became an oblast (Krymskaya Oblast') of the Russian S.F.S.R.
- 1946-07: Name of capital of Kaliningrad changed from Königsberg to Kaliningrad.
- 1947-02-10: By Paris Peace Treaty, Finland ceded territory to the Soviet Union, including the strip of Lappi that had connected
Finland to the Arctic Ocean around Petsamo. Bessarabia formally restored to the Soviet Union.
- 1954-02-19: Crimea transferred from Russian S.F.S.R. to Ukrainian S.S.R.
- 1955: Kwantung territory returned to China by the Soviet Union.
- 1956-07-16: Karelo-Finnish S.S.R. became Karelian A.S.S.R., part of the Russian S.F.S.R.
- 1958-07-07: Name of Buryat-Mongol A.S.S.R. changed to Buryat.
- 1991-12-08: Commonwealth of Independent States formed.
- 1991-12-25: Soviet Union officially dissolved. Its 15 constituent republics became independent countries. Many of them had already
unilaterally declared independence in the preceding few months. The Russian S.F.S.R. became the Russian Federation. Its internal
divisions were unchanged, except that A.S.S.R.s became simply republics.
- 1992-03-31: Chukot split from Magadan, of which it had hitherto been a subordinate part. In 1991-02, the Chukchi legislature had
seceded from Magadan, but this move was not acknowledged by the federal government. The Federation Treaty first recognized Chukot as a
- 1992-06: Chechen-Ingush republic split into Chechnya and Ingushetia by a law of the Russian Federation. Both have been fighting for
independence, but are still considered part of Russia.
- ~1994: Moscow City split from Moscow region; Saint Petersburg City split from Leningrad region.
- 1995-12-28: Capital of Ingush republic moved from Nazran' to Magas. According to the Magas City Web page, the city was being built
"in accordance with the Federal law of the Russian Federation (N 217-FZ issued December 28, 1995)." (See also source .)
- 1997: Chechnya renamed its capital from Groznyy to Dzhokhar (Djovkhar Ghaala in Chechen), in honor of Dzhokhar Dudayev, president of
the republic from 1991 until his death in 1996. The new name has not been appearing in reference works, probably because the
international community still considers Chechnya part of Russia, and Russia still uses Groznyy.
- 2001-03: President Vladimir Putin decreed a system of seven federal okrugs.
- 2003-07-25: Official name of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug changed to Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug—Yugra.
- 2005-12-01: Perm' territory formed by merging Perm' region and Komi-Permyak autonomous province, under a constitutional amendment.
Before the merger, the codes for Perm' region were
RS58 (FIPS); for
Komi-Permyak autonomous province,
KOP (ISO), and
RS35 (FIPS). The capital of
Komi-Permyak was Kudymkar. The separate population and area of Komi Permyak were 136,076 (2002 census) and 32,900 km.² (12,700
- 2007-01-01: Evenk and Taymyr autonomous provinces merged with Krasnoyarsk territory, following a referendum held on
2005-04-17. Before the merger, the codes for Evenk were
EVE (ISO), and
For Krasnoyarsk, they were
RS39, respectively. For Taymyr, they were
RS74. The postal codes for Evenk and Taymyr were in the
The populations of Evenk and Taymyr, according to the 2002 census, were 17,697 and 39,786; their areas were 767,600 and 862,100 km.²; and
their capitals were Tura and Dudinka, respectively. East Siberian territory was under consideration as the name of the combined territory,
but Krasnoyarsk territory won out.
- 2007-07-01: Kamchatka region and Koryak autonomous province merged to form Kamchatka territory, following a referendum
held on 2005-10-23. Before the merger, the codes for Koryak were
KOR (ISO), and
(FIPS). For Kamchatka the HASC code was
RU.KA, and FIPS was
RS26. The postal codes were in the
range. The population of Koryak, according to the 2002 census, was 25,157, its area was 301,500 km.², and its capital was Palana.
- 2008-01-01: Ust-Orda Buryat autonomous province merged with Irkutsk region, following a referendum held on 2006-04-16. Before the
merger, the codes for Ust-Orda Buryat were
RS82 (FIPS), and
(Postal). Its population in the 2002 census was 135,327, its area 22,400 km.², and its capital was Ust'-Ordynskiy. I have combined those
data with the rest of Irkutsk in the primary subdivisions table. Irkutsk's HASC code was
- 2008-03-01: Chita region and Aga Buryat autonomous province merged to form Zabaykal'ye territory, following a referendum held on
2007-03-11. Before the merger, the codes for Aga Buryat were
674 (Postal). Its population in the 2002 census was 72,213, its area 19,000 km.², and its capital was Aginskoye.
Chita's HASC code was
CHI, and FIPS
RS14. I have combined the data for Aga Buryat and
Chita in the entry for Zabaykal'ye in the main table.
- 2010-01-19: President Dmitri Medvedev decreed that the North Caucusus federal okrug would be split from the Southern federal okrug,
of which it formerly formed a part.
Other names of subdivisions:
Since Chechnya is in the news currently, it might be useful to know some of its alternate names. Its formal Russian name, transliterated,
is Chechenskaya Respublika. Translated into English, this is Chechen Republic. Informal names in other languages include Cecenia
(Italian), Chechenia (Spanish), Chechênia, Tchetchnia (Portuguese), Chechnya-Ichkeria (variant), Noxçiyçö (Chechen),
Tchétchénie (French), Tjetjenien (Danish, Swedish), Tschetschenien (German), Tsjetsjenia, Tsjetsjenja-Itsjkeria (Norwegian),
Tsjetsjenië (Dutch). On 1994-01-19, Dzhokhar Dudayev decreed that the official name of the republic would be Chechnya-Ichkeriya.
Under the Soviet Union, Chechnya was part of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The Russian name of this entity was
Checheno-Ingushskaya Avtonomnaya Sovyetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika. Informal names included Checheno-Ingushetia (English),
République autonome de Tchétchéno-Ingouchie (French), Tchetchen-Ingush (Portuguese), Tschetscheno-Inguschetien, Tschetscheno-Inguschien
The name of the capital of Chechnya is Groznyy, which is a Russian adjective meaning "threatening, formidable". Tsar Ivan IV, known in
the English-speaking world as "Ivan the Terrible", was Ivan Groznyy to the Russians.
In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Chechen parliament moved to split Checheno-Ingushetia into two republics. The
separation was a "velvet divorce", as happened in Czechoslovakia likewise.
The other part of Checheno-Ingushetia became the Ingush Republic, also known as Galgay Respublika (Ingush), Ingouchie (French),
Inguchétia (Portuguese), Inguschetien (German), Ingushetia, Ingushetiya (variant), Ingushskaya Respublika (Russian), República de
los Ingushes (Spanish).
Note: There are many ways of transliterating from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Roman. The methods used tend to be specific to a
target language. For example, English speakers normally transliterate the Russian word for emperor as tsar; German speakers render it
czar. Both transliterations are intended to transcribe the sounds of Russian so that the reader will be able to approximate them. Here
are some consistent patterns that you will observe in alternative transliterations. The letter or cluster of letters that I use appears
first, followed by some other possibilities, tagged with cues to the context in which these alternatives might be used. The tag
"(Slavic)" refers to Eastern European languages written in the Roman alphabet. Serbian and Croatian are essentially the same language,
written with Cyrillic letters by Serbs and Roman letters by Croats. There is a direct substitution of letters used for converting between
Serb and Croatian that defines the Slavic transliteration. The Slavic seems to be gaining acceptance as a language-neutral Romanization.
- kh: x; j; ch (German); h (Slavic)
- ch: tch (French, Portuguese); tsch (German); c or ci (Italian); č (Slavic); tsj (Norwegian)
- sh: ch (French); š (Slavic); sch (German); sj (Norwegian)
- dzh: j; g (Italian, before e or i)
- zh: ž (Slavic); j (French, Portuguese); zj (Norwegian)
- ts: c, z, tz, or cz (German); c (Slavic)
- v: f, ff (older); w (German)
- y: i, no letter; j (German, Slavic)
- z: s (German)
- ': y, no letter
Ordinarily, Russian sources use the adjectival form of the name, followed by the type of division. Several of the capital names were
changed to honor heroes of the Soviet Union, and then changed back to their original names when the heroes fell from favor, or when the
Soviet Union shut down.
- Adygey: Adygea, Adygeya, Adygheya, Republic of Adygeya (variant); Adygeyskaya A.Obl. (obsolete);
Республика Адыгея (Russian)
- Aga Buryat: Aga-Buryatiya, Agin-Buryat, Agino-Buryatiya, Aginsk A.Okr. (variant); Агинский
- Altay: Алтайский край
- Amur: Амурская область
- Arkhangel'sk: Arcangelo (Italian); Archangel, Archangelsk (variant); Архангельская
- Astrakhan': Astrachan (variant); Астраханская
- Bashkortostan: Bashkir, Bashkiriya, Bashkirskaya A.S.S.R., Republic of Bashkortostan (variant); Ufa,
Ufimskaya G. (obsolete); Республика
- Belgorod: Белгородская область
- Bryansk: Брянская область
- Buryat: Buryatiya, Buryat-Mongol A.S.S.R., Republic of Buryatia (variant); Buryatskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete);
- Chechnya: Cecenia (Italian), Chechenia (Spanish), Chechênia, Tchetchnia (Portuguese), Chechen-Ingush
A.S.S.R., Checheno-Ingushetia, Checheno-Ingushskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Chechen Republic, Chechnya-Ichkeria
(variant); Tchétchénie (French), Tjetjenien (Danish, Swedish), Tschetschenien (German), Tsjetsjenia, Tsjetsjenja-Itsjkeria
(Norwegian), Tsjetsjenië (Dutch).; Чеченская Республика,
- Chelyabinsk: Челябинская область
- Chukot: Chukchi A.Okr. (variant); Çukot (Turkish); Tsjuktsji (Norwegian); Чукотский
- Chuvash: Chuvashskaya Respublika, Chuvashiya, Chuvash Republic (variant); Tsjuvasjija (Norwegian);
- Dagestan: Dagestanskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Daghestan, Republic of Dagestan (variant); Dağistan
(Turkish); Республика Дагестан
- Evenk: Evenki (variant); Эвенкийский
- Gorno-Altay: Oirot (obsolete); Republic of Altai (variant); Республика
Горный Алтай, Республика
- Ingush: Ingouchie (French), Inguchétia (Portuguese), Inguschetien (German), Ingushetia, Ingushetiya,
Ingush Republic (variant); República de los Ingushes (Spanish).; Ингушская
- Irkutsk: Иркутская область
- Ivanovo: Ивановская область
- Kabardin-Balkar: Kabardin A.S.S.R., Kabardino-Balkarskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Kabardino-Balkariya,
Kabardino-Balkarsk (variant); Кабардино-Балкарская
- Kaliningrad: Калининградская
- Kalmyk: Kalmykiya, Khalmg Tangch, Republic of Kalmykia (variant); Kalmytskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete);
(Russian); Хальмг Тангч (Russian-variant)
- Kaluga: Калужская область
- Kamchatka: Kamçatka (Turkish); Камчатский
- Karachay-Cherkess: Karaçay-Çerkes (Turkish); Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, Karachayevo-Cherkess Republic
(variant); Karatsjajevo-Tsjerkessija (Norwegian); Карачаево-Черкесия,
- Karelia: Karelian A.S.S.R., Karelo-Finnish A.S.S.R., Karel'skaya A.S.S.R., Olonets, Olonetskaya G.
(obsolete); Kareliya, Republic of Karelia (variant); Республика
- Kemerovo: Кемеровская область
- Khabarovsk: Хабаровский край
- Khakass: Khakassiya, Republic of Khakasia (variant); Khakasskaya A.Obl. (obsolete); Республика
- Khanty-Mansiy: Khanty-Mansiysk (variant); Khanty-Mansiyskiy A.Okr.;
- Kirov: Vyatka, Vyatskaya G. (obsolete); Кировская
- Komi-Permyak: Коми-Пермяцкий
- Komi: Komi A.S.S.R., Republic of Komi (variant); Республика
- Koryak: Корякский автономный
- Kostroma: Костромская область
- Krasnodar: Cossacks of the Black Sea, Kuban, Kubanskaya Obl., Yekaterinodar (obsolete);
Краснодарский край (Russian)
- Krasnoyarsk: Yeniseisk, Yeniseyskaya G. (variant); Красноярский
- Kurgan: Курганская область
- Kursk: Курская область
- Leningrad: Saint Petersburg, Sankt-Peterburgskaya G. (obsolete); Ленинградская
- Lipetsk: Липецкая область
- Magadan: Магаданская область
- Mariy-El: Mari, Mari-El, Republic of Mari El (variant); Mariyskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Марийская
АССР (Russian-obsolete); Республика
Марий Эл (Russian)
- Mordovia: Mordov, Mordvian Autonomous Republic, Mordvinia, Republic of Mordovia (variant); Mordovian
A.S.S.R., Mordovskaya A.S.S.R., Mordva A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Мордовская
АССР, Республика Мордовия
- Moscow City: город Москва (Russian)
- Moskva: Mosca (Italian); Moscou (French, Portuguese); Moscow (variant); Moscú (Spanish); Moskau (German);
Moskova (Turkish); Moskvuborg (Icelandic); Московская область
- Murmansk: Мурманская область
- Nenets: Nenetsija (Norwegian); Ненецкий автономный
- Nizhegorod: Gor'kiy, Gor'kovskaya Obl., Gorky (obsolete); Nizhniy-Novgorod (variant); Горьковская
область (Russian-obsolete); Нижегородская
- North Ossetia: Kuzey Osetya (Turkish); Nord Osetija-Alanija (Norwegian); North Ossetian A.S.S.R.,
Severo-Osetinskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); North Osetiya-Alaniya, Republic of North Ossetia (variant); Республика
- Novgorod: Новгородская область
- Novosibirsk: Новосибирская
- Omsk: Омская область
- Orel: Or'ol, Oryol (variant); Орловская область
- Orenburg: Chkalov (obsolete); Оренбургская
- Penza: Пензенская область
- Perm': Molotov (obsolete); Пермский край
- Primor'ye: Küsten-Gebiet (German); Maritime Territory, Primorsk (variant); Приморский
- Pskov: Псковская область
- Rostov: Province of the Don Cossacks, Provinz des Donischen Heeres, Voyska Donskovo Obl. (obsolete);
- Ryazan': Рязанская область
- Saint Petersburg City: Pietari (Finnish); Saint-Pétersbourg (French); Sankt Petersburg (German, Norwegian); San Pietroburgo
(Italian); город Санкт-Петербург
- Sakha: Jakutija (Norwegian-obsolete); Republic of Sakha, Yakutia-Sakha, Yakutsk (variant); Yakut A.S.S.R.,
Yakutskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Республика
Саха, Якутия (Russian)
- Sakhalin: Сахалинская область
- Samara: Kuybyshev, Kuybyshevskaya Obl. (obsolete); Самарская
- Saratov: Саратовская область
- Smolensk: Смоленская область
- Stavropol': Ставропольский
- Sverdlovsk: Yekaterinburg (obsolete); Свердловская
- Tambov: Тамбовская область
- Tatarstan: Kazan, Kazanskaya G., Tatar A.S.S.R., Tatarskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Republic of Tatarstan
(variant); Республика Татарстан
- Taymyr: Dolgan-Nenets, Dolgano-Nenetskiy A.Okr. (variant); Таймырский
- Tomsk: Томская область
- Tula: Тульская область
- Tuva:, Republic of Tuva, Tyva (variant); Tuvinskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Республика
Тува, Тыва (Russian)
- Tver': Kalinin, Kalininskaya Obl. (obsolete); Тверская
- Tyumen': Tobol'sk, Tobol'skaya G. (obsolete); Тюменская
- Udmurt: Udmurtiya, Udmurt Republic (variant); Udmurtskaya A.S.S.R. (obsolete); Удмуртия,
- Ul'yanovsk: Simbirsk, Simbirskaya G. (obsolete); Ульяновская
- Ust-Orda Buryat: Ust'-Ordynsk Buryat A.Okr. (variant); Усть-Ордынский
- Vladimir: Владимирская область
- Volgograd: Stalingrad (obsolete); Волгоградская
- Vologda: Вологодская область
- Voronezh: Воронежская область
- Yamal-Nenets: Jamalo-Nenetsija (Norwegian); Ямало-Ненецкий
- Yaroslavl': Ярославская область
- Yevrey: Den jødiske autonome oblasten (Norwegian); Evrey, Jewish A.Obl. (variant); Provincia autônoma
dos Judeus (Portuguese); Yahudi (Turkish); Еврейская
- Yuzhnyy: Severo-Kavkazskiy (obsolete); North Caucasian (obsolete-English).
- Zabaykal'ye: Chita (obsolete); Transbaikalia, Zabaykal'skaya Obl. (obsolete); Transbaikalien (German);
(Russian); Читинская область
Population history of the U.S.S.R.:
|Estonia|| || ||1,196,000||1,356,000||1,573,000||45,100||Tallinn|
|Latvia|| || ||2,094,000||2,364,000||2,681,000||63,700||Riga|
|Lithuania|| || ||2,713,000||3,128,000||3,690,000||65,200||Vilnius|
|Moldavia|| || ||2,880,000||3,569,000||4,341,000||33,700||Kishinev|
Populations are by census except for 1939, which are estimated.
-  Territory and Administration in Europe. Robert Bennett, ed. Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1989.
-  Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1992. Europa Publications Ltd., London, 1992.
-  Атлас СССР 1984.
-  Statistical Abstract. Moscow, 1998. / Статистический
сборник. Москва, 1998.
-  "A History of Russian Administrative Boundaries" (retrieved 2004-03-27 at http://www.ihst.ru/personal/imerz/bound/russia_report1.htm, no longer
accessible). It had an accompanying map at http://www.ihst.ru/personal/imerz/bound/plate6.jpg, showing the guberniy prevailing from 1914 to 1917.
-  List of name changes of Russian
cities (in Russian; retrieved 2001-07-29).
-  Magas - "Sun City" (in Russian; retrieved 2003-06-22).
-  Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, 1984. Vol. 14, p. 159.
-  Demoscope Weekly (retrieved 2008-10-14).
-  "The Territories of the Russian Federation." Europa Publications.