An oblast ("// "OB-ləst) is a type of "administrative division of "Belarus, "Bulgaria, "Kazakhstan, "Kyrgyzstan, "Russia, "Ukraine, and the former "Soviet Union and "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
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 "regions of Belarus, and oblys (plural: oblystar) for "regions of Kazakhstan.
The word "oblast" is used in English as well, but it is often translated as "area", "zone", ""province", or ""region". The last translation may lead to confusion, because ""raion" may be used for other kinds of administrative subdivision, which may be translated as "region" or ""district", depending on the context.
Since 1999, "Bulgaria has been divided into 28 oblasts, usually translated as "provinces". Before, the country was divided into just nine units, also called oblast.
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 on the periphery of the country (e.g. "Kars Oblast or "Transcaspian Oblast) or covered the areas where "Cossacks lived.
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. Because of the Soviet Union electrification program under the "GOELRO plan, "Ivan Alexandrov, as director of the Regionalisation Committee of "Gosplan, divided the Soviet union into thirteen "European and eight "Asiatic oblasts, using rational economic planning rather than "the vestiges of lost sovereign rights".
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.
The oblasts in other post-Soviet countries are officially called:
|Territorial entity||Local term||English term||Details||Comment|
|"Armenia||marz||province or region||see "Marz (country subdivision)||Oblast in the Russian version of a 1995 law.|
|"Belarus||voblast (vobłaść) / oblast||region||see "Regions of Belarus||Russian and Belarusian are both state languages.|
|"Kazakhstan||oblys||region||see "Regions of Kazakhstan|
|"Kyrgyzstan||oblast||region||see "Regions of Kyrgyzstan|
|"Russia||oblast||oblast or region||see "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.|
|"Tajikistan||viloyat||region||see "Regions of Tajikistan|
|"Turkmenistan||welaýat||region ||see "Regions of Turkmenistan|
|"Ukraine||oblast||oblast or region||see "Oblasts of Ukraine|
|"Uzbekistan||viloyat||region||see "Regions of Uzbekistan|
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.
|Look up oblast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|