Governor (Russia)

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A governor ( Russian Губернатор, Gubernator ) is the chairman of the executive branch of a Gubernija (a federal subject ) in the Russian Federation .

Term of office and competencies

The governor has been elected by the population again since 2012. His term of office is four years. He has limited territorial administrative powers.


The first eight Russian governorates (1708)

In 1708, Tsar Peter I created the first eight governorates in place of the previous Ujesde. The gubernators (governors) were appointed by him. Only the Ingermanland governorate and the Azov governorate were subordinate to a governor-general (генерал-губернатор). The governors created a branched administrative apparatus. They had power over the administration, police, finances and courts. At the same time they were in command of the troops in their governorate.

With the beginning of the reign of Catherine II , 40 governorates with 300,000–400,000 subjects each were created in place of the then existing 20 governorates. At the end of their rule there were 51 governorates because of the territories added. In 1816, instead of the large governorates, somewhat smaller administrative districts were created, which were called Oblast (Область). Around 1864 the governorates were introduced and various "Zemstva" ( Zemstvo , Земство) were founded. The governorates established last were the governorates of Bessarabia (1873), which had previously been an oblast, the Black Sea (1896) and Cholm in the Vistula region (1912).

The two Russian revolutions of 1917 initially did not change the administrative structures; it was not until 1929 that the USSR abolished the governorates and reintroduced the oblasti , which were subdivided into rajons .


By October 3, 1994 , Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed the governors. An ukase of Yeltsin drawn up by the Association of Governors then enabled free governor elections in 52 regions for the first time in 1996. Article 132 of the Russian Constitution regulated regional self-government.

In order to place the powerful governors under a central power, the Duma curtailed their rights in 2000, according to President Putin's will. Putin created seven new federation districts , each headed by a personal and authorized representative ( governor general ) appointed by the Russian president who exercises a control function over the governors. Governors are no longer automatically represented as "senators" in the Federation Council, but are only allowed to send representatives from their region. For the governors, Putin created the State Council (not provided for by the constitution) , an advisory body without fixed powers that meets every three months.

Since Putin's reform in 2004, the governors have no longer been elected by the people, as in previous years, but have been appointed by the Russian President. In the republics of the Russian Federation, the governor is often referred to as the "president", but in principle has the same position as other governors. This reform was partially reversed and gubernatorial elections were reinstated in 2012.

In 2017 (since 2015) a single governor did not belong to the United Russia party , but to the moderately opposition ( system opposition ) Communist Party .


The first governorates (since 1708)

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Communists beat ruling United Russia party in Irkutsk region governor's election , Siberian Times, September 28, 2015
  2. "Everyone wants to choose the mayor themselves, even if the Crimea is ours" , Novaya Gazeta, August 15, 2017