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Rayon (plurality Rajons or Rajone ; belarusian раён , otherwise Cyrillic район ; Latvian rajons , Lithuanian rajonas , Georgian რაიონი [ ɾa i.ɔ.ni. ] Aserbaidschanisch rayon ; derived from French rayon , Ward ') is the name given to a management unit in many successor states of the Soviet Union , such as Azerbaijan , Georgia (until 2006), Latvia (until 2009),Lithuania , Moldova , Kyrgyzstan , Russia , Ukraine and Belarus, as well as in other countries such as Bulgaria . Rajons correspond roughly to the German rural districts or the Austrian districts , in cities to the urban districts .

Uses today


Azerbaijan is divided into an autonomous republic and eleven cities in 59 rayons ( Rayon ; plural: Rayonlar ).



In Bulgaria Rayon corresponding to management level ( Bulgarian район / rayon ; plural райони / rajoni ) a municipality . For example, the city of Sofia consists of 24 districts .

In the NUTS structure ( NUTS: BG ) the two Rajoni form level 1, the six Rajoni za planirane ('planning regions ') form level 2.


In Bulgarian folklore, the culturally different regions are also referred to as Rajon :

  • Northern Bulgaria (from Vidin to Russe north of the Balkans)
  • Dobruja : northeast of the Varna- Russian line
  • Schop: Western Bulgaria (west of the Sredna Gora ) and around Sofia
  • Pirin : the southwest corner of Bulgaria (Bulgarian Macedonia)
  • Rhodope Mountains : the mountains in the south of the country
  • Thrace : south of the Balkans and east of the Sredna Gora
  • Strandscha : the sparsely populated mountains south of Burgas


Since 2003, the Republic of Moldova has been divided into 32 Rajons ( Romanian raion ). They replaced the much larger nine circles ( județ , plural: județe ). These Rajons form with the two autonomous areas and the urban districts called municipalities, the highest administrative structure of the Republic of Moldova. Every four years, the president ( președinte ) of the district council ( Consiliul Raional ) is elected in the course of the nationwide uniform local elections.


In Russia, the administrative hierarchy of the Rajons is located below the “ subject level ”, i.e. the highest, federal administrative level made up of areas ( oblast ), regions ( Krai ), autonomous counties and autonomous republics. The Rajons are on the same level as city ​​districts (gorodskoi okrug).

In two republics of Russia, the Rajons are officially referred to in Russian using the slightly modified terms taken from the respective national languages, but have the same status as "normal" Rajons:

  • in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) : Ulus (Russian улус , plural улусы ulussy , Yakut улуус uluus , plural улуустара uluustara )
  • in the Republic of Tuva : Koschuun (Russian and Tuvinian кожуун , plural Russian кожууны koschuuny , plural Tuvinian кожууннаар koschunnaar )

Many large cities are also subdivided into rajons, corresponding to city districts, which often each comprise several historical districts or quarters. These urban rajons are sometimes referred to as "administrative" or "administrative rajons" ( administratiwny rajon in Chita ) or "inner-city rajons" ( wnutrigorodskoi rajon; in Kemerovo , Nizhny Novgorod , Novokuznetsk , Prokopyevsk , Tambov , Vladikavkaz ). In Moscow , 125 rajons form the second highest level of the administrative hierarchy in 10 of the 12 administrative districts (administratiwny okrug) . In St. Petersburg , on the other hand, like in other large cities, 18 Rajons represent the highest administrative level, but they are themselves divided into 111 administrative units of a further hierarchical level . Some large cities are not divided into Rajons, but into Okrugs (which also means "district" or "District") or variants thereof, for example Arkhangelsk ("Territorialbezirke", territorialny okrug ), Krasnodar (simply okrug ) or Omsk ("Administrative District ", administratiwny okrug, like Moscow in the top administrative level).


In 2020 there are 136 Rajons , spread over 24 oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea .

Historical use

Rajons were gradually introduced into the Soviet Union from the 1920s, replacing the earlier Ujesde (and Okrugs ) of the Russian Empire . From these rajons, today's administrative units of the same name of several of the above-mentioned successor states of the Soviet Union have largely emerged. In Georgia , the territorial boundaries of many earlier rajons have been preserved, but these are no longer referred to as rajons, but form municipalities.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert A. Saunders, Vlad Strukov: Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation . Scarecrow Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-5475-8 , p. 477.