Originally the Ujesd was a subdivision of the Rus or the later Grand Duchy of Moscow from the 13th century. A Ujesd united several Volost ( Волость ), which extended around the most important cities, and was held by a governor ( наместник Namestnik ) of the prince or grand duke ( (Великий) князь (Veliky) Knjas ), later from the 17th century, by Vojwoden controlled.
With the introduction of the governorates in 1708 under Tsar Peter I , the previous corresponding administrative unit Ujesd was abolished and replaced by districts . With the administrative reform of 1727 under Catherine I , the Ujesde were reintroduced in their old form.
With the administrative reform of Catherine II , decided in 1775 and implemented by 1780 , Ujesde were defined as subdivisions of the governorates. This created the legal basis that lasted until the administrative units of the Russian Empire were abolished . Ujesde did not exist in all higher-level administrative units, however; so all Siberian and Central Asian governorates and oblasts were instead divided into okruge (literally circles ).
According to the reform of 1775, a Ujesd was headed by an Isprawnik ( исправник ) who were elected by the local nobility for three years. After the Zemstvo reform of 1864, (limited) local self-government was introduced in most of the Ujesden, especially in the European region.
During the Soviet administrative reform between 1923 and 1929, the Ujesde were converted into smaller Rajons , which - in the European part of the country - correspond in size to the German rural districts. In the Baltic Soviet Republics ( Estonian SSR , Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR ) that were annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940 , Ujesde existed until 1949/50.
In the Ukrainian language, the administrative unit is called powit (Повіт).