A raion (or rayon) is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,'[1] describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district". Raion also can be used simply as a second degree of administrative division without anything to do with ethnicity or nationality. A raion is usually an administrative entity two steps below the national level, however in smaller countries it could be the primary level of administrative division.

Raion (or rayon) is called Russian and Ukrainian: райо́н, Azerbaijani: rayon; Belarusian: раён; Georgian: რაიონი, raioni; Latvian: rajons; Lithuanian: rajonas; Romanian: raion.



Raions in the Soviet Union

In the Soviet Union, raions were administrative divisions created in the 1920s to reduce the number of territorial divisions inherited from the Russian Empire and to simplify their bureaucracies.[2] The process of conversion to the system of raions was called raionirovanie ("regionalization"). It was started in 1923 in the Urals, North Caucasus, and Siberia as a part of the Soviet administrative reform and continued through 1929, by which time the majority of the country's territory was divided into raions instead of the old volosts and uyezds.[2]

The concept of raionirovanie was met with resistance in some republics, especially in Ukraine, where local leaders objected to the concept of raions as being too centralized in nature and ignoring the local customs. This point of view was backed by the Soviet Commissariat of Nationalities.[2] Nevertheless, eventually all of the territory of the Soviet Union was regionalized.

Soviet raions had self-governance in the form of an elected district council (raysovet) and were headed by the local head of administration, who was either elected or appointed.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, raions as administrative units continued to be used in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine.

Raions in the People's Republic of Romania

Modern raions


See: Districts of Azerbaijan


In Belarus, raions are administrative units subordinated to voblasts. See also: Category:Districts of Belarus.




Russian Federation

Administrative raions

In modern Russia, division into administrative raions largely remained unchanged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "raion" is used to refer to an administrative division of a federal subject or to a district of a big city. In two federal subjects, however, the terminology was changed to reflect national specifics:

Municipal raion

A municipal raion (municipal district) (муниципа́льный райо́н) is a type of municipal formation which comprises a group of urban and/or rural settlements, as well as inter-settlement territories, sharing a common territory. The concept of the municipal districts was introduced during the 2004 municipal reform.

Municipal districts are commonly formed within the boundaries of existing administrative districts, although in practice there are some exceptions to this rule—Neryungrinsky Municipal District in the Sakha Republic, for example, is formed around the town of Neryungri, which neither has a status of nor is a part of any administrative district.


In Ukraine, raions are administrative divisions of oblasts, big cities, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

See also:


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961, repr. 1981), s.v. raion.
  2. ^ a b c James R. Millar. Encyclopedia of Russian History. Macmillan Reference USA. New York, 2004. ISBN 0-02-865693-8
  3. ^ Constitution of the Tyva Republic, Article 138.2a


  • 6 мая 2001 г. «Конституция Республики Тыва», в ред. Конституционного закона №1419 ВХ-2 от 10 июля 2009 г «О внесении изменений в статью 113 Конституции Республики Тыва». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тувинская правда", 15 мая 2001 г. (May 6, 2001 Constitution of the Tyva Republic, as amended by the Constitutional Law #1419 VKh-2 of July 10, 2009 On Amending Article 113 of the Constitution of the Tyva Republic. Effective as of the official publication date).

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  • raion — RAIÓN, raioane, s.n. 1. Unitate teritorial administrativă în România (între 1950 şi 1968) în cadrul unei regiuni sau a oraşului Bucureşti. 2. Parte a unui magazin unde se găsesc mărfuri de acelaşi fel. [pr.: ra ion] – Din (1) rus. raion, (2) fr.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Raïon — Raion Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rayon. Un raion ou raïon (en russe, en ukrainien et en bulgare : район ; en biélorusse : раён ; en azéri : rayon ; en letton : rajons ; en géorgien …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Raión — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un rayón (o raión) (ruso y ucraniano: район; bielorruso: раён; azerí: rayon) es uno de dos tipos de subdivisiones administrativas en el idioma de algunos de los estados post soviéticos: una entidad subnacional y una… …   Wikipedia Español

  • raïon — ● raïon nom masculin (mot russe) Dans l ex U.R.S.S., division administrative correspondant à un district rural ou à un arrondissement urbain …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • raion® — {{hw}}{{raion®}}{{/hw}}o rayon s. m. Nome commerciale di fibra tessile artificiale ottenuta a partire dalla cellulosa e usata come sostituto della seta …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Raion — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rayon. Un raion ou raïon (en russe, en ukrainien et en bulgare : район ; en biélorusse : раён ; en azéri : rayon ; en letton : rajons ; en géorgien  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Raion —    Largely unchanged since Soviet times, the raion is a secondlevel administrative division, used within federal subjects or large cities. Usually translated as “district,” the raion is roughly equivalent to a county in the United States. Sakha… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • raion — rīˈōn noun ( s) Etymology: Russian raĭon, district, province, from French rayon honeycomb, department of a store, from Old French ree, raie honeycomb, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rāza honeycomb, Middle Dutch rāte, and perhaps to… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • raion — rà·ion s.m.inv. CO TS tess., chim. fibra tessile artificiale di origine naturale derivata dalla cellulosa, da cui si ottiene mediante diversi processi chimici {{line}} {{/line}} VARIANTI: rayon. DATA: 1905. ETIMO: dall ingl. rayon, nome… …   Dizionario italiano

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