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Autonomous okrugs are the only ones that have a peculiar status of being federal subjects in their own right, yet at the same time they are considered to be administrative divisions of other federal subjects (with Chukotka Autonomous Okrug being the only exception).
2014 Annexation of Crimea
On 18 March 2014, as a part of the annexation of Crimea and following the establishment of the Republic of Crimea (an independent entity recognized only by Russia), a treaty was signed between Russia and the Republic of Crimea incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol as the constituent members of the Russian Federation. According to the Treaty, the Republic of Crimea is accepted as a federal subject with the status of a republic while the City of Sevastopol has received federal city status. Neither the Republic of Crimea nor the city of Sevastopol are politically recognized as parts of Russia by international law and most countries.
Prior to the adoption of the 1993 Constitution of Russia, the administrative-territorial structure of Russia was regulated by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR of 17 August 1982 "On the Procedures of Dealing with the Matters of the Administrative-Territorial Structure of the RSFSR". The 1993 Constitution, however, did not identify the matters of the administrative-territorial divisions as the responsibility of the federal government nor as the joint responsibility of the federal government and the subjects. This was interpreted by the governments of the federal subjects as a sign that the matters of the administrative-territorial divisions became solely the responsibility of the federal subjects. As a result, the modern administrative-territorial structures of the federal subjects vary significantly from one federal subject to another. While the implementation details may be considerably different, in general, however, the following types of high-level administrative divisions are recognized:
Autonomous okrugs and okrugs are intermediary units of administrative divisions, which include some of the federal subject's districts and cities/towns/urban-type settlements of federal subject significance.
Autonomous okrugs, while being under the jurisdiction of another federal subject, are still constitutionally recognized as federal subjects on their own right. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is an exception in that it is not administratively subordinated to any other federal subject of Russia.
Okrugs are usually former autonomous okrugs that lost their federal subject status due to a merger with another federal subject.
In the course of the Russian municipal reform of 2004-2005, all federal subjects of Russia were to streamline the structures of local self-government, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of Russia. The reform mandated that each federal subject was to have a unified structure of the municipal government bodies by 1 January 2005, and a law enforcing the reform provisions went in effect on 1 January 2006. According to the law, the units of the municipal division (called "municipal formations") are as follows:
Municipal district, a group of urban and rural settlements, often along with the inter-settlement territories. In practice, municipal districts are usually formed within the boundaries of existing administrative districts (raions).
Urban settlement, a city/town or an urban-type settlement, possibly together with adjacent rural and/or urban localities
Urban okrug, an urban settlement not incorporated into a municipal district. In practice, urban okrugs are usually formed within the boundaries of existing cities of federal subject significance.
Intra-urban territory (intra-urban municipal formation) of a federal city, a part of a federal city's territory. In Moscow, these are called municipal formations (which correspond to districts); in St. Petersburg--municipal okrugs, towns, and settlements. In Sevastopol (located on the Crimean Peninsula, which is a territory disputed between Russia and Ukraine), they are known as municipal okrugs and a town.
Territories not included as a part of municipal formations are known as inter-settlement territories.
The Federal Law was amended on 27 May 2014 to include new types of municipal divisions:
Urban okrug with intra-urban divisions, an urban okrug divided into intra-urban districts at the lower level of the municipal hierarchy
Intra-urban district, a municipal formation within an urban okrug with intra-urban divisions. This municipal formation type would typically be established within the borders of existing city districts (i.e., the administrative divisions in some of the cities of federal subject significance).
Federal legislation introduced on May 1, 2019, added an additional territorial unit:
Municipal okrug, a grouping of several settlements without municipal status. Municipal okrugs formally exercise local self-government either through direct means or through electoral and other institutions.
Other types of subdivisions
Federal districts of Russia
All of the federal subjects are grouped into eight federal districts, each administered by an envoy appointed by the President of Russia. Federal districts' envoys serve as liaisons between the federal subjects and the federal government and are primarily responsible for overseeing the compliance of the federal subjects with the federal laws.
^ abKremlin.ru. "? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? " ("Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on Ascension to the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and on Establishment of New Subjects Within the Russian Federation") (in Russian)
^ ? ? . No131- 6 ? 2003 ?. « ? ? », ? . No243- 28 2010 ?. (State Duma of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #131-FZ of 6 October 2003 On the General Principles of Organization of the Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation, as amended by the Federal Law #243-FZ of 28 September 2010. ).
^ No136- 27 2014 ?. «? ? 26.3 " (?) ? ? ? " ? " ? ? "». ? ? ? ?. ? - ? http://www.pravo.gov.ru, 27 2014 ?. (Federal Law #136-FZ of 27 May 2014 On Amending Article 26.3 of the Federal Law "On the General Principles of Organization of Legislative (Representative) and Executive Bodies of State Power in the Subjects of the Russian Federation" and the Federal Law "On the General Principles of Organization of the Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
^ ?. No706- 10 ? 2014 ?. «? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?». ? ? ? ?. : "? ", No87 (? No24), 14 ? 2014 ?. (Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Law #706-ZO of 10 June 2014 On the Status and Borders of Chelyabinsky Urban Okrug and the City Districts It Comprises. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
^ ? ? . No87- 1 2019 ?. «? ? " ? ? "». (State Duma of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #87-FZ of May 1, 2019 On Changes to the Federal Law "On General Principles of the Organization of Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation". ).
^ ? . ? No849 13 2000 ?. «? ? ? ? ? ». ? ? ? 13 2000 ?. : " ? ", No20, . 2112, 15 2000 ?. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
^" ? ? " ( 024-95) 1 1997 ?., ? . No 05/2001. II. ? (Russian Classification of Economic Regions (OK 024-95) of January 1, 1997 as amended by the Amendments #1/1998 through #5/2001. Section II. Economic Regions)
^ ? . ? No900 27 ? 1998 ?. «? -? ? ? », ? . No1144 20 2010 ?. ? ? ? 27 ? 1998 ?.. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #900 of July 27, 1998 On Military Administrative Division of the Russian Federation, as amended by the Decree #1144 of September 20, 2010. Effective as of July 27, 1998.).
12 ? 1993 ?. « ? », ? . ? No7- 30 ? 2008 ?. ? ? ? ?. : "? ", No237, 25 ? 1993 ?. (December 12, 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation, as amended by the Federal Constitutional Law #7-FKZ of December 30, 2008. Effective as of the official publication date.).