Autonomous Oblast

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Autonomous Oblast


an oblast of the USSR distinguished by a particular national composition and way of life and directly included in either a union republic or krai with the rights of administrative autonomy. There are eight autonomous oblasts, five of which are in the RSFSR—Adygei, Gorno-Altai, Jewish, Karachaevo-Cherkess, and Khakass. The South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast is in the Georgian SSR; Nagorno-Karabakh, in the Azerbaijan SSR; and Gorno-Badakhshan, in the Tadzhik SSR.

The legal position of the autonomous oblast is defined in the constitution of each union republic under a special chapter devoted to organs of state power in the autonomous oblast. Thus, the constitution of the RSFSR defines the organs of state power and administration of autonomous oblasts and the method of their election. It also stipulates that the autonomous oblast submit the “Statute on the Autonomous Oblast,” which concerns its national characteristics, for the approval of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

The constitutions of the Georgian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, and Tadzhik SSR define the procedure for electing organs of power and the standard regulations for representation within the autonomous oblast. They also define spheres of competence and legislative authority and the structure of state administrative organs, as well as their interrelation with other state institutions. The constitutions of these union republics require that statutes passed by state organs of autonomous oblasts be issued in the language of the oblast. Furthermore, organs of state power and administration as well as judicial organs of the autonomous oblast must use the native language of its inhabitants.

The autonomous oblast is represented in the organs of state power of both the USSR and the union republic. The inhabitants of each autonomous oblast elect five deputies to the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to represent their specific national interests. Representation of the autonomous oblast in the supreme soviet of the union republic is proportioned to the size of its population. In the Azerbaijan SSR, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast is also represented in the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Thus, in accordance with the constitution of the Azerbaijan SSR (art. 31), one of the vice-presidents of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet is elected from the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.

The autonomous oblast enjoys special rights regarding the organization of its territory. For example, it may establish the boundaries of its raions and raion divisions, which upon submission of the proper documents are approved by the presidium of the supreme soviet of the union republic. Moreover, its territory may not be altered without its consent.


References in periodicals archive ?
42) Autonomous oblasts and autonomous republics, which had a lower level of sovereignty in the Soviet Union than a Union Republic, had the ability to independently decide whether they wished to secede with the Union Republic in which they were located, or in the alternative to remain in the Soviet Union within a different context or form.
93) Under Soviet law, autonomous oblasts such as Nagorno-Karabakh were not legally obligated to secede along with the Union Republic whose internal Soviet borders they were located within.
The Supreme Soviet of a Union Republic wishing to secede, that also had autonomous territories within it, had the requirement of forming a commission which included representatives from its autonomous republics and autonomous oblasts.
48) In 1921, with both Armenia and Azerbaijan again subjugated to Russian control, this time under the Bolsheviks, a decision was made by Stalin such that the Nagorno-Karabakh region was retained in Soviet Azerbaijan and only given the status of an autonomous oblast, despite Armenians constituting ninety-four percent of the population of the territory.
This vision of economic prosperity was repeated by regional governors who had gained the Kremlin's favor, including Krasnoyarsk Governor Aleksandr Khloponin, who said the merging of his region with two neighboring autonomous oblasts would lead to a "new industrialization of Siberia.
Whereas indigenous populations formed outright majorities in two of the previously autonomous regions (Komi-Permyak Autonomous Oblast and Agin-Buryat Autonomous Oblast), and more than a quarter of the population in another two (Koryak Autonomous Oblast and Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Oblast), they form small, nearly insignificant minorities in the resultant mergers (see Table 2).
4% Source: Generated by the author Table 3 2005 Per Capita Capital Investment Merged Pre-Merged (Rank Among All Subject Subjects Federal Subjects) Perm Krai Perm Oblast 30 Komi-Permyaki Autonomous Okrug 54 Krasnoyark Krasnoyarsk Krai 39 Krai Evenk Autonomous Okrug 7 Taymyr Autonomous Okrug 8 Kamchatka Kamchatka Oblast 50 Krai Koryak Autonomous Oblast 28 Irkutsk Oblast Irkutsk Oblast 58 Ust-Orda Autonomous Oblast 87 Zabaykal Krai Chita Oblast 48 Aain-Burvat Autonomous Oblast 38 Source: Generated by the author
Thus, the precipitous drop in industrial output in the Khabarovsk, Amur, and Jewish autonomous oblasts was partly counterbalanced by stability or expansion of other activities.
Industrial production in Khabarovskii krai, Amurskaia oblast, and Jewish autonomous oblast virtually collapsed.
In per capita terms, the regions have experienced a widening dispersion of output, from Sakha, where per capita output is almost twice the national average, to the Jewish autonomous oblast where it is 39 percent of the national average.
At the end of the Soviet period, the hierarchical federal structure of the USSR comprised: (1) fifteen union republics (SSRs: Soviet Socialist Republics); (2) twenty autonomous republics (ASSRs: Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics); (3) eight autonomous oblasts (regions); and (4) ten autonomous okrugs (districts).
There are twenty-one republics made up of the former autonomous republics of the RSFSR and all of the former autonomous oblasts of the RSFSR (except the "Jewish" autonomous oblast in Siberia).

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