oblast ō´bläst, ŏ´–, Rus. ô´bləstyə [key] [Rus.,=region], administrative and territorial division in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the former USSR. In the USSR, oblasts in which the majority of the population was of a nationality different from that of the constituent republic in which they were included generally enjoyed autonomous status. There is only one surviving autonomous oblast in Russia the others became republics. The boundaries of oblasts are usually based on economic and administrative considerations as a result, oblasts vary considerably in size and population.

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