|Populations||156,996 (Magadan Oblast) – 7,095,120 (Moscow Oblast)|
|Areas||5,800 sq mi (15,100 km2) (Kaliningrad Oblast) - 554,100 sq mi (1,435,200 km2) (Tyumen Oblast)|
An oblast (Russian: область) is a type of federal subject of the Russian Federation.
Comparison with other types of federal subjects
Krais, another type of federal subject, are legally identical to oblasts and the difference between a political entity with the name "oblast" and one named "krai" is purely traditional.
In the Russian Empire, oblasts were a third-level administrative division, organized in 1849 and few in number, dividing the larger guberniyas (governorates) within the first-level krais. Following the numerous administration reforms during the Soviet era, the number of oblasts gradually increased as they became the primary top-level administrative division of the Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), the constituent political entities of the Soviet Union. These oblasts held very little autonomy or power, but when the Soviet Union dissolved into sovereign states along the lines of the SSRs, they became the first-level administrative divisions. The oblasts of the Russian SFSR, which transitioned into the Russian Federation, became the first-level administrative divisions of the new country and received greater devolved power.
List of oblasts in Russia