AskDefine | Define volost

Extensive Definition

Volost or volost was a traditional administrative subdivision in Eastern Europe.
In earlier East Slavic history, volost was a name for the territory ruled by the knyaz; either as an absolute ruler or with varying degree of autonomy from the Velikiy Knyaz (Grand Prince). Starting from the end of the 14th century, volost was a unit of administrative division in Lituania, Poland, Muscovy, lands of modern Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine. In all countries it was a part of provincial districts, that were called "uyezd" in Mscovy and later Russian Empire, and "povit" in the rest of countries.
After the abolition of Russian serfdom in 1861, volost became a unit of peasant's local self-rule. A number of mirs are united into a volost, which has an assembly consisting of elected delegates from the mirs. These elect an elder (starshina) and, hitherto, a court of Justice (volostnoy sud). The self-government of the mirs and volosts was, however, tempered by the authority of the police commissaries (stanovoi) and by the power of general oversight given to the nominated "district committees for the affairs of the peasants".
Volosts were abolished by the Soviet administrative reform of 19231929. Raions may be roughly called a modern equivalent of both volosts and uyezds.
In modern Russia, subdivision into volosts is used in the Republic of Karelia, where volosts have the same status as raions, and in Leningrad, Pskov, Samara, and Tula Oblasts, where volosts are considered subdivisions of raions and have the same status as selsovets in other Russian federal subjects.


See also

volost in Chuvash: Вулăс
volost in Basque: Volost
volost in Korean: 볼로스티
volost in Lithuanian: Valsčius
volost in Dutch: Volost
volost in Polish: Wołost
volost in Romanian: Volost
volost in Russian: Волость
volost in Ukrainian: Волость
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