Articles / Rural Councils

Rural Councils

Subject / Topography/Administrative - territorial division

VILLAGE SOVIETS, lower-level adm. and territorial units, parts of districts. They were established everywhere in the USSR during the first Soviet reform of adm./territorial division in 1923-29, according to which, the previous three-level division (gubernia – uyezd – volost) was replaced with a four-level one (oblast – “area” – district – rural Soviet.) In the 1930s, the “areas” were canceled, and the adm. and territorial system became three-level again. It existed in this form in the USSR and RF until 1993, when the V. s. system was abolished. V. s. were links of the Soviet government system and performed the following functions: supervision of law abidance by residents and protection of citizens’ rights, collection of some taxes, improvements in inhabited localities, interaction with collective farms, State farms, and other enterprises, management of rural social and cultural life. In Leningrad Oblast, when it was established in 1927, V. s. were formed as a result of downsizing of former volosts. Throughout the whole period of existence of V. s. their enlargement went on due to continuous decrease of rural population. From 1926, due to the complex ethnic structure of Leningrad Oblast, establishment of ethnic V. s. and districts began , which was in those parts where representatives of one non-Russian ethnos made at least 2/3 of the total population. The number of ethnic V. s. was constantly growing and exceeded 130 by the middle of the 1930s. In 1938-39, by several governmental resolutions, all the ethnic V. s. were abolished. At the end of 1993, V. s. in Leningrad Oblast were transformed into volosts, with other levels of administrative division retained.

Yegorov, Sergey Borisovich

Административно-территориальное деление Ленинградской области. Справочник. Л., 1966.
Административно-территориальное деление Ленинградской области. Справочник. Л., 1990.