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Selsoviet (Belarusian: сельсавет, tr. sieĺsaviet; Russian: сельсовет, tr. selsovet, IPA: [ˈsʲelʲsɐˈvʲɛt]; Ukrainian: сільрада, silrada) is a shortened name for a rural council and for the area governed by such a council (soviet). The full names for the term are, in Belarusian: се́льскi саве́т, Russian: се́льский сове́т, Ukrainian: сільська́ ра́да. Selsoviets were the lowest level of administrative division in rural areas in the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, they were preserved as a third tier of administrative-territorial division throughout Ukraine, Belarus, and some of the federal subjects of Russia.

A selsoviet is a rural administrative division of a district that includes one or several smaller rural localities and is in a subordination to its respective raion administration.

The name refers to the local rural self-administration, the rural soviet (council), a part of the Soviet system of administration. A selsoviet was headed by a chairman, who had to be appointed by higher administration.

For a considerable period of Soviet history, passports of rural residents were stored in selsoviet offices, and people could not move outside their area of residence without the permission of selsoviet.

Selsoviets in Russia

Division into selsoviets as administrative-territorial units remained after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in many of the federal subjects of Russia.

In modern Russia, a selsoviet is a type of an administrative division of a district in a federal subject of Russia, which is equal in status to a town of district significance or an urban-type settlement of district significance, but is organized around a rural locality (as opposed to a town or an urban-type settlement). In some federal subjects, selsoviets were replaced with municipal rural settlements, which, in turn, were granted status of administrative-territorial units.

Prior to the adoption of the 1993 Constitution of Russia, this type of administrative division had a uniform definition on the whole territory of the Russian SFSR. After the adoption of the 1993 Constitution, the administrative-territorial structure of the federal subjects is no longer identified as the responsibility of the federal government or as the joint responsibility of the federal government and the federal subjects.[1] This state of the matters is traditionally interpreted by the governments of the federal subjects as a sign that the matters of the administrative-territorial divisions are the sole responsibility of the federal subjects themselves.[1] As a result, the modern administrative-territorial structures of the federal subjects vary significantly from one federal subject to another; that includes the manner in which the selsoviets are organized and the choice of a term to refer to such entities.

As of 2013, the following types of such entities are recognized:

See also


  1. ^ a b "Энциклопедический словарь конституционного права". Статья "Административно-территориальное устройство". Сост. А. А. Избранов. — Мн.: Изд. В.М. Суров, 2001.