Russia's Federal Subjects
Russia covers an area of 17,075,400 square kilometers (6,592,849 sq. miles) and spans 11 time zones, making it the world’s largest country in terms of territory. It has a population of 142,008,838, according to the Russian State Statistics Service. The capital and, with a population of over 10 million, by far the largest city in Russia, is Moscow.
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 subjects of the federation, commonly known as regions. Forty six of these are called oblast; 21 are republics; 4 are autonomous districts; 9 are territories; two are federal cities; and one is an autonomous region.
The administrative heads of the regions are often referred to collectively as governors, although their official title may be president or head. Since the appointment of Vladimir Putin as president, these regional heads have lost much of their power. In 2000 Putin stripped regional heads of their seats in the Federation Council, and divided Russia into seven new administrative entities called Federal Districts. The heads of the regions now meet in the largely ceremonial State Council.
The boundaries of certain regions have also changed during the Putin era: In 2005 Perm Oblast and Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug merged into Perm Territory; in 2007 Evenk and Taymyr Autonomous Okrugs merged into Krasnoyarsk Territory; in 2007 Kamchatka region and Koryak autonomous region merged to form Kamchatka Territory; In 2008, Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug merged into Irkutsk region and Chita region and Agin-Buryat Autonomous region merged to form Zabaykalsky Territory.