Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Two Districts in Rostov Oblast Want to Be Transferred to Neighboring Federal Subjects, the Latest in Long Line of Such Efforts Moscow is Increasingly Against

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 9 – Two subdivisions of Rostov Oblast, the Soviet district and the village of Remontnoye reportedly want to be transferred to Rostov Oblast and the Kalmyk Republic respectively because Rostov is not providing them with adequate transportation links and they believe that the administrations of neighboring areas will do more for them.

            After their plans were mentioned in the Duma, officials in the two districts denied the existence of such plans and the Duma member who had mentioned them said he was joking. Analysts suggested the whole matter was nothing more than attempt to get attention (

            But in fact, the two districts probably do want to be shifted, the latest in a long line of places in the Russian Federation seeking that solution. Such redrawing of borders within the country is permitted by the constitution but only when both sides and Moscow agree. As a result, while many have tried, few have succeeded.

            (For a listing of these cases and their generally unsuccessful outcomes, see

            Both the speed and thoroughness of the denials about changes in Rostov, however, suggest that even such local border changes are something the Kremlin will now oppose unless it initiates them itself lest such changes, quite common earlier, lead more Russians to think about border changes of the country as a whole, something Moscow is totally opposed to.

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