Federal districts of Russia
Learn more about Federal districts of Russia
- The federal districts of Russia should not be confused with the federal subjects of Russia.
The federal districts are a level of administration for the convenience of the federal government. They are not constituent units of the Russian Federation. The constituent units of the Russian Federation are called federal subjects.
Each district includes several federal subjects. Each federal district has a presidential envoy, whose official title is Plenipotentiary Representative. The official task of the Plenipotentiary Representative is simply to oversee the work of federal agencies in the regions, although in practice this oversight is extensive and of considerable consequence.
 Creation of the federal districts
The federal districts were created in May 2000 by Vladimir Putin as a part of a wider program designed to reassert federal authority. This wider program of reform included the Federation Council becoming indirectly elected, the scrutinizing of republican constitutions and regional charters, and the President gaining the right to dissolve subjects' parliaments and dismiss subjects' governments if they disobey federal law.
 Role and functioning of the federal districts
The Plenipotentiary Representatives and their staff ascertain the extent of a subjects' violation of federal laws and norms. They also oversee the process of correction at a closer level than can the federal institutions in Moscow. They are therefore central to Putin's reassertion of federal authority. The creation of the federal districts has assisted in restricting laws and practices of the subjects which contravene federal law, for instance, the curtailment of citizens rights, the authoritarian practices of subjects' governors (or, in case of republics, their presidents), the manipulation of police and the control of the judiciary by subjects' governments, the strict control of journalism, and the manipulation of elections.
Federal agencies, particularly in the justice system, had been "captured" by subjects' governments during the segmented federalism of the Yeltsin period. This process is being forestalled as Plenipotentiary Representatives ensure that agencies do the work for which they are intended rather than being brought under the influence of powerful local elites with vested interests.
The Plenipotentiary Representatives are overseeing a system of rotation of federal employees throughout the regions in order to avoid them becoming dependent on local leaders.
The federal districts coincide exactly with the Interior Ministry forces' military regions, and coincide closely with the Defense Ministry regions. This allows the Plenipotentiary Representatives to have direct access to the command structure of the military and security apparatus. This sends a clear message to the subjects that they must cooperate with the federal government, and is very useful for the Plenipotentiary Representatives. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of the Plenipotentiary Representatives are selected from the military or other security backgrounds (e.g., the FSB).
 Map of the federal districts
- Central Federal District
- Southern Federal District
- Northwestern Federal District
- Far Eastern Federal District
- Siberian Federal District
- Urals Federal District
- Volga Federal District
 List of federal districts by federal subjects included within their boundaries
- Russian: Центральный федеральный округ
- Romanization: Tsentralny federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Moscow
- Presidential Envoy: Georgy Poltavchenko
- Южный федеральный округ
- Romanization: Yuzhny federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Rostov-na-Donu
- Presidential Envoy: Dmitry Kozak
- Северо-Западный федеральный округ
- Romanization: Severo-Zapadny federalny okrug
- Administrative center: St. Petersburg
- Presidential Envoy: Ilya Klebanov
- Дальневосточный федеральный округ
- Romanization: Dalnevostochny federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Khabarovsk
- Presidential Envoy: Kamil Iskhakov
- Сибирский федеральный округ
- Romanization: Sibirsky federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Novosibirsk
- Presidential Envoy: Anatoly Kvashnin
- Уральский федеральный округ
- Romanization: Uralsky federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Yekaterinburg
- Presidential Envoy: Pyotr Latyshev
- Приволжский федеральный округ
- Romanization: Privolzhsky federalny okrug
- Administrative center: Nizhny Novgorod
- Presidential Envoy: Alexander Konovalov
de:Föderationskreis et:Föderaalringkond (Venemaa) fr:Districts fédéraux de Russie ko:러시아의 연방관구 nl:Federale districten van Rusland ja:連邦管区 nn:Russiske føderale distrikt ru:Федеральные округа Российской Федерации sl:Zvezna okrožja Rusije sv:Rysslands generalguvernement vi:Các vùng liên bang của Nga zh:俄羅斯聯邦管區