copied from Talk:Russia
OK, here is my approach to an overarching geographic hierarchy for Russia. The top level categories are based on the newish Russian Federal Districts + one for Kaliningrad. I made a separate category for Kaliningrad because a) this makes the subregions for Northwestern Russia total up to a maximum 9 and b) Kaliningrad is really much more in Northern Europe than in Northwestern Russia, at least from a "getting in" or "getting out" perspective. I don't think we need many smaller subdivisions, at least until a lot more Russia content gets developed.
The two aspects of this hierarchy that I find least satisfying are the sub-regions under Central Russia (Golden Ring, Don-Voronezh Region, and Western Russia) and under Volga Region (West Volga Region and East Volga Region). Of all Russia, I am least familiar with the Central and Volga regions so I had to just improvise to subdivide these regions. It would probably be better if someone could come up with alternative subdivisions for these two top-level regions based on something actually related to differences in culture, geography, history, or politics.
Hey there Peter! Nice work, this seems like quite a large task!
One question about the name (or maybe they existed before and you just combined them), but to me it sounds a little weird to have Western Russia as a subregion of Central Russia. And to a lesser extent, Northeastern & Southeastern as a subregion of Far-Eastern (but I get that one a little more). I don't know anything about Russia, just sounded weird at first sight. :) – cacahuate talk 14:59, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
It's going to look like I'm making random changes to this hierarchy (in particular, the European Russian hierarchy) without consulting anyone. To the contrary, we've had a good debate on the Russian version over whether and how to move away from the somewhat arbitrary administrative Federal District boundaries to a more intuitive scheme that makes more sense for travel. The relevant discussions, for those interested, are here and here. The changes are as follows:
1) Split off kursk, orlov, lipetsk, tambov, voronezh, belgorod, and bryansk oblasts from Central Russia to a new top-level region, "Black Earth." I don't know if that's the optimal name, but we can always change that. Other names would be Black Earth Region, Central Black Earth, Chernozemye, Chernozem, etc.
2) Keep the rest of the Central Russian oblasts as one non-subdivided top-level region (that is, no intermediate divisions between it and the oblasts).
3) Astrakhan & Volgograd oblasts moved to the Volga Region.
4) Volga Region split into three subdivisions: Upper Volga (Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod oblasts, Mari El, Udmurtia, & Chuvashia); Middle Volga (Ulyanov, Penza, Samara oblasts, Tatarstan, and Mordovia); and Lower Volga (Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Saratov oblasts).
5) Perm, Orenburg oblasts, and Bashkiria moved to Urals.
I'm pretty sure that's it. I'd normally wait a while to see if anyone else wants to make suggestions before moving forward, but I've already changed the maps per the Russian discussions and would like to keep things on the same page. More importantly, with the exception of one current unrelated discussion about Kamchatka & Koryakia, no one else on the English version has shown any real interest in delving into the nitty-gritty of Russia's regional organization; and that's in the entire history of Wikitravel! --Peter Talk 00:26, 28 February 2009 (EST)