An oblast is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the now-defunct Soviet Union and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The term is analogous to "state" or "province".
Official terms in successor states of the Soviet Union differ, but some still use a cognate of the Russian term, e.g. voblast (voblasts, voblasts', [ˈvobɫasʲtsʲ]) is used for provinces of Belarus, and oblys (plural: oblystar) for Regions of Kazakhstan.
The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region". The last translation may lead to confusion, because "raion" may be used for other kinds of administrative subdivision, which may be translated as "region" or "district", depending on the context.
More information on the Wikipedia page .