As Ujesd (Russian уезд ) an administrative unit in the Russian Empire was called.
Originally Ujesd was a subdivision of Rus and the later Grand Duchy of Moscow from the 13th century. A Ujesd united several volost ( Волость ), which extended to the main cities, and was a governor ( наместник, Namestnik ) of the prince or grand duke ( ( Великий ) князь, ( Veliky ) Knyaz ), later in the 17th century, controlled by Voivode.
With the introduction of the provinces in 1708 under Tsar Peter I the previous corresponding administrative unit Ujesd was abolished and replaced by districts. With the administrative reform in 1727 under Catherine I the Ujesde however, were reintroduced in the old form.
With the 1775 adopted and implemented until 1780 administrative reform of Catherine II Ujesde were defined as subdivisions of the provinces. Thus, the legal basis was created, which lasted until the abolition of the administrative units of the Russian Empire. Ujesde however, there was not in all higher-level administrative units; so all Siberian and Central Asian provinces and oblasts were instead (literally circles) divided into Okruge.
A Ujesd stood before the reform of 1775 according to a Ispravnik ( исправник ), who was elected from the local nobility for three years. After the zemstvo reform of 1864 in particular the European part of the country introduced a (limited) local self-government in most Ujesden.
During the Soviet administrative reform 1923-1929 the Ujesde were converted into smaller Rajons that - in the European part of the country - in size correspond roughly to the German counties. In the 1940 annexed to the Soviet Union Baltic Soviet republics (Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR) Ujesde existed until 1949 /50.