The Albanians in Ukraine are an ethnic minority group located mainly in Zaporizhia Oblast and Budjak. They descend from Albanian rebels, who fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars and were allowed to settle in the Russian Empire in the 18th century.
The historical community of Albanians in Ukraine call themselves Shqiptarë. They are also at times called Arnaut. Their ancestors came to Ukraine in the 18th and 19th centuries. The coming of the Albanians was connected with the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. During this war Orthodox Christian Albanians revolted against the power of the Ottoman Empire. After their rebellion initially failed many joined up with the Russian fleet which was on its Aegean Expedition. At the end of the war about 1,700 Albanian fighters and family members went to the Russian Empire. They settled primarily in the vicinity of Kerch and Yenikale. Later Albanian immigrants to the Russian Empire settled primarily in the vicinity of Odessa. Over time many of the Albanian have been assimilated into either the Greek, Russian or Ukrainian populations of these areas.
By the late 20th Century, only a few years before the fall of the USSR the Albanian of Ukraine were mainly concentrated in Zaporizhia Oblast: Geandran, today (Hannivka), Taz (today Divninske) and Tuiushki (today Heorhiivka). There is also an Albanian village in Budjak: Caracurt (Karakurti in Albanian, Caracurt in Romanian, Karakurt / Каракурт in Ukrainian and since 1947 Zhovtneve / Жовтневе). In 1958 they numbered 5,258 in the entire Soviet Union. Their number had fallen to 4,402 by 1970.
- Wixman, Ronald. The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook. (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc, 1984) p. 8
- Olson, James S., An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994) p. 28-29
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