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This article is about all citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity. For the Russian ethnic group, see Russians. For other uses, see Russian (disambiguation).
(inhabitants of Russia)
Total population
146 million (all citizens of Russia, 100%)
Russian (state language throughout Russia),
27 co-official and also other languages
Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism (four traditional religions in Russia)

Rossiyane (plural, Russian: россияне), Rossiyanin (masculine, Russian: россиянин), Rossiyanka (feminine, Russian: россиянка) is a demonym for Russia that is widely used for all citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity. Rossiyane are the people who live in Russia and the people who have a Russian identity – residential, legal, historical or cultural. The term includes all inhabitants of Russia;[1] those who belong to ethnic groups native to Russian territory (Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Bashkirs, Chuvash people, Chechens, etc.) and those who do not (for example, Afro-Russians, Russian: афророссияне - Afro-Rossiyane). Those who have received Russian citizenship via naturalisation are also called Rossiyane, regardless of ethnicity and mother tongue (for example, Gérard Depardieu or Viktor Ahn).

The word Rossiyane is derived from the word Rossiya (Russia). Its derivation is similar to derivation Britain → British, Canada → Canadians, Switzerland → Swiss people, United States of America → Americans, Australia → Australians, India → Indians, Soviet Union → Soviet people, China → Chinese Nation, Yugoslavia → Yugoslavs (it doesn't refer to ethnicity). The term Rossiyane doesn't have corresponding English word, but it is in German (German: Russländisch instead of ethnic term German: Russen), Swedish (Swedish: Ryssländare instead of Swedish: Ryssar), Kazakh (Kazakh: ресейліктер instead of Kazakh: орыстар),[2] Armenian (Armenian: ռուսաստանցիներ rusastantsiner instead of ռուսներ rusner),[3] etc.

Rossiyane (Russians) have a common history, share a common Russia-related culture and speak the Russian language (because it is the state language throughout Russia). The word Rossiyane refers to all people holding citizenship of Russia, regardless of their ethnicity, and does not include ethnic Russians living outside of Russia, but include all non-Russians living in Russia. The word Rossiyane is used much more often than Russkie (ethnic Russians) - on television, in politics, in official documents and scientific papers (the word Russkie is only used when talking about ethnicity).

The Tsardom of Russia became a multinational state in the 16th century. The word Rossiyane was coined by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century. The word has been widely used since then. After the fall of the Russian Empire, the expression "Soviet people" was used for the population of the Soviet Union, regardless of ethnicity. After the dissolution of the USSR, the word Rossiyane became widely used again. Modern Russia has over 160 different ethnic groups within the Russian Federation's borders. The word Rossiyane was often used by the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin in his addresses to the Russian people. Vladimir Putin often uses the words "multinational people of Russia". Russian [ethnic] nationalists often criticise the term Rossiyane.

The Constitution of Russia uses the expression "We, the multinational people of the Russian Federation".[4] Russian citizens can declare any ethnicity on a voluntary basis (real ethnicity as well as not real, including "Jedi", "gnomes", "goblins", "elves", "hobbits", "Martians", "Scythians", "Babylonians", "Romans", "Incas" - according to the 2002 Russian Census official statistics[NB 1]). The Constitution of Russia stated "Everyone shall have the right to determine and declare his (her) nationality. Nobody shall be forced to determine and declare his (her) nationality". The Russian word "nationality" means "ethnicity" in English language and doesn't refer to a citizenship. The word "nation" is rarely used in the Russian language. According to 2010 Russian Census, Russia has 194 real ethnic groups.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ see Russian Wikipedia article ru:Вымышленные народы в России (Russian)


External links[edit]