|1.2 million (ethnic Rusyns only) 
– more than 70 million (under the broadest
definitions of Ruthenia).
|Regions with significant populations|
|Previously Ruthenian and Belarusian;
currently Rusyn, Ukrainian and Slovak
|Eastern Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Ukrainians, Belarusians, Rusyns and various Slavic peoples|
The English language exonyms Ruthenian, Ruthene or Rusyn (Russian: Русины, Rusyny; Ukrainian: Русини/Руські, Rusyny/Rus'ki; Belarusian: Русіны, Rusyn: Русины, Rusyny) have been applied to various East Slavic peoples.
At its broadest sense, Ruthenian is a historical or archaic term for all Ukrainians and Belarusians, as well as members of the Rusyn ethnic minority in Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and the Czech lands.
In its narrower senses, Ruthenian is an exonym for ethnic Rusyns and/or inhabitants of a cross-border region around the northern Carpathian Mountains, including western Ukraine (especially Zakarpattia Oblast; part of historic Carpathian Ruthenia), eastern Slovakia and southern Poland. This area coincides, to a large degree, with a region sometimes known in English as Galicia (Ukrainian: Галичина, Halychyna; Polish: Galicja and; Slovak: Halič). The name Ruthenian is also used by the Pannonian Rusyn minority in Serbia and Croatia, as well as Rusyn émigrés outside Europe (especially members of the Ruthenian Catholic Church). In contrast, the Rusyns of Romania are more likely to identify as "Ukrainian".
With the emergence of Ukrainian nationalism, during the mid-19th Century, there was a decline in use of the term Ruthenian as an endonym by Ukrainians, and it fell out of use in eastern and central Ukraine. Most people in the western region of Ukraine later followed suit later in the 19th century.
Ruthenian and Ruthene were originally Latinised exonyms, based on the endonymic term Rusyn an ethnonym applied to peoples speaking the eastern Slavic languages in the broad cultural and ethnic region of Rus' (Русь), espcially the medieval kingdom of Kievan Rus' and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With borders that varied greatly over time, they inhabited the area that is now Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of eastern Slovakia, southern Poland, and western Russia, especially the area around Bryansk, Smolensk, Velizh and Vyazma.
Later "Ruthenians" or "Ruthenes" were used as a generic term for Greek Catholic, who inhabited Galicia and adjoining territories until the early twentieth-century; this group spoke Western dialects of the Ukrainian language and called themselves Русины, Rusyns (Carpatho-Russians).
The language these "Ruthenians" or "Ruthenes" spoke was also called the "Ruthenian language"; the name Ukrajins’ka mova ("Ukrainian language") became accepted by much of the Ukrainian literary class only in the early twentieth-century in Austro-Hungarian Galicia. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918 the term "Ukrainian" was usually applied to all Ukrainian-speaking inhabitants of Galicia.
A number of Ruthenians who still identify under the Rusyn ethnonym consider themselves to be a national and linguistic group separate from Ukrainians and Belarusians. Since 1992, the Zakarpattia regional council has twice appealed for recognition of Rusyns as a distinct nationality twice to the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada). According to the 2001 All-Ukrainian Census, approximately 10,000 self-identified Rusyns reside within Zakarpattia Oblast alone. In August 2006, the UN Committee on liquidation on racial discrimination urged the Government of Ukraine to recognize Rusyns as a national minority. In March 2007 the Zakarpatttia regional council officially recognized Rusyns as a nationality of the region. This is recognized in 22 countries around the globe. According to the "Kommersant-Ukraine" (Ukrainian edition) on October 29, 2008 the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Zakarpattia Oblast agents questioned the Subcarpathian Rusyn leaders Dmytro Sidor and Yevgeniy Zhupan. They were summoned to SBU as witnesses in a criminal case on the infringement on territorial integrity of Ukraine initiated in June 2008. However the investigators were interested in the circumstances and sources of financing the 2nd European Congress of Rusyns that took place on October 25, at which the memorandum on reinstating the Rusyn's statehood was signed. According to Dmytro Sidor the Rusyn's movement is financed through a medium business. At the same time Rusyn leaders claim that do not infringe on territorial integrity of the country.
The criminal case (part 2, Art.110 of the Criminal Code) was initiated right after the 1st European Congress of Rusyns took place in Mukachevo on June 7, 2008. At that particular congress it was recognized the reinstating of the Zakarpattia's special status as special "territory of Rusys to the south of Carpathians" with self-government under the constitutional name Subcarpathian Rus. On Saturday, October 29, in Mukachevo at the 2nd Congress the memorandum was signed and was intended to go into force on December 1, 2008. Until then the authorities had to start a process on recognition of the Subcarpathian Rus autonomy.
- Ruthenian (disambiguation)
- Ruthenian nobility
- Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth
- Ukrainian Russophiles
- Magocsi, Paul Robert (1995). "The Rusyn Question". Political Thought (http://www.litopys.org.ua/rizne/magocie.htm) 2–3 (6): 221–231.
- Encyclopædia Britannica
- (Ukrainian) "Лідерів русинів допитали в СБУ" (Leaders of Rusyns were questioned in SBU) by "GlavRed". October 30, 2008
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