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Inorodtsy (singular: inorodets), is a legal term used in the Russian Empire in reference to non-Russian (in the broad sense) population of the Empire. Literally meaning "of different descent/nation", it is sometimes translated as allogeneous (people) (cf. "allogenes") and sometimes as "aliens". The latter translation is misleading, since in most cases the term was applied to the indigenous population of Siberia, Central Asia, and Russian Far East. Initially introduced as a legal statute for special treatment of certain categories of population (including a certain degree of protection of their traditional life), for which some laws of the Empire were deemed inappropriate, over time the term acquired a pejorative connotation of "lacking culture, uncivilized peoples". Privileges and special treatment for inorodtsy included exemption of military service, protection of grazing lands, and religious and governmental self-administration.[1][2]


  1. ^ James R. Millar (ed.) (2004) Encyclopedia of Russian History, MacMillan Reference, ISBN 0-02-865693-8
  2. ^ John W. Slocum, "Who, and When, Were the Inorodtsy? The Evolution of the Category of 'Aliens' in Imperial Russia", Russian Review, vol 57 (1998), pp. 173-190.