List of territorial entities where Russian is an official language

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Countries where Russian is the sole state language, one of state languages, has official status, etc.

This is a list of countries and territories where Russian is an official language:

Nationwide status of the state language[edit]

This is the highest nationwide status.

No. Country Status
1.  Russia Status of the state language (государственный язык - gosudarstvenny yazyk), the hightest level in the country.
Constitution: The Russian language shall be the state language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. (Article 68)

Few regions in Russia have an additional state language locally. (2nd level of importance)
The Republics shall have the right to establish their own state languages. In the bodies of state authority and local self-government, state institutions of the republics they shall be used together with the state language of the Russian Federation. (Article 68 of the Constitution)
Also there are "official languages" or "languages with official status" in regions. (3rd level of importance) See : Languages of Russia

2.  Belarus Status of the state language (дзяржаўная мова / государственный язык), the hightest level in the country. Russian is one of two state languages alongside Belarusian.

Constitution: The Belarusian and Russian languages shall be the state languages of the Republic of Belarus. (Article 17)

De facto entities recognised as de jure sovereign states by at least one UN member state
a.  South Ossetia Status of the state language, the hightest level in the country.

Constitution: The state languages in the Republic of South Ossetia are Ossetian and Russian languages. (Article 4)

De facto entities recognised only by other non-UN member states
b.  Transnistria Status of the official language, the hightest level in the country.

Constitution: The status of the official language is given to Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian on an equal basis. (Article 12)

Self-proclaimed de facto entities
c.  Donetsk People's Republic Status of the state language, the hightest level in the country.

Constitution: The state language in the Donetsk People's Republic is Russian language. (Article 10)

d.  Luhansk People's Republic Status of the state language, the hightest level in the country.

Constitution: The state languages in the Luhansk People's Republic are Russian and Ukrainian languages. (Article 10)

Nationwide status of the official language[edit]

This is the second highest nationwide status after state language.

No. Country Status
1.  Kazakhstan The second highest nationwide status after the state language, but constitutional status is not quite clear ("Russian language is officially using").

Constitution: 1. The state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be the Kazakh language. 2. In state institutions and local self-administrative bodies the Russian language is officially using on equal grounds along with the Kazakh language. (Article 7)

Implementation: Legal proceedings in Kazakhstan are carried out in the Kazakh language, Russian and other languages are used only when necessary. The Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan, the Law "On Languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan" and other decisions of the authorities gave the Russian language a very high status in practice.

Russian is used routinely in business, government, and inter-ethnic communication, although Kazakh is slowly replacing it.[1] Russian is the most spoken language (84,8 %), Kazakh is spoken by 62 %, English is spoken by 7,7 %.

2.  Kyrgyzstan The second highest nationwide status after the state language ("the Russian language is used as an official one").

Constitution: 1. The state language of the Kyrgyz Republic shall be the Kyrgyz language. 2. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian language is used as an official one. (Article 10)

3.  Tajikistan Constitutional status of the "language of inter-ethnic communication", the second highest nationwide status after the state language.

Constitution: The state language of Tajikistan is the Tajik language. The Russian language is a language of inter-ethnic communication. (Article 2)

Implementation: The Russian language is used in the legislative process. The official publication of laws and regulations is carried out in Russian.

De facto entities recognised as de jure sovereign states by at least one UN member state
a.  Abkhazia Constitutional status of the "language of State and other institutions", the second highest nationwide status after the state language.

Constitution: The state language of the Republic of Abkhazia shall be the Abkhazian language. The Russian language, equally with the Abkhazian language, shall be recognized as a language of State and other institutions. (Article 6)

Implementation: Lawmaking, legal proceedings and activities of all state and commercial institutions are carried out in the Abkhazian language, Russian are used only when necessary.

Any other status defined by constitution, nationwide recognised minority language or similar status[edit]

No. Country Status
1.  Ukraine Russian is explicitly mentioned in constitution. Recognised minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.


Constitution: The state language in Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. (Article 10)

2.  Moldova Russian is explicitly mentioned in constitution.

Constitution: 1. The state language of the Republic of Moldova is Moldovan, and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet. 2. The Moldovan State acknowledges and protects the right to preserve, develop and use the Russian language and other languages spoken within the national territory of the country. (Article 13)

3.  Uzbekistan Russian is used in notary institutions and registry offices. At the request of citizens, the text of the document issued by a notary must be obligatory in Russian. Documents are issued in other languages only if possible.

According to the current version of the law "on the state language of the Republic of Uzbekistan", Russian no longer has the status of an international language of communication.

4.  Armenia Recognised minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
5.  Poland Recognised minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.


6.  Romania Recognised minority language by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Status in dependencies or regions[edit]

No. Country Status
1. Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( Ukraine) Status defined in one of the laws of Ukraine for the territory of Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is one of the laws of Ukraine adopted by Ukrainian parliament)

Article 10. Securing Application and Development of Official Language, Russian, Crimean Tatar and Other Ethnic Groups’ Languages in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea 1. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, alongside with the official language, the application and development, use and protection of Russian, Crimean Tatar and other ethnic groups’ languages shall be secured. 2. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Russian, being the language spoken by the majority of population and the language acceptable for purposes of interethnic communication, shall be used in all spheres of public life. 3. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, citizens shall be guaranteed the right to be educated in their native language at children’s preschool establishments, to learn the native language, to be taught in the native language at educational establishments of state, republican and/or municipal form of ownership or through ethnic cultural societies or in accordance with the procedure established by Ukrainian legislation and the statutory acts of the Supreme Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within its terms of reference.

Article 11. Language of Documents Certifying Citizen’s Status in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Pursuant to Ukrainian legislation, any and all official documents in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea certifying the citizen’s status, such as the identity card, work record card, educational level evidences, birth certificate, marriage certificate and others, shall be executed in Ukrainian and Russian and, upon request of a citizen, also in Crimean Tatar.

Article 12. Language of Legal Procedure, Notarial Procedure, Administrative Offence Procedure and Legal Assistance in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Pursuant to the Ukrainian legislation now in force, the language of legal procedure, notarial procedure, administrative offence procedure and legal assistance in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall be Ukrainian or, upon request of a participant in a respective procedure, Russian, as the language spoken by the majority of the population of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Any and all other matters of application of languages in the above spheres of activity in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall be regulated by Ukrainian laws.

Article 13. Working Language of Post, Telegraph and Services Sector Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea 1. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, post and telegraph correspondence from individuals, public, republican, non-government and other bodies, enterprises, establishments and organisations shall be accepted for sending if executed in Ukrainian or Russian. 2. Used in all consumers services (municipal services, public transport, public health and others) and at services sector enterprises, establishments and organisations shall be Ukrainian or Russian or any other language acceptable for parties.

2. Gagauzia ( Moldova) Law of Moldova On the special legal status of Gagauzia
3. Transnistria autonomous territorial units ( Moldova) Law of Moldova On the main provisions of the special legal status of localities on the left Bank of the Dniester river (Transnistria)
4. 8 communes ( Romania) Law № 215/2001, adopted by decision № 1206 on 27 November 2001



See also[edit]

References[edit]