Russians in Belarus

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According to the 2009 census, there are around 785.000 ethnic Russians in Belarus, which accounts for approximately 8.3 percent of the population of Belarus.[1] Ten years earlier there were around 1.1 million ethnic Russians in Belarus, meaning that the Russian population in Belarus decreased 31 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the total population of Belarus decreased by 5 percent in the same period.[2] Nevertheless, Russians are still the largest ethnic minority in the country.

Many Russian-Belarusians are descendants of people who migrated to Belarus during the Soviet times, as technical specialists and military or administrative personnel.[citation needed] There is also a minor group of Old Believers who settled in Belarus in the Middle Ages.[citation needed]

In early Soviet times the Moscow-appointed Belarusian government was largely[citation needed] formed from non-Belarusians like the Panteleimon Ponomarenko or Nikolay Gikalo.

There is a large proportion of ethnic Russians among the current political leadership around Alexander Lukashenko.[citation needed]

Censuses show a constant decline of the number of people identifying themselves as Russians in Belarus due to the process of assimilation.[citation needed]

See also[edit]