Ukrainians in Lithuania
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0.5% of the Lithuanian Population)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Vilnius, Klaipėda, Visaginas, Kaunas|
|Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian|
|Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Ukrainians, Slavic Peoples especially East Slavs|
The Ukrainian minority in Lithuania (Ukrainian: Українці, Ukrayintsi, Lithuanian: Ukrainiečiai) numbered 22,488 persons at the 2001 census, and at 0.65% of the total population of Lithuania (approximately 3,350,400). The Ukrainian national minority in Lithuania has deep historical and cultural relations. Many prominent figures of Ukraine such as Taras Shevchenko, Meletius Smotrytsky, Yakiv Holovatsky, St. Yosafat (in the world — Ivan Kuntsevich, a religious figure of Greco-Catholic church canonized in 1967) and others stayed and created in Lithuania.
According to 2011 census there were two municipalities and five more cities with more than 1% Ukrainians:
- Visaginas Municipality (5.12%)
- Klaipėda City Municipality (1.92%)
- Elektrėnai (1.44%)
- Pabradė (1.16%)
- Grigiškės (1.15%)
- Šalčininkai (1.03%)
- Lentvaris (1.02%)
In the middle of the 14th century the Ukrainian lands (the Kiev, Chernihiv, Pereyaslav regions) entered the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It is presumed that in 1572, the Ukrainians made up to 3% of the whole population of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The residence of the Kiev metropolitan was situated in Vilnius. During the 14–17th centuries in the fraternities of Vilnius (they were founded by Ukrainians and Belarusians) the elucidative activity of these people was concentrated.
In 1596, the Union of Brest formed catholic religious community of cast ceremony (members of Uniate Church), that contributed to the expansion of the spiritual connections of the Ukrainian and Lithuanian people.
The censuses of population of 1923 and other interwar years did not fix separately the persons of the Ukrainian nationality. Although their quantity is unknown, but the organizations of the Ukrainians that functioned in interwar Lithuania testify to the fact that the Ukrainians lived in Vilnius, Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Alytus, Tauragė.
The first head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, created in Vienna, was Yevhen Konovalets, the colonel of UPR army and the citizen of Lithuania from 1929. Lithuania supported this organization morally and materially. From Lithuania the Ukrainians were presented in OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) by I. Rcvyuk (Y. Bartavichius). At this time the body of the Ukrainian military organization "Surma" appeared in Kaunas.
In October 1933, the Ukrainian national community of Lithuania was registered in Kaunas. It, however, lasted only for four years. At the beginning of 1934 in Kaunas the cultural-educational society of the Ukrainians in Lithuania was founded. According to its regulation, its purpose was "to unite Lithuanians and Ukrainians for close collaboration, to develop and widen the Lithuanian and Ukrainian folk art and to help the poor Ukrainians". Y. Tovstenko was the head of the society, its founders and members of the board — P. IIrinyuk, A. Kryvonis, P. Vorona. R. Harych and others.
After Lithuania's to the Soviet Union in 1940 and after the Second World War, the quantity of Ukrainians in the Lithuania grew considerably: ifrom 17 692 people in 1989 to 44 789 people in 1989. The growth of the Ukrainian population in Lithuania is explained mainly by so-called "production migration" related with the industrialization of the republic. After 1961, the representatives of mainly engineer-technical intellectuals of Ukraine arrived to Lithuania. The most of Ukrainians worked on the objects of the power, chemical, heavy, fishing industry. The newcomers descended both from east and western regions of Ukraine. Overall during the period of 1970-1980, the percent of Ukrainians among the newcomers to Lithuania was about 11%.
After the restoration of Lithuania's independence almost all Ukrainians became citizens of Lithuania
According to the census of 2001, 22,000 ethnic Ukrainians live in the Lithuania, making 0.65% of the population of the country and are the fourth in size national minority. After the restoration of independence about 7,000 people returned back to Ukraine. The Ukrainians mainly live in the following cities: Vilnius (7,159), Klaipėda (4,652), Kaunas (1,906), Šiauliai (875), Visaginas (1,583). Jonava (431 or 1.6% of all citizens), among the rural population the Ukrainians are about 0.4% of all inhabitants.
There are 19 Ukrainian organizations, including six communities of Ukrainians with centers in Vilnius, Visaginas, Jonava, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevežys. There are Ukrainian Sunday schools in Visaginas, Jonava, Klaipėda. Ukrainian musical collectives work at the communities or independently: "Prosvit" (Klaipėda) "Fir-Tree" (Kaunas) "Snowball Tree" (Visaginas), family ensemble "Svitlytsya" (Vilnius), the Museum of Ukraine works in Klaipėda. Ukrainian people actively participate in the cultural life of Lithuania, the musical level of their artistic collectives is especially high estimated. In 2005, in the annual festival of national minorities of Lithuania "Lithuania is our common house", collectives "Snowball Tree" (Visaginas) and "Fir-Tree" (Kaunas) participated. Every year the club of the Ukrainian traditional culture "Prosvit" is invited to participate in a big holiday "Sea Days" in Klaipėda.
Famous Ukrainians in Lithuania
- Lithuania census 2011
- "Population by ethnicity (2001 Census)". Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania), 2005. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "Lithuania 2011 Census". Lietuvos statistikos departamentas. 2011.
- Мости дружби. Україна – Литва 2006
- Savivaldybių tarybų sudėtis pagal lytį, amžiaus vidurkį, tautybę