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Moldovans in Ukraine are the third biggest minority recorded in the 2001 All Ukrainian Census after Russians and Belarusians. Unlike many other minorities, Moldovans often live in the countryside (71.5%) rather than in a city (28.5%), the majority in the northern and southern historical region of Bessarabia.

Moldovan Ukrainians
Flag of Moldova.svg
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Chernivtsi Oblast, Odessa Oblast
Predominantly Romanian (also called Moldovan) (70.0%), Russian (17.6%)
Eastern Orthodox

There is an ongoing controversy whether Moldovans are part of the larger Romanian ethnic group or a separate ethnicity.



After 1812, Russian Empire annexed Bessarabia from Romania. Romanians under Russian rule enjoyed privileges well, the language of Moldavians was established as an official language in the governmental institutions of Bessarabia, used along with Russian,[1] as more than 90% of the population was Romanian.[2] The publishing works established by Archbishop Gavril Bănulescu-Bodoni were able to produce books and liturgical works in Moldavian between 1815 and 1820,[3] until the period from 1829 to 1905, when Russification policies were implemented that all public use of Romanian was phased out, and substituted with Russian. Romanian continued to be used as the colloquial language of home and family, mostly spoken by Romanians, either first or second language. Many Romanians changed their family names to Russian. This was the era of the highest level of assimilation in the Russian Empire.[4]

In 1918, Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania.

In 1940, Bessarabia was annexed by the Soviet Union. Around 65% of Bessarabia is part of the modern-day Moldova, with the Ukrainian Budjak region (part of the Odessa Oblast) covering the southern coastal region, and part of the Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast covering an area in the north.


The number of Moldovans was 258,619 in 2001 (the 2001 Ukrainian Census).[5] The people identifying themselves as Moldovans represent a majority in Novoselytsia Raion (Chernivtsi Oblast) and Reni Raion (Odessa Oblast). The number of Romanians, at the same 2001 Census, was 151,100.[5]

Notable representativesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)Charter for the organization of the Bessarabian Oblast, April 29, 1818, in "Печатается по изданию: Полное собрание законов Российской империи. Собрание первое.", Vol 35. 1818, Sankt Petersburg, 1830, pg. 222–227. Available online at
  2. ^ Viata Culturala din Basarabia intre 1812-1828
  3. ^ King, Charles, The Moldovans, Hoover Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8179-9792-X, pg. 21–22
  4. ^ Colesnic-Codreanca, Lidia. Limba Română în Basarabia. Studiu sociolingvistic pe baza materialelor de arhivă (1812–1918) ("The Romanian language in Bessarabia. A sociolinguistic study based on archival materials (1812–1918)"). Chișinău: Editorial Museum, 2003.
  5. ^ a b "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001 | Результати | Основні підсумки | Національний склад населення:". Retrieved 2016-06-21.