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Ukrainians of Romania

The Ukrainians (Ukrainian: Українці, Romanian: Ucraineni) are the third-largest ethnic minority in Romania. According to the 2011 Romanian census they number 51,703 people, making up 0.3% of the total population.[1] Ukrainians claim that the number is actually 250,000-300,000.[2] Ukrainians mainly live in northern Romania, in areas close to the Ukrainian border. Over 60% of all Romanian Ukrainians live in Maramureș County (31,234), where they make up 6.77% of the population. Sizable populations of Ukrainians are also found in Suceava County (5698 people), Timiș County (5953), Caraș-Severin County (2600), Satu Mare County (1397), Tulcea County (1317) and Arad County (1295). Ukrainians make up a majority in seven communes of Maramureș County (Bistra, Bocicoiu Mare, Poienile de sub Munte, Remeți, Repedea, Rona de Sus and Ruscova) and three in Suceava County (Bălcăuți, Izvoarele Sucevei and Ulma), as well as in Știuca, Timiș and Copăcele, Caraș-Severin. According to the 2002 census, 79% of Ukrainians were Eastern Orthodox, organized into the Ukrainian Orthodox Vicariate Sighetu Marmației; 10% Pentecostal; 2.8% Greek-Catholic, organized into the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Vicariate Rădăuți; 2.1% Seventh-day Adventist; 1.2% Lipovan Orthodox and 2.9% stated they belonged to "another religion".[3]

Ukrainians in Romania
Ucraineni Romania 2002.PNG
Distribution of Ukrainians in Romania (2002 census)
Total population
51,703 (2011 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
northern Romania, in areas close to the Ukrainian border
mainly Ukrainian and Romanian
Ukrainian Orthodox,
Pentecostal and Greek-Catholic

A second group of Ukrainians in Romania live in the Dobruja region of the Danube Delta. These are descendants of Zaporozhian Cossacks who fled Russian rule in the 18th century. In 1830 they numbered 1,095 families.[4] Over the years they were joined by other peasants fleeing serfdom in the Russian Empire. In 1992 their descendants numbered four thousand people according to official Romanian statistics,[5] while the local community claims to number 20,000.[4] Known as Rusnaks,[6] they continue to pursue the traditional Cossack lifestyle of hunting and fishing.

Other Ukrainians came under the policy of Romanianization following the collapse of Austria-Hungary over the whole of Bukovina and relinquishment of Russian Empire over Bessarabia in 1918; the Romanianization policies brought the closure of the Ukrainian public schools (all such schools were closed until 1928) and the suppression of most of the Ukrainian (Ruthenian) cultural institutions. The very term "Ukrainians" was prohibited from the official usage and some Romanians of disputable Ukrainian ethnicity were rather called the "citizens of Romania who forgot their native language" and were forced to change their last names to Romanian-sounding ones.[7] Among those who were Romanianized were descendants of Romanians who were assimilated to Ukrainian society in the past.

As an officially recognised ethnic minority, Ukrainians have one seat reserved in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. Ștefan Tcaciuc held the seat from 1990 until his 2005 death, when he was replaced by Ștefan Buciuta.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b (in Romanian) "Comunicat de presă privind rezultatele provizorii ale Recensământului Populației și Locuințelor – 2011", at the 2011 census site; accessed February 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Ukrainians: Engaging the 'Eastern Diaspora'". By Andrew Wilson. (1999). In Charles King, Neil Melvin (Eds.) Nations Abroad. Wesview Press, pp. 103-132. ISBN 0-8133-3738-0
  3. ^ (in Romanian) Populația după etnie și religie, pe medii, at the 2002 Census official site; accessed January 4, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Union of Ukrainians in Romania website Archived 2008-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Calculated from statistics for the counties of Tulcea and Constanța from "Populația după etnie la recensămintele din perioada 1930–2002, pe judete" (pdf) (in Romanian). Guvernul României — Agenția Națională pentru Romi. pp. 5–6, 13–14. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  6. ^ "Dobrudja". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  7. ^ Oleksandr Derhachov (editor), "Ukrainian Statehood in the Twentieth Century: Historical and Political Analysis", Chapter: "Ukraine in Romanian concepts of the foreign policy", 1996, Kiev ISBN 966-543-040-8

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