A large Russian diaspora sometimes including Russophones , i.
Russian-speaking non-Russians also exists all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States , Germany , Brazil , and Canada. The culture of the ethnic Russian people has a long tradition and it is a foundation for the modern culture of the whole of Russia. The Russian language originally was the language of ethnic Russians.
They are historically Orthodox Christians by religion. The Russian word for ethnic Russians is derived from the people of Rus' and the territory of Rus'. The Russians share many historical and cultural traits with other European peoples and especially with other East Slavic ethnic groups, specifically Belarusians and Ukrainians. Many ethnic groups had a common history within the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire, which was influential in spreading of Russian culture and language.
The Russian language is official in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan , and Tajikistan , and also spoken as a secondary language in many former Soviet states. The ethnic Russians is the one of ethnic groups who live in Russia, according to the census. Despite of The Russian word used for citizens of Russia is different from the word for ethnic Russian see Citizenship of Russia , other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.
The Tsardom of Russia became a multiethnic state in the 16th century see History of Russia. The number of ethnic Russians living outside the Russian Federation is estimated at roughly between 20 and 30 million people see Russian diaspora. There are two Russian words which are commonly translated into English as "Russians".
The former word refers to ethnic Russians, regardless of what country they live in and irrespective of whether or not they hold Russian citizenship. Under certain circumstances this term may or may not extend to denote members of other Russian-speaking ethnic groups from Russia, or from the former Soviet Union.
The latter word refers to all people holding citizenship of Russia, regardless of their ethnicity, and does not include ethnic Russians living outside Russia. Translations into other languages often do not distinguish these two groups. The name of the Russians derives from the Rus' people supposedly Varangians. According to the most prevalent theory, the name Rus ' , like the Finnish name for Sweden Ruotsi , is derived from an Old Norse term for "the men who row" rods- as rowing was the main method of navigating the rivers of Eastern Europe, and that it could be linked to the Swedish coastal area of Roslagen Rus-law or Roden , as it was known in earlier times.
Furthermore the name in the form of Roslagen first appeared only in Until the revolution , Russian authorities never specifically called them "Russians", calling them " Great Russians " instead, a part of "Russians" all the East Slavs. Genetic studies show that modern Russians do not differ significantly from Belarusians and Ukrainians. Some ethnographers, like Dmitry Konstantinovich Zelenin , affirm that Russians are more similar to Belarusians and to Ukrainians than southern Russians are to northern Russians.
Russians in northern European Russia share moderate genetic similarities with Uralic peoples ,   who lived in modern north-central European Russia and were partly assimilated by the Slavs as the Slavs migrated northeastwards. Such Uralic peoples included the Merya  and the Muromians.
The eastern branch settled between the Southern Bug and the Dnieper Rivers in present-day Ukraine ; from the 1st century AD through almost the turn of the millennium, they spread peacefully northward to the Baltic region, forming the Dregovich , Radimich and Vyatich Slavic tribes on the Baltic substratum, and therefore experiencing changed language features such as vowel reduction.
Later, both Belarusians and South Russians formed on this ethnic linguistic ground. From the 6th century onwards, another group of Slavs moved from Pomerania to the northeast of the Baltic Sea , where they encountered the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate and established the important regional center of Novgorod. The same Slavic ethnic population also settled the present-day Tver Oblast and the region of Beloozero. With the Uralic substratum, they formed the tribes of the Krivichs and of the Ilmen Slavs. Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of states that existed from the late 9th to the midth century.
Modern Russians derive their name and cultural ancestry from Kievan Rus'. East Slavic tribes and peoples, 8th-9th century. Principalities of Kievan Rus' , Three generations of a Russian family, the Kaganovs, from the Urals, ca. Photo taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union an estimated 25 million Russians began living outside of the Russian Federation, most of them in the former Soviet Republics.
Ethnic Russians historically migrated throughout the area of former Russian Empire and Soviet Union , sometimes encouraged to re-settle in borderlands by the Tsarist and later Soviet government. After the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War starting in , many Russians were forced to leave their homeland fleeing the Bolshevik regime, and millions became refugees.
Today the largest ethnic Russian diasporas outside Russia live in former Soviet states such as Ukraine about 8 million , Kazakhstan about 3. These communities may identify themselves either as Russians or citizens of these countries, or both, to varying degrees. People who had arrived in Latvia and Estonia during the Soviet era, including their descendants born in these countries, mostly Russians, became stateless after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and were provided only with an option to acquire naturalised citizenship.
The language issue is still contentious, particularly in Latvia, where ethnic Russians have protested against plans to liquidate education in minority languages, including Russian. Since , Estonia has naturalized some , residents of undefined citizenship, mainly ethnic Russians. Both the European Union and the Council of Europe , as well as the Russian government , expressed their concern during the s about minority rights in several countries, most notably Latvia and Estonia. In Moldova , the Transnistria region where In June , Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the plan to introduce a national policy aiming at encouraging ethnic Russians to immigrate to Russia.
At the same time, many ethnic Russians from former Soviet territories have emigrated to Russia itself since the s. Many of them became refugees from a number of states of Central Asia and Caucasus as well as from the separatist Chechen Republic , forced to flee during political unrest and hostilities towards Russians. Today, a large group of people in northern China can still speak Russian as a second language. Russians eluosizu are one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China as the Russ ; there are approximately 15, Russian Chinese living mostly in northern Xinjiang , and also in Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang.
Russian culture originated from that of the East Slavs , who were largely polytheists , and had a specific way of life in the wooded areas of Eastern and Northern Europe. The Scandinavian Vikings , or Varangians , also took part in forming the Russian identity and state in the early Kievan Rus' period of the late 1st millennium AD. The Rus' accepted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in , and this largely defined Russian culture for the next millennium , namely as a synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.
Transregional Trade in Early Modern Eurasia - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History
For most of the 20th century, Marxist ideology shaped the culture of the Soviet Union , where Russia, i. Russian culture is varied and unique in many respects.
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It has a rich history and a long tradition in all of the arts,  especially in fields of literature  and philosophy , classical music   and ballet ,  architecture and painting , cinema  and animation , all of which had considerable influence on world culture. Russians also gave the classical music world some very famous composers, including Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and his contemporaries, the Mighty Handful , including Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of three or, according to some authorities [ who?
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Examples of Old East Slavonic are attested from the 10th century onwards, and while Russian preserves much of East Slavonic grammar and a Common Slavonic word base, modern Russian exhibits a large stock of borrowed international vocabulary for politics, science, and technology. Russian has palatal secondary articulation of consonants , the so-called soft and hard sounds.
This distinction is found in most consonant phonemes and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language. Another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels , not unlike a similar process in English. Stress in Russian is often described as "unpredictable": it can fall on almost any syllable, and this is one of the difficult aspects for foreign language learners.
Transregional Trade in Early Modern Eurasia
Due to the status of the Soviet Union as a super power , Russian gained a great political importance in the second half of the 20th century. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations. All astronauts working in the International Space Station are required to master Russian. The total number of Russian speakers in the world in the assessment was about million, with about million people speaking Russian as a second language.
Prior to , Russian was the language of international communication of the USSR and the most common foreign language taught in schools in the countries of the Eastern Bloc in Central Europe. It continues to be used in the countries that were formerly parts of the Soviet Union, both as the mother tongue of a significant percentage of the population, and as a language of international communication. While for various reasons residents of these countries might be unwilling to openly identify with Russian language, a major sociological study on the Russian language in the post-Soviet states conducted by Gallup, Inc.
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