MINELRES: Information on the Rusyns

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Feb 15 18:47:08 2007

Original sender: Ionas Aurelian Rus <rus@polisci.rutgers.edu>


>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total population
55,000 (est) declare themselves as having Rusyn nationality; Rusyn
organisations claim approximately 2 million Rusyns

Regions with significant populations
24,201 (2001)[1]
15,626 (2002)[2]
10,100 (2001)[3]
2,337 (2001)

Rusyn, Pannonian Rusyn, Ukrainian, Slovak, Russian

Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic

Related ethnic groups
other East Slavic peoples

Rusyns (also referred to as Ruthenians, Ruthenes, Rusins,
Carpatho-Rusyns, and Rusnaks) are a modern ethnic group that speaks the
Rusyn language and are descended from the minority of Ruthenians who did
not adopt a Ukrainian national identity in the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. Because an overwhelming majority of Ruthenians
within Ukraine itself have adopted a Ukrainian identity[3], most modern
self-declared Rusyns live outside Ukraine. Thus, of the approximately 2
million people claimed by Rusyn organizations as being Rusyns, only
55,000 declare themselves as having this nationality. The ethnic
identity of Rusyns is therefore highly controversial, with some
researchers claiming a separate East Slavic ethnicity distinct from
Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, while others considering Rusyns
to be a subgroup of the Ukrainian nation. Some parallels can be drawn
with the relationship of Moldovans to Romanians.

1 Location
2 History
3 Religion
3.1 Eastern Rite Catholics
3.2 Eastern Orthodox Church
4 Language
4.1 Pannonian Rusyn
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 External links

Main article: Places inhabited by Rusyns
Rusyns have traditionally inhabited the area of the Eastern Carpathian
Mountains and still inhabit those areas. While their homeland is often
referred to as Carpathian Ruthenia, that area no longer exactly
corresponds with the places inhabited by Rusyns. There are also
resettled Rusyn communities located in the Pannonian plain, as well as
in parts of present day Serbia (especially in Vojvodina – see also
Ethnic groups of Vojvodina), as well as in present-day Croatia (in the
region of Slavonia). Still other Rusyns migrated to the northern regions
of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Many Rusyns also emigrated to the United States and Canada, and now are
able to reconnect as a community with the advent of the internet,
voicing their concerns and trying to preserve their separate ethnic and
cultural identity.

Rusyns are an ethnic group that never attained the status of independent
statehood, except for a half a year period in 1919 (Podkarpatska Rus).
As such, their fortunes have rested in the hands of larger powers, such
as Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, Poland, the Soviet Union, Ukraine,
and Russia. In contrast to the modern Ukrainian national movement that
united Western Ukrainians with those from the rest of Ukraine, the Rusyn
national movement takes two forms: one considers Rusyns as a separate
East Slavic nation, while the other is based on the concept of fraternal
unity with Russians.

Most if not all of the Eastern Slavic inhabitants of present-day Western
Ukraine referred to themselves as Rusyns (Ukrainian:
&#1056;&#1091;&#1089;&#1080;&#1085;&#1080;, translit. Rusyny) prior to
the nineteenth century, the majority of these people became active
participants in the creation of the Ukrainian nation and came to call
themselves Ukrainians (Ukrainian:
&#1059;&#1082;&#1088;&#1072;&#1111;&#1085;&#1094;&#1110;, translit.
Ukrayintsi). There were, however, ethnic Rusyn enclaves which were not a
part of this movement: those living on the border of the same territory
or in more isolated regions, such as the people from Carpathian
Ruthenia, Poleshuks, or the Rusyns of Podlachia. With no reason to
change their self-identifying monikers, these isolated groups continued
to refer to themselves as Rusyns even after the majority of their people
had switched to a Ukrainian self-identification. In this sense, Rusyns
are similar to other borderland ethnicities, and their national
awakening can be viewed by some as a negation of Ukrainian nationalism.

Some scholars consider the Lemko, Boyko, Hutsul, Verkhovinetses
(Verkhovyntsi, or Highlanders), and Dolinyanin (Haynal) ethnic groups to
be Rusyn. Indeed, as with the rest of the inhabitants of present-day
Western Ukraine in the 19th century and first part of the 20th century,
these peoples referred to themselves as Rusyns. However, some of these
ethnic groups consider themselves to be wholely separate ethnicities,
while some claim to be Ukrainians and still others indentify themselves
as Rusyns. According to a recent Ukrainian census, an overwhelming
majority of Boykos, Lemkos, Hutsuls, Verkhovinetses and Dolinyanins in
Ukraine stated their ethnicity as Ukrainian. About 10,100 people, or
0.8%, of Ukraine's Zakarpattya oblast (province) identified themselves
as Rusyns; in contrast, 1,010,000 considered themselves Ukrainians.[3]
Research conducted by the University of Cambridge during the height of
political Ruthenianism in the mid-nineties, that focused on five
specific regions within Zakarpattya oblast with the strongest
pro-Ruthenian cultural and political activism, found that only nine
percent of the population claimed Rusyn ethnicity.[4] These numbers may
change with the further acceptance of Rusyn identity and the Rusyn
language in educational systems in the area, but at the moment most
Ruthenians consider themselves Ukrainians.

The Rusyn national movement is much stronger among those Rusyn groups
that became geographically separated from present-day Ukrainian
territories, for example the Rusyn emigrants in the United States and
Canada, as well as the Rusyns still included within the borders of
Slovakia. A census in the latter country in 2001 showed that 24,000
people considered themselves Rusyn while 11,000 considered themselves to
be Ukrainians.[5] The Pannonian Rusyns in Serbia, who migrated there
during the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, also consider themselves
to be Rusyns. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some
Rusyns resettled in Vojvodina (in present day Serbia), as well as in
Slavonia (in present-day Croatia). Still other Rusyns migrated to the
northern regions of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, although many of
this ethnicity in Bosnia identify themselves as Ukrainians. Until the
1971 Yugoslav census, both Ukrainians (Serbian:
&#1059;&#1082;&#1088;&#1072;&#1112;&#1080;&#1085;&#1094;&#1080;, tr.
Ukrajinci) and Rusyns (Serbian:
&#1056;&#1091;&#1089;&#1080;&#1085;&#1080;, tr. Rusini) in these areas
were recorded collectively as "Ruthenes". Podkarpatskije Rusiny is
considered the Rusyn "national anthem", Ja Rusyn byl jesm' i budu the
national song.

Historically, in order to separate the Ukrainian people, the Polish and
Hungarian states are considered to have helped in the development of a
Rusyn identity as a separate one from that of Ukrainians. Rusyns were
even recorded as a separate nationality by the censuses taken in
pre-WWII Poland (see Cezary Chlebowski's Wachlarz).

When the Rusyns accepted Christianity (and who or what they worshiped
before) is a source of some debate, but it clearly occurred prior to the
Great Schism between the Orthodox and Catholic churches in 1054. Many
Rusyn churches are named after the Eastern Christian saints Cyril and
Methodius, who are often referred to as the "Apostles to the Slavs."

Historian Paul Robert Magocsi recorded that there were approximately
690,000 Carpatho-Rusyn church members in the United States, with 320,000
in the largest Catholic affiliations, 270,000 in the largest Orthodox
affiliations, and 100,000 in various Protestant and other

Eastern Rite Catholics
Many Rusyns are Eastern Catholics, who since the Union of Brest in 1596
and the Uzhorod Union in 1646, are united with other catholics under the
spiritual leadership of the Pope, but retain their Old Slavonic liturgy
and most of the outward forms of the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Rusyns of former Yugoslavia are organized under the Eparchy of

Eastern Orthodox Church
Although originally associated with the Orthodox Church of
Constantinople, the affiliation of the Rusyn Orthodox Church was
adversely affected by the Communist revolution in Russia and the
subsequent Iron Curtain which split the Orthodox diaspora from those
living in the ancestral homelands. A number of emigre communities have
laid claim to continuing the Orthodox tradition of the pre-revolution
church, while either negating or minimizing the validity of the church
organization operating under Communist authority. For example, the
Orthodox Church in America (OCA) was granted auto-cephalous
(self-governing) status by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1970. Although
approximately 25% of the OCA was Rusyn (referred to as "Ruthenian") in
the early 1980s, an influx of Orthodox emigres from other nations and
new converts wanting to connect with the "early" church have lessened
the impact of a particular Rusyn emphasis in favor of a new American

Main article: Rusyn language
Rusyn (less accurately referred to as the Ruthenian language) is close
to the Ukrainian language–enough so that the Ukrainian government
considers Rusyn merely a dialect of Ukrainian, to the resentment of some
Rusyns. In the extreme west of Carpathian Ruthenia, the language
approaches Slovak.

Pannonian Rusyn
Main article: Pannonian Rusyn language
Pannonian Rusyn has been granted official status and codified in
Vojvodina. Since 1995, it has been recognized and codified as a minority
language in Slovakia (in cases where there are at least 20% Rusyns). The
Rusyn language in Vojvodina, however, sharing many similarities with
Slovak, is sometimes considered a separate (micro)language, and
sometimes a dialect of Slovak.

See also
List of Rusyn Americans
Carpathian Ruthenia
Red Ruthenia
History of Ukraine
Zakarpattia Oblast

^ Permanently resident population by nationality and by regions and
districts - Population and Housing Census 2001, Statistical Office of
the Slovak Republic ^ (December 24 2002) “3. Population by national or
ethnic groups by Census 2002, by municipalities”, Zoran
Jan&#269;i&#263;: Issue LII, No. 295, Final Results of the Census 2002,
Communication, Belgrade: Republic Statistical Office of Serbia, 6-7. YU
ISSN 0353-9555 SRB 295 SN31 241202.
^ Political and Ethno-Cultural Aspects of the Rusyns’ problem: A
Ukrainian Perspective - by Natalya Belitser, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for
Democracy, Kyiv, Ukraine
^ 2001 and 1991 Slovakian censuses
^ Our People: Carpatho-Rusyns and Their Descendants in North America,

Chlebowski, Cezary (1983). Wachlarz: Writings on the Liberating
Organization, a Division of the National Army (Wachlarz: Monografia
wydzielonej organizacji dywersyjnej Armii Krajowej : wrzesien
1941-marzec 1943), Instytut Wydawniczy Pax. ISBN 83-211-0419-3
Dyrud, Keith P. (1992). The Quest for the Rusyn Soul: The Politics of
Religion and Culture in Eastern Europe and in America, 1890-World War I,
Balch Institute Press. ISBN 0-944190-10-3
ed. by Patricia Krafeik (1994). The Rusyns, Eastern European Monographs.
ISBN 0-88033-190-9 *Magocsi, Paul Robert (1978). Shaping of a National
Identity: Subcarpathian Rus', 1848-1948, Harvard University Press. ISBN
Magocsi, Paul Robert (1988). Carpatho-Rusyn Studies: An Annotated
Bibliography (V. 1: Garland Reference Library of the Humanities),
Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8240-1214-3
Magocsi, Paul Robert (1994). Our People: Carpatho-Rusyns and Their
Descendants in North America, Society of Multicultural Historical. ISBN
Magocsi, Paul Robert (1994). The Rusyns of Slovakia, East European
Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-278-6
Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). A New Slavic Nation is Born, East European
Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-331-6
Magocsi, Paul Robert (1999). Carpatho-Rusyn Studies: An Annotated
Bibliography, 1985-1994, Vol. 2, Columbia University Press. ISBN
Magocsi, Paul Robert (2000). Of the Making of Nationalities There Is No
End, East European Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-438-X
Magocsi, Paul Robert, Sandra Stotsky and Reed Ueda (2000). The
Carpatho-Rusyn Americans (Immigrant Experience), Chelsea House
Publications. ISBN 0-7910-6284-8
Magocsi, Paul Robert (2002). Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture,
University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3566-3
Magocsi, Paul Robert (2006). Carpatho-Rusyn Studies : An Annotated
Bibliography Vol.3 1995-1999, East European Monographs. ISBN
Mayer, Maria, translated by Janos Boris (1998). Rusyns of Hungary:
Political and Social Developments, 1860-1910, Eastern European
Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-387-1
Petrov, Aleksei (1998). Medieval Carpathian Rus': The Oldest
Documentation about the Carpatho-Rusyn Church and Eparchy, Eastern
European Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-388-X
Rusinko, Elaine (2003). Straddling Borders: Literature and Identity in
Subcarpathian Rus', University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3711-9

External links
Warning: While reading the sources listed below, as well as sources of
Ukrainian and Polish origin, one has to be careful to recognize the
underlying interest of each of these groups supporting their own
national mythology by selective presentation of information and the
inter- and extrapolations favorable to that mythos.

The Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base
The Carpatho-Rusyn Society
Rusyn International Media Center
The Ukrainian Canadians: A Community Profile, 1891-1999
Carpatho-Rusin American Collection
Carpatho-Rusyn, Rusin, Ruthenia: Cross-Index
Who Are We: Rusin, Russian, Ruthenian, Slovak ...? by John Slivka
Rusin Association of Minneapolis Minnesota Homepage
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A.
Ruthenian Catholic Church
"The people exist, the ethnicity does not. Some knowledge about the
Carpathian Rusyns", Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly), November 17-23,
2001. Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian
'Myhailo Tyvodar: "There is no need to prove that Transcarpathia is
Ukrainian by spirit"', Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly), April 6-12, 2002.
Available online in Russian and in Ukrainian
Multi-Ethnic Outpost by Brian J. Pozun for Central Europe Review 1911
Encyclopcdia Britannica/Ruthenians

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