Russian-Ukrainian population of the Russian territories bordering with Ukraine: ethnocultural or transition group? 

Bublikov V.V.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 4 (55)


              page 212223




One of the new directions in ethnosociology is the study of population groups with multiple (often double) ethnic identities, which are growing quantitatively due to the spread of ethnically mixed marriages, migrations, etc. Among such hybrid ethnic groups, residents with Russian-Ukrainian identity are one of the largest bi-ethnic communities in Russia. In particular, in the Russian regions bordering with Ukraine, residents with dual Russian-Ukrainian identity make up a significant proportion of the population. Accordingly, the studies of 20172018 show that in Belgorod region 16 % of residents have Russian-Ukrainian ethnic identities, whereas it is 23 % in the border municipalities. In this paper, the genesis and reproduction potential of a bi-ethnic Russian-Ukrainian population group at the Russian-Ukrainian borderland is discussed. The first part of the paper comprises an overview of the studies of multiethnic groups, including the Russian-Ukrainian population. The second part is based on empirical ethnosociological research conducted by the author and is devoted to finding the answer to the question: Is the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity an independent, permanently existing ethnocultural community or a transitional group that temporarily emerged in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia?. Sociological data indicate that this group of population should be considered as a separate, permanently existing ethno-cultural community, and not a temporary, transitional group in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia. In favor of the former speaks the fact that the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity consists mainly of autochthonous people, with a balanced age composition, who inherited bi-ethnicity by their mixed origin, rather than by assimilation. In the respondents in this group, endogenous factors of the formation of ethnic identity are dominant; they feel an inextricable ethnic connection with the population of the neighboring Ukrainian regions. At the same time, members of the Russian-Ukrainian ethnocultural group are predominantly pessimistic about possibility of inheriting their double identity by future generations.

Keywords: bi-ethnicity, multiple ethnic identities, Russian-Ukrainian population, Russians, Ukrainians, border regions.


Funding. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-011-00676.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 16.09.2020

Article is published: 23.12.2021


Bublikov V.V., Belgorod State University, Pobedy st., 85, Belgorod, 308015, Russian Federation, E-mail:,