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To the sources of Ukrainian emigration

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The authors of the publication:
Rendiuk Teofil
Bibliographic description:
Rendiuk, T. (2019) To the sources of Ukrainian emigration. Materials to Ukrainian Ethnology, 18 (21), 6–23.


Rendiuk Teofil

doctor of historical sciences, senior researcher of the Department “Ukrainian Ethnological Center” of the M. Rylskyi Institute of Art studies, Folkloristics and Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.


To the sources of Ukrainian emigration



Ukrainian emigration has a long history and a global geographical scope. Historically, the Ukrainian mass emigration ranks fifth in the world after the Jewish, Greek, Armenian, and Chinese. At first, Ukrainians emigrated to Europe and within contemporary Russia. The beginning of the mass departure from Ukraine was the Mazepist military-political emigration upon the defeat of the Hetman of Ukraine Ivan Mazepa and the King of Sweden Charles XII near Poltava in June 1709, when 5 thousand Cossacks and their families were forced to settle in the Ottoman Empire (Moldova and Wallachia) and in some Western European countries. In the mid‑XVIIIth century, the earliest Ukrainian agricultural colonies emerged in the then Austrian Empire, when several thousand Transcarpathian Ukrainians moved to Bačka, Srem and Slavonia (at present – parts of Serbia and Croatia), searching for work. After the destruction of the Zaporizhzhian Host in 1775, 54 thousand Cossacks moved to Dobrugea, settling at the mouth of the Danube, within the then Ottoman Empire. But much more Ukrainian peasants migrated to the Volga region, the Urals, and Siberia, where they established large Ukrainian settlements among local Russians. Within Tsarist Russia in the XIXth century, Ukrainians have reached the territories of Kazakhstan, countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. At the same time, the first Ukrainian colonies appeared in many European capitals, including Vienna, Budapest, Rome, Paris and London; thence some ethnic Ukrainians left for North and South Americas, and Australia. In 1880, i.e., prior to the beginning of mass labour emigration in the late XIXth century, the overseas Ukrainians numbered over 1.2 million, accounting for 4.6 % of their total in the world at that time. The first Ukrainian colonists laid the foundation for large-scale four‑wave emigration of the late XIXth to early XXIst century. 



earliest single and group Ukrainian emigrants, Mazepist military-political emigration, Kuban and Transdanubian Cossacks, Ukrainian communities within Tsarist Russia, foreign settlements and colonies of ethnic Ukrainians, Western Europe, North and South Americas, Australia.



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