Izhorians: A disappearing ethnic group indigenous to the Leningrad region

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There is no body of research focusing specifically on Izhorians, a Finno-Ugrian minority group indigenous to the Leningrad region. Information about them is usually embedded in wider studies investigating Finnic minorities living at the intersection of Russia, Estonia and Finland. Consequently, it is fragmented, disjointed and marginalised, and available almost only in Russian, Estonian or Finnish. However, the most recent report on the state of the Izhorian language (which is part of a general study of Finnic minority languages in Russia) is available in English. Even though information about Izhorians lacks unity and cohesion, all researchers share the same concern, namely that Izhorians are disappearing as a distinct ethnic group. This concern manifests itself as a tendency to follow the dynamics of the Izhorian population, paying special attention to statistical data. Accordingly, this paper begins with a presentation of those data as a feature that connects all available research and proceeds to a commentary clarifying the reasons for the decline of this ethnic group. It also evaluates the current state of the Izhorian language. This review article presents a concise overview of selected research findings related to various issues concerning the study of Izhorians, including works by A. I. Kir'ianen, A. V. Labudin and A. A. Samodurov (2017); A. I. Kir'ianen (2016); N. Kuznetsova, E. Markus and M. Muslimov (2015); M. Muslimov (2005); A. P. Chush'ialova (2010); F. I. Rozhanskiǐ and E. B. Markus (2013); and V. I. Mirenkov (2000).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-228
Number of pages23
JournalActa Baltico-Slavica
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Finnic minorities
  • Finno-Ugric peoples
  • Ingrian Finns
  • Ingrians
  • Izhorians
  • Russian history
  • Second World War
  • The USSR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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