Ukrainians in Lithuania

Ukrainians in Lithuania
Українці Литви
Total population
0.5% of the Lithuanian Population[1]
Regions with significant populations
Vilnius, Klaipėda, Visaginas, Kaunas
Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian
Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox
Related ethnic groups
Ukrainians, Slavic Peoples especially East Slavs

The Ukrainian minority in Lithuania (Ukrainian: Українці, Ukrayintsi, Lithuanian: Ukrainiečiai) numbered 22,488 persons at the 2001 census, and at 0.65% of the total population of Lithuania (approximately 3,350,400).[2] The Ukrainian national minority in Lithuania has deep enough historical and cultural relations. During ages in Lithuania the prominent figures of Ukraine such as T. H. Shevchenko, Meletiy Smotritsky, Yakiv Holovatsky, St. Yosafat (in the world — Ivan Kuntsevich, a religious figure of Greco-Catholic church canonized in 1967) and others stayed and created here.


As of 2011 according to census there were two municipalities and five more cities with more than 1% Ukrainians:[3]


In the middle of the 14th century the Ukrainian lands (the Kiev, Chernihiv, Pereyaslav regions) entered the Great Lithuanian Principality. It is considered, that in 1572 the Ukrainians made 3% of the whole population of the Great Lithuanian Principality. In Vilnius the residence of the Kiev metropolitan was situated, in 14-17th centuries in the fraternities of Vilnius city (they were founded by Ukrainians and Belarusians) the elucidative activity of these peoples was concentrated.

In 1596 the Union of Brest formed catholic religious community of cast ceremony (members of Uniate Church), that contributed to the expansion of the spiritual connections of the Ukrainian and Lithuanian peoples.

In times of the Russian Empire according to the demographic data of 1857 and 1897 the Ukrainians were 0.1% of the whole population of the country. In 1897 their common quantity reached 2 500.[4]

The censuses of population of 1923 and other interwar years did not fix separately the persons of the Ukrainian nationality. Although their quantity is unknown, but the organizations of the Ukrainians that functioned in interwar Lithuania testify to the fact that the Ukrainians lived in Vilnius, Kaunas, Kedainiai, Alytus, Tauragė.

The first head of the Kaunas.[4]

In October 1933 the Ukrainian national community of Lithuania was registered in Kaunas. It, however, lasted only for four years. At the beginning of 1934 in Kaunas the cultural-educational society of the Ukrainians in Lithuania was founded. According to its regulation, its purpose was "to unite Lithuanians and Ukrainians for close collaboration, to develop and widen the Lithuanian and Ukrainian folk art and to help to poor Ukrainians". Y. Tovstenko was the head of the society, its founders and members of the board — P. IIrinyuk, A. Kryvonis, P. Vorona. R. Harych and so on.

After the incorporation of the Lithuanian Republic to the USSR in 1940 and after the Second World War end the quantity of Ukrainians in the Lithuanian Republic grew considerably: if after the census of 1959 their quantity was 17 692 persons, in 1989 — 44 789.[4] The sharp growth of the Ukrainian layer of population in Lithuania is explained mainly by so-called "production migration" related with the industrialization of the republic. After 1961 the representatives of mainly engineer-technical intellectuals of Ukraine arrived to Lithuania. That's why the Ukrainians among other national minorities, that live in Lithuania, differ by the high index of their education. The most of Ukrainians worked on the objects of the power, chemical, heavy, fishing industry. The newcomers descended both from east and western regions of Ukraine. Overall in 70s-80s the percent of Ukrainians among the newcomers to Lithuania was on average 11%.

After the restoration of Lithuania independence almost all Ukrainians became citizens of the Lithuanian Republic, they enjoy the same rights and obligations as other citizens of Lithuania.

According to the census of 2001. 22 thousand ethnic Ukrainians lives in the Lithuanian Republic, making 0.65% of the population of Lithuania and are the fourth in size national minority.[2] After the restoration of independence about 7 thousand people drove out to the Motherland. The Ukrainians mainly live in the following cities: Vilnius (7159), Klaipėda (4652), Kaunas (1906), Šiauliai (875), Visaginas (1583). Jonava (431 or 1.6% of all citizens), among the rural population the Ukrainians are about 0.4% of all inhabitants.

There were in total 3 ethnic Ukrainians elected in the municipality elections in 2011.[5]


There are 19 organizations of Ukrainians, including six Communities of Ukrainians with centers in the cities Vilnius, Visaginas, Jonava, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevezhys.[4] In the cities of Visaginas, Jonava, Klaipėda the Sunday schools function. The Ukrainian musical collectives work at the communities or independently: "Prosvit" (Klaipėda) "Fir-Tree" (Kaunas) "Snowball Tree" (Visaginas), family ensemble "Svitlytsya" (Vilnius), the Museum of Ukraine works in Klaipėda. The Ukrainians participate actively in the cultural life of Lithuania, the musical level of their artistic collectives is especially high estimated. In 2005 in the annual festival of national minorities of Lithuania "Lithuania is our common house" the collectives "Snowball Tree" (Visaginas) and "Fir-Tree" (Kaunas) participated. Every year the Club of the Ukrainian traditional culture "Prosvit" is invited to participate in a big holiday "Sea Days" in Klaipėda. During the festival of the Sunday schools all three Ukrainian Sunday schools of Visaginas, Jonava and Kalipeda and the Ukrainian artistic group from Vilnius the Ukrainian art and traditions presented in extraordinarily interesting way, — the mass-media even named this event "the day of Ukraine".

Famous Ukrainians in Lithuania

See also


  1. ^ Lithuania census 2011
  2. ^ a b "Population by ethnicity (2001 Census)". Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania), 2005. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  3. ^ "Lithuania 2011 Census". Lietuvos statistikos departamentas. 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Мости дружби. Україна – Литва 2006
  5. ^ Savivaldybių tarybų sudėtis pagal lytį, amžiaus vidurkį, tautybę

Sources and external links

  • Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Lithuania
  • Мости дружби. Україна – Литва 2006 (Ukrainian)
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