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Ukrainophiles

Ukrainophiles — persons of Rusyn ethnolinguistic background who believe that their people are a branch of the Ukrainian nationality. Ukrainophiles as well as Ukrainians beyond the Carpathian region argue that the ethnonym Rusyn is simply an older name for the modern-day Ukrainian, and that Rusyn speech represents various dialects of the Ukrainian language. Ukrainophiles, therefore, reject the *Russophile view of a single or “common Russian” nationality that allegedly encompasses Ukrainians (“Little Russians” in the vocabulary of their antagonists). Ukrainophiles also reject the *Rusynophile view that Rusyns could or should form a distinct nationality, branding the proposition as “separatism.” In an attempt to capitalize on the continual popularity of the ethnonym Rusyn, Ukrainophiles, especially after the Revolutions of 1989, whether in *Subcarpathian Rus’, the *Presov Region, or the *Lemko Region, refer to the “Carpathian branch” of the Ukrainian nationality as “Rusyns-Ukrainians” (rusyny-ukraintsi). In the Ukrainophile view Rusyn-Ukrainians have no need for an “artificial” literary language of their own, since Ukrainian should function as “their” language of culture and “higher” communication.

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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