Monday, January 23, 2023

Of the 17 Million Russian Residents without a Nationality in New Census, ‘At Least 13.5 Million’ are Ethnic Russians and ‘No Fewer than 500,000 Tatars,’ Tishkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 20 – Academician Valery Tishkov, former director of the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology and former minister for nationality affairs, has weighed in on the results of the 2021 Russian Federation census; and his damning judgment about them is certain to spark even more doubts about the census.  

            The ethnographer says that the census “went badly because of the pandemic, because of insufficient funding for the census takers, because of shortcomings in the transition to the Internet portal of public services and because of a complete disregard by the media for such an important campaign” (

            According to Tishkov, “17 million people – 13 percent of the total population – are reported without an indication of their ethnic (national) affiliation. Among them, there are at least 13.5 ethnic Russians and at least 0.5 million ethnic Tatars.”

            Further, he specifies that census takers did a more complete and accurate job of putting down the nationality of the titular nations of the republics than they did of the nationalities of people living outside of these republics or not having one of their own. These include the Mordvins and Tatars, who as a result “suffered from undercounts.”

            Tishkov promises further comments about the census and its results in future social media posts. But even these remarks are certain to prove explosive.   

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