Romani people in Ukraine
Total population
est. 400,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Zakarpattia region and Odesa region
Ukrainian, Para-Romani
Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam

The presence of a Romani minority in Ukraine was first documented in the early 15th century.[2] The Romani maintained their social organizations and folkways, shunning non-Romani contacts, education and values, often as a reaction to anti-Romani attitudes and persecution. They adopted the language and faith of the dominant society, being Orthodox in most of Ukraine, Catholic in Western Ukraine and Zakarpattia Oblast, and Muslim in Crimea.



The Romani people originate from Northern India,[3][4][5][6][7][8] presumably from the northwestern Indian states Rajasthan[7][8] and Punjab.[7]

The linguistic evidence has indisputably shown that roots of Romani language lie in India: the language has grammatical characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a parts of the basic lexicon, for example, body parts or daily routines.[9]

More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with Hindi and Punjabi. It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is closest to Bengali.[10]

Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group.[4][5][11] According to a genetic study in 2012, the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste populations of northern India, traditionally referred to collectively as the Ḍoma, are the likely ancestral populations of modern European Roma.[12]

In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma community were children of India. The conference ended with a recommendation to the Government of India to recognize the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora.[13]


During the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Roma people suffered since the often lack of civil status documentation held off their access to humanitarian assistance. Several sources report denying refugees access to European countries.[14] EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) called for special attention to Roma seeking sanctuary.[15]

The previous discouragement of the education of Roma girls hit them harder after the war disturbance in the education system.[16] Romani Ukrainians are also fighting Russian soldiers in Liubymivka.[17] Despite being part of a marginalized minority, hundreds or Roma volunteered to fight for the Ukraine army.[18]


Romani are scattered throughout Ukraine, but their largest concentration is in Zakarpattia Oblast. Half live in cities. 35% consider Romani their mother tongue. Material culture has not differed from the dominant society except in dress. They have a rich folk tradition. Romani themes can be found in Ukrainian literature.


The Muslim Roma migrated from Central Asia in the 17th and 18th century to Crimea peninsula.[19]


Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b [1]: In reality, by the preliminary estimates of communication within our nation, only the East of Ukraine has approximately 150 thousand Romani nationals, and we are sure that the Romani population on the territory of Ukraine reaches more than 400 thousand people.
  2. ^ Volodymyr Kubijovyc (1988). Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Volume II: G-K.
  3. ^ Hancock, Ian F. (2005) [2002]. We are the Romani People. Univ of Hertfordshire Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-902806-19-8: ‘While a nine century removal from India has diluted Indian biological connection to the extent that for some Romani groups, it may be hardly representative today, Sarren (1976:72) concluded that we still remain together, genetically, Asian rather than European’((cite book)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  4. ^ a b Mendizabal, Isabel (6 December 2012). "Reconstructing the Population History of European Romani from Genome-wide Data". Current Biology. 22 (24): 2342–2349. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.10.039. PMID 23219723.
  5. ^ a b Sindya N. Bhanoo (11 December 2012). "Genomic Study Traces Roma to Northern India". New York Times.
  6. ^ Current Biology.
  7. ^ a b c Meira Goldberg, K.; Bennahum, Ninotchka Devorah; Hayes, Michelle Heffner (2015-09-28). Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives - K. Meira Goldberg, Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum, Michelle Heffner Hayes - Google Books. ISBN 9780786494705.
  8. ^ a b Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo (1999). World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. p. 147. ISBN 9781858286358. Roma Rajastan Penjab.
  9. ^ Šebková, Hana; Žlnayová, Edita (1998), Nástin mluvnice slovenské romštiny (pro pedagogické účely) (PDF), Ústí nad Labem: Pedagogická fakulta Univerzity J. E. Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem, p. 4, ISBN 80-7044-205-0, archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04
  10. ^ Hübschmannová, Milena (1995). "Romaňi čhib – romština: Několik základních informací o romském jazyku". Bulletin Muzea Romské Kultury. Brno: Muzeum romské kultury (4/1995). Zatímco romská lexika je bližší hindštině, marvárštině, pandžábštině atd., v gramatické sféře nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengálštinou.
  11. ^ "5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma". Live Science. 23 October 2013.
  12. ^ Rai, N; Chaubey, G; Tamang, R; Pathak, AK; Singh, VK (2012), "The Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup H1a1a-M82 Reveals the Likely Indian Origin of the European Romani Populations", PLOS ONE, 7 (11): e48477, Bibcode:2012PLoSO...748477R, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048477, PMC 3509117, PMID 23209554
  13. ^ "Can Romas be part of Indian diaspora?". 29 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Romani family denied exit from Ukraine: border guards accuse Roma of "wrongdoings" in Hungary". European Roma Rights Centre (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  15. ^ "Ensure equal treatment for Roma fleeing Ukraine". European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (in Dutch). 2022-04-01. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  16. ^ "Rapid gender analysis in Ukraine reveals different impacts and needs of women and men". UN Women – Headquarters. 2022-04-05. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  17. ^ "Roma from Kherson oblast in Ukraine capture tank from Russian occupiers".
  18. ^ "Almost 200 pro-Roma and Romani organizations worldwide condemn Russia's war on Ukraine, call for it to end and for the human rights of all refugees to be upheld". Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  19. ^ Gypsies in Central Asia and the Caucasus. 2016. ISBN 9783319410562.
  20. ^ a b c Geisenhaner-Lange, p. 427
  21. ^ a b c d Geisenhaner-Lange,p. 437
  22. ^ Geisenhaner-Lange, p. 432