Non-Profit Organizations: Ethnocultural Diversity In The Far East Of Russia


The article is devoted to the study of the features of non-profit organizations and public associations which support ethnic and cultural development of the peoples living in the Far East of Russia. Quantitative methods (content analysis and statistical analysis) were used. The purpose of the article is to describe peculiarities of non-profit organizations strengthening interethnic harmony and contributing to ethno-cultural development in the Far East. The authors study representativeness of the ethnic groups functioning as public associations and (or) non-profit organizations. The results of the study demonstrate the importance of preserving traditions and culture of the peoples of the Far East. There is a trend to represent powerful ethnic groups as non-profit organizations. The unique ethnosocial situation in the Far East is due to the dominance of public associations of indigenous peoples. The article concludes that it is necessary to monitor changes in the composition of national-cultural public associations and / or non-profit organizations and to finance projects contributing to interethnic harmony and ethno-cultural development as indicators of the level of ethnic harmony in the regions.

Keywords: Support of the ethnocultural diversitynon-profit organizationsnational cultural associationsindigenous peoplesthe Far East of Russia


Analysis of formation and development of public associations (PA) and non-profit organizations (NPO) is a separate research aspect. Formation of PAs and NPOs is due to development of Russian legislation and civil society in Russia. In Russia, specific measures have been developed to support civic activism – federal target programs ensure partnership between civil society and the government.

Problem Statement

Analysis of measures for supporting ethno-cultural development in Russia is due to the fundamental nature of this issue for a multi-ethnic country with a unique policy, national civic unity and ethno-cultural diversity. All 85 Russian regions are polyethnic. Representatives of at least 100 ethnic communities and groups live in Russia. Data on the national composition of Russia are based on the identity of respondents. According to the data of the All-Russian Population Census-2010 (ARPC-2010), the population of Russia is 142 856 536 people. There are only seven groups of peoples with a population of over 1 million: Russians (80.9%), Tatars (3.87%), Ukrainians (1.41%), Bashkirs (1.15%), Chuvash (1.05% ), Chechens (1.04%) and Armenians (0.86%) (Census, 2010, 2011). Among the multinational regions of Russia, a specific ethnosocial situation can be observed in the Far East, including the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (RS (Y) or Yakutia), Kamchatka (K), Primorsky krai (PK) and Khabarovsk krai (KhK), Amur oblast (AO), Magadan oblast (MO), Sakhalin oblast (SO), the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR), Chukotka Autonomous Region (ChAR).

In the Far East, according to the ARPC -2010, there were 6293,129 people. The number of Russians is 4964107 people (78.9% of the population), the most numerous groups are the Yakuts (469897 people – 6.5%), Ukrainians (154954 people – 2.5%) and representatives of small indigenous peoples of the North (106472 people – 1.7%). 25 years ago (according to the data of the All-Union Population Census-1989), there was a different correlation between ethnic groups. Besides Russians, Ukrainians (652544 people – 7.9%), Yakuts (365236 people - 4.4%), Belarusians (103675 people - 1.3%), indigenous peoples of the North (102909 people - 1.2%), and Tatars (92386 people - 1.1%) were the largest groups of the population. According to the ARPC -2010, the predominant part of the Yakuts live in Yakutia (466492 people or 48.7%).

Today, the whole structure is different. Against the background of the departure of such peoples as the Tatars and Bashkirs, Ukrainians and Belarusians, the number of the ethnic communities of Central Asia is growing. Poles and Moldovans, Germans, Kazakhs who helped develop this remote region of Russia in the period of industrialization are leaving the Far East,. All this determines the uniqueness of the Far Eastern national policy, the need to identify new ethnosocial trends and their regulation.

The Far East is the primordial territory of the indigenous minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East (IMN) which actualizes the issues of effective ethnocultural development management and social stability of the Far Eastern polyethnic communities.

According to the ARPC -2010, the proportion and number of indigenous minorities in the ethnostructure of the Far East are as follows: in the RS (Y) - 40,222 people (4.2%), in KhK - 22863 people (1.7%), in ChAR - 16941 people (33.5%), in KK - 14573 people (4.5%), in MO - 5007 people (3.2%), in SO - 3042 people (0.62%), in PK - 1903 people (0.09%), in AO - 1707 people (0.2%), in the JAR - 250 people (0.14%).

Representatives of the Korean diaspora in the Far East live in Sakhalin Oblast (24,993 people or 5% of the population), Primorsky Krai (18,824 people or 1% of the population), in Kamchatka and Khabarovsk Krai. In general, Primorsky Krai is a very international region where large diasporas of Ukrainians, Tatars, Uzbeks, Belarusians, and Armenians live.

The Far East is an outpost of Russia on the eastern frontiers, a bastion of national security and integrity, a macro-region with a unique ethnographic and ethnosocial landscape. Just PAs and NPOs aim to solve problems of socio-economic and cultural development of multi-ethnic communities. The research problem of this paper is the study of PAs and NPOs aiming to solve ethnocultural issues and participate in establishing ethnic relations. In this regard, one of the important aspects for understanding the problem is systematization of quantitative data on PAs and NPOs dealing with ethnocultural diversity. Monitoring of the composition of PAs and NPOs is very important for maintaining stable interethnic relations in multi-ethnic and ethnoculturally unique territories.

Research Questions

The object of the study is PAs and NPOs aiming to solve ethnocultural issues (national-cultural PAs and NPOs) in the Far East of Russia which includes nine Russian regions. Scientists have always been interested in the relationship between the government and society. The studies examined various aspects of civil society structures (Hayek, 1990). Representatives of the Austro-Marxist school studied ethnocultural aspects of civil society, national cultural associations. Proponents of the instrumentalist approach characterized ethnicity as a tool for achieving group interests and ethnic mobilization (Glazer & Moynihan, 1975). Among foreign authors studying ethnonational aspects of development of civil society, E. Gellner and E. Yang should be mentioned. In the works of Russian scientists studying social partnership, special attention is paid to Russian and foreign experience (Ragozina, 2015; Arslanov & Ramazanova, 2015), NPO financing and taxation (Fedorova, 2016), interaction with the government (Gorny, 2011; Abrosimova, 2016), NPO activities in the Russian regions (Rudakova, Zakharov & Polevoy, 2016; Rykova, 2014; Moiseev & Shurupova, 2016; Abramova & Sukhushina, 2015), including the Far East (Tsvetova, 2014). Special attention is paid to the analysis of the ethnosocial situation in the Far East where there are problems of adaptation of indigenous peoples, relationship between diasporas and the government (Maklashova & Osipova, 2017; Maklashova & Astakhova, 2014).

The review of existing publications studying PAs and NPOs in Russia shows insufficient attention to the activities of PAs and NPOs which aim to solve ethnic and cultural issues, and the issues of interethnic relations.

In this regard, it is necessary to carry out additional research aimed at solving the following research questions: 1) identification of the number of national-cultural PAs and NPOs and the dynamics of their movement; 2) identification of specificity of national-cultural PAs and NPOs in the Far East. These research issues have never been studied by Russian scientists.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is to describe and identify characteristics of public associations and non-profit organizations contributing to interethnic harmony and ethnocultural development in the Far East.

Research Methods

The main research method is quantitative analysis which determines features of the phenomenon being studied. To achieve the purpose, statistical analysis and content analysis are used. The following sources were used: 1) data of the Federal State Statistics Service; 2) data of the All-Union Population Census-1989, All-Russian Population Census-2002 and 2010; 3) open data of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation; 4) open data of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation on socially-oriented non-profit organizations.


In Russia, ethno-cultural diversity can be supported by PAs and NPOs. National-cultural autonomies are usually organized in the form of PAs, communities and Cossack associations are organized in the form of NPOs. They aim to preserve and develop cultural heritage of the Russian peoples. In addition, according to Article 31.1 of the Federal Law “On Non-Profit Organizations”, the activities of NPOs aimed at developing inter-ethnic cooperation, preserving and protecting the identity, culture, languages and traditions of the peoples of Russia, patriotic education, legal education and the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms are recognized as socially oriented. Foreign experience has shown that socially oriented non-profit organizations (SONPO) are an effective supplier of social services (Kulkova, 2012).

According to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, 11,335 NPOs of various legal forms were registered in the Far East as of July 01, 2017 (see Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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The largest number of public organizations is registered in Primorsky Krai, the smallest - in Chukotka Autonomous region. The number of NPOs per 1000 people is quite large, considering that in prosperous regions of the Russian Federation, for example, in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region, the number is only 1,3, in the Republic of Tatarstan – 1,48, and in Moscow – 2,9.

As can be seen from the data in Table 01 , the right to legal self-determination of ethnic communities established in the 1990s has been seldom exercised in the Far East, although NPAs are the most effective form of exercising rights and interests of national groups (Rogovaya, 2016).

Analysis of the register of public associations presented by the Ministry of Justice of Russia showed that the largest number of national-cultural NPOs registered in Kamchatka Krai (367 NPOs which is 36,8% of the total number of the NPOs registered in the region), Khabarovsk Krai (310 NPOs, which is 13,8% of the total number of the NPOs registered in the region) and Yakutia (253 NPOs which is 11,7% of the total number of theNPOs registered in the region).

Quantitative analysis identified that civil activity is inherent in all the numerous ethnic communities of Russia: Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Chechens, and Armenians. Minorities (Jews, Germans, Lithuanians, Belarusians, Kazakhs, Poles, Georgians) show civil solidarity as well.

At the same time, such ethnic groups as Ukrainians and Armenians are more prone to self-organization and formation of NPOs than Russians. For example, in Primorsky and Kamchatka krais, and Magadan oblast, there are 3,5 times more NPOs established by these peoples than those established by Russians. In Sakhalin oblast and Khabarovsk krai, there are 2,5 times more NPOs established by Ukrainians and Armenians than those established by Russians. In Yakutia, there are 1,2 times more NPOs established by Ukrainians and Armenians than those established by Russians. Peoples of Central Asia are rather active. The Ukrainian community has a wide representation. It is registered in all regions except for the Jewish Autonomous Region, Sakhalin oblast, and Chukotka Autonomous Region.

The quantitative ratio between NPOs representing the interests of ethnic groups that are not natively residing in Russia and NPOs representing the interests of the peoples of Russia is the same as the relationship between ethnic groups that are not natively living in the territory and peoples of Russia in the ethnic structure of the Far Eastern regions (Jewish Autonomous Region, Amur oblast, Magadan oblast, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Khabarovsk krai).

In regions with a fairly high share of Koreans (Primorsky and Khabarovsk krais, Sakhalin oblast), representatives of this ethnic group participate in preservation and development of the culture of their peoples which reflects the ethnocultural peculiarity of the Far East

Among the peoples of Russia, the desire for social self-organization is more often manifested by the Tatars and Bashkirs, or the peoples of the North Caucasus (Ingush, Ossetians). The largest number of NPOs was registered in Primorsky krai (11) and Yakutia (10). They are less active in Chukotka Autonomous Region (there are no registered NPOs of network ethnic groups), although their share is 3,3% (the largest share of representatives of the peoples of Russia in the Far East) and Kamchatka krai (2%), whereas in Primorsky krai, their share is only 1,3%. In Yakutia, representatives of the indigenous ethnos (Yakuts), who are in a dominant position in this region, tend to establish ethnocultural associations due to the specificity of ethnic groups resettlement.

Representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North are more active in terms of their self-organization, despite their small share in the ethnostructure of the Far East compared with the share of all ethnic groups representing ethnic interests that are not natively living in Russia. In Kamchatka Krai, the share of the NPO in the total number of national-cultural NPOs is 93,7%, in Khabarovsk Krai – 79,0%, in Yakutia – 77,5%. A high share of NPO in the total number of national-cultural NPOs is registered in Magadan oblast (71,1%) and Sakhalin Oblast (68,3%). In Amur oblast, 57,9% of NPOs belong to indigenous minorities, although their share in the ethnic structure of the region is significantly low. The smallest share of NPO is registered in Primorsky krai (18,8%) and in the Jewish Autonomous Region (5,3%). In Chukotka Autonomous Region, there are no registered national-cultural NPOs, except for NPOs which constitute 28,6% of organizations registered in the region. It is the second largest region by the number of of national-cultural NPOs in the total number of NPOs in the Far East.

Self-organization of Cossack societies which represent a completely unique ethno-cultural community is high. With regard to Cossacks, there is specialized federal and regional policies which contributed to development of these associations in Russia. In the Far East, there are about 190 registered Cossack associations. In most regions, the number of Cossack organizations exceeds the number of other national cultural organizations. The highest share of Cossacks associations is registered in the Jewish Autonomous Region (57,9%) and Primorsky Krai (44,5%). The smallest share of Cossack associations is registered in Yakutia (7.9%).

In 7 regions of the FEFD, a large half of the registered national-cultural NPOs are public associations (except for the Jewish Autonomous Region and Primorsky krai). In 6 regions of the FEFD, the share of Cossack organizations prevails over the share of NPOs representing the interests of the peoples of Russia (except for the small groups of indigenous peoples of the North).

Despite the fact that Russians are a large ethnic group in the Far East, Russian communities are registered both in national (ethno-territorial) regions with a dominant indigenous ethnic group (Yakutia), and in regions with a dominant Russian ethnic group (the Jewish Autonomous Region, Primorsky and Kamchatka Krais). In other regions, Russian communities have been registered yet.

Organization of international public associations is an interesting experience. The organizations were registered in Primorsky and Kamchatka Krais, Magadan Oblast and the Jewish Autonomous Region. The Tatars and Bashkirs create public associations. There are societies of the Azerbaijani and Dagestan (“Birlik”), Uzbek and Tajik (“Doslik”) in Primorye krai. In Kamchatka Krai, there is the Kamchatka Union of Belarusian and Great Russian Peoples, and in the Jewish Autonomous Region there is the Union of Slavs of the Jewish Autonomous Region. In addition, associations are registered on the territorial basis is recorded: “Far Eastern Association of Peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia”, “Union of Kyrgyzstan”, “Association of Youth from the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)” in Khabarovsk Krai; "Buryat fraternity" Baikal "", "Baltic fraternity Kolyma-Baltic."


In the Far East, non-profit organizations representing the interests of the peoples of Russia, contributing to preservation of identity and ethno-cultural diversity constitute 15,35% of the total number of NPOs registered in the regions of the FEFD. Activities of the societies aimed to preserve and support ethnocultural development is a special indicator of the ethnosocial process in the Far East. The dynamics of changes in the composition of PAs and NPOs is determined by the nature of the ethnic structure of the Far Eastern regions. In all regions, NPOs representing the interests of ethnic groups that are not natively residing in Russia are predominant.

The attention of the government to the issues of ethnic diversity and the unique ethnocultural situation contributed to the growth of social activities of NPOs established by small indigenous peoples. Their activities result from the need to preserve the ethnocultural image of the small community and preserve their traditions and culture.

Thus, in the Far East, a special system of national-cultural NPOs has been established. It includes NPOs of small indigenous peoples, NPOs of ethnic groups that are not natively residing in Russia, NPOs of the peoples of Russia, and Cossack NPOs.

Thus, the practical significance of the research is highly relevant for federal and regional authorities. The monitoring allows the authorities to resonse to changes and stabilize ethnic and social processes.

Intensification of civil initiatives of national-cultural NPOs, as well as the identified trend in the ethnic structure of the regions presented by ethnic groups that are not natively residing in Russia and groups representing the peoples of Russia and its influence on the composition of national-cultural NPOs, show subsequent transformation of the composition of national-cultural NPOs in the Far East, focusing government attention on the NPO activities. Thus, the results of the study show that it is necessary to balance the forces of NGOs in Primorsky krai and Sakhalin oblast, in Kamchatka Krai (there are not enough NPOs representing the interests of Russia), and in Chukotka Autonomous Region (there are not enough NPOs).

However, despite the fact that quantitative analysis allowed us to indetify some features of civic activism in the context of polyethnicity of the Far East and even make some recommendations to regional authorities, the results focus on distribution of government grants between national-cultural NPOs the ratio of civic engagement and ethnic interaction which helps present the ethnosocial process in the Far East regions and the role of PAs and NPOs in this process.


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29 March 2019

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Gavrilovna, M. E., & Sergeevna, A. I. (2019). Non-Profit Organizations: Ethnocultural Diversity In The Far East Of Russia. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1015-1022). Future Academy.