The Greeks of Crimea (and later of the adjacent Azovian region; present-day Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine) were represented by two groups: the Hellenic-speaking Romaioi, whose dialect is known as Rumeíka, a.k.a. Mariupol Greek, and the Turkic-speaking Urums (also called Graeco-Tatars). These Byzantine Greeks of Crimea are Pontic Greeks who colonised Crimea. Both groups populated the region over the course of many centuries, and consist of both the descendants of the ancient (4th century BC – 4th century AD) Greek and Byzantine Christian Greek colonizers of the northern shores of the Black Sea and interior of southern Russia and Ukraine, and also of Pontic Greeks who fled as refugees, or 'economic migrants,' from northeastern Anatolia between the fall of the Empire of Trebizond to the Ottomans in 1461 and the 1828-29 Russo-Turkish War. However, the Greek settlers of the Crimea region underwent social and cultural processes, which led to them adopting the Crimean Tatar language as a mother tongue.

In 1777, after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire, Empress Catherine the Great ordered all Greeks from the peninsula to settle in the North Azov region around Mariupol, and they have been known as the North Azovian Greeks (приазовские греки / priazovskie greki) henceforth. Some linguists believe that the dialect spoken by the North Azovian Urums differs from the common Crimean Tatar language on a more than just dialectical level and therefore constitutes a separate language unit within the Kypchak language sub-group (see Urum language).

Urums practice Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Throughout history, they represented an isolated cultural group and rarely settled in towns populated by the Romaioi, despite sharing Greek heritage with them.[1] Unlike Greek, Urum has never been a language of secondary education in Ukraine. Turkologist Nikolai Baskakov estimated that by 1969, 60,000 people spoke Urum as a native language. According to the All-Ukrainian Population Census of 2001, only 112 of the Donetsk Oblast's 77,516 Greeks listed languages other than Greek, Ukrainian and Russian as their mother tongue.

エレニの旅 [DVD]

エレニの旅 [DVD]

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