Russian Genetics – DNA of Russia’s East Slavic people

Posted: December 29, 2014 at 11:46 am

Russian Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries

Russians are the dominant ethnicity in Russia today. The Russian language belongs to the East Slavic family and is related to Ukrainian and Belarusian. The Russian people, too, are closely related to their Belarusian and Ukrainian neighbors, and also fairly close to Poles and Slovenians, who speak other forms of Slavic. The main ancestors of the Russians included Krivichians, Radimichians, Vyatichians, Severians, and the Ilmen Slavs (Il'menskie slavyane), all of whom were East Slavs. But it is also known that some families of ethnic Russians intermarried with Finnic and Uralic peoples and with Volga Tatars centuries ago. Geneticists found that some Russians are related to the Merya and Muromian peoples that inhabit the north-central part of the European side of Russia.

We can genetically divide the Russian people into two main types: Northern Russians and Southern Russians.

The Y-DNA (paternal) haplogroup R1a and its offshoots are very common among Russian men. Studies have found the ethnic Russian frequency of R1a ranges from a low of 19.8 percent to as high as 62.7 percent, depending on the study and the geographic region being studied, with an average of 46.7% of Russian men carrying R1a. Northern Russian men carry R1a at a lower frequency (33.4%) than other Russian men (49%). R1a spread throughout many areas of eastern Europe with the migration of members of the Indo-Europeans from the Ukrainian-Russian steppe following their migration from West Asia (the northern Middle East). Some specific subgroups of R1a found among ethnic Russians in the "Russia-Slavic DNA Project" include R1a1, R1a1a, R1a1a1g, and R1a1a1g2.

Among Russian men, the Y-DNA haplogroup R1b ranges in frequency from 0 to 14 percent, and is found on average among 5.8%. The "Russia-Slavic DNA Project" includes men who have the sub-types R1b1a2 and R1b1a2a1a1b.

The Y-DNA haplogroup I is found between zero and 26.8 percent among Russian men. Their average frequency is 17.6% when all regions of Russia are taken into account, but a little higher (23.5%) when the scope is limited to central and southern Russia. Some members of the "Russia-Slavic DNA Project" carry the sub-types I2a and I2a2.

The Y-DNA haplogroup N is also common among Russian men, at frequencies between 5.4 percent and 53.7 percent. Their average frequency is 21.6% when all regions of Russia are taken into account, but only 10% when the scope is limited to central and southern Russia. N haplogroups are often signals of Finnic ancestry so the higher frequency of them in more northerly Russians is accounted for by intermarriage with their nearby Finnic neighbors. N1c1 is a sub-type that's found in Russia.

E1b1b Y-DNA haplogroups (ultimately originating in northeastern Africa) are not very common among Russian men, but some do have them, and the "Russia-Slavic DNA Project" has men who specifically carry E1b1b1 and E1b1b1a1b.

Some Russians carry U4 mtDNA haplogroups; these are common among northwestern and central Siberian peoples, including Kets, the Finnic-speaking Veps (Vepsians) of northwestern Russia, as well as among the Chuvash and Mari peoples of the Volga-Ural region.

Irina Morozova, Alexey Evsyukov, Andrey Kon'kov, Alexandra Grosheva, Olga Zhukova, and Sergey Rychkov. "Russian ethnic history inferred from mitochondrial DNA diversity." American Journal of Physical Anthropology. First published online on December 20, 2011. Previous studies showed that Northern Russians genetically differ from Southern Russians. This study confirms that, showing that Northern Russians (but not Southern Russians) significantly intermarried with Finno-Ugric peoples, while Southern Russians (but not Northern Russians) intermarried with Germanic peoples. Russians were also found to be genetically tied to other Slavs and to Baltic peoples and to a lesser degree to Iranian and Turkic peoples. Excerpts from the Abstract:

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Russian Genetics - DNA of Russia's East Slavic people

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