The forthcoming All-Russia census, slated to be held from October 9 to 16, 2002, is the only chance to find out the ethnic composition of Russia.
As officials of the federal press centre Census-2002 of the State Committee on Statistics of Russia said, for each ethnic group it is an opportunity to make a strong case as a real force which the state will reckon with.
In accordance with the federal law On the All-Russia Census, in the course of the census the population's answers to the question of the census paper "What Ethnic Group Do You Belong To?", just as the other information about the population, will be put down by the census-takers as they are given by the questioned people.
To avoid violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, the census papers contain a prompt for census-takers on this question - "according to the definition given by the questioned person". So, the real ethnic structure of the population will be registered.
At the present time one can judge of the ethnic composition of the country's population only by the data of the 1989 census. According to these 13-year-old data, nearly 120 million Russians, 5.5 million Tatars, 4.4 million Ukrainians, 1.7 million Chuvashs, 1,3 million Bashkirs, 1.2 million Byelorussians, 1,1 million Mordovians, and 899,000 Chechens, as well as 11 million people of other nationalities lived in the RSFSR.