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An ethnographic illustration of a chukhna peasant, 1799

Chukhna, Chukhnas, Chukhontsy (singular: Chukhonets (male), Chukhonka (female)) is an obsolete Russian term for some Finnic peoples: Finns, Estonians, Karelians, Ingrian Finns.

It is thought to be a derivative from the ethnonym Chud.[1]

The 18th century Linguarum totius orbis vocabularia comparativa of Peter Simon Pallas has a vocabulary of the "Chukhna language".

Vladimir Dahl, in his Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language, records a reference to Finns in the vicinity of St. Petersburg.[2]

In modern usage, the words are considered ethnic slurs for Finns and Estonians.[3][4]

In 2000, TV-journalist Leonid Parfenov's usage of a term considering Vladimir Putin was perceived as an insult towards the President of Russia. Parfenov denied the claims, saying:

That was normal. Literally, I said: "a type of whitish northern appearance which is popularly called "chukhon blond " Russian: чухонь белобрысая, romanizedchukhon belobrysaya. How else? They don't say "blond of medium height". My cousin, Sasha, looks just like that. And Baba Katya, the kingdom of heaven to her, always called him that. This is very common in the North: Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Arkhangelsk region, Karelia ... By the way, we have discussed this with Sveta Sorokina who is from St. Petersburg. I am also partly from St. Petersburg, because I studied in St. Petersburg. And we said this is ours, and many do not know that "chukhon" is northern Russia. As a matter of fact, I am also a chukhon by birth. Yesenin has a verse line: "Russia has got lost in Mordva and Chud."[5]

In 2019, Vladimir Putin was asked a question about what happened to the Chud people in Russia. He answered: "They assimilated, mostly. But, I am sure they have not completely disappeared yet."[6]


  1. ^ A direct reference is cited here: Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (Aug 28, 1997). Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  2. ^ Вл. Даль. "Трескаться" [Explanatory Dictionary of Russian language]. Толковый словарь живого великорусского языка. IV (6th ed.). М.: Гос. изд-во иностр. и национ. словарей, 1955. p. 429.
  3. ^ Mack, Glenn Randall; Surina, Asele (2005). Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-313-32773-5. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  4. ^ Bakich, Olga (2015). Valerii Pereleshin: The Life of a Silkworm. University of Toronto Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-4426-4892-0. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Modest Northern Charm". (in Russian). 5 February 2001. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  6. ^ Zubkov, Ivan. "Ethnographer: Vladimir Putin is a typical representative of the Chud people". (in Russian). Vechernyaya Moskva. Retrieved 15 September 2020.