With 131 endangered languages, Russia could become one of the world's largest language graveyards. Often, Soviet-era population transfers accelerated their end. World Policy Journal highlights two languages on the ropes, one that exists only in memory, and another that flourishes thanks to a little luck.
Accused of collaborating with Nazi Germany, Kalmyks were deported in 1943 to Siberia, Central Asia, and the Soviet Far East. Many died in transit. Their language has not recovered.
INGRIAN severely endangered
Kulak Ingrian speakers were deported to Siberia and Central Asia. During World War II, many remaining in their homeland were killed, others evacuated to Estonia and Finland. At war's end, they were relocated, losing their language en route.
Prosperous kulaks, including many Chuvash speakers, were deported to...