Their own ethnic name is Vadjalain (plural: Vadjalaizőt). The Votes speak a Finnic language (Votic, Votian) close to extinction. In 1989 there were still 62 persons left, the youngest of them was born in 1930.
Under Soviet rule, the population diminished by 90% between 1926 and 1959. Since then, the Votes have, as far as possible, concealed their Votic identity, pretending to be Russian in the predominantly Russian environment.
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