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Udmurts or by older name Votyaks belong together with Komis to Finno-Ugric Permian subgroup. There are two main groups - Southern and Northern Udmurts.

The 2002 census of Russian  Federation counted 636 906  Udmurts of which 429 411 (67,4 %) speak the Udmurt language. 3 122 people relate themselves to the Bessermens.

The self-name is Udmurt meaning "inhabitant of the meadow". The obsolete Russian name is Votyak.

The Udmurts include a distinct ethnic group the Bessermens.

The Udmurt language belongs to the Perm group of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic linguistic family. The nearest related languages are Zyrian Komi and Permian Komi. The written language started developing in the 17th century based of the Cyrillic alphabet. The number of native language speakers among all Udmurts in Russia is 429 411 (67,4%). Udmurt is one of the two official languages in the Udmurt Republic, equally with Russian. It is taught as a subject in the primary and secondary school, as well as in special and higher educational institutions.