As of 2013, 19,434 people inhabited the Kuril Islands. These include ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Tatars, Nivkhs, Oroch, and Ainus. Russian Orthodoxy and Islam are the only religions with significant following among the population. Some of the villages are permanently manned by Russian soldiers (especially in Kunashir following recent tensions). Others are manned by civilians, which are mostly fishermen,workers of the fish factories,dockers and social sphere workers(policemen,medics,teachers e.t.c.). Recent construction works on the islands attracts a lot of migrant workers from the rest of Russia and former USSR. As of 2014, there were only 8 inhabited islands out of a total of 56. Iturup Island is over 60% ethnically Ukrainian.
Islam in RussiaIslam is the second most widely professed religion in Russia. Islam is considered as one of Russia’s traditional religions, legally a part of Russian historical heritage. According to surveys, the percentage of Russians who consider themselves Muslim ranges from 5% to 14%, the majority of whom are Tatars. According to a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 6% of respondents considered themselves Muslims. According to a Reuters news article by Robin Paxton, Muslim minorities make up approximately 14% of Russia's population. Muslims constitute the nationalities in the North Caucasus residing between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: Circassians, Balkars, Chechens, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples. Also, in the middle of the Volga Basin reside populations of Bulgars and Bashkirs, the vast majority of whom are Muslims. There are over 5,000 registered religious Muslim organizations (divided into Sunni, Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi groups), which is over one sixth of the number of registered Russian Orthodox religious organizations of about 29,268 as of December 2006.