Outside Babushka Grandma’s deli in the heart of Hollywood, immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and other countries that were part of the former Soviet Union sipped coffee and nibbled on piroshkis during a recent warm, sun-drenched afternoon.

"We have never asked each other where we are from,” said Mark Goren, 75, sitting at a patio table with friends from Uzbekistan and Moldova. "The Russian language unites us,” said Goren, who arrived in the United States from Kyiv, Ukraine, more than four decades ago.

From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Seattle, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, members of the diaspora from the former Soviet Union have long bonded over Russian language and history, a testament to a shared background as immigrants from more than a dozen nations that once constituted the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that dissolved in 1991. Americans, too, have lumped them together as Russians.