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Ukraine’s Language War

18. March 2010 by Gregg 0 Comments

It may be surprising for Western Gentlemen to hear, but while Russian ladies will generally speak the Russian language (while occasionally also knowing a local regional language), Ukrainian women and men will often use either, or sometimes both, Russian and Ukrainian.

Polls have shown different figures. While a 2001 Census stated that 67.5% of Ukraine ladies and men considered Ukrainian to be their native language, another poll taken in Kiev revealed that 52% of that city’s population used Russian the most in everyday life. These demographics change, depending on the area of the country you focus on as well, as many areas in the East and South-East of the country are almost exclusively Russian-speaking, while the West skews more Ukrainian. The prevalence of Russian in the country came from decades of influence from Moscow, as Ukraine was part of the USSR until 1991. The Ukrainian language itself went through periods of acceptance and even outright official bans during the various Communist administrations.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

The question of Ukraine’s official language became a heated subject during Ukraine’s 2010 Presidential Election, with now-former President Viktor Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko both coming out in favor of a “Ukrainian-only” language policy and with native Russian-speaking Viktor Yanukovych wishing to remove restrictions put in place by the previous administration against the official use of Russian. The new President Viktor Yanukovych himself speaks the Ukrainian language poorly, and his mispronunciations and tendency to stumble over words have made for some comedic moments in Ukraine’s media. President Yanukovych hails from the mostly Russian-speaking region of Donetsk.

While officially, the language war is a big deal, to the average Ukrainian it doesn’t seem to be. Frequently people will be able to switch between both languages, or at least understand others who speak one language or the other. Russian single women are often multilingual and many will also speak English to varying degrees. HotRussianBrides.com also provides translators and interpreters so that ladies can converse with you in your own language.