Ukrainian

How many people are native Ukrainian speakers?

Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine. It is an East Slavic language, belonging to the Indo-European language family, and is part of the Slavic languages spoken in the territories of the former Soviet Union.

How many people speak Ukrainian in the world?

Ukrainian is spoken by more than 33 million people, the majority residing in Ukraine. A large proportion of Ukrainians, generally those over the age of 30, grew up speaking Russian at school and work.
Outside the borders, Ukrainian is spoken by Ukrainian language communities in Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Lithuania.

Origins of the Ukrainian language

Russian and Ukrainian were originally the same language, similar to ancient Slavic. Later, history made them two separate languages. Ukrainian became the language spoken by the people in the southern territories and survived thanks to people and folk songs. It was only with the establishment of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, that Ukrainian became an official language, after Russian.
Since 1991, Ukrainian has been the official language of independent Ukraine, although Russian is also widely spoken. Ukrainian is very similar to Russian in its spoken form, but it differs in its written form.

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