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Russian language in ukraine

The meaning of «russian language in ukraine»

Russian is the most common first language in the Donbas and Crimea regions of Ukraine, and the predominant language in large cities in the east and south of the country.[1] The usage and status of the language is the subject of political disputes and as of 2021[update], Ukrainian is the country's only state language.[2] Nevertheless, Russian is a widely used language in Ukraine in pop culture and in informal and business communication.[1]

The East Slavic languages originated in the language spoken in Rus in the medieval period. Significant differences in spoken language in different regions began to be noticed[by whom?] after the division of the Rus lands between the Golden Horde (from about 1240) and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian state eventually allied with the Kingdom of Poland in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth of 1569-1795. Muscovites under the Golden Horde developed what became the modern Russian language; people in the northern Lithuanian sector developed Belorussian, and in the southern (Polish) sector Ukrainian.

Note that the ethnonym Ukrainian for the southern eastern Slavic people did not become well-established until the 19th century, although English-speakers (for example) called those peoples' land Ukraine in English from before the 18th century. The area was generally known in the West as "Ruthenia", and the people as "Ruthenians"[citation needed] (The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word "Ukrainian" in English back as far as 1804, and records its application to the Ukrainian language from 1886[3]). The Russian imperial centre, however, preferred the names "Little" and "White" Russias for the Ukrainian and Belarusian lands respectively, as distinct from Great Russia.

No definitive geographical border separated people speaking Russian and those speaking Ukrainian - rather gradual shifts in vocabulary and pronunciation marked the areas between the historical cores of the languages. Since the 20th century, however, people have started to identify themselves with their spoken vernacular and to conform to the literary norms set by academics.[citation needed]

Although the ancestors of a small ethnic group of Russians - Goriuns resided in the Putyvl region (in present-day northern Ukraine) in the times of Grand Duchy of Lithuania or perhaps even earlier,[4][5] the Russian language in Ukraine has primarily come to exist in that country through two channels: through the migration of ethnic Russians into Ukraine and through the adoption of the Russian language by Ukrainians.

The first new waves of Russian settlers onto what is now Ukrainian territory came in the late-16th century to the empty lands of Slobozhanshchyna (in the region of Kharkiv) that Russia gained from the Tatars,[5] although Ukrainian peasants from the west escaping harsh exploitative conditions outnumbered them.[6]

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