The Ukrainian Language Problem

The official language in Ukraine is of course Ukrainian, but because its strong historical ties with Russia, many parts of Ukraine are largely Russian-speaking. In fact roughly 30 per cent of the country has declared itself to be native speakers of Russian, and the majority of Ukrainians know it as a second language.

Over the years, the preservation of the Ukrainian language, while respecting the regional rights of the country's residents who choose to speak Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, or Hungarian has been a difficult task for the country. Recently, the government has been considering a language bill that would lift restrictions on the use of these other languages in Ukraine. A deeply controversial subject, many consider the allowance of Russian in an official capacity in Ukraine would only strengthen ties with Moscow.

The vice-premier Borys Kolesnykov recently spoke of the Ukrainian language crisis as a problem in need of huge financial backing. Kolesnykov has said that billions of dollars would be needed to preserve the language.


not shown
homer joju
United States

get your facts right. it is the other way around. having lived in ukraine for many years i know that at least 70% of ukrainians speak russian as first laguage and max of 30% consider ukrainian first language

Reply Nov 5th, 2010