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Ethno-Linguistic Structure of Ukraine’s Population: Russification’s Outcomes

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The authors of the publication:
Skliar Volodymyr
Bibliographic description:
Skliar, V. (2018) Ethno-Linguistic Structure of Ukraine’s Population: Russification’s Outcomes. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (373), 31–41.



a Doctor of History, a professor, a Head of the National Technological University Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute (NTU KhPI)’s Subdepartment of Science and Technology History


Ethno-Linguistic Structure of Ukraine’s Population: Russification’s Outcomes



Present-day Ukraine is not only a post-totalitarian, but also a post-colonial country. The current ethnic and language situation in Ukraine is a direct result of the 300-year-old colonial policy of the Russian Empire, including the USSR. As a result, the Ukrainians have suffered the influence of the Russification policy. The Russification of Ukraine is a consistent policy of the Russian occupying power (both the tsarist and Soviet one) directed to the complete making subordinate of Ukraine and Ukrainians with the aim to absorb by the way of assimilation and its transformation into a part of the Russian peace, where there is no place for Independent Ukraine.

Deukrainization is the main result of these processes in Ukraine, especially in the urban environment. Decrease of the proportion of Ukrainians and Ukrainian-speaking inhabitants among the total population of Ukraine and an increase of the share of Russians and Russian-speaking population has become its immediate result. In fact, changes in the ethnic and language structure of the inhabitants of Ukraine during the times of State system lack have meant nothing more than the replacement of the Ukrainians and the Ukrainian-speaking population by the Russians and Russian-speaking population.

Such changes have become a direct result of the Ukrainians situation in Ukraine as a mass ethnic group (subordinate majority), and Russians – as a dominant minority during the times of State system lack. The natural increase of the number of Ukrainians and Russians, but first and foremost migrations, as well as the processes of linguistic and ethnic assimilation of Ukrainians have influenced on the changes of the ethnic and language structures of its population during the times of State system lack.

According to the analysis of statistical materials of the censuses, during 1970-1989 the total number of the inhabitants of Ukraine has increased not due to Ukrainians and Ukrainian-speaking population, but just owing to the Russians and Russian-speaking representatives. Such changes have happened in the urban environment of the Eastern and Southern regions with a peculiar activity. Changes of the ethnic and language structures of the Ukrainian population during the times of State system lack have occurred not as a result of natural ethnic and linguistic processes, but become a direct consequence of a long-term and purposeful policy of the Russification of Ukraine. Therefore, the overcoming of these consequences will not take place by itself, but it will become the result of a consistent and systematic ethnic and language national policy with the active support of civil society in Ukraine.



Ukraine, Ukrainian people, ethnic and language processes, ethnic and language structure of the population, imperial policy of Russia, Russification, inertial influences of the times of State system lack.



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