Note by New Cold War editors: We are endeavoring to locate online the published survey by ‘Rating’ agency that is reported below in this TASS news report. We will report this when and if we succeed. June 1, 2015
KIEV–Language issues split Ukraine into east and west and a central region where sentiment in both “poles” is reflected, says a survey undertaken for international clients by Ukrainian company Rating.
Questions asked of 17,000 residents in regional centres excluding war-torn Donbas region’s Donetsk and Luhansk found that in west Ukrainian cities, up to 97% of respondents named Ukrainian as their mother tongue, used in everyday life. In Ternopil, western Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, none of those polled chose Russian as their mother tongue.
But a different picture emerged in east Ukraine, notes Vesti online. Between just 3% and 11% of residents of cities Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson used Ukrainian in daily discourse, returns suggested.
Between 58% and 84% of locals named Russian as their mother tongue while an 11% to 30% range considered themselves bilingual.
In central regions, most people – from 40% to 51% according to location – use two languages, pollsters found, rating 32% in Kiev and 51% in Sumy as speaking Russian.
Between 17% and 25% of locals responding in central region locations Kiev, Sumy, Kirovograd and Chernihiv were said to use the Ukrainian language.
Russian language status was one of the issues that split the country a year ago and triggered the conflict in Donbass that grew into large-scale civil war.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has repeatedly stated that only Ukrainian will have the status of the nation’s official language.
(The survey of attitudes of Ukrainians reported in this article is reported and summarized in the Ukrainian news outlet Vesti-ukr.com here on May 27, 2015.)