People of Ukraine
About 65% of people live in urban areas. Eastern Ukraine is much more urbanized than the western part. Kiev is the largest city, with a population of about 2.8 million people. Women make up 53% of Ukraine’s population. This gender imbalance is the result of the World War II.
Ukrainians is the largest nationality living in Ukraine, constituting about 73% of the population. Russians make up another 21%, and they live primarily in cities and towns of Eastern Ukraine. The remaining 6% is divided between Jews, Belorussians, Moldavians, Bulgarians, and Poles.
About 7 million Ukrainians live in other former republics of the Soviet Union, including 4 million in Russia. Also, there are Ukrainians living in Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and other countries all over the world.
Ukrainians national clothes
Since 1989, Ukrainian is the state language of the country. Under Soviet rule, from the 1930s through the 1980s, Soviet government promoted cultural russification. Ukrainian culture and language were treated as provincial.
Today, Ukrainian has regained its social and legal status, and its use in educational, media, and governmental institutions has grown sharply. Ukrainian government has reassured its minorities that their linguistic and cultural rights will be respected.
Most Ukrainians belong to one of several religious denominations: Orthodox Christian, Creek Catholic (Uniate), Protestant (particularly Baptist), or Jewish.
By historic tradition, over 75% of Ukrainians identify with the Orthodox faith that dominates in Eastern Ukraine. The self-governing Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which was legalized only in 1990, competes with the previously state-favored Ukrainian (formerly Russian) Orthodox Church. The latter had been an instrument of cultural russification in Ukraine during Soviet period.
Greek Catholics, or Uniates, are prominent in Western Ukraine. From 1946 to 1990, legally banned Uniates survived as an underground church. Since legalization, Greek Catholics have been reclaiming church buildings confiscated by Soviet state and given over to Russian Orthodox Church. Religious rivalry between Orthodox and Catholics in Ukraine has been long standing.
Baptists represent the largest Protestant group in Ukraine, and they tend to live in cities. The number of Ukrainian Jews, another notable religious denomination, decreased noticeably in recent decades because of the World War II losses and emigration to Israel and the United States.
Ukrainian girl wearing traditional costume