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17 Mar. 2024

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How do Ukrainians feel about the russian language in 2024?

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How do Ukrainians feel about the russian language in 2024?

In 1997, 39% of Ukrainians believed that russian should be the second state language in Ukraine. Only 18% of respondents opposed this decision. Find out how the dynamics of attitudes toward the russian language among Ukrainian citizens have changed and how many Ukrainians support its complete elimination from official communication

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In February 2024, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a survey among Ukrainians on the status of the russian language in Ukraine and analyzed the changes that have taken place in society.


Can russian be the second state language in Ukraine: Ukrainians' opinion


According to the report, in 1997, 39% of Ukrainians believed that russian should be the second state language in Ukraine. Only 18% of respondents disagreed with this decision. Today, the majority of Ukrainian citizens, namely 66% of respondents, believe that russian should be completely eliminated from official communication. Only 3% of respondents believe that russian should be granted the status of the second state language in Ukraine.


At the same time, 24% of respondents suggested that russian could be an official language in regions where the majority of the population wants it. At the same time, of these 24%: 15% are against russian being the official language in their region of residence and 7% would not be against such a decision.


"So, at the beginning of 2024, there are 10% of those in Ukraine who would like to see russian either official in their region or the second state language in general. At the same time, 81% either want it removed from official communication throughout the territory or are against its use in their region," KIIS sociologists note.


At the same time, as noted in the study, in all regions of Ukraine, the majority of the population does not support granting official status to the russian language: 80% in the western regions, 69% in the central and southern regions, and 52% in the eastern regions of the country.




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Harassment of russian speakers in Ukraine: myth or reality?


During the survey, respondents were asked what language they speak at home and whether they consider it necessary to remove the russian language from the official space. Thus, 43% of Ukrainian-speaking citizens were in favor of the complete elimination of russian from official communication and 11% were against the official status of russian in their region.


Among the respondents who mostly speak russian at home, 54% either supported the complete elimination of russian from official communication (43%) or said they were against its official status in their region (11%). On the other hand, 31% of russian-speaking citizens either believe that russian should be the official language in their region (21%) or want it to become the state language (10%).


At the same time, the vast majority of russian-speaking citizens surveyed (81%) believe that there is no harassment of the russian-speaking population in Ukraine.


"It is important that Ukraine maintains a predominantly normal (positive or neutral) attitude toward russian-speaking citizens, but the long-term course is to develop the Ukrainian language as an important component and symbol of the Ukrainian civil nation. It is noteworthy that the paradigm of perception of the Ukrainian language is changing by age. Back in the early 2000s (and indeed even later), many people associated the Ukrainian language as the language of older people and people from rural areas (the language of "grandparents"). Now we can see that the youngest Ukrainians are the ones who insist on the sole state and official status of the Ukrainian language the most," summarized Anton Hrushetsky, Executive Director of KIIS.


We remind you! Projections of the future development of the Ukrainian language over the next 200 years are of particular interest, as it is not only an extremely difficult task, but also an opportunity to look into the distant future of the language. Read more about what the Ukrainian language will be like in 200 years according to the linguist's forecasts in our previous article.


Photo: Adobe Stock


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