What is it about?

This essay asks what place language holds in the composition of Ukrainian national identity and whether the use of Ukrainian and Russian across Ukraine indicates a split in identity. Despite acknowledging the potential of these two languages to generate political cleavages, the essay shows that language controversies have not necessarily impeded the population’s attachment and loyalty to the Ukrainian state. Moreover, the increasingly civic nature of Ukrainian national identity—particularly since Euromaidan—appears to be an important factor that allows people to speak Russian and still identify strongly with the Ukrainian nation.

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Why is it important?

The Ukrainian–Russian linguistic dyad and its Impact on national identity in Ukraine has been a recurring topic in Ukraine ever since the crisis started in 2014. In the eve of the presidential elections in Ukraine this topic has become even more pressing.


We think this article has great and unique insights into the Ukrainian society and into the everyday realities vis-a-vis spoken languages and current political views/loyalties, since it is underpinned by the data provided by some of the latest, nonpartisant nation-wide surveys undertaken in Ukraine in the past years.

Dr. Teodor Lucian Moga
Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Ukrainian–Russian Linguistic Dyad and its Impact on National Identity in Ukraine, Europe Asia Studies, January 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2018.1549653.
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