Published January 26, 2018
This video was submitted by Kateryna Smykovska from Kiev, Ukraine, where she lives. Ukrainian is spoken by as many as 45 million people, primarily in Ukraine, where it is a nationally official language, and by communities in neighboring countries throughout Eastern Europe. It is also spoken by diaspora communities worldwide, particularly in the Americas. An Indo-European language of Slavic origin, Ukrainian had emerged as a unique mother tongue by the turn of the 17th century CE, a period that left behind substantial documentation. By the 19th century CE, Ukrainian became the subject of persecution by the Russian Empire, which banned the language from schools and mainstream media in favor of Russian-only policies. Nonetheless, Ukrainian speakers, especially in the country’s west, maintained a lively tradition of native-language folklore, poetry, and song. Since the turn of the 21st century CE, Ukrainian use has grown substantially, as has the language’s prominence in music, cinema, and online.