Southern Ukraine (Ukrainian: Південна Україна, Pivdenna Ukrayina) refers, generally, to the territories in the South of Ukraine. The territory usually corresponds with the Soviet economical district, the Southern Economical District of Ukrainian SSR. The region is completely integrated with a marine and shipbuilding industry.
Russian is the dominant language in the region (in the schools of the Ukrainian SSR learning Ukrainian was mandatory), although not to the extent that it is in the three oblasts that comprise Eastern Ukraine. Effective in August 2012, a new law on regional languages entitles any local language spoken by at least a 10% minority be declared official within that area. Russian was within weeks declared as a regional language in several southern and eastern oblasts and cities. Russian could then be used in these cities/Oblasts administrative office work and documents. However, on 23 February 2014, the law on regional languages was abolished, making Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels even in Southern and Eastern Ukraine. Nevertheless, this vote was vetoed by acting President Turchynov on March 2.
Noticeable cultural differences in the region (compared with the rest of Ukraine except Eastern Ukraine) are more "positive views" on the Russian language and on Joseph Stalin and more "negative views" on Ukrainian nationalism. Calculating the "yes"-votes as a percentage of the total electorate reveals a lower percentage of all (possible) voters in Eastern and Southern Ukraine supported Ukrainian independence in the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum than in the rest of the country. In a poll conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in the first half of February 2014, 19.4% of those polled in Southern Ukraine believed "Ukraine and Russia must unite into a single state", nationwide this percentage was 12.5.
During elections voters of the Southern (and Eastern) oblasts (provinces) of Ukraine vote for parties (CPU, Party of Regions) and presidential candidates (Viktor Yanukovych) with a pro-Russian and status quo platform. The electorate of CPU and Party of Regions is very loyal to them.
Oblasts (Administrative Provinces)
|Oblast||Area in km2||Population
(1 Jan. 2012)
Crimea and Sevastopol
Crimea and Sevastopol
The neighbouring Kirovohrad Oblast is more often associated with the Central Ukraine. Also Crimea (with Sevastopol City) is reviewed sometimes as a unique region. According to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, South Ukraine was considered to consist of the territory of the former Kherson, Taurida and Yekaterinoslav Governorates.
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