Eastern Ukraine or East Ukraine (Ukrainian: Східна Україна, Skhidna Ukrayina) is an important geographical term and generally includes territories of Ukraine east of the Dnieper river, particularly Sloboda Ukraine, the Donets Basin ("Donbas"), and Novorossiya. Almost a third of the country's population lives within the region, which includes three cities with populations over a million. The major river of eastern Ukraine is Seversky Donets.
The territory is heavily urbanized and commonly associated with the Donbas. The three largest metropolitan cities form an industrial triangle within the region. Among the major cities are:
Russian is the dominant language in the region (in the schools of the Ukrainian SSR learning Ukrainian was mandatory). Effective in August 2012, a new law on regional languages entitles any local language spoken by at least a 10% of the population be declared official within that area. Within weeks, Russian was declared as a regional language in several southern and eastern oblasts and cities. From that point Russian could be used in those 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 Eastern Ukraine.
Noticeable cultural differences in the region (compared with the rest of Ukraine except Southern 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 25.8% of polled in East Ukraine believed "Ukraine and Russia must unite into a single state", nationwide this percentage was 12.5.
During elections voters of the Eastern (and Southern) 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.
|Oblast (Region)||Indigenous name||Area in km2||Population at
|Total for 3 Oblasts||84,618||10,285,953||9,418,034|
|Total for 5 Oblasts||143,724||15,776,348||14,530,001|
The Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts are more frequently associated with the Southern Ukraine, although the western portion (the Kryvyi Rih basin) of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is often included with the Central Ukraine.
- Serhy Yekelchyk Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3, page 187
- Yanukovych signs language bill into law. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- Russian spreads like wildfires in dry Ukrainian forest. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- Romanian becomes regional language in Bila Tserkva in Zakarpattia region, Kyiv Post (24 September 2012)
- Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president, BBC News (23 February 2014)
- The language question, the results of recent research in 2012, RATING (25 May 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Ставлення населення України до постаті Йосипа Сталіна Attitude population Ukraine to the figure of Joseph Stalin, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (1 March 2013)
- Who’s Afraid of Ukrainian History? by Timothy D. Snyder, The New York Review of Books (21 September 2010)
- Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith by Andrew Wilson, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN 0521574579 (page 128)
- Ivan Katchanovski. (2009). Terrorists or National Heroes? Politics of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association, Montreal, June 1–3, 2010
- How relations between Ukraine and Russia should look like? Public opinion polls’ results, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (4 March 2014)
- Communist and Post-Communist Parties in Europe by Uwe Backes and Patrick Moreau, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-36912-8 (page 396)
- Ukraine right-wing politics: is the genie out of the bottle?, openDemocracy.net (3 January 2011)
- Eight Reasons Why Ukraine’s Party of Regions Will Win the 2012 Elections by Taras Kuzio, The Jamestown Foundation (17 October 2012)
UKRAINE: Yushchenko needs Tymoshenko as ally again by Taras Kuzio, Oxford Analytica (5 October 2007)
- All statistics sourced from: State Statistics Committee of Ukraine.