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). 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 can now be used in these cities/Oblasts administrative office work and documents.
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.
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.
Sometimes territories of Zaporizhia region consider to be part of southern Ukraine, while Kirovohrad region is associated with the central Ukraine. Also Crimea with Sevastopol are reviewed sometimes as a unique region. According to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, South Ukraine is considered the territory of Kherson, Tavrida and Yekaterinoslav Governorates.
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- Yanukovych signs language bill into law. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- Russian spreads like wildfires in dry Ukrainian forest. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
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UKRAINE: Yushchenko needs Tymoshenko as ally again by Taras Kuzio, Oxford Analytica (5 October 2007)