|This article is outdated. (April 2015)|
Eastern Ukraine or East Ukraine (Ukrainian: Східна Україна, Skhidna Ukrayina) generally refers to territories of Ukraine east of the Dnieper river, particularly Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia oblasts sometimes are also regarded as Eastern Ukraine. 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:
|Oblast (Province)||Ukrainian 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 Southern Ukraine, although the western portion (the Kryvyi Rih basin) of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is often included with Central Ukraine.
A large majority of voters in eastern Ukraine (83% or more in each oblast) approved Ukraine's declaration of independence in the 1991 referendum, although the numbers were not as high as in the west.
In 2014, pro-Russian protests took place in parts of eastern Ukraine. Some of the protesters were "tourists" from Russia. The War in Donbass resulted in thousands of deaths and over a million people leaving their homes.
A 2007 survey by the Razumkov Centre asked "Would you like to have your region separated from Ukraine and joined another state?" In eastern Ukraine, 77.9% of respondents disagreed, 10.4% agreed, and the rest were undecided. In a poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in the first half of February 2014, 25.8% of those polled in East Ukraine believed "Ukraine and Russia must unite into a single state", nationwide this percentage was 12.5%.
Culture and language
The majority of Eastern Ukraine's population are ethnic Ukrainians, while ethnic Russians form a significant minority. The most common language is Russian, having long dominated in government and the media. When Ukraine became independent, there were no Ukrainian-language schools in Donetsk.
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 the Soviet era and more "negative views" on Ukrainian nationalism.
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.
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. Nevertheless, this vote was vetoed by acting President Turchynov on March 2.
- All statistics sourced from: State Statistics Committee of Ukraine.
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