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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. The region primarily corresponds to the former Russian Kherson, Taurida, and most of the Yekaterinoslav Governorates that appeared after the disintegration of the Novorossiysk Governorate which spanned across the northern coast of Black Sea after the Russian-Ottoman Wars of 1768–74 and 1787–92. Prior to that the area belonged to the Crimean Khanate and its satellites protected militarily by the Ottoman Porte.
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. Within weeks Russian was 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. On 23 February 2014, the Ukrainian parliament voted to repeal the law on regional languages, which would have made Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels even in Southern and Eastern Ukraine. 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" of the Russian language and of Joseph Stalin and more "negative views" of Ukrainian nationalism. In the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum, a lower percentage of the total electorate voted for independence in Eastern and Southern Ukraine 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 the parties (CPU, Party of Regions) and the presidential candidates (Viktor Yanukovych) with a pro-Russian and status quo platform. The electorate of the CPU and the Party of Regions is very loyal to them.
According to a 2016 survey of religion in Ukraine conducted by the Razumkov Center, around 65.7% of the population of southern Ukraine declared to be believers in any religion, while 7.4% declared to be non-believers, and 3.2% declared to be atheists and agnostics. the study also found that 77.6% of the total Southern Ukraine population declared to be Christians (71.0% Eastern Orthodox, 5.1% simply Christians, 0.5% Latin Rite Catholics, 0.53% members of various Protestant churches, 0.5% members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church), and 0.5% were Jewish. Not religious and other believers not identifying with any of the listed major religious institutions constituted about 24.7% of the population.
|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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