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How Ukraine is divided

The chaos that is taking over Ukraine in recent time spreads the fear that the ethnic, political, economic and linguistic division of the country will lead to a real split of its territory. Eastern Ukraine, which includes the regions of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Zaporizhie, is the most industrialized and economically developed area as well as the most urbanized part of the country. Here are the main industrial centers of coal, as well as companies in the aviation industry, automotive, military and energy. Here lives the most significant part of the Russian- speaking population of Ukraine, in some provinces where the percentage exceeds 80% .

The region covers the provinces western Ukraine predominantly Ukrainian -speaking Lvov , Ivano- Frankovsk, Ternopil, Volyn and Rovnensk, no large industrial entities and a significant part of local budgets thrives on federal grants.

Kiev, the capital, belongs geographically to central Ukraine, which is also composed of the provinces of Poltava, Cherkasi, Chernigov, Sumi, Vinnitsa.

Differences between East and West became more palpable after the disintegration of the USSR and Ukrainian independence in 1991. The presidential and parliamentary elections voting intention divided the country into almost two equal parts, reflect this trend. Thus, in the previous presidential elections in 2010, Viktor Yanukovych 's candidacy was voted mostly in the eastern regions, while his main opponent, the Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, got their full support in the west.

Ethnic and linguistic division

Historically Ukraine has always been a country with many different nationalities. According to the 2001 census, the Ukrainian population is 77.8% more than the 45 million citizens of Ukraine. Russians are the largest ethnic minority in the country, with a percentage of 17.3%. Most of the ethnic Russian population resides in the city of Sevastopol ( 71.7%), the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Simferopol capital (58 % ) and in the industrial centers of Donetsk ( 38.2%), Kharkiv ( 25.6%) and Dnepropetrovsk ( 23.5%).

In addition to Ukrainians and Russians, Belarusians residing in the country ( 0.6%), Moldavians ( 0.5%) and Crimean Tatars (0.5 % ), among others.

Given the ethnic, cultural and historical structure of Ukraine, Russian is the most important minority language and the second most common in Ukraine. The Russian and Ukrainian, two languages f Slavic origin closely linked, are spoken in almost equal proportions, although prevalent in the western Ukrainian regions, such as Lvov, Ivano- Frankovsk and Cherkasy, among others. The extensive use of Russian language aroused controversy over its status as a second official language. In May 2012 the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada after a nasty fight on the floor, passed a law granting the Russian and other minority languages he status of regional languages n areas where 10% or more of the population speaks those languages. This law was repealed on February 23 after the change of power.

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