People pre dating 20th century
In 1989 statistics showed Ukrainian spoken as a native language by 87 percent of the population, with 12 percent of Ukrainians claiming Russian as their native language.
Ruthenian , a Latinization of Rusyn , was used by the Vatican and the Austrian Empire designating Ukrainians. Ukraine, Europe's second largest country during the twentieth century, occupies 232,200 square miles (603,700 square kilometers).Mother Ukraine became a byword, not unlike Uncle Sam, but much more emotionally charged.After 1991 a new generation of Ukrainian writers began to free this image from its victimization aspects. Ukrainian nationhood begins with the Kyivan Rus realm, which arose from a unification of Antian tribes between the sixth and ninth centuries.The surzhyk, an unstable and variable mixture of Ukrainian and Russian languages, is a by-product of Soviet Russification.A similar phenomenon based on Ukrainian and Polish languages existed in western Ukraine but disappeared almost completely after World War II.