The Kiev International Sociological Institute, under contract from the US, conducted an opinion poll of 2,021 Ukrainians by the end of 2005. The results of which were published by the REGNUM News Agency today.
According to the research, despite the fact that 76.7% of the respondents consider themselves to be Ukrainians and only 18.2% consider themselves to be Russians, 44.2% of Ukrainian inhabitants prefer to speak Ukrainian at home, 42.4% Russian, 11.3% mixture of Ukrainian and Russian. On the whole, 45.3% confessed that they find it easier to speak Russian, 44.0% Ukrainian.
This distribution of language mirrors the country’s split demographic, shown clearly in the recent elections. The eastern side of the country identifying more closely with Russia.
The popularity of the Russian language in the country has made Ukraine a popular expansion opportunity for Russian companies. Yandex have placed Ukraine firmly at the top of their expansion list and built on their existing userbase there with a Ukrainian language portal. Although Russian is used on many internet sites in the country, it is sensible to localise site material into Ukrainian, linking to the Russian version as an additional option for the user.