The area of modern day Ukraine has always been home to Russian speaking migrants. Throughout the years of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union there were a number of notable periods during which the Ukrainian language was actively discriminated against as part of an effort to promote the propagation of the Russian language and identity. The Russian speaking populations of Ukraine have traditionally been concentrated within cities and a much higher proportion of people who speak Russian as a first language can be found in the historically Russian-influenced eastern oblasts. Although many Ukrainians speak Russian as a lingua franca, this can be misconstrued as being representative of numbers of ethnic Russians, which are actually significantly smaller. One point of political dispute is whether Russian should be adopted as an official second state language, as government attempts to push the countrywide use of Ukrainian are seen as discriminatory against Russian speakers.
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