According to Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) survey data from December 2022, the majority of Ukrainians (58 percent) do not consider the Russian language "important,"  presumably in the sense of essential. Some 41 percent say they communicate only in Ukrainian.

Only one percent of respondents consider the Ukrainian language unimportant.

Among those who still consider the Russian language important, the two largest cohorts point to its role as “the language that almost everyone in Ukraine understands” and “the language of the majority of people in the eastern regions of Ukraine.” Each account for 14 percent of respondents and have dropped from 59 percent and 31% respectively since 2014.

The main cited reason for the importance of the Ukrainian language is its “role as a state language” (76 percent), “the basis of Ukraine's independence” (32 percent) and the “role of the language that unites the Ukrainian society” (23 percent).

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In addition, 41 percent of those surveyed confirmed that they communicate only in Ukrainian; 17 percent speak Ukrainian “in most situations,” 24 percent use both languages; nine percent speak mainly Russian and six percent speak only Russian.

Compared to 2017, the share of those surveyed who speak only or mainly Ukrainian in everyday life has increased by nine percent, while the Russian speaking audience has decreased by 11 percent. In the east and south, Ukrainian speakers now outnumber those who speak Russian (29 percent versus 27 percent).

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Almost two thirds (62%) of respondents communicate with their family only or mainly in Ukrainian; 19 percent use both languages equally, 15 percent only or mainly Russian; and two percent speak other languages. In 2017, just over half (51 percent) of those polled spoke only or mostly Ukrainian and 25 percent only or mostly Russian.

The KIIS conducted surveyed 2,005 respondents between Dec. 4-27, 2022. It was not conducted on the territory of Crimea and in areas of Donbas occupied by Russia, nor with citizens who went abroad after Feb. 24, 2022.

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