Ukrainian (Ukrainian: Українська) is an Eastern Slavonic language. It is closely related to Russian and Belarusian, but it is distinctly different than these languages. The 33 letters are in the Cyrillic alphabet. It is spoken as the state language in Ukraine, and there groups of speakers in many other countries including Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia. Under Russian and Soviet rule, the Ukrainian language was suppressed due to the attempted Russification of everything Ukrainian. A Tsarist decree in 1876 banned the printing or importing of Ukrainian language books in Ukraine. Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, Ukrainian has been the state language, yet many Russians in Ukraine refuse to speak the official Language. Ukrainian is, however, the language of the majority. Ukrainian is mainly used in the Western part of the country. There are several dialects of Ukrainian spoken today
Status of Ukrainian Ukrainska Pravda, 28.11.2005. Retrieved 4.5.2007.