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Ukraine's regional ethnographic cultures, not always congruent with oblast boundaries are: Donbas, Slobozhanshchyna, Zaporizhzhya, Steppes Ukraine, Poltava, Cherkasy, Polissya, Podillya, Volyn, Halychyna, Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, and Crimea.
Crimean Tatar culture predominates in Crimea, and the Hutsul highlanders live in Halychyna, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia. Ukraine's 1989 census showed a population of 51,452,000.
Formerly repressed, Ukrainian and other ethnic languages in Ukraine flourished at the end of the twentieth century.
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.
Its Cyrillic alphabet is phonetic; its grammar is synthetic, conveying information through word modification rather than order.
Contemporary literary Ukrainian developed in the eighteenth century from the Poltava and Kyiv dialects.
However, local pro-communist officials still resist Ukrainian and other ethnic languages except Russian in public life. The traditional Ukrainian symbols—trident and blue-and-yellow flag—were officially adopted during Ukrainian independence in 1917–1920 and again after the declaration of independence in 1991.
The trident dates back to the Kyivan Rus as a pre-heraldic symbol of Volodymyr the Great.