By Taras Kuzio
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Extra info for Ukraine: Perestroika to Independence
In addition, under Tsarist rule, the imperial elite (military garrisons; administrative, business and cultural elites) tended to be Russians, or Russiﬁed Ukrainians. The Soviet empire has not been staffed so exclusively by ethnic Russians, and consequently the institutions of the centre’s rule in the periphery have become more Ukrainian. 15 However, the potential for conﬂict between Ukrainian and Russian elites remains. 4 million Russians, however, is derived from Soviet census questions which rely on self-identiﬁcation of nationality.
Russian peasants have lived on Ukrainian territory for centuries, especially in what are now the Kharkiv, Sumy and Luhans′k oblasts, and as settlers of the southern coastal region, conquered by Catherine II in 1768–83. Greater numbers arrived in successive waves of industrialisation starting in the 1870s, and continuing under Soviet rule in the 1930s and 1950s to 1970s. 4 million by 1989. 14 The Russian population therefore is still heavily concentrated in the industrial regions of eastern Ukraine, and the port regions of the south.
Hence, Ukrainian émigrés in the West have tended to be from Western Ukraine, and therefore to be more nationally conscious and politically radical (on Western Ukraine, see below), whereas Ukrainians under Russian or Soviet rule have tended to migrate eastwards within Russia/the Soviet Union itself. 12 Well-ﬁnanced and politically prestigious, they have had a strong impact on domestic Ukrainian politics since 1988. 3 shows, Ukraine has substantial minorities of its own and therefore faces the possibility of territorial claims or political interference from its neighbours.
Ukraine: Perestroika to Independence by Taras Kuzio