Ukrainians are a Slavic people of central-eastern Europe. They are the descendants of several people who inhabited the vast area extending from north of Black Sea to the borders of Russia, Poland, Moldova, Belarus and Slovakia. Ukraine had a very turbulent history, a fact justified by its geographical position. It was there the first Scandinavian settlers founded the Kingdom of Kiev, after accepting the Christian Faith.
Ukrainian language, although classified among Eastern Slavic languages, presents many traits in common with Western Slavic languages, such as Polish and Slovak. During the Soviet era, it was almost totally replaced, especially in urban centers, by Russian language, the official language of the Soviet State. Great efforts are made nowadays to use the Ukrainian language throughout the country, something which seems very difficult for the time being.
From an anthropological point of view, Ukrainians are a mixture of the Alpic, Dinaric, Baltic and Nordic races. This seems very natural, if one considers the identity of peoples like Norsemen, Slavs, Celts, Goths and Scythians, who inhabited the area from time to time. An evidence of Asian (namely Mongoloid) traits are also found among Ukrainians, although this fact must be considered to be insignificant in comparison to the extended Turkic and Mongolian invasions in Ukraine.
See also: Ruthenes