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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.
The 1989 census shows the following percentages of the population's ethnic composition: Ukrainians, 72.7 percent; Russians, 22.1 percent; Jews, 0.9 percent; Belorussians, 0.8 percent; Moldovans, 0.6; Poles, 0.5 percent; Bulgarians, 0.4 percent; Hungarians, 0.3 percent; Crimean Tatars, 0.2 percent; Romanians, 0.2 percent; Greeks, 0.2 percent; Armenians, 0.1 percent; Roma (Gypsies), 0.1 percent; Germans, 0.1 percent; Azerbaijanis, 0.1 percent; Gagauz, 0.1 percent; and others, 0.5 percent. Ukrainian is an Indo-European language of the Eastern Slavic group.
Mother Ukraine became a byword, not unlike Uncle Sam, but much more emotionally charged.
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.
Roman-Kosh in the Crimean peninsula reaches 5,061 feet (1,543 meters.) Alpine meadows—called polonyna in the Carpathians and iajla in the Crimea—are another interesting geographical feature. The yearly average temperatures range from 40 to 49 degrees Fahrenheit (6 to 9 degrees Celsius)—except for the southern steppes and in Crimea, where yearly average temperatures range from 50 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 13 degrees Celsius).
Ukraine has twenty-four administrative units—oblasts—almost all named for their capitals.
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.