KIEV, May 27. /TASS/. Language issues split Ukraine into east and west and a central region where sentiment in both "poles" is reflected, says a survey undertaken for international clients by Ukrainian company Rating.
Questions asked of 17,000 residents in regional centres excluding war-torn Donbas region's Donetsk and Luhansk found that in west Ukrainian cities, up to 97% of respondents named Ukrainian as their mother tongue, used in everyday life.
In Ternopil, western Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, none of those polled chose Russian as their mother tongue.
But a different picture emerged in east Ukraine, notes Internet's Vesti online. Between just 3% and 11% of residents of cities Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson used Ukrainian in daily discource, returns suggested.
Between 58% and 84% of locals named Russian as their mother tongue while an 11% to 30% range considered themselves bilingual.
In central regions, most people - from 40% to 51% according to location - use two languages, pollsters found, rating 32% in Kiev and 51% in Sumy speaking Russian.
Between 17% and 25% of locals responding in central region locations Kiev, Sumy, Kirovograd and Chernihiv were said to use the Ukrainian language.
Russian's status was one of the issues that split the country a year ago and triggered the conflict in Donbass that grew into large-scale civil war.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has repeatedly stated that only Ukrainian will have the status of the nation's official language.