... in a city halfway between Kyiv and Lviv
Russian speakers in Ukraine are part of the “Russian World”, Vladimir Putin repeatedly claims; which is how he legitimizes Russia’s intervention in the country. That said, every third Ukrainian speaks Russian. According to current surveys, 15 per cent indicate Russian exclusively as their native language, and 22 per cent both Russian and Ukrainian. But what is the real significance of language? In order to find out, Irina Serdyuk made her way to Khmelnytskyi, a city of 300,000 residents halfway between Kyiv and Lviv.