Modern archaeological evidence indicates that Ukrainians are original inhabitants of this land, their forefathers lived on this territory from the third or fourth millennia B. C.
The Ukrainians are mainly descended from those imported as Slavs. Over a thousand years ago Slavic tribes — Polyans, Drcvlyans, Siverians, Dubibs, White Croats, Tyversti and Ulyches — made their appearance on the historical arena. One of the most powerful states of medieval Europe — Kyivan Rus — was founded. Since that time Ukrainian people made their long way to independence.
It was a gradual process that took thousand years. Nowadays the Ukrainians are actively seeking to re-establish their own roots and cultural identity. According to the Constitution of Ukraine the state language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. But there is no one Ukrainian language common to all people in this country. The national minorities have right to speak their own languages.
The most wide-spread among them still remains Russian. It is the mother tongue for more than 30 % (per cent) of the population of Ukraine. The reason for this dates from the times when Ukraine was one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union and Russian was the official language for it.