Novorossiya used to be rural and Ukrainian

Max Seddon remarks that Novorossiya is “a Tsarist-era name for Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeast.” Russian-speaking today but not in the “Tsarist era,” as I have explained. Russian was the language of cities all over Ukraine (except Poltava) but most Novorossiya residents were rural and Ukrainian-speaking. Their descendants switched to Russian, as did lots of other Ukrainians, but that mostly happened under Soviet rule. Also, not all of Ukraine’s southeast was called Novorossiya although most of it was settled relatively late and is “new” in that sense.

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