he official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian, an independent language in the Eastern Slavic Branch of Indo-European languages. While it has certain similarities with Russian and Belarusian, including common Cyrillic alphabet, it differs from them as German is from Swedish or Dutch, each of the three languages contains very distinct grammar and vocabulary. Both Soviet authorities and Tsarist Russia had been discouraging the use of Ukrainian publicly. As a result Russian was the main spoken language in many Ukrainian regions, while Ukrainian was spoken mainly in western and central Ukraine. Independence, gained from Soviet Union in 1991, has given boost to revival of Ukrainian national culture and language. Ukrainian Government promotes Ukrainian as the language of business, culture, education and law.