Do Ukrainians speak Russian?
– Yes, all Ukrainians understand Russian. So if you are going to Ukraine with a knowledge of Russian, you will be fine, don’t worry.
Now let’s talk a little more.
Ukrainian and Russian languages are not the same. They are similar, because they belong to the Slavic family, along with Poles, Czechs, Slovenes and others. All people from Slavic countries can somehow get an idea of what they are talking about even without knowing the language.
But since Ukraine was historically part of the USSR, where the official language was Russian, so everyone studied this language in school.
Nowadays the official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. And all official documents, schools are in Ukrainian. But there are still a lot of Russian media, Russian-speaking people and other language sources, so every Ukrainian, even if they never study this language, begins to know it passively. And as a result, everyone understands it.
Does everyone speak Russian? Well, you can still have a situation when you ask people in Russian, but they answer you in Ukrainian. And it’s not because they are very patriotic. They just don’t use it in life, and even if they understand it, it’s easier to answer in Ukrainian.