A Small Gloss on Bilingualism in Ukraine

My personal research into Ukrainian historiography of the eighteenth and nineteenth century has shown that the Russo-Ukrainian bilingualism in Ukraine is not a product of forcible Russification of any sort but rather stems from the realization by the ancestors of contemporary Ukrainians that they are in fact Russian, and therefore the literary language of the Muscovites is their own, and not foreign. Meanwhile, Ukrainian language as we know today did not even exist. It existed only in its primordial form of a peasant patois of which there isn’t practically any literary evidence until Kotlyarevsky and Shevchenko.