Some people wonder if Ukrainian women can speak Russian. Many younger women prefer to speak Ukrainian, and may struggle to write and speak in Russian, especially in small towns of the western part of Ukraine.
But in general, the majority of Ukrainians today still able to speak Russian. Russian was the official language of the country until late 1990s, when the drive to replace the official state language with Ukrainian began.
At that time, even some members of the Parliament (Rada) couldn’t speak Ukrainian and had to resort to the “foreign” Russian language in discussions. By now most locals, including ethnic Russians, have learned to speak and understand Ukrainian.
(However, Russians who live in Russia definitely cannot speak Ukrainian.)
So, most people living in Ukraine are bilingual: they speak both Russian and Ukrainian.
There are laws about the national language that tighten regulations constantly, to provide for more songs in Ukrainian on radio and in general promote the use of the country’s official language in media.
Most women living in Ukraine will have a preference, which language they speak with their family and friends, it may be either Ukrainian or Russian.
The patriotic youth will positively prefer to communicate in the local dialect.
If you are communicating with a Ukrainian woman, ask her which language she usually uses at home.