As promised, here are those visualizations. The original post has been updated.
In this plot, the higher a region is on the y-axis, the more culturally distant it is from Russia as a whole. Ukraine’s Western region is more culturally distant. The further right you go on the x-axis, the further you get from Ukraine as a whole. This graph reinforces what we see above - the cultural closeness of Ukraine and Russia and the cultural divisions within Ukraine. We also see cultural divisions within Russia, particularly in the North Caucasian Federal District, unsurprising given it’s ethnic composition.
Next, let’s run a Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis and plot to see if there’s a case for Ukraine as part of Russia. This plot tries to reduce the N-dimensional cultural space to 2 dimensions showing culturally close regions close to one another on the 2-dimensional plot:
This reinforces what we see above:
Russia and Ukraine are culturally close
There is cultural division within Ukraine
There is even larger cultural division within Russia. Interestingly, here we see that although Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District is culturally close to Russia as a whole, it’s quite distant from most other districts.
Ukrainians are culturally distinct from Russians, clustering together as an independent country.