Ukrainian is a member of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine and the principal language of the Ukrainians. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script. The Ukrainian language traces its origins to the Old East Slavic of the early medieval state of Kievan Rus’. From 1804 until the Russian Revolution Ukrainian was banned from schools in the Russian Empire of which Ukraine was a part at the time.