Ukrainians (Ukrainian: украінці, tr. ukraintsi) are a Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine. There are an estimated 40-50 million Ukrainians, many of whom reside in Canada, the United States and Brazil. The Ukrainians primarily speak Ukrainian, and most speak Russian as a primary or secondary language. The existence of a separate Ukrainian ethnicity was denied by the imperial Russian government, and it was widely considered that Ukrainians were a subgroup of Russians along with Belarusians. Today, however, a separate Ukrainian identity has been established. Many famous people, including Bogdan Khmelnitskiy, Andrey Shevchenko, Taras Shevchenko and Sergei Korolyov originated in Ukraine. The great Russian writer Nikolai Gogol is often claimed as being Ukrainian because he was born in Ukraine, but he is most widely considered to be of Russian ethnicity. There is a great overlap, particularly in eastern Ukraine, of the Russian and Ukrainian cultures, leading to controversies about the official status of languages and education.