According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, modern literary Ukrainian emerged out of the colloquial Ukrainian tongue at the end of XVIII century. The Russian Empire and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire greatly influenced the development of the Ukrainian literary language by imposing various restrictions.
There is a long history of Ukrainian literature; rooted in ancient oral traditions. As in many other European countries, a nationalist movement appeared in the early part of the 19th century. Several Ukrainian writers started to use the Ukrainian language and its traditions to create a national literature. The language was formalised long before the Soviet power was established in Ukraine.
The attitude of the Soviet regime to the Ukrainian language also varied from encouragement and tolerance to discouragement. For example, after 1932-1933, years of massive repression and discrimination were held against the Ukrainophones, Ukrainian was demoted to a language of secondary importance.
Attacks on the Ukrainian language is one of the recurring topics of pro-Kremlin propaganda. Here you could find similar examples.