Ukrainians are an old nation. Check out Ukraine history page to find out how the nation evolved and what obstacles were faced along the way to independence.
Being separated for centuries without an independent state Ukraine people learned how to survive. They lived through plagues, Mongol invasion, dozen foreign rules, attemps of national assimilation, numerous wars and military conflicts, including two greatest world's wars, henocide, destructive Soviet rule and finally got independence.
Very high price was paid. And even now when most difficulties pass a lot of people still live with scars in their memories. Grandparents usually tell stories about their though childhood.
World War II and later Soviet rule left a significant footprint on almost every Ukraine's family. Thousands of people where sent to Siberia, were persecuted or found another faith. For example, my family was deported from modern day Poland into completely new area in Western Ukraine to start the life from scratch. Thus blood of every Ukrainian are full of survival cells and people of Ukraine will manage in every life situation.
I'd say it's hard to define typical lifestyle for every Ukrainian. There is huge gap between urban and rural ways of living. Modern rich business people (oligharchs) have a sky top lifestyle as opposed to average Ukrainian lauborer. But let's figure out how Ukrainians live.
(site author and girlfrined Marta visiting her paretns)
Villages are generally poor. Young people are leaving to cities looking for job and education prospectives. A lot of people still grow their own food in a back garden for survival needs. Cows, chicken and other home animals are typical in Ukrainian villages. If you travel in villages you'll notice mostly grannies who are waving you from the garden or inviting you to have a fresh warm milk. Yammmy...
Unfortunately most men are working hard or drink to the health of women. Thus average male life expecnatcy in Ukraine is around 65 years.
Life in cities is completely different. Bustling urban centers are full of life, smily youth and energetic entrepreneurs. It's hard to belive that only 5-10 km outside towns car are substituteed with hourse carriages and busy traffic streets change with dirt roads. Wi-fi signal can be cought on every corner, boutiques are full of overprices fur coats and hundreds expensive cars stay in traffic.
(expensive cars and traffic in Kiev)
Like between city and village there is a huge gap between top-end rich "New Ukrainians" and average labour mass. Ukrainian oligharchs, who own plants and factories are among wealthiest people in Eastern Europe. But almost half of Ukrainian population barely get the numbers to add up with average sallary around 1500 Hryvnias, UAH (140 EUR, 190 USD). Families living in the country usually support their relatives with products and eating out for most Ukrainians is an event.
(modern young Ukrainian population in Lviv)
However fast growing middle class is becoming more and more influental in this developing country. Well educated young professionals take mortgage loans, drive to work in cars and spend every summer vacation in Montenegro, Turkey or Egypt. Their children study at least one foreign language and post messages in social media from their iphones. They are looking towards the future with wide open eyes desireful to explore the world and improve their home country - Ukraine.