Ukraine Limits Russian Use

Ukraine has adopted a new language policy which marks the nation’s continued departure from the protocols outlined in the Minsk Agreements of 2014, indicating that linguistic tension remains a major issue in the country. The policy—which was passed in 2019 and took effect beginning July 16, according to a report from TASS Russian News Agency—requires television channels to broadcast at least 90% of their content in the Ukrainian language and also requires state-sponsored cultural events to be conducted in Ukrainian.

“On July 16, new language regulations took effect in Ukraine that mark another step away from the Minsk Agreements, which provide Donbass with the right to linguistic self-determination,” said Boris Gryzlov, the Russian envoy to the contact group on resolving the situation in Donbass (a region in the eastern part of Ukraine with a large proportion of Russian speakers). The Minsk Agreements (also known as the Minsk Protocol) were signed in 2014 in an effort to stop the war in Donbass, which saw significant unrest during the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.

Many see this move as one of many policies aimed at antagonizing the country’s northeastern neighbor: Russia. The country has also adopted policies that would make Ukrainian the mandatory language of the service industry, as well as policies that require Ukrainian proficiency tests, effectively making the language obligatory in schools too. Less than 70% of the country uses the language as their primary language, and a sizeable minority (29.6%) use Russian as their primary language. In addition, Ukraine also adopted a bill titled On the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine on July 1 mandating special linguistic and cultural accommodations for certain people considered indigenous to Ukraine—notably, this bill did not include Russians. The bill does, however, include special protections for Crimean Tatars, Karaite Jews, and Krymchaks, ensuring that they will be able to receive education in their native languages and allowing them to create representative bodies to defend the interests of their constituents. Russian president Vladimir Putin condemned the bill, accusing Ukraine of adopting segregationist policies, even going as far as to compare the bill to the policies of Nazi Germany.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It much worse than even this. In Ukraine, Russian speakers are forced to receive documents in what the government says in the “Ukrainian” version of their name. For example, someone named Vladimir must have a drivers licence as “Volodomyr”. It would be as if the Canadian government made a man in Montreal named Pierre receive a passport under the name Peter. It’s an extreme nationalist government and it’s such a disgrace western governments support this country just for the sake of being in opposition to Russia.

  2. This article is in the Goebellian style, a mixture of fiction and twisted and contorted facts. During the Soviet Union, the Soviet Politburo implemented Russification policies to stunt the growth of not only Ukrainian but Lithuanian, Latvia etc and help insert Russian language into the republics of the USSR. What is occurring now is simply the undoing of these harmful policies designed to destroy the nations of the USSR and keep them beholden to Russia. Taking advice from Russia on rights to linguistic self-determination is like taking advice from the Saudi government on feminism, Russia has successfully exterminated the languages of dozens of minorities within the RF and has removed the rights of all Crimean Tatars, Germans, Poles and Ukrainians to complete their final exams in the Ukrainian language in Crimea. POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK

  3. Excuse me, Igor. Could you please name some of the languages Russia has exterminated? Please limit the list to languages exterminated since after 1991. Are students in Ukraine permitted to take their exams in Russian? And as far as Russification goes, when Dnipropetrovsk (Yekaterinoslav) was founded in 1776 by Moskals under Catherine II were they speaking Ukrainian while they built it? How about before then when it was Ottoman land?
    When Potemkin was buried in Kherson in 1791 were people speaking Ukrainian there? In Odessa? In Kharkov?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here