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Court Rejects Special Status for Russian in Moldova

Last month, Moldova’s constitutional court rejected a law that would have given special status to the Russian language (Language Magazine, January 2021). The law was passed last year by the pro-Russian parliament previously led by Igor Dodon, who lost re-election to current president Maia Sandu of the center-right Party of Action and Solidarity. The Constitutional Court ruled that the...

Moldova to Relax Restrictions on Russian

Parliament of Moldova in Chisinau. Chisinau, Moldova.
Andrew Warner reports on moves to bolster the status of the Russian language in Moldova Parliament of Moldova in Chisinau. Chisinau, Moldova. The outgoing president of Moldova, Igor Dodon is expected to sign a bill to improve access for Russian speakers in the country, according to reports from Russian News Agency TASS. As a former Soviet Republic, Moldova—whose official language is...

Russian Set Backs in Ukraine, Armenia

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has signed into law a controversial bill that makes Ukrainian the required language of instruction in state secondary schools (from fifth grade on). The bill was passed despite criticism, particularly from Ukraine’s ethnic minorities: Russians, Poles, Romanians, and Hungarians, all of which have sizable ethnic communities in Ukraine. Russia has been particularly vociferous in its criticism,...

Ukrainian President-Elect Unlikely to Lift Russian Status

After actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky's landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential elections, his campaign spokesperson, Dmytro Razumkov, said that the only official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian, according to the news outlet, Ukrainian Pravda. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, is currently considering a bill that would require all media published in other languages to produce an identical Ukrainian version...

Russian Wrangles with Ukrainian

More than 60% of Ukrainian citizens want the Ukrainian language to be the only official state language in the country, according to the results of a new poll released at the end of last month. “A total of 63% believe that the Ukrainian language must be the only official state language, 17% want the Russian language to be official,...

Russian Bill Threatens Native Languages

The lower house of Russia’s parliament has approved a controversial bill on the teaching of native languages in schools. In the draft law approved by the State Duma, the Russian language was included in the list of native languages that students can learn at public schools throughout the country’s regions. Russia’s “ethnic” republics, with their diverse populations, were among those...

Russian, Ruslan Ustinov, Crosses Chinese Bridge First

Russian student Ruslan Ustinov won the 17th Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students last month in Changsha, in central China’s Hunan Province. Over 150 students from 118 countries took part in China-based heats. Five—Ruslan, John Gardner (U.S.), Anthony Ebuka (Nigeria), Guan Huimin (Indonesia), and Theodore Joseph (Australia)—made it to the championship round. All five were crowned champions...

Latvia Drops Russian High Schools

Last month, the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) passed amendments to its education laws according to which ethnic-minority schools will have to transition to Latvian-only secondary education in the 2019/2020 academic year. In passing the amendments, lawmakers rejected a petition calling for the preservation of bilingual education signed by over 10,000 Latvian citizens. When education and science minister Kārlis Šadurskis proposed the...

Support for Russian in Ukraine

Yellow-blue national banner is fluttering on the wind at the Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Thirty percent of Ukrainians in areas controlled by the Kiev government support granting official status to the Russian language, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, found that 54.4% of Ukrainians were against Russian becoming an official language and another 15% of the respondents found it difficult to answer the question. Four years...

Armenia Refuses Russian

Armenia flag
Despite Russian leaders’ suggestions, Armenian politicians hold firm on opposition to Russian becoming an official language of Armenia. In July, Vyachaslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s State Duma suggested to Armenia that they grant Russian official status as an Armenian language. The suggestion is supposedly in hopes of...
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