Russia intends to ban the usage of foreign words in public spread of information

Russia continues to come up with new ways to maximally limit the freedoms of citizens, for the residents of the country to do and even talk only what the “Tsar” consents to.

The State Duma Committee for Culture recommended to the chamber to pass the first draft of the bill regarding fines for the ungrounded use of foreign words in cases of public spread of information in the state language.

It is expected that the members of the Parliament will propose to the State Duma council to include the condiment to the agenda of the plenary session on July 1st. “The bill may be passed in its first draft with additional work for the second draft, including any wishes,” says the conclusion of the committee, signed by its head Stanislav Govorukhin.  Continue reading

Ukrainian Vs Russian: The Ban That Never Was

ukrainian-language-300x199Oleksiy Stolyarenko, a lawyer, offers some insights into the Ukrainian language law and why it has been so misunderstood. Opinions aside, Stolyarenko lays out what is actually written in Ukrainian law.

One of the first ‘scandals’ that beset Kyiv after the dust had settled from the departure of Viktor Yanukovych was with regard to what has widely been called a ‘ban on the Russian language.’ Opinions on this supposed ‘ban’ have been many and loud, but most of the people who have raised the language issue not only are not legal specialists, they have not even read the actual laws involved. Continue reading

Ukraine suggests to Russia that Russia makes Ukrainian its second state language

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk stated that Ukraine suggests to Russia to recognize Ukrainian as a second official language on the territory of the Russian Federation.

He mentioned this on the 10th annual investment conference of Dragon Capital in Kyiv, as reported by Interfax.

“Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made ​​a statement on the matter. The Ukrainian-speaking community is the largest in Russia and is completely natural for Ukrainian to be recognized as a second state language, or at least to carry a special status,” said Yatsenyuk. Continue reading

Activist’s Appeal to European Charter: ‘Language Law’ imposes Russian, not protects minority languages

charter

To: Committee of Experts (the – “Committee”)

Council of Europe

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

DG II – Directorate of Human Rights and Anti-discrimination

Agora Building, 1 quai Jacoutot

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France

 Dear Committee Members,

Using this opportunity, please, let us avail ourselves.

We are writing to you based on Article 16(2) of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (the “Charter”). The following is to bring your attention to adoption by the Ukrainian Parliament of the Law of Ukraine “On the Basis of the State Policy on Languages” dated 3 July 2012 (the “Law on Languages”). According to the explanatory note to the Law on Languages, its purpose was to ensure implementation of this law in Ukraine. However, it appears that the real purpose behind the Law on Languages is to return to practice of imposing the Russian language usage throughout Ukraine. Continue reading

“Crimean Referendum! Separation!” – but where is Diversity and Tolerance? Crimea and Minorities in Ukraine FAQ

diversity

As a Crimean ‘referendum’ threatens dismemberment of Ukraine, American ideals of ‘Strength through Diversity’ and ‘E pluribus unum’ have gone unmentioned in the media – even though, unlike in the Russian Federation, all minorities in Ukraine continue to openly enjoy legal rights and official encouragement in all their activities. The newly-baked claims of some Russians in Crimea about “persecution” of minorities have not been borne out. Here are the facts about all minorities and their status in Ukraine, especially Russians and Crimea.

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What is the “Law on Languages” and why it is a problem? (Briefing for English-speaking friends)

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By Yuriy Dzhygyr

This law (“On Regional Languages”), introduced in July 2012, states that communities with over 10% of any ethnic minority in their population may declare the language of this minority as an official regional language for their region. This means that this region would use it locally as a formal alternative to Ukrainian, e.g. for bureaucratic procedures.

In theory, this is a brilliant idea, but things get more complicated once we look beyond the surface. The approval of the law spurred massive protests, and although I did not participate in these protests, I personally was truly mad. I always thought of this Law as nicely packaged cheating, and here is why.

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Russian culture centers representatives in Ukraine oppose Kremlin agression

Representatives of Russian culture centers in Ukraine held a press conference on March 5 to express their opposition to the aggressive policy of the Kremlin to “defend” the Russian population, reports Espreso.TV.

The press conference was attended by Yuriy Vakulenko, CEO of the National Museum of Russian Art, Ludmyla Hubianuri, director of the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, Natalia Tyshayeva, director of the Pushkin Museum, Mykhaylo Reznikovych, general and artistic director of the L. Ukrayinka National Theatre of Russian Drama, and others, reports Espreso. TV.

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Ukrainian American Bar Association: Russia’s Disinformation Campaign Regarding Ukrainian Language Policy

The Russian government is deceitfully attempting to justify its invasion of Ukraine under a pretext that ethnic Russians who reside in Ukraine are discriminated against because of their use of the Russian language and their ethnic background. The Kremlin disingenuously claims that the new Ukrainian government recently passed legislation “banning” the Russian language. The Kremlin’s disinformation campaign is clearly intended to foment ethnic tensions and destabilize Ukraine. Regrettably, Western media has been blindly reciting this disinformation as if it were fact without doing any due diligence whatsoever as to its accuracy.

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Lutkovska Received No Complaints Regarding Violations of the Rights of Russian Speakers in Crimea

Lutkovska visited Crimea and observed no violations of the rights of Russian speakers. She thinks one of the reasons behind Crimean conflict is the repeal of language law.

Ukrainian Ombudsman Valeriya Lutkovska stated that she has not received a single complaint recently alleging the violations of the rights of Russian speakers in Crimea.

“During this period, there have been no appeals that could suggest the violation of the rights of Russian speakers in Crimea”, said Lutkovska during a March 4 briefing following her visit to Crimea. Continue reading

Russian Minority Language in Ukraine FAQ

Languages

Media stories about “Russian minorities who fear for their language rights and that they fear persecution under Ukraine” continue to circulate following the Kyiv Revolution. On 3/1/2014, Christiane Amanpour casually mentioned on CNN that the new Ukrainian government had “banned” the Russian language. Banned?… Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fact versus myth:

1. Ukraine is not ‘divided’ by language.

Russian is used and understood by almost all citizens in Ukraine. Most YouTube posts from Maidan were in Russian and many activists spoke in Russian to reporters. Most of the ‘Comments’ supporting Maidan posted to TV and newspaper websites were also in Russian. Continue reading