By Michael Averko
“The competition, officially titled Ukrainian Dictation of National Unity, was launched in 2000 to promote the Ukrainian language in a country where almost one-third of citizens consider Russian their mother tongue.”
Someone in Ukraine can show a preference for speaking Russian, while considering Ukrainian as the mother tongue. Consider the many Irish who prefer speaking English over Gaelic.
Excerpt (from the article linked at the very top of this note) –
“One of the first bills adopted by Ukraine’s new Western-leaning parliament proposed stripping Russian of its status as an official language in Ukraine.
Then-acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, facing a public outcry from Russian speakers but also from many Ukrainian speakers, chose not to sign the bill into law.
Moscow, however, has cited the move as part of what it denounces as the repression of Russian speakers in Ukraine — a notion it has invoked to justify its support of separatists in the country’s east.”
Russian hasn’t been an official language in post-Soviet Ukraine. Rather, that language had (prior to Yanukovych’s ouster) some protection for regional use. That particular was considered too much for the extreme nationalists, who were disproportionately represented in the Kiev regime that came into being after Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster as Ukrainian president.
It’s true that after some publicly stated disagreement, Turchynov chose to not sign the bill, designed to limit Russian language use in Ukraine. Upon doing so, he didn’t immediately and authoritatively commit to advocate safeguarding Russian language use, as well as the other non-Ukrainian languages that had a noticeable degree of usage in some regions.
In Russia, just about every republic has more than one official language. This is done in consideration of the respective republic. Since rejoining Russia, Crimea has three official languages (Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar).
The language matter was just one of several actions which prompted protest among those with a pro-Russian lean on the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR. In totality:
- disproportionate Rada ministerial appointments by the then acting Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime in Kiev, to people associated with the pro-Bandera/anti-Russian leaning nationalist Svoboda organization
- scrapping of a law safeguarding Russian and other minority language rights, only to be later put in a pending kind of limbo status
- violent manner of the nationalist anti-Russian slanted Svoboda and Right Sector movements – some examples are clearly available on tape
- a situation in Kiev and some other parts of Ukraine that became unfairly challenging to individuals with views running noticeably counter to the Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime, in the lead up to theMay 25 Ukrainian presidential election
- replacing the pro-Russian utilized St. George’s ribbon, honoring the May 9th Victory Day, with an emblem having the black and red colors of the pro-Bandera movement
- Svoboda advocated removal of a monument honoring Napoleonic era Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov.
Michael Averko – http://www.eurasiareview.com/author/michael-averko/
Providing top quality analysis on a range of key foreign policy, historical, media and sports issues