A bill about the exclusive status of the Ukrainian language has great chances of passage in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainian experts believe. The creation of “ultra-radicals and half-educated public”, including from the bloc of Petro Poroshenko, the Russian Parliament called “linguistic genocide.” Who is responsible for the bill? What threatens the Russian language in Ukraine in case of its adoption?
The first Deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security Frants Klintsevich called “linguistic genocide” submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the bill which establishes the exclusive status of the Ukrainian language.
“The deputies used. Speaking out against being perceived as “protection of the aggressor”
The bill “On language”, was yesterday in Parliament, was designed by 33 deputies from several factions, including the Pro-presidential Bloc Petro Poroshenko. As explained TASS, the authors propose to make mandatory the use of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of public life and in the media. The document suggests a total Ukrainization – the “MOV” should be mandatory for bodies of state power and to education, learning in universities will be conducted exclusively in Ukrainian (presentation allowed one or more subjects “in one of the official languages of the European Union”). All cultural events will also be obliged to carry out in the state language only. Theatre performances in other languages should be accompanied by subtitles in the Ukrainian language, Newspapers in other languages may not be more copies in the Ukrainian language. In the service sector is also mandatory the use of a single official language.
“Russian language, according to the bill, is completely excluded from all spheres of public life. The bill, in particular, suggests that the television and radio of the Russian language may not be at all, and in print – no more than 10% – said in comments the newspaper VIEW Director of the Kiev center of political researches and conflictology Mikhail Pogrebinsky. – If the Parliament will vote, he will cut the branch on which it sits, and it will end because in addition to the DNI and LC will be other “people’s Republic”. This sort of activity is completely crushed, and I don’t see any prospects.”
At the same time for attempts to “implementation in Ukraine of official multilingualism” is proposed to introduce criminal liability, equating them to the attack on the political system of Ukraine.
“Nationalist fervor is a bad adviser. The adoption of this bill – a direct path to the final loss of Ukraine’s Donbas, where the vast majority of Russian-speaking population”, – the Senator said Klintsevich. Recall that, according to the year 2005, in the Donetsk region Russian language is used for communication 93% of the population, while in Luhansk oblast – 89%.
Ukrainian political analyst Ruslan Bortnik believes that if legislation is tightened, it is fraught with destabilization of the country. “This will mean another result of information, social confrontation in Ukraine – nothing more”, – the expert predicts in comments TASS.
Pogrebinsky points out: “there is a high probability of passing the bill.” “The deputies used. Speaking out against such things will be perceived by the ruling coalition as “the defense of the aggressor,” he said, adding that the authors of the bill ignore the fact that about 50% of the population of Ukraine prefers to speak Russian.
Now Ukraine has adopted under Viktor Yanukovych the law “About fundamentals of the state language policy”. Thanks to this law, Russian language retains the status of a regional where it is native for at least 10% of the population (on the basis of this criterion Russian language could obtain such a status in 13 of the 24 regions of Ukraine).
In 2012, the decision on recognition of the Russian language regional: Odessa regional and city councils, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Sevastopol, Dnipropetrovsk and Luhansk city councils, Krasnyi Luch city Council (Luhansk region), Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regional councils.
If we consider the regions fully controlled by the Kiev authorities in Dnipropetrovsk region Russian language is used 72% of the population in Zaporizhia – 81%, Odessa – 85%. In October 2016 the petition of the residents of Dnipropetrovsk and Uzhgorod on granting the Russian language a special regional status score the required number of votes, after which they are obliged to consider local government.
For its part, the Ukrainian nationalists tried to cancel the regional status of the Russian language immediately after the victory of Maidan. On 13 January, the nationalist party “Freedom” began near the building of the constitutional court of Ukraine in Kiev a protest demanding the cancellation adopted under Yanukovych of the law.
To whom belongs the authorship of the new legislation on language? “You can call some of the 33 deputies who developed the draft law. This, in particular, the Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada from the party “Samopomich” Oksana Syroid – girl from one of the villages in Lviv region, which has made a fantastic career. Another girl – the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on foreign Affairs Anna hopko. She’s from another village in the same Lviv region”, – says Mikhail Pogrebinsky. According to him, hopko representing the same party “Samopomich”, “really wanted to bet on the West, and long enough traveled to Western countries, offering himself as a candidate for President of Ukraine (before the may 2014 elections)”.
In addition, said Pogrebinsky, a sponsor – “a group of deputies that at the meeting of radicals, publically discussed the murder of Victor Medvedchuk”, a representative of Kyiv in the humanitarian sub-group in the Minsk talks. It is the deputies from the party of Arseniy Yatseniuk “popular front” Sergei Vysotsky and Andrei Levus.
“It’s not just about the ultra-radicals, but also semi-literate audience who made a fantastic career and carrier nonsense in any occasions. For them it is perfectly natural to eliminate the reference to the Russian language wherever it is, – emphasizes the analyst. – I don’t know exactly who was the architect of this bill, but those people are massively subscribed”.
In General, the passage of the bill in Parliament is theoretically possible. “True, it now attracted public attention. In this regard, there is a chance that will be brought to the attention of the European institutions – or at least political figures, such as the Venice Commission or of the Council of Europe”, – said Pogrebinsky. In his opinion, “the Europeans could indicate” that the bill “is broken a lot and the Ukrainian Constitution and Ukraine ratified the European Charter on languages and so forth.” At least this should lead to amendments.