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LVOV, Western Ukraine, July 4 (Itar-Tass) — Protest actions in defense of the Ukrainian language have started in the western part of Ukraine. Regional Councils of Lvov, Ternopol and Ivano-Frankovsk regions have called on people to march to Kiev to block the work of parliament and government services. Telephones of people organizing mass departures to Kiev are mentioned in media and on party websites.
The opposition blocked the regional administration building in Lvov on Wednesday morning, preventing officials from getting to work. Tent camps have been set up in other regional centers.
The opposition said it would block the country’s main automobile roads and railways. They are preparing appeals to the United Nations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Ukrainian Diaspora abroad and the ambassadors of foreign countries in which they want to explain the situation that unfolded in Ukraine after the country’s parliament had passed a bill on the basics of state language policy. Under the document, Ukrainian remains the only official state language in Ukraine but the rights of minority languages have been expanded. They get the status of regional languages in regions where a minority constitutes over 10% of the local population. So, Russian has got the status of regional language in 13 out of 27 Ukrainian regions.
Representatives of the ruling Party of Regions have said that their aim is to make Russian the second state language in Ukraine.