All news

Kiev continues to pursue forcible Ukranization — Russian ministry

Moscow said the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission was critical about the law on education and recommended drafting significant amendments, but Kiev ignored its conclusions
Participants in this April's rally near the building of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada which has adopted a law recognizing the Ukrainian language as the only official language in the country Pyotr Sivkov/TASS
Participants in this April's rally near the building of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada which has adopted a law recognizing the Ukrainian language as the only official language in the country
© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities are carrying on with the previously assumed policy of total and forcible Ukranization of the country accompanied by an even greater discrimination against the Russian language, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a comment following the move made by Kiev to introduce Ukrainian as the sole state language of education in Russian schools from September 2020.

The ministry recalled that the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission was critical about the law on education and recommended drafting significant amendments, but Kiev ignored its conclusions.

"Unfortunately, we are forced to say that Kiev continues the policy pursued by previous authorities of total and forcible Ukranization of the country. Moreover, Russian is still facing double discrimination because schools that have minority languages of EU states as the language of instruction will only switch to Ukrainian in 2023," the ministry said.

The agency underlined that Russia had repeatedly pointed to the "disastrousness of this policy in the multinational and multilanguage Ukrainian society." "History teaches us that such actions never lead to anything good. The state built on suppressing national and linguistic identity and violation of human rights will never be stable and lasting," the ministry said. "We are calling on the Ukrainian authorities defend the declared European values of human rights in reality and reconsider its language policy."

"We are also expecting European and international human rights organizations to come up with a clear and resolute assessment of Kiev’s actions, which violate not only the Ukrainian constitutes but also its international human and national minority rights obligations," the ministry added.

Language law

On April 25, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) passed the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language. On May 15, it was signed by former President Pyotr Poroshenko. The document stipulates that Ukrainians should use the Ukrainian language in all spheres of their lives. The law will be enforced by "language inspectors". They will be allowed to attend any state agency’s meetings, request documents from civic associations and political parties, as well as impose fines.

The law is applicable to all spheres except for the private conversations and religious ceremonies. The attempts to establish official multilingualism are declared "the actions aimed at forcibly changing or overthrowing the constitutionally established state order." At the same time, a notion of "public humiliation of the Ukrainian language" is introduced, which is interpreted as "a wrongful act that is equal to insulting Ukrainian state symbols and is punishable in accordance with law."

In early October, Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science Anna Novosad announced that Russian-language schools in Ukraine would switch to the state language as its language of instructions in September 2020.