Obozrevatel (Ukraine): the language law of Ukraine change on the patterns of the Kremlin?


  • The language law in Ukraine came into force in July 2019
  • Ukrainian is the only state required for use in the bodies of state power and the public sphere
  • The head of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov said that the document should be revised to take account of the standpoint of “all citizens”
  • None of the deputies belonging to the relevant Committee on issues of humanitarian policy and information, she does not know what I want to change language law
  • It is known that the Kremlin has long been trying to return the status of the Russian language in Ukraine. In the context of de-escalation of the conflict in the Donbass, the Russian authorities demand to give the Russian language the status of regional
  • The head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry made an ambiguous statement: “settlement of the conflict in the Donbas is impossible without compromise”

“Servants of the people” initiate the change of the language law, adopted only in July last year. High secrecy of the development of the document, also known as the Kremlin’s desire to turn a strengthening the status of Russian language in the Donbass in one of the conditions for reintegration “LDNR” allow to make an unambiguous conclusion: soon the “Russian law” will protect in the best way.


The new language law is frightening. Why?

“The language law in Ukraine must be revised to take account of the views of all citizens,” — said the head of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov. The speaker, who himself during the presidential campaign-2019 spoke Russian and did not want to move into the state language (“while occupied the Crimea and the Donbass”), and did not elaborate on what changes can be discussed.

“Nobody talks about second, third, fifth or tenth official language, but we need to hear the positions of everyone who lives in this country. There are humanitarian issues directly connected with the return of the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine under the control of Kiev. The law should make all citizens of Ukraine, no matter where they live or what language you speak,” said he.

Apparently, the speaker was referring to the status of the Russian language in the Russian-occupied Donbas in the context of the negotiations at the end of the war in the region. The Kremlin constantly say “in “RESPONSE” must speak Russian”. Former state Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev has repeatedly suggested in the comment “observer” that Ukrainian politicians can agree “on the Russian language in the Donbas in exchange for certain concessions to the Russians in the process of de-escalation of the conflict and return the region back to Ukraine”.

Adding fuel to the fire and the statement of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry. “The settlement of the conflict in the Donbas is impossible without compromise. But the space for them will open only when silenced the weapon,” — said Dmitry Kuleba after negotiations to end the war in the Donbass, held in Berlin on 3 June. Details Kuleba announced the key word: “compromise.”

The regime of secrecy in action

“Browser” called a few of the deputies, members of the relevant Committee on humanitarian and information policy, which should initiate the document. But… none of the members of the Committee — our interlocutors, do not know what changes the language of the law says Razumkov and is it connected with the negotiations on the Donbass.

For example, the Deputy from party “servant of the people” Nikita Poturaev not sure what the speaker intends raised the issue of the language law right now. He thinks he could just answer a journalists question at a press briefing. “I with Dmitry Alexandrovich on the subject is not talking, but the position of our Committee in that it is not necessary to hold any General revision of the language law, without waiting for the decision of the constitutional court should speak on this occasion. On the basis of such solution, you can take corresponding steps”, — said the Deputy.

What about the language law the President thinks Zelensky and his team

President Vladimir Zelensky and his closest advisers from time to time allude to the oppression of national minorities who live in Ukraine, in the context of the language issue. They say, don’t force them to speak Ukrainian. While Zelensky was agreed that the Russian language in Ukraine no problem, but the residents of the Donbass would be given the opportunity to speak and to fill out the documents in Russian.

At its recent press conference in mid-may, the President reiterated that all national minorities, who must know Ukrainian, should be treated fairly.

“We need to restore order to the language quotas, let’s sit down and speak. We did not enter them, the quotas were to us. Some details are lost, and because of them we can see that there is some injustice to people who neuroinvasion in Ukraine”, — he said.

The first assistant of the President of Ukraine and one of his main advisers Sergey Shafir in July last year, said that “it is impossible to return the Donbass back under Ukraine’s control, forcing him to speak Ukrainian”.

“I think that started speculation on language. This issue divides the country. Now in kindergartens, schools, children speak the Ukrainian language. In the future it is genetically entrenched. It is not necessary to divide the people. We have historically, which half of the population spoke Russian, half — Ukrainian,” he said.

The same idea is adhered to the former head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Bogdan. He was not against granting the Russian language regional status in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, if these regions back under Ukrainian control. “My personal opinion: I would allow the Donetsk and Luhansk state — Ukrainian, regional and Russian, provided that they — the territory of Ukraine”, — said Bogdan during the period of the start of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on the reintegration of Donbass.

The Deputy Nikolay knyazhitsky of the specialized Committee on cultural and information policy did not exclude that the statement of the Razumkov could appear in the background of negotiations with Russia.

“In Ukraine there are no problems on linguistic grounds, but if a politician starts talking about it, it means that he wants to get some support. Razumkov could give his statement on the background of the negotiations with the Russian Federation. But Russia’s goal is not to bring us people or territory, but to make sure that we recognize these Quasibrittle (the “L/DNI” — approx. “Browser”) and that it was affecting our humanitarian policy”, — he assured.

That can be in fact after the change of law

Russian officials constantly demanding the return of Russian language in educational process in Ukraine. For them it is a question at least. Max is the status of the Russian language in Ukraine as a second state. From time to time, some Ukrainian politicians remind us of this, submitting the relevant bills.

In addition, the initiative “public Servants” will definitely affect the quotas, if only because that “Quarter 95” produces a Russian product, and the former frontman of the band Vladimir Zelensky (even becoming head of state) constantly complains about this tool for protection of Ukrainian product.

You should also expect the abolition of the law, effective from 2021: exam level of knowledge of state language during acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship and the mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in cinemas, theatres and museums, and the service sector. And, of course, is the official status of the Russian language for a number of regions.

Is there any chance of a development of events?

Yes, there is. However, a small. Some optimists believe that Dmitry Razumkov begins his political project, which will be designed for Eastern Ukraine. To reach out to future voters, the speaker of Parliament meets in the “cotton telogreechka” acceptable to the majority of inhabitants of the South-East of the country. Therefore, these “optimists” believe that the “customer” language of the law can be identified in the near future: if the “public Servants” in the whole “gonna get bumped” it, it is reason for concern there. But as soon as all the top speakers of SN will be to praise this document, then write “missing”: it means the language law — just one of those trade-offs mentioned by the Minister.