The Prague Post: Ukraine's language law raises identity concerns
Despite public opposition and political wrangling, President Viktor Yanukovych signed Ukraine's controversial language bill into law earlier this month. The bill passed through the Ukrainian Parliament - the Verkhovna Rada - in early July, gaining the support of 248 deputies, thus easily clearing the required minimum of 226, albeit under controversial circumstances.
Dismissing superficial government measures to quell popular discontent, hundreds of Ukrainians took to the streets after the bill passed, in some of the biggest demonstrations since the so-called Orange Revolution. The protesters dressed in traditional clothes, waved national flags and brandished portraits of the country's poets such as Taras Shevchenko and Volodymyr Sosyura, who are lauded for their works in Ukrainian. Among those fighting back the tears caused by police pepper spray was heavyweight boxing champ and leader of the UDAR opposition party, Vitaliy Klytschko. People blocked the capital's streets, picketed the Ukrainian House political and cultural center in Kyiv and some even declared themselves on hunger strike.
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