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Financial Times: Ukraine’s linguistic balance in doubt

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Aug. 3, 2012, 9:42 a.m. | Ukraine abroad — by Financial Times

An opposition protester wears the Ukrainian flag on his head in front of the parliament in Kyiv on July 6, 2012 during a permanent rally against a controversial bill elevating the status of Russian.
© AFP

Financial Times

Turn on the TV news in Ukraine and the presenter may be asking a question in Ukrainian to a guest who answers in Russian. Such bilingual exchanges are heard not just in the capital, Kiev, but also across the country’s mostly Ukrainian-speaking western half and Russian-speaking east.

“It may look weird [to foreigners], but each person understands the other perfectly well,” says Misha Reutsky, an unemployed marketing executive in Kyiv.

But the delicate linguistic balance achieved since Ukraine, with a population of 45m, won independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union and its centuries-long overlord, Moscow, could be upset. The ruling party of President Viktor Yanukovich is pushing through a contentious bill giving enhanced rights to Russian speakers.

Read more here.

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kpxoxol Aug. 3, 2012, 6:40 p.m.    

" The ruling party of President Viktor Yanukovich is pushing through a contentious bill giving enhanced rights to Russian speakers."

Ukraine follows the EU example and gives the language spoken by more of 10% of the population an regional language status. Nothing "enhanced" or unusual.

The orange losers on the other hand try to politicize the Russia language law and failed miserably - less than 20% of the Ukraine population supported the orange drive to ban the law.

The orange shit for brains proved again their irrelevance in Ukraine, heh, heh, heh :D

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from eu Aug. 3, 2012, 8:52 p.m.    

but in russia ukraine language is official?

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cedrik Aug. 4, 2012, 9:16 a.m.    

This law has nothing to do with 'Russian language' per se and everything to do with the rights of the people. Basically this law states that if a region has more than 10% of the populace who use something other than Ukrainian as their daily language, any OFFICIAL documents they want and/or need must be provided in their language...including English...in ADDITION to Ukrainian, not in place of Ukrainian.

So why all the screaming? Simple solution is put the question to the people and let them vote on the law.

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