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. The parliament adjourned on July 6 for a summer recess despite failing to resolve a crisis over its rushed passing of the bill. In its final session, the Verkhovna Rada voted not to even consider whether to accept the resignation of speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn who announced he would quit after not being warned the chamber was preparing to pass the bill. The Rada is not due to convene again until September 4 and the recess essentially leaves Ukrainian politics in limbo as the speaker's signature is required for the bill - adopted on July 4 - to be considered approved.
Odessa became the first Ukrainian region to officially recognize the Russian language, leading a host of other regions with a substantial Russian-speaking population in a move to capitalize on the country’s new language law, which allows local administrations to decide whether to make Russian official in their regions.
The Odessa Regional Council decided on Wednesday, Aug. 15, to grant Russian official status in an overwhelmingly favorable vote, the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported.