The Prague Post: Ukraine's language law raises identity concerns

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Aug. 23, 2012, 7:18 p.m. | Ukraine abroad — by The Prague Post

Ukrainian opposition activists clash with riot police on July 4, 2012 during a protest in Kyiv against a new language law as President Viktor Yanukovych summoned the leaders of parliament to limit a growing crisis. Several people were left covered in blood and broken glass littered the street. The police used tear gas in an apparent bid to bring the situation under control. The opposition reacted furiously to the Verkhovna Rada's rushed passing late on July 3 of the law elevating the status of Russian, which was not on the parliament's agenda for the day.

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.

Read more here.

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
blueriver Aug. 24, 2012, 11:45 a.m.    


Here is a Joke and its true....

1/. Prime Minsiter of Ukraine = Mr. Azarov

2/. President of Ukraine = Mr. Yanukovych

WOW this is real, but still a Joke...two of the most boring soviet mentality men in the world, no one in Europe supports them...we ask you Mr. President and Azarov GO AWAY TO BELARUS.....this country has all the values you desire.

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kalina797 Sept. 5, 2012, 2:01 a.m.    

Funny thing is, even Lukashenko considers Yanukovych to be an idiot!

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Eugene Al Gagins Sept. 5, 2012, 12:33 a.m.    

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Father, please protect our native Russiam language in our Motherland.
Native People of Odessa

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Eugene Al Gagins Sept. 5, 2012, 1:44 p.m.    

I speak Russian and my children will speak Russian. I am not trying to impose my native language on other children. Other parents are responsible for other children. I will be responsible for mine. I need good Russian school so that my children properly learn their native language at school, so that my children dive into the masterpieces written by Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Chekhov...Bulgakov...Esenin...Visotskiy...Akhmatova...Cvetaeva... A bit later comes the time for the state langauge, Ukrainian, then later on English (lengua franca).

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