Harvard's Flier: Ukrainian as 'linguistic battleground'

Print version
June 26, 2012, 11:25 a.m. | Ukraine — by Ilya Timtchenko

Opposition protesters clash with riot police on June 5, 2012 during a rally in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev against legislation expanding the use of the Russian language in courts and hospitals in the country's eastern regions that have close ties to Moscow. AFP PHOTO/ GENIA SAVILOV
© AP

Ilya Timtchenko

Ilya is a cum laude alumnus from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts with a double major in International Affairs and Economics. During his studies Ilya concentrated his research on Ukraine’s relations with the EU and Russia already chipping in articles to the Kyiv Post. He was one of the main organizers of the Euromaidan in Boston. Throughout his life Ilya lived in England, Ukraine and five U.S. states. Kyiv Post’s business reporter can be reached at

Michael Flier is the director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. His research interests include Slavic linguistics and semiotics of medieval East-Slavic culture. In this Kyiv Post interview, Flier speaks of the structure and development of Ukrainian language and specifically of surzhyk. He shares his own research experience in the field and emphasizes the necessity of Ukrainian being the state language.

Announcement To Readers

Since 1995, the Kyiv Post has been the world's window on Ukraine. Please support the newspaper’s quality, independent journalism with a digital subscription. Subscribers receive unlimited access to all stories, archives and PDFs from the Kyiv Post's staff writers and news services.
More info.

12 months
1 month
$50.00Pay $20.00Pay
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.