KyivPost

Lviv lawmaker touches off latest Ukraine-Russia row over whether Michael should be called Misha or Mykhailyk

Print version
March 5, 2010, 12:04 a.m. | Ukraine — by Natalia A. Feduschak

Iryna Farion during her memorable visit to a kindergarten class in February. She caused an international stir by advising kids with Russian-sounding names to pack their suitcases and go to Moscow.
© (vgolos.com.ua)

Natalia A. Feduschak

LVIV, Ukraine – Here’s a recipe for overnight international fame if you happen to be an obscure local politician: Come to a kindergarten class unannounced, and tell a group of 5-year-old kids that their names are all wrong because they sound too Russian, then try to teach them how to say them in Ukrainian. Tell those who disagree to pack their suitcases and go to Moscow. Oh, and make sure you have a TV crew with you, so that the video ends up on YouTube quite soon. This recipe was invented recently by Iryna Farion, a Lviv Oblast lawmaker from the right-wing Svoboda Party, and made international headlines, causing a firestorm in Russia.

But Farion doesn’t see what the fuss is about.

“I’m a politician and I have the right to go anywhere where I’m needed. I’m going to Ukrainian children. I’m not interested in Russian children, not German, not Polish. I’m interested in Ukrainian authenticity and Ukrainian identity. And I will defend this Ukrainian identity in all acceptable ways,” she said in an interview.

“In the Ukrainian language, such uncharacteristic forms of names such as Misha, Styopa, Fedya, Vova, all this is Moscow rubbish which makes young people zombies and alienates them from their own culture.” The diminutive names she mentioned are shorter Russian versions of the names Mykhailo (Michael), Stepan (Steven), Fedir and Volodymyr, respectively.

The tempest surrounding Farion, an award-winning Ukrainian language professor, began when she appeared before schoolchildren on Feb. 19 to commemorate International Mother Language Day. Celebrated annually on Feb. 21, the day is meant to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

With cameras rolling – her appearance was shown on regional television – Farion pulled out a small chart that listed the right and wrong ways for ethnic Ukrainians to say their names. With the Svoboda-sponsored graphic in hand, the lawmaker walked around the classroom, asking children their names.

“Olenka,” responded one girl.

“Pretty girl! What is your name?” Farion inquired, turning to another child.

“Misha,” the boy answered.

“About Misha, we will still talk! And really, children, Misha – who is this? Really Misha is Mykhailyk (the traditional Ukrainian diminutive). And if Misha lived in England, then he would be Michael, right? And if Misha lived in France, then he would be Michel. But if he is in Ukraine, then certainly he is to be Mykhailyk. Which do you like more?” Farion asked.

The children yelled in unison “Misha!”

“Catastrophe!” Farion responded.

What grabbed headlines, however, was an exchange seconds later, when the lawmaker asked yet another girl her name.

“Olenka,” the child responded.

“Olenka,” Farion repeated. “What a beauty! Never be an Alyona. Because if you become Alyona, dear child, you’ll have to pack your suitcases and move to Moscow.”

Within days, Vadym Kolesnichenko, a lawmaker within President Victor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, which supports granting Russian official status as a state language along with Ukrainian, said Farion had humiliated and discriminated against children and called on Ukraine’s general prosecutor to press charges. Ukraine’s Helsinki Human Rights group also condemned Farion.

The country’s blogosphere went wild with many attacking Farion, as well as delving into the idiosyncrasies of the origins and use of names and diminutives that often confuse those who don’t know Ukrainian and other Slavic languages. Russian television ran a lengthy piece about the furor. The video of Farion’s lesson quickly became a YouTube hit.

Local officials, in the meantime, swiftly determined Farion’s classroom visit was unsanctioned, but said they could take no disciplinary action against her.

Svoboda, Farion’s political party, meanwhile defended their member, saying in a statement that “in Ukraine there is only one type of xenophobia – Ukrainian phobia.” Oleh Tiahnybok, Svoboda’s leader, claimed that Kolesnichenko’s declarations were nothing more than a new stage in the fight against Ukrainians that were sure to come now that the Party of Regions leader, Yanukovych, was president.

During the presidential campaign, Yanukovych had argued that Russian, used by much of the population, should become a second official language in Ukraine and one of his priorities when taking office would be to ensure linguistic parity.

“We are all aware that the painful attempts of those with Ukrainian phobia to condemn the language specialist (Farion) are only in the first stage of their attack on the Ukrainian language and the Ukrainian nation,” Tiahnybok said, warning that “an avalanche of anti-Ukrainian acts” should be expected next.

But apart from Tiahnybok, few have come out in Farion’s defense publically. “I won’t comment on Farion,” said Andriy Ben, head of a non-profit group called the Youth Nationalist Congress. He preferred to discuss the problem of “the state being ruined from the top.”

When Victor Yushchenko was president, there was a sentiment that a Kyiv-Lviv axis could influence eastern Ukraine with its largely dominant Russian language and culture and make it more Ukrainian, said Anatoliy Romaniuk, who is a political science professor at Lviv’s Ivan Franko National University and one of the region’s leading analysts.

Many here are now worried that the eastern Ukrainian political forces who have come to power in Kyiv – including Yanukovych – will try to do the same and strong arm a regional world view that is alien to the west, including making Russian the second official language in Ukraine.

The incident at the school is one example of that fear and shows many people are still intolerant, he said.

“Yanukovych’s election was a critical blow to Lviv and western Ukraine,” said Romaniuk. “Still, Western Ukraine isn’t the Ukraine of Farion.”

As an example, he noted that last year, Svoboda tried to have a school teacher fired because she didn’t want to exhibit in her classroom one of the charts the party had supplied which promoted correct Ukrainian-language terminology. Svoboda has sponsored charts encouraging the proper use of Ukrainian-language terms since 2006. Those charts are often seen on buses and other places throughout Lviv.

Parents successfully rallied around the teacher and she kept her job.

“Such measures are a tendency of authoritarian forces, but these are forces of the past,” Romaniuk said.

For her part, Farion remained unapologetic and promised to take her fight to Kyiv if the new president tries to give Russian an official status.

“I believe I gave the nation a wonderful master-class on the Ukrainian language,” she said of the lesson with school children. “The question of language is the question of spiritual independence…To look at it from any other view than the independence of a nation, then we automatically lose the nation. In other words, (language) is the spiritual border of a nation.”


Natalia A. Feduschak is the Kyiv Post’s correspondent in western Ukraine. She can be reached at nfeduschak@hotmail.com.
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.
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 1:11 a.m.    

This lady has a point, but her approach is extreme and destructive to very goals she set out to achieve. Meaningless in big picture, though. There are more important things to be teaching Ukraine's kids.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 1:45 a.m.    

Let them have a look at Macedonia. Majority of citizens is Macedonian, but large Albanian minority. Their solution: Macedonian is official language of the country. However, each municipality where an ethic minority is more than 20% of the population, is allowed to add the language of that ethnic minority as official language (next to Macedonian) for the municipality. As people mostly are dealing with local governments (and anyway see it as an extension of government) everybody is happy with the solution. Only if people deal directly with central government (ministry) they have to use Macedonian, or if they live in a municipality were 80% of more people are Macedonian. In all other cases they can use their own language. There are Albanian-language TV and radio stations and newspapers. Maybe an example for Ukraine to follow?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:50 a.m.    

How about it being an example for Russia.

It seems that Russia wants a claim in Ukraine but has done nothing in return for Ukraine. Where is the status of Ukrainian culture and language in Russia? So why must Ukraine cater to Russian language and culture?! It's Ukraine and people living in Ukraine should respect UKRAINIAN culture and language. If they have no respect for it, then they should leave to find a place they do like.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 1:52 a.m.    

Looking at her truly ugly face, her real name is Mrs. Iryna Goebbels.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:39 a.m.    

There is nothing stopping all the Russians going back to Putin's country and leaving Ukrainians in peace. Wake up!! The soviet union is dead, russian belongs in russia. In Ukraine you speak Ukrainian!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:03 a.m.    

The Russian empire continues to thrive. Yanochovych will visit Moscow on Friday to honor it.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 4:06 a.m.    

Russia is a second rate world power. It has been far surpassed by US and Europe. It will never catch up.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:29 a.m.    

If Russia is second rate then Ukraine must be third rate. Thank you for your clarification.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:08 a.m.    

Thats why the Russians can't keep there filthy fingers out of Ukraine? LOL

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:01 a.m.    

yes yes a dogs face

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:06 a.m.    

She sounds like a nut case.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:23 a.m.    

Misha is the name of the georgian dictators that loves USa.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:29 a.m.    

She's correct, Russian language is an abhoration of Mongolian, and should not be used by Ukrainian students.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:43 a.m.    

So much nonsense, so many false choices... It's frustrating when a politician does destructive things for the sake of personal ambition, and thats what this is all about... Bringing cameras in to watch a staged performance isn't about promoting respect for Ukrianian culture, it's pandering to a local constituency (just like Yanu's BS about promoting Russian language to the Donetskites) creating an issue that doesn't exist.. I favor the teaching of Ukrainian language in all Ukrianian schools, and challenging the anti-Ukrianian bias in so much of the pop culture. But it shouldn't be done by belittling children. The Ukrainian language should be presented gently, as a gift, and a birthright. Not in conflict with Russian but as an enhancement, a beautiful variant that they can use creatively, while keeping the Russian language as well. If this were the manner in which the Ukrainian language was presented, I believe even the Russophiles out there (at least the intelligent ones) would accept it and even learn to love it.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 2:59 a.m.    

If you think a Russian will chose Ukrainian you are a fool. Ukrainian is a second class language to Russian.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:37 a.m.    

I wouldn't expect a Russian to &quot;choose&quot; Ukrainian, although an intelligent Russian might learn it and appreciate it as a second language. My comment was intended to say that there is no need to present people with a false choice. The argument from the Russophilic camp revolves around a myth that learning Ukrainian means abandoning Russian, and that is simply not the case. What needs to be abandoned is this hateful, chauvanistic attitude towards a language which is native to Ukrainians, whom you supposedly consider to be a &quot;brotherly&quot; people... Or is it that you just hate your brothers?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:05 a.m.    

If you cant read, you are the fool.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:32 a.m.    

It will become first language.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:06 a.m.    

First language for mentally challenged.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:18 a.m.    

You think that so called russian the katsapy-and hohol speak in the south-east is actually really Russian? hahaha, its more gibberish surzhik. Ever heard of the Russian language spoken by an emigre of the red revolution? that language has died, nothing but gopnik-soviet gibberish is left in Eastern Ukraine, and Russia itself. With the murder of the Russian intelligentsia so too the language died.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:53 p.m.    

HAHA! Yeah, right! Ukrainian consistently ranks in the top 3 most beautiful languages in the world while Russian is amongst the worst. Ukrainian is phonetic, while Russian is bastardized. Your comment proves why it is so important for Ukrainians to preserve their language against such unfounded prejudices and brain-washing.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 8:09 p.m.    

What a BS

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:06 a.m.    

I agree with the smart Western Ukrainian lady.

Everyone who has name Masha should go to Russia.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:06 a.m.    

Borat said Misha is name of a jew. Do not look child in the eyes. Run away. They know this in Khzackstan.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:15 a.m.    

Evidently the Ukrainian diminutive of Iryna is &quot;Idiot.&quot;

If language is the spiritual border of the nation, stupidity is where its actual boundaries are fixed.

Svoboda aims to make the territory of Ukraine — the outskirts of a single village.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:21 a.m.    

What is the future of Russian as a second language in Ukraine?

May it always be a second language and it may it always remain in the future.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 3:44 a.m.    

The fidgeting, wide-eyed girls and boys squeezed around a table in Elizaveta Moklyak's kindergarten class are helping lead a cultural and political revolution.

With her pointer and colorful posters, Moklyak teaches Ukrainian to Russian-speaking children - ensuring that by the end of the school year, the language of their homeland no longer sounds like a foreign tongue.

Sixteen years after shrugging off Moscow's rule, Ukraine is reclaiming a language that - like scores of other local languages across the former U.S.S.R. - the Soviet leadership once disdained as inferior to Russian.

Today Ukrainian has emerged from second-class status, slipping quietly into the chambers of government and popular culture. This marks more than a cultural change: It could doom any hopes Russia may have of restoring its traditional political influence over this country of 47 million.

But even Yanukovych has brushed up on his Ukrainian and now uses it - not only at official meetings, but at rallies of his Russian-speaking supporters.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 5:27 a.m.    

I have seen him gibing interview to Euronews.

His Russian is better than Ukrainian

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:48 a.m.    

Ukraine is history. over 250 thousand Ukraine people went to live in Russia last years. In a few years there will be no Ukraine people left to speak Ukrainian. You will learn arabic like good old European union.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:05 a.m.    

Yeah?, Russia will be overrun by Asians within the next decade, more people are leaving Russia than Ukraine. Good Luck, back to your Mongoloid roots.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:31 p.m.    

If people leave Ua there will be some reason, no?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 4:24 a.m.    

I would agree to make russian the second language of Ukraine if and only if russia agrees to make Ukrainian the second language of russia. that is fair deal.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 12:51 p.m.    

Cool! That's what I've been thinking about all this time. The principle of reciprocity.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 5:54 a.m.    

Hungarian is de facto official regional language in some places of Western Ukraine.

Russian has no such status.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:24 a.m.    

Is that like Hungry and going to McDonalds?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:43 a.m.    

And what status does Ukrainian language and culture have in Russia? Are there any entirely Ukrainian schools?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 9:18 a.m.    

Ukrainian is used in some schools in the south of Russia, where parents wanted this.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 1:22 p.m.    

Ukrainian is NOT used as a language of instruction in any state school in Russia. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Not in Kuban, not in Tiumen, not in Kemerovo, not in Vladivostok.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 5:15 p.m.    

Do Ukranians in Russia protest or complain?

Or send letters to Farion about being discriminized?

Raise your living standards and then talk :P

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 9:22 a.m.    

Remember Gorby's Ukrainian accent?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:30 p.m.    

Par condicio...

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 6:50 a.m.    

This Nazi part got less then 1% of the vote. This party only speaks for lunatics

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:09 a.m.    

Recent poll showed Svoboda party would enter parliament in the next elections. Keep drinking that rot gut you call vodka, its good for your brain.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:14 a.m.    

Nashi-Nazi lunatics speak for all of Russia!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 10:46 a.m.    

Maimai speaks only for his brigada of Insane Ward 3

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 8:52 a.m.    

Putin's Banderite father,

Photo of Putin's father working with the Nazis to put an end to the Stalin/Communist menace to the world

http://thumbsnap.com/v/rfPcZPRI.jpg

Copy &amp; email to self &amp; view

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Genocidal warmongers,

Molotov-Ribbentrop-Stalin: Nazi Communist Collaborators way before Bandera

http://thumbsnap.com/v/0SEfNk7l.png

copy &amp; email photo evidence to yourself

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 9:27 a.m.    

I didn't know Putin's father was Ukranian...

Thank you for precious information.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 10:45 a.m.    

His Original name was Lubomyr Putinenko

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 9:33 a.m.    

Congratulations Iryna for standing up and saying what a lot of people think but are too scared to say.

I would rather be a Mike than a misha.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:28 p.m.    

Better to be Michelangelo!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 10:53 a.m.    

Ukrainians are higher than any other people in the world. They are the best !

First Ukraine !!!

Recent surveys showed(e.g. TIME MAGAZINE) Ukraine to be the best country in the world. The BEST !!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 5:27 p.m.    

And also in the top 12 countries for &quot;best looking people&quot; in the world. Russia or America didn't even come anywhere near!Survey published through microsoft website some weeks ago.Enough to make any Ukrainian soul proud!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 8:31 p.m.    

Ukrainians also are the best educated people in the world (GUARDIAN) and have the best educational system (FRANCE SOIR).

On top of the list of the best cities in the world to live is L'viv followed by Kyiv. Third is London, then Sydney (Published in the Christian Science Monitor a few weeks ago).

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:27 p.m.    

The best education system is the italian one, everybody knows this

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:25 p.m.    

The women are surely through the best looking women in the world I agree.

But most of men look more like pigs that like humans...

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 8:06 p.m.    

Why are you lying?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:24 p.m.    

I am sorry, France is the first, Ukraina is un 68th position and something like this (and probably they use corruption to obtain such a good rank...)

http://www.internationalliving.com/Internal-Components/Further-Resources/quality-of-life-2010

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 8:06 p.m.    

I doubt it.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:34 p.m.    

This is again a dirty fake of Moskali agents who want to spoil Ukraine's image in the world.

Surely Ukraine is Nr 1 followed by Georgia and then comes France and the unimportant rest.

Slava Ukraina.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 11:47 a.m.    

As a Lvivian, I'm ashamed of this woman! How psychologically devistating to the children to be told their names are wrong and that if they'll call themselves by the names they've known since birth they should be moved to Russia. Farion, &quot;suka&quot; (it's Ukrainian and Russian word), it is no way of instilling national pride or identity in our children. If she comes to my child in such a manner, I will slap her in the mouth myself!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 8:27 p.m.    

I will be there !!!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 4:19 p.m.    

Agreed! This woman is guilty of child abuse. Her tirade leveled at these young innocents is criminal. She has no business in a school. She is an extremist and extremism has no place in our schools.

What next? Will she be standing at the registry telling people that they must conform to her standard and re-name their babies...oh, I'm very sorry Mrs. So and So but you must change your childs name from Sergii to Serhiy? Cyka indeed.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:23 a.m.    

Christening these children with Russian names when they are Ukrainian is the real abuse.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:12 a.m.    

Isn't the term &quot;Leopolitan&quot; not &quot;Lvivian&quot;, sounds much better.

And I agree with you completely (and I'm also from Lviv), and what shocks me even more is that Svoboda unilaterally supports her.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 11:58 a.m.    

Personally, i like to substitute &quot;Bob&quot; for &quot;Vova&quot;.

For example, Russian Prime Minister Bob Putin. Has a nice ring to it. That's what i'm going to call him from now on.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 11:50 p.m.    

Actually putin should be called Wally.

Wally Putin...Prime Minister of Russia.

Jim Medvedev...President of Russia

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 12:01 a.m.    

Russian President Jim Medvedev. I like it.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:21 a.m.    

That sounds just as obsurd as calling Mihailo, Misha. Point made and taken.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 12:07 p.m.    

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. Leave the kids alone.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 12:11 p.m.    

Sadly, this woman's ideals seem more about her own ambition for attention rather than being a true patriot (hence the purpose of the cameras). I'm a firm believer that children are raised by their &quot;parents&quot; - and if, as a parent, I want to name my child &quot;Rigarotamus&quot;...that's my privelege and right as a parent. This woman will cause more harm then good by causing conflicts among children, let alone the psycological damage she is inflicting on this nations youth. Farion, you're a sad representation of Ukraine. If she wants to be a troublemaker, then pick on people her own size.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:08 a.m.    

I agree with you, she told one girl (Liza) that her name comes from the verb to lick (lyzaty). What can that girl expect now, kids will make fun of her, she will feel anger towards her parents and she will be embarrassed of her name.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 3:14 a.m.    

Psychological damage?! What about the psychological damage the Russians caused for so many years?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 1:30 p.m.    

The professor has a legitimate argument...unfortunately she's going about it in a wrong way. OTOH, people can call themselves whatever they want. If a Russian gutoral sounding 'name' is a choice...so be it. There must be more important issues to fret about...like the economy!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 7:44 p.m.    

The echo of Nazi-infested Yushchenko/Orange era - now bygone.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 10:18 a.m.    

Begins the era of Yanukovich Kremlin sucking communism.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 9, 2010, 12:07 p.m.    

So typical of KGB mentality. If you have no convincing argument play the Nazi card. Pathetic.

Time to put all die hard ex communists on trial to expose their crimes.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 9:21 p.m.    

Insisting on Ukrainian spellings for childrens' names is nothing more than xenophobia, and is inappropriate in today's world. If a child likes to be called Misha, then call him Misha for God's sake!

Farion's absurd insistence on &quot;pure&quot; Ukrainian names is anti-democratic, and has no place in a modern society. In the United States, there is no register of approved names, as there apparently is in some parts of Ukraine, and people can even make up new names for themselves and their children if they like. That's the way it should be.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 2:44 a.m.    

In Quebec province, Canada there is a register of approved names to protect the french speaking culture. This is good because children cannot be named Prince Michael or Moon Unit or other silly names like they are done in the United States. Also in Isreal people have corrected their names to a more Hebrew name version. Golda Meyerson who was born in Kyiv became Golda Mier and President of Isreal. Islamic people all over the world change their names to sound more Muslim. So Ukraine should not be shocked. For many years we have had a basterdized version of Russian names. Now we are just demanding that the names be &quot;real&quot; Ukrainian.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 5, 2010, 11:32 p.m.    

what is her real hair colour?

seems like she changed the original colour,, changing thinhs to suit our style and fashion should be a personnal choice and not dictated by the state just like she had changed her hair colour freely

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 3:11 a.m.    

What are you even talking about? Your idiotic argument is hilarious :).

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:06 a.m.    

Interesting how she says that names change when people move to new places. My name is Oleksandr, the diminutive I use is Oles, when I moved to Russia I remained Oleksandr or Oles' (олесь), not Alexander not Sasha not Lyosha, and they accepted this. When I moved to Switzerland I remained Oleksandr, not Alexander, and my friends accepted this. People can chose how to be called wherever they are. I don't think that if a &quot;John&quot; moved to Poland he would become &quot;Jan&quot; or if he moved to Ukraine he would become &quot;Ivan&quot;. I come from western Ukraine and I am a patriot, but there is absolutely no political organization in Ukraine that I hate more than Svoboda, to me they are the same thing a nazis with their views, and this is just a confirmation of this, what will happen next? probably they will demand for the Russians or Jews to be deported, now they are demanding that a monument for Shukhevych is erected in Kharkiv.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 1:13 a.m.    

Slava Svobodi !

Smert vorogam!

Slava Banderi !!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 2:38 a.m.    

I support Bander and Shukhevych and what they did regardless of any victims, but Svoboda is just to radical.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 3:09 a.m.    

You clearly are not Ukrainian. It's &quot;too radical&quot;? And what the Russians have done and are still trying to do to Ukrainian culture and language isn't radical?!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 3:08 a.m.    

Quit lying, you are NOT Ukrainian! Nobody believes you! The only western part your from is the western part of Russia.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 5 a.m.    

misha or michalic?

Can not decide?

Call him john,,, that's easy

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:11 p.m.    

Maybe Jackson?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 5:08 a.m.    

she had clearly abused her position and comitted a mental abuse and discrimination of a child/ a minor.

She should be stripped of her diplomatic status and forbidden to hold public office in Ukraine...

western propaganda knows no limits,,, but they will attack little children and harass them about their names

She should not have done this public humiliation and harassment of un protected children without their parents and their lawers...

it is discriminatory and not nationalistic

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 3:01 a.m.    

Sorry it's not Communist Russia.

And you Russians have NOTHING to say about attacking children. What about the explosives Russia put in toys while fighting in Afghanistan? Now that was pure EVIL!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 8:57 a.m.    

Yes, I remember. These 'toys' were dropped from aircraft and looked like large butterflies. When Afghan children picked them up, they would explode and disfigure the child by blowing off the hands and half of their faces.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 7:57 p.m.    

the aircrafts were USAF

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 6:03 a.m.    

Is it possible to be proud of your Ukrainian heritage without scaring the sh*t out of 5 year old children?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 10:14 a.m.    

I watched the video footage, didnt seem they had the sh*t scared out of them to me.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 10:32 a.m.    

It was viciously done, with smiles and a totally hypocritical voice. But the message is passed. Aliona, you should go where people call you Alyona... Horrible.

Anyhow, now the world saw how totally inept those people are at running a country.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 2:57 a.m.    

No I think you Russians would be the ones who do things 'viciously'.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 12:27 p.m.    

One question: In every civilized country the class teacher or the director would politely ask such visitors like Farion to stop their attack on the children and beg her out of the classroom. It is their duty to protect the children. But these Ukrainians stand around in their ridiculous customs and politely applaude. They are also guilty.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 2:56 a.m.    

The only 'duty' Ukraine would have is the 'duty' to uphold Ukrainian culture and language. By saying Ukrainians have &quot;ridiculous customs&quot; you have shown yourself to be a typical Russian fascist. You obviously don't like Ukraine or the Ukrainian language or culture so why bother concerning yourself with it? Why not worry about Russia and leave Ukraine alone!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 10:08 a.m.    

Stupid Nazi comment on an important comment. Of course the children must be protected from nationalism and fascism.

Ukraine is hazardous for children's development it seems.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:03 p.m.    

Yes it is

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 9, 2010, 4:41 a.m.    

You've never made an important comment in you sad little pathetic life.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 6, 2010, 5:07 p.m.    

Well, with such a friend the Ukrainian people does not need enemies.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 2:52 a.m.    

You mean Russia, who claims to be a &quot;friend&quot; of Ukraine.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 11:38 a.m.    

No I do not mean that, I mean that if you have such a stupid and dangerous woman advocating the Ukranian cause, then this cause will be harmed, and then you do not need any enemy to do that.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 8:35 p.m.    

You are patient. This guy needs LONG explanations. It was difficult for him to understand that you wrote sarcastically.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 12:02 a.m.    

Yeah, unfortunately extreme nationalists do not understand things like irony, sarcasm, wit and intellect. Like this woman, poisoning the next generation. I am from a country where this behavior is still considered odd (though we have our stupid politicians too), and I hope that Ukraine will be such a country too.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 5:45 a.m.    

crazy women,politicians in Ukraine need to respect the rights of children.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 8:45 a.m.    

She does have a point.

These kids live in Ukraine and they should know the Ukrainian equilivent of their name.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 2:15 p.m.    

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. 100%

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 9:15 a.m.    

The Ukrainian language is known for its abundance of diminuatives, especially for children's names. Michael is not only Mykhailyk, but also Mykhas' and Mykhas'ko and probably more depending on where in Ukraine one may be from.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 10:04 a.m.    

and what ?????

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 2:42 p.m.    

It does show how Russified even Western Ukraine became on a day-to-day level, and it is a bit sad that it's now so familiar that people don't even realise, in an area that was never part of Russia, and under Moscow's rule for just 45 years. However, she has probably just caused unnecessary offence. It would be better to raise some kind of awareness campaign in Ukrainian-language schools rather than abuse and humiliate people.

But what could be offensive to me was where she started to talk about England and France. In the UK you can call your child whatever you damn well want! (a Mikhailyk would simply take his place in a primary school classroom next to a Tambe, Faruk, Sanjay, Jordan etc.). So she should be careful making such comparisons with liberal free-thinking western countries.

A Catalan nationalist may regret that someone calls their child Miguel instead of the Catalan Mixel, but that is what history has left us with, and at the end of the day, the rights of the individual should come above the rights of the nation to impose.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 5:09 p.m.    

That woman should be taken out and shot.There is no place for Lvov style despotic nationalism in Ukraine.western ukraine is insignificant anyway to the rest of ukraine Thank God

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 6:27 p.m.    

West Ukraina is best place in the world. Lviv is best city of best citys in the world.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 8:33 p.m.    

Let's make Lviv an independent state. They do not need the eastern territories because these territories were given for free to the state of Ukraine.

Lviv independent! Let the pure Ukr state shine its brightness on the world!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 10:05 p.m.    

Tak tak tak

Lviv best city in world. Lviv best capital of citys of all best citys of the world.

Slava Banderi !

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 1:12 a.m.    

To tell you the truth, it looks like a beautiful Polish city.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 10:18 a.m.    

Polish - yes.

Beautiful - no.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 7:39 p.m.    

all nationalists should be shot, there are only maybe few thousand of them. the rest of ukrainian people are decent and nice folks, they will live much better without bandera gangsters.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 7:57 p.m.    

Just like in the old days when Moscow ruled.

Kill anyone you don't like.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 5:58 p.m.    

Rarely seen a so big percent of stupid people in a country,,, maybe USA with his 30% of analphabete people...

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 7:21 p.m.    

I think she should taken to court because she abused children

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 7:24 p.m.    

Don t worry - she will be

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 7, 2010, 8:39 p.m.    

Bread and job that is what people want,,,

This issue like Banderra is brought up to divert attention from the real change that s coming...

Let s face it..

Ukraine wanted Julia out as she and Yushenka failed to deliver on their promises, after america had withdrawn its support, as a result of Russian mussle flexing caused the US invaders of Abkhazia to retreat and conceed defeat. USA was was forced to make concessions for its mistakes in Georgia, and Russia for its part is giving its blessing for the dismentling of Iran's mullah regme...

It will be a new ball game, and Russia should avoid establishing another soviet Union style consortum of nations, rather design a grand Euro Asian Economic zone, to include China, Japan India Mongolia, former none Nato Soviet states, Pakistan, and the new Iran,,,

An Economic zone with the free movement of capital and people, and its own Military security arrengment, wich would cancel the need for any Nato or USA troops in the regions of Asia,,

This is the most cost effective way to provide security for the regions, and it wll be the framework for regional economic development and prosperity,,,

An economic zone with its own money, own banking system, own military ,,, Like euro zone, like the North america Free trade zoe,,

About the languages and children's names,,, we need jobs and bread,, and name your kid lucky, if u can provide for them and look after them properly in this world spinning out of control and out of reality,,,

Ted from London

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 12:04 a.m.    

It is amusing to see how a child's Ukrainian name can solicite such an outpouring of mouth frothing rage from the Kremlin lairs and their minion sidekicks.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 1:22 a.m.    

Iryna Farion....Hmm. Her last name doesn't really sound Ukrainian. Not like Petrenko or Kozak or Kohut or Kovalchuk for that matter.

Typical hypocrisy from the so-called west Ukrainian nationalist intelligencia. I hope the Ukrainian government follows thru and either arrests her or fines her.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 2 a.m.    

Farion - a jewish (Sephardic) name just like Bandera.

Not &quot;Ukrainian&quot; - but most western Ukrainians stem from jewish families - they like it or not.

A western Ukrainian should be prouf of his jewish origin but instead they play antisemites. Idiots.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 10:14 a.m.    

That is true. Sad but true.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 9, 2010, 4:35 a.m.    

Wow, what kind of dope do you KGB guys smoke?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 8:39 a.m.    

A russian stooge to stir up trouble, and doing a good job of it too !

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 2:29 a.m.    

no argument with you there

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 6:37 p.m.    

Noone asked for your opinion you dumb kholkol! and you didnt even answer the question. now go back to the barn and finish milking my cows please.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 2:35 a.m.    

she could be a Latvian Nazi like yulia she not Ukrainian either.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 3:30 a.m.    

I am Danish. I have friends in Sweden, with them I speak Swedish, and they speak Danish to me. Going around in classroom and being a professor, (how much did she pay for that title? In Swedish, the correct (swedish) transcribtion of Київ is Kiev. Does that make Swedish people to hate Ukraine and love Russia? Most people do not give a iota about Ukrainan, Russia or Bulgaria, or what ever! Spend your money on something better!!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 8, 2010, 10 p.m.    

Changing nationalties again?

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 9, 2010, 7:17 p.m.    

Farion makes some good points. Too bad they're so obnoxious that most politically-correct people are turned off by them.

But, why should Mykhailo be Misha. Or Liza. Instead of Mykhailyk or Lisa? Aren't you the least bit interested or curious about your Ukrainian ancestry?

We for one, try to raise our children speaking Ukrainian. Unfortunately, its difficult due to all the Russian and surzhik spoken on the schools and street. But having children proud of their heritage and its uniqueness should not turn people off. Its what will save Ukrainians from being culturally assimilated (i.e. extinct) like the Belorussians or the Belgians and Dutch.

Learn your native language and be proud of it !!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 10, 2010, 5:54 a.m.    

Once again ppl like you are driven by ideology, not economy.

It's a dead end.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 10, 2010, 7:27 p.m.    

Dude, economy is ideology !!! And believe me things French, German, Italian, Danish, Swedish, English, and Ukrainian move economies you dumb nut !

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Oct. 22, 2010, 9:18 p.m.    

Could you elaborate on the fact that Belgians and Dutch are extinct? As a Dutchman living in Belgium I find this very intriguing... In what way are we extinct? did we lose our language like a large part of Ukrainians and Belorussians? do tell...

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous March 24, 2010, 6:01 p.m.    

More power to Farion. Ukraine needs more Mykhailyks and fewer Mishas. Mishas have been running things for too long. It's time for Mykhailos to take the helm! Away with Vikas also. If you don't like Bandera, bring back Andrij Melnyk.

{# <-- parent id goes here

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com 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 news@kyivpost.com
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.