Yanukovych signs language bill into law

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Aug. 8, 2012, 5:18 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Viktor Yanukovych signs controversial language bill.


Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has signed the bill on the principles of state language policy, his press-service reported. 

He also orders that working group be set up to develop proposals on use of languages in Ukraine. 

The working group has to include public activists and language experts from the spheres of education, science, and art.

The presidential decree reads that the key task of the working group will be the comprehensive development of the use of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of public life on the territory of the country, guaranteeing the free development, use and protection of all native languages of Ukrainian citizens, the fulfillment of obligations undertaken in international agreements related to the issue, and further implementation of European standards in this sphere.

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the bill on the principles of state language policy initiated by the Regions Party on July 3. The document significantly expands the sphere of use of Russian and languages of other national minorities in the regions where they are used by at least 10% of population. Members of the Regions Party parliamentary faction Vadym Kolesnichenko and Serhiy Kivalov are the authors of the bill.

The approval of the document by the parliament triggered a number of protests across the country. In particular, a hunger strike and a mass protest were staged near the Ukrainian House in Kyiv following the vote.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn refused to sign the document and tendered his resignation, but the Verkhovna Rada rejected it. Lytvyn has then signed the bill on July 31st.

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.
cedrik Aug. 8, 2012, 5:32 p.m.    

Now the fun will start. Let me get my popcorn and a brew.

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IvanovPetrovSidorov Aug. 8, 2012, 5:52 p.m.    

Vityunchik has sartorial elegance and a teflon quality about him. Charming! Krasava!

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dave Aug. 8, 2012, 5:56 p.m.    

The law isn't going to have any effect in changing what language people speak. Russian speakers will continue to speak Russian and Ukrainian speakers will continue to speak Ukrainian. The effect is symbolic only.

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cedrik Aug. 8, 2012, 6:23 p.m.    

The only real change will be for official documents of any kind. Instead of having to have them translated from Ukrainian to any one of a dozen other languages, now the State must provide them in your language if you meet the law's requirements for percentage of the people in your AO who speak a different language.

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Phill M Aug. 9, 2012, 12:26 a.m.    

Yea, but that should already have been provided for under Ukraine's ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages-- and that covered language groups without placing a 10% of population per region requirement.

And what languages are covered under the 10% per region? Ukrainian and Russian are the only languages that have 10% or more per region in Ukraine, with the exception of Tatar in the Crimean.

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AL BALA Aug. 8, 2012, 7:08 p.m.    

Russian-speaking Ukraine

Vadim Kolesnichenkov, The Chairman of Council [1]

Major activities

Ensuring the continued domination of the Russian language and culture in Ukraine on the grounds that this must remain inviolable and inalienable;

Securing Russian language to receive status of the state language

Promoting the concept of shared imperial Russian history as the ideological basis of continued domination of Russians in Ukraine;

Working for a division of Ukraine into linguistically defined regions under the guise of federalism and alleging Russian speakers, a census category, is a social group;

Providing support to local self-governance structure development that renders favorable conditions for local Russian and Russian-speaking groups;

Monitoring the continued domination of Russian in the public communications sphere and all media; Fighting against attempts to reduce this influence in any manner or form;

Countering propaganda and promotion of Ukrainian fascism and Nazism in Ukraine, as well as actions aimed at the rehabilitation, the exaltation, the social legitimization of individuals and organizations that participated in World War II on the side of Germany and its allies; excluding the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal resolutions to be revised or/and discredited;

Ensuring the crimes of Stalinism and the Communist regime remain as little researched and discussed as possible and ignoring neo-imperialist Russian fascism in Ukraine;

Providing necessary support for pro-Russian education, involving citizen in publishing and distributing materials, documents, leaflets, posters, newsletters, organizing conferences, making TV/radio programs promulgating pro-Russian opinions and views.

Strengthening the representation of Russian /pro-Russian groups in government.

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carl Aug. 8, 2012, 8:33 p.m.    

I wonder what Femen will have to say about this.

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from eu Aug. 8, 2012, 11:52 p.m.    

west is surprised,read international newspapers and you understand what means to love your homeland,to be proud of a nation ,to protect the culture,the identity,the sovereignity of a country,all above is the opposite of janucovich is doing for ukraine and ukrainian people....absolute no respect......he seems to be president of another country

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Phill M Aug. 9, 2012, 12:28 a.m.    

Did he sign his name correctly, or did he spell "professor" wrong again?

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