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You're reading: Ukraine adopts controversial language bill
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Opponents say the law could upset Ukraine’s fragile linguistic balance by upgrading Russian and removing incentives for millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians to learn and speak Ukrainian.

Critics fear the law will push Ukraine closer to Russia and away from the West and call the law a cheap ploy by Yanukovych to win votes in the Russian-speaking east ahead of October’s parliamentary election.

The bill has caused brawls among lawmakers in parliament and street protests, and Yanukovych’s move will likely fuel further rallies.

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