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You're reading: Yushchenko: Language law will trigger Ukraine’s de-Ukrainization

The entry into force of a bill on the fundamentals of the state language policy in Ukraine will lead to the country's de-Ukrainization, says former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

“This means not even Russification, because the 13 regions of which
we are talking about are already Russified. A Russian Ukraine has
already been made there. But we are talking about a reverse process,
de-Ukrainization, as there are no more legal grounds to introduce the
Ukrainian language in these or those circumstances there. In other
words, this is exactly what is called de-Ukrainization,” Yushchenko said
in an interview on Radio Liberty Ukrainian service on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in
commenting on the Odessa City Council’s decision to grant regional
status to the Russian language and on possible circumstances of the
‘language law’ in Ukraine on the whole.

“The Charter for Regional [or Minority] Languages is aimed at
[protecting] native languages. The Russian language is not a regional
one here. We have the language of Crimean Tartars, which is a regional
one and which needs to be protected, and there is also the Karaim
language, which needs to be protected. These are authentic regional
languages,” he said.

Yushchenko described the adoption of this law a victory of not the
Party of Regions but “legionaries, who have come against the background
of the so-called democratic forces, with the relevant slogans, and who
have betrayed the national language interests.”

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