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You're reading: People First: The latest in the watch on Ukrainian democracy

On
Aug. 8, President Viktor Yanukovych signed the law despite the public outcry
and the deeply negative general response from the people. The new law
contradicts Article 10 of the Constitution, which names as Ukrainian the only
state language, by providing an option to use other languages for official
purposes as well as in court if it is spoken by a minority group of over 10
percent of the population of any given region.

The
compulsory Ukrainian language dubbing of cinema movies has been cancelled. The
share of Ukrainian language materials in the media has been reduced from 50
perent down to 25 percent.

By
signing the law Yanukovych initiated rebellion, especially amongst local
authorities. The first and second presidents of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk and
Leonid Kuchma, have claimed that the new law fails to promote the national idea
and independence of the state of Ukraine.

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