Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

VRNS Accused Ukrainian Junta of Attacking Russian Language Rights



A Portrait of Aleksandr Pushkin

Vasili Tropinin



On Tuesday, the Human Rights Centre of the World Russian People’s Council (VRNS) called on the Ukrainian junta to maintain an equitable language policy in the country. In a statement transmitted by the VRNS to Interfax, “It’s symbolic that the first (!) meaningful act of the Rada in its present form was abolishing the country’s tolerant language law”. The paper pointed up that the law allowed all oblasts where the minority language population exceeded 10 percent of total residents could use the ethnic minority language as a second official (regional) language. In some oblasts, that right extended to speakers of Magyar (Hungarian), Romanian, and several other languages, but above all, it applied mostly to the ethnic Russians in the Ukraine.

The VRNS Human Rights Centre reported that the practise of regional bilingualism, taking into account the linguistic rights of national minorities under the European Charter, is widespread and is an established fixture throughout Europe. The VRNS observed, “Textbook examples are the regional status of Swedish in Finland, Finnish in Sweden, German in Denmark, Frisian in Germany, and so on, not to mention such multinational countries such as Belgium and Switzerland. Many states espouse the principle of linguistic federalism, not discriminating against the interests of any of their ethnic communities”. The VRNS noted that it’s common international practise in both Western and Eastern Europe, “Therefore, the actions of the Ukrainian politicians look like a transition to a nationalist policy marked by bigotry and culturocide (культуроцида). We hope that Ukrainian politicians reject chauvinistic approaches to language ​​and linguistic rights of their resident ethnic groups”.

25 February 2014



Editor’s Note:

Культуроцида/Culturocide is an interesting neologism. I find it useful… do you?

By the way, one of the reasons why the putschists have a Rada majority is that many members are “missing”, as much as 25 percent of the membership is “in limbo”. My, my, my… doesn’t that fit “illegitimate” and “corrupt?” I can see why Yuliya wants out of Dodge… the junta isn’t long for this world, and she knows it. As I said earlier, I wonder how much of the Ukrainian treasury she’s going to take with her to Berlin. Y’know… Botox and plastic surgery ain’t cheap.



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