Moscow’s invasion hasn’t affected Russian language rights in Ukraine, experts say

Yuliya Tyshchenko, the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (Image: QHA News)

Yuliya Tyshchenko, the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (Image: QHA News) 

2016/08/13 • Analysis & Opinion, Culture, Ukraine

Despite Moscow’s claims and the expectations of some others, Russia’s Anschluss of Crimea and its invasion of the Donbas have not had an impact on the language rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine and that the rights of that community are currently “completely satisfied,” according to a survey of experts in Ukraine.

Yuliya Tyshchenko of the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research surveyed experts, about that issue as part of a study on “Questions of Identity for Russian Speakers in Ukraine in the Context of the Armed Conflict in the East of Ukraine.”

Eighty-five percent of those surveyed, the sociologist says, were “Russian-speaking citizens and a significant portion of them were ethnic Russians who consider Russian to be their native language.” Among them were journalists, political analysts, artists, and others of the same kind.

“The main task of the research,” Tyshchenko says, “was to find out whether there had been a change in the understanding and attitude of Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine after the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine” and what Russian speakers expect to be the course of developments in the future.

The study found, the sociologist continues, that “90 percent of the respondents consider that the cultural requirements of Russian-speakers are being satisfied.” Only ten percent say that these requirements are either not being satisfied or are being satisfied only partially at the present time.

Seventy percent say that no real threat to Russians existed before the beginning of the conflict, despite Moscow’s claims. And “20 percent of them are certain that the sense of a threat was created by Russian media” rather than reflecting facts on the ground. Today, 80 percent say that Russian speakers face no problems, while 16 percent say there are occasional ones.

Perhaps Tyshchenko’s most significant finding was the following:

“Almost 90 percent of Russian speakers consider that all citizens of Ukraine without exception and independent of ethnic origin form a political nation.” Only seven percent say that this is not the case and that Russian speakers and ethnic Russians feel themselves separate from that nation.

More than 30 percent of the experts surveyed said that in their view, “the large print runs of Russian-language media” are the result of the influence of “the owners of businesses on language policy” rather than anything else. And two out of three added that trust in these media reflected judgments about the positions and journalistic standards rather language.

Recently, QHA News Agency says in reporting this study, the Ukrainian state Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting called on the culture ministry to work toward an improvement in laws about language so that Ukrainian will spread to more groups of the population. In the absence of such laws, the committee suggested, there will be a “creeping” spread of Russian.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • MichaelA

    not subdue the donbass but defend the donbass
    russian speakers in ukraine are happy
    so putin is a failure

    • Quartermaster

      Those Russian invaders are mythical only in that universe you created in that infinite space between your ears. We already know that the GRU officers that spearheaded the Crimean invasion were shipped to the Donbas to stir up trouble there. The truth has already escaped captivity, so you need to give it a rest.
      Your post is incoherent. What part of Russia is the boiler room you are working in located?

      • Quartermaster

        With your speech patterns? You’re simply lying.
        the English term “racist” does not mean what you think it does. The truth simply is. is not racist or anti-racist, it simply is. It is a fact that Russia invaded both Crimea and the Donbas. I could not care less that you don’t “accept” the fact that Russia invaded. The entire world knows Russia did, in spite of your assertions otherwise.
        The Russian provocateurs in Odessa brought their own fate on themselves. If you don’t like it, that’s just too bad.
        Yanukovich ran for his Russian paramour when he was going to be brought to book for the murders on the Maidan square. He is still a fugitive from justice, and one day will be brought before the bar. He was not violently removed as you claim in your putinist lie.
        Yanukovich was removed in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution when he abandoned the country. I don’t expect a Russian idiot to admit to that, however. The facts are hard thing to accept when it goes against your trollish agenda, but there it is.

        • Quartermaster

          Like I said, you have no idea what racism is.
          It’s an historical fact that Muscovy was a Mongol state. that does not mean that the population was Mongol, but that Muscovy existed because of the Mongols. The Russians possess many of the characteristics of their old rulers. That’s not racism, that’s just a fact. If you don’t care for that, too bad.
          London is a mess at the moment. That’s not racism, that’s simply a fact of life. You may like it there, but I don’t care for high crime locations. I have many friends in the UK and they do their best to avoid London these days, including one that was a London Policeman. You, of course, know nothing of these things being a Russian troll.

          • Quartermaster

            Oh lookeee! The Russian troll is back. Things were getting slow in St. Petersburg, eh?

            You’re pathetic.

  • Alex George

    And of course it would not do so. The Russian-speaking people of eastern Ukraine have been the strongest opponents of Putin’s ambitions. They do not want to be ruled by Moscow.

    The Russian language is doing fine, even as Russian-speakers turn their backs decisively against the Kremlin and all it stands for.

  • Alex George

    Since no-one has suggested Ukraine is a bilingual federation, why bring this up?

    Plenty of countries speak multiple languages without having an arrangement like Canada, so there is no need for Ukraine to do so. Nor is there any need for it to be a federation.

    And the only country likely to “end up in the dustbin of history” is Putin’s Russia.

    • Quartermaster

      Those 10,000 Ukrainian dead are on Putin’s head. His troops are responsible for their deaths as they are invaders. Putin’s Russia is simply a Nazi enterprise that has sold out to criminals. Russia, because of its stupidity, will end up in the dustbin of history. It won’t last more than another 20 years because of Putin’s stupidity.

      • Quartermaster

        The Russian invasion is a fact, both in the Crimea and the Donbas. Sorry if reality does not fit your agenda and narrative. You need to call the boss in your St. Petersburg boiler room and tell them they need to come up with something else. Their lies simply don’t work anymore.
        It was the Russian invaders that are responsible for the death of those 10,000 Ukrainians. They would not be dead without the Russian invasion your best bud Putin staged.
        If you don’t like the fact that Putin is responsible for both Crimea and Donbas, then I suggest you find a different line of work, because your boss wants you to keep pushing the putinist lies you post here.