Language bill must be approved to stop aggression against Ukrainian, says writer

Yuriy Andrukhovych, poet, writer, translator

Yuriy Andrukhovych, poet, writer, translator 

Analysis & Opinion, Language, Ukraine

On January 17, Serhiy Trushkin, a Euromaidan activist was attacked and severely beaten in Pryluky, Chernihiv Oblast, when he asked the saleslady to serve him in Ukrainian.

Trushkin reported on FB that the saleslady called up her husband who attacked Trushkin on the street and punched him violently in the face, causing an eye hemorrhage and inflicting severe injuries necessitating numerous stitches.

Euromaidan activist Serhiy Trushkin

Euromaidan activist Serhiy Trushkin

Yuriy Andrukhovych, Ukrainian writer, poet and translator, believes that the attack on the Euromaidan activist is not the first example of discrimination against the Ukrainian language:

“First, I’m struck by the fact that both violence and aggression are always shown whenever there’s an incident involving the Ukrainian language. I don’t recall any cases where someone speaking Russian was attacked and beaten up. This is my first conclusion.

Second, this leads me to my next assertion, namely that there’s a lot of aggressive resistance to the Ukrainian language, and, in my opinion, there’s only one way to deal with it. The Verkhovna Rada must stop pretending that the new language bill, which in itself is a very good thing, is not top priority, or that it’s not the right time to bring it up in parliament. In short, our deputies should stop postponing its approval and move to adopt such a new, modern European law. The bill exists, so now it must be imposed within all spheres of our society.

After all, just because a law has been approved and signed doesn’t mean that it automatically works in society!

Third, a person who fails to obey such a law should be punished to a certain extent: lose his/her job or be duly fined. Like any other law, if it’s enforced, such a law must correct the situation for the better and establish justice.

That’s all I have to say…”

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Source: Obozrevatel
Source: Gazeta.ua

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