Moscow complains about campaign against Russian speakers in Ukraine while waging a far more sweeping one against Ukrainian speakers in Russia, Yatsenyuk says

Russian state language policy: In Russia you may speak any language, as long as it is Russian (Image: Euromaidan Press)

Image: Euromaidan Press 

Russia

Edited by: A. N.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that Ukraine is “waging war” against the Russian language, a charge that has attracted enormous attention around the world even though it vastly overstates what is occurring in Ukraine, Arseny Yatsenyuk, the former Ukrainian prime minister says.

But in making that claim, Lavrov and those who follow him ignore the fact that in the Russian Federation itself, there are approximately four million Ukrainians. But there, “there is not a single full-scale Ukrainian school; there are no Ukrainian language newspapers, radio, television, theaters or universities.”

“I call on the Ukrainian authorities to raise the issue of the intentional suppression of the rights of Ukrainians in Russia and the total russification of all the peoples of this multi-national territory,” the former head of the Ukrainian government says.

Yatsenyuk’s words are important because they call attention to a sad fact of life – Moscow routinely claims rights for itself and the Russian nation that it denies to others, and its claims are all too often accepted at face value without anyone asking questions about whether Russia is behaving in a reciprocal way.

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Edited by: A. N.

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