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Son of Ukrainian Insurgent Army Commander defends Russian language

ukraine-linguistic-divisionLviv intellectuals appealed to the Verkhovna Rada to develop a balanced policy, especially a balanced language policy. Among those who signed the appeal was Yuriy Shukhevych, son of the Commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

The following is their statement.

We call on the Parliament of Ukraine, the newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers, and the acting President of Ukraine to develop and execute a balanced culture and language policy.Ukraine has gone through tragic days. Hundreds of Sons of our Motherland have died; thousands are wounded. With tears we bury the best ones, those who could overthrow Yanukovych. At the same time, we hear worrying calls to attack the East and the South of Ukraine. We call on Verkhovna Rada to be prudent. The crimes of the regime should be investigated without delay, and all their instigators and organizers must incur severe penalties for their actions. However, the investigations and prosecutions of those crimes should not be a witch-hunt. The most important action is to make punishment of the murderers inevitable and to carry out consistent and in-depth reforms.

We are aware that in Eastern and Southern Ukraine a policy of deliberate colonization and de-Ukrainization held ordinary people hostage. However, we are against bullying and prosecution of people on the basis of where they live and what language they speak, because it would only be advantageous for the enemies of Ukraine.

We call on the acting President, the Verkhovna Rada, and the newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers to develop a balanced language and culture policy. Thousands of inhabitants of the eastern and southern regions do not understand what is going on, and thus only hear the Russian versions or propaganda. We have a chance to build a new, honest, and fair Ukraine, and to keep its territorial unity. However, we should not impose the Western regions’ way of life on those living in the East. On Maidan, side-by-side with Ukrainians stood Russians, Poles, Belarusians, Armenians, Jews, Georgians, Tatars, and representatives of other nationalities.

All these people were united by their love for Ukraine and the hatred of tyranny. For this they have paid a terrible price – the price of their own blood.

We need to respect the cultural and language needs of those living in the East and the South so that they don’t feel out of place in Ukraine. We need to demonstrate a brand new Ukraine with qualities that will not divide people. We urge you not to let the political maneuvering or aspirations of a few to speculate on blood and destroy the territorial unity of Ukraine.

  • Yuriy Shukhevych
  • Igor Kalynets
  • Myroslav Marynovych
  • Ivan Vakarchuk
  • Roman Ivanychuk
  • Taras Vozniak
  • Antin Borkovskyy
  • Zvenyslava Kalynets
  • Natalia Ivanychuk

Translated by Oksana Poliakova

Edited by Michael Donovan

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