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Lviv activist wins court case vs Minister Avakov

Lviv activist wins court case vs Minister Avakov
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

A Lviv court has ruled that the speech made in Russian by Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, before members of the new patrol police in Lviv should have been translated into Ukrainian (the official language of Ukraine).

Svyatoslav Litynsky, a lecturer at Ivan Franko Lviv National University said that the hearing took place in the Lviv District Administrative Court on September 14.

“The court ruled that the refusal to give me a translation of the minister’s speech was contrary to the law.” said Litynsky.

He added that he had not claimed any compensation for losses, but the court decided that the Ministry of Internal Affairs should cover all court fees (36 UAH).

Litynsky also pointed out that he is now waiting for Avakov to answer his question regarding the minister’s statement in Ivano-Frankivsk during the presentation of the new patrol police. The activist wants to know what Avakov meant when he stated that “… Lvivers are also stupid” and who and what he was referring to with the word “vypendrytys” (to flex one’s muscles).

Arsen Avakov in Ivano-Frankivsk: “In Lviv, I spoke Ukrainian, just like now. Lvivers can also be stupid, sorry… just as stupid as Kharkiv citizens… all in all, people are different. But, if you understand me – whether I speak Ukrainian or Russian – it’s important to understand. If someone wants to flex his muscles and sue the minister in order to gain fame and glory, so be it! Moreover, this someone wants to be compensated for insulting my honour.”

The Minister has not yet sent a reply to Litynsky.

A few weeks ago, Svyatoslav Litynsky filed an appeal against Avakov, accusing him of violating Ukraine’s language law. The activist asked the court to oblige the Ministry of Internal Affairs to provide him with a Ukrainian translation of the video of Avakov’s speech in Russian to the new patrol police in Lviv.

On September 3, Artem Shevchenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, wrote on his FB page that, due to the activist’s lawsuit against the minister, the Ministry would henceforth translate all videos of state public appearances into the official language.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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