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Soldiers of Dnipro-1 Battalion go back to school to improve their Ukrainian language

A cartoon on the situation with languages in Ukraine cartoon.
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Special Ukrainian language courses have started for soldiers at the military headquarters of the Dnipro-1 Battalion in Dnipropetrovsk. About two dozen soldiers gathered in an improvised classroom.

According to information issued by the headquarters of the regiment, the goal of the program is to enrich the soldier’s vocabulary and help them communicate freely in their native language. The project was initiated by the National Defense Headquarters and the Oles Honchar Cultural Centre of the Ukrainian Language at the National Mining University.

“Battalion students” will meet twice a week. The Ukrainian course has been designed for 16 thematic sessions; intensive training – written assignments and tests – will begin later.

Davyd Hurtskaya, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1Regiment is confident that these soldiers, who are also civil servants, will be able to communicate freely in Ukrainian, without using their customary “surzhyk” (vocabulary mix of Ukrainian and Russian).

“It’s important to know the language of the country that you are defending and fighting for. It’s a prerequisite for victory on any front: political, cultural and military. That’s why we invited the teacher to our headquarters.” explains the deputy commander.

The Ukrainian language courses are taught by Lesya Stepovychka, a well-known Ukrainian poetess, translator and writer. According to her, not only will the soldiers brush up their knowledge of Ukrainian, but they will also study Ukrainian literature, learn patriotic songs and much more.

keep the flame of your language alive! Don't let it burn out!
Keep the flame of your language alive! Don’t let it burn out!


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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