A cartoon on the situation with languages in Ukraine cartoon.


Crimea, International, Language, More, Ukraine, War in Donbas

Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Stanislav Fedorchuk, political scientist and internally displaced person from Donetsk, believes that the war in Ukraine is a direct consequence of Ukraine’s weak language policy in Crimea and the Donbas where whole generations have been raised with no proper national consciousness or formal education, with limited access to Ukrainian media and little protection of Ukrainian language rights.

“In my view, Ukraine is a unitary state. There can be no particular or separate language policy in our country.  If it becomes different, it will only exacerbate the consequences of Russification, Russian chauvinism and state negligence with regard to language policy.”

Mr. Fedorchuk states that it is shameful and inadmissible that the positions for heads of the departments of culture and education in the Donetsk Regional Administration have been vacant for almost a year. After all, these spheres are currently just as strategic as military affairs.

Stanislav Fedorchuk (Photo by Piotr Malecki/Global Assignment by Getty Images for Readers Digest)

Stanislav Fedorchuk (Photo by Piotr Malecki/Global Assignment by Getty Images for Readers Digest)

He notes that the absence of Ukrainian broadcasting and the presence of powerful Russian media are a matter of political will, and not technical resources.

“Formal education in schools and universities should be in Ukrainian at all levels. This means hundreds of jobs for people who can speak Ukrainian and who will not become mere puppets in the hands of Russian colonial powers. We need a nomenclature revolution, namely courses and examinations in Ukrainian for education officials and representatives right here and now. And an English test within the next five years so they don’t get bored!”

“However, such initiatives are impossible without a State Language Inspectorate. We should eliminate the useless Fire Inspectorate and hundreds of other needless corrupt institutions in Ukraine and I’m sure we’ll find enough money for a lot of useful things.”


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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