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The destruction of the Russian language in Belarus public spaces is a state policy

Summary of Disinformation

The Belarusian authorities are destroying the remainders of the Russian toponyms. The destruction of the Russian language in the public space is a determined state policy. In the Minsk, where most people are Russian speaking, almost no signs in Russian are left; names of state institutions are exchanged from Russian to Belarusian ones. This is happening within another wave of “Belarusianisation” or “de-russification”, which was sanctioned by the Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko.





The Belarusian constitution provides equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian (Article 17). This implies an equal right to use either of the languages in public spaces. In practice, however, the majority of official correspondence, state media and education, as well as the toponyms in Belarus are still done in Russian.

Belarus' biggest airport – Minsk International – has three languages on its direction plates and screens since 2017 – Russian, English and Chinese, but no Belarusian.

No “Belarusianisation” or “de-russification” has been sanctioned by the Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko. During “The Big talk with the Belarusian president” on 1 March 2019, Lukashenka stressed that “the Russian language is ours”.

Previous disinfo cases can be seen here and here.



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Reported in: Issue 140
Date: 19.02.2019
Language: Belarus
Country: Belarus
Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russian language, Alexander Lukashenko
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: IA Regnum
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