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Ukrainian language law allows strict punitive measures and discriminates against Russian-speakers

Summary of Disinformation

The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language”, securing its exclusive rights in comparison with other languages in the country.  According to the document, the Ukrainian language is recognised as the only possible application in almost all areas of the country’s life.

This is a discriminatory law that implies punitive measures.  If it comes into force, it will significantly affect the literacy of the population of Ukraine and greatly impoverish it culturally.

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers.

The Verkhovna Rada passed on April 25 the law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media.

However, the language rights of national minorities have to be in line with the obligations of Ukraine under the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, guaranteed by a separate law, the draft of which the government must develop and submit to the parliament six months after the law on the state language will enter into force.

The usage of Russian language is not limited in private communication and religious ceremonies. Just like the languages ​​of other minorities, Russian can be present in book publishing, the press, television and education and in the service sector.  But the Ukrainian language in these areas is preferred.. the Ukrainian language is positioned as the main language of publishing activity, and circulation in other languages ​​can not exceed the circulation in Ukrainian.

For discrimination of the Ukrainian language, including in favour of Russian, administrative responsibility is given. In the humanitarian sphere - education, science, culture, sports - for violating language policy, there is a fine of 200 to 300 times the non-taxable minimum wage (now it is from 3400-5100 hryvnias). The entry into force is delayed for three years.

Similar disinformation cases are here and here.

For background on the Ukrainian language laws, see here.

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Reported in: Issue 147
Date: 28.04.2019
Language: Russian
Country: Ukraine
Keywords: Russian language
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: RT Russian
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