Saturday 25 May 2019

Fears language law will fuel Russian anger

The Ukrainian language must be spoken in official settings in Ukraine, according to a new law that some fear will antagonise the country's significant minority of Russian speakers. Stock photo
The Ukrainian language must be spoken in official settings in Ukraine, according to a new law that some fear will antagonise the country's significant minority of Russian speakers. Stock photo

Alex Luhn

The Ukrainian language must be spoken in official settings in Ukraine, according to a new law that some fear will antagonise the country's significant minority of Russian speakers.

Language has been a contentious topic since Moscow-backed separatists in two largely Russian-speaking regions began fighting government forces in 2014.

Ukraine's parliament passed the language law in a vote of 278 to 38, despite criticism from activists and politicians including Volodymyr Zelensky, the president-elect. Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent president, said he would sign the legislation into law.

The law stipulates that people acting in most official capacities speak in Ukrainian, including state employees working in health, education and public transport. The law also set quotas that 90pc of new films and television must be in Ukrainian. Other languages may be spoken in private and at religious services.

Telegraph.co.uk

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