Ukrainian government announces tightening of repressive language legislation

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According to a report by the Hungarian-language Ukrainian newspaper Kárpáti Igaz Szó, on July 16, a new article of the controversial Ukrainian language law entered into force, which increases the presence of the Ukrainian language in everyday life and confirms the status of the state language. .

“July 16, 2022 will begin a new important stage in the implementation of the provisions of the Language Law, which will strengthen the presence of the Ukrainian language in public life and confirm its status. From today, the second and sixth parts of Article 27 of the Language Law, which regulate the use of the state language on the Internet and the language settings of computer programs installed on the products, will come into effect,” the State Office said. Report of the Languages ​​Commissioner.

In addition, the language ombudsman can now impose fines on officials of state and municipal bodies, managers and employees of companies and institutions, as well as other natural persons who violate the language law. Fines can range from 3,400 to 8,500 hryvnias, and in case of repeated violations, between 8,500 and 11,900 hryvnias (cc. 400 EUR) can be imposed. State commissioner for linguistic protection, Taras Kremin, pointed out that in times of war, failure to respect the linguistic law “plays into the enemy’s hands”.

“Our priority is to create the conditions for language learning and development, to monitor its use and to protect citizens’ rights to information and public services. By strengthening the Ukrainian language, we defend our independence. By communicating in the mother tongue, we are getting closer to Ukrainian victory, the Ombudsman said.

The irony of the law is that those against whom this legislation has been primarily targeted, Russian speakers, are in most cases no longer under the legislative control of the Ukrainian authorities due to the occupation of a large part of the Russian-speaking regions. of the country by Kremlin forces.

Instead, the other two larger national minorities, the Hungarians and the Poles, will bear the brunt of the new law. Currently, minorities in Ukraine are not allowed to use their native language in official use, and there are few exceptions for liturgical, educational, or press use of their languages.

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Featured Image: MTI/Nemes János

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