Donetsk, May 16 – DAN. Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko has completed the process of total ukrainisation of all spheres of life in the country by signing the law On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language, member of the Donetsk People’s Republic parliament committee on education, science and culture Miroslav Rudenko told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.
“The language law enacted by (Petr) Poroshenko on May 15 completes the process of total ukrainisation of all spheres of public life in Ukraine,” Rudenko said. The law envisions particularly harsh measures with respect to the Russian language, but the measures applicable to national minorities’ languages are not much milder.
The Ukrainian language is now obligatory at pre-school, school, out-of-school education facilities and universities; parallel training in the language of national minorities is possible at kindergartens and junior school. Cultural and public events will only be held in Ukrainian and the English language can be used for such events as round table discussions or conferences, he said.
“Non-compliance will the law will be punished by stiff fines. For example, if a person speaking Ukrainian at an official event lapses into another language, they might be fined up to 6,800 hryvnas. The provision on mandatory proficiency in Ukrainian required of Ukrainian parliamentarians was taken out of the text of the law in last minute adjustments. “It is not surprising because laws in Ukraine are for the people, not for the authorities,” Rudenko said.
On April 25, Ukraine’s Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) passed the law on On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language which gives it exclusive rights compared with other languages spoken in the country. Poroshenko signed it into law on May 15. The document provides for the use of Ukrainian in all spheres of life. “Language inspectors” will monitor compliance with the law. They can attend sessions at any state bodies, demand documents from social organisations and political parties and decide on the amount of fines.*jk