Tabir - language bill

President Yanukovych today signed the language bill - in spite of acknowledging yesterday that the law was both divisive and flawed, and promising a raft of amendments to remove any threat to the Ukrainian language. The new law will allow Russian to be an official 'regional' language in 13 of Ukraine's administrative regions and in the capital, Kyiv, itself. To read more about the full implications of the new law, click here (Ukrainian) and here (English).

The President of AUGB, Zenko Lastowiecki, who is visiting the Ukrainian Youth Association's summer camp at Tarasivka, held a meeting with the young people who are attending to explain what has happened and its implications. The reaction was one of disbelief that a President of Ukraine could act against the interests of the national language and national unity that thousands have died to preserve and defend, and outrage that he has signed it, knowing that it is deeply flawed. There was also little belief in the President's promise to amend the bill and fully protect the Ukrainian language.

Here is just some of what the young people said:

"Saddened and horrified by what has happened"

"Yanukovych is a disgrace. Our language and nation deserve better"

"Українська мова вмирає під владою Януковича. Встид і ганьба!"

"This is a cynical attempt to win votes. While we cannot reverse this decision now, we must urge the opposition in Ukraine to unite and stop Yanukovych for the sake of this great nation's future."

The members of the Ukrainian Youth Association pledged to support those in Ukraine who will be fighting for the Ukrainian language and to use their social media to make their views heard. For a fuller report, see the next issue of Ukrayinska Dumka.

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