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And at continuation of this series about languages imposition and democracy
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In the autonomous regions of Spain there is language dispute and language imposition. You want to have some facts about languages? This series provides information and consists of 6 parts:

1. South Africa: Bloody insurrection against language imposition click, to read part 1
2. Catalonia: language imposition and the division of a nation click, to read part 2
3. Language imposition, falsification of history and indoctrination click, to read part 3
4. Language impositions in the Ukraine
5. Ways out of language conflicts - What is Language?
6. Language protection - does this work in France?

Language imposition and democracy
Part 4 Language impositions in the Ukraine

The Ukraine saw many rulers in the last decades who wanted to assert their claims also by means of a language imposition. For example, the polonization of the Ukainian upper class was replaced by russification in the second half of the 19th century, accompanied by a ban on printing Ukrainian books. „Some authors attribute the fact that the Ukrainian language survived against russification tendencies to Austrian nationality politics, which sought to counteract polonization tendencies by promoting Ukrainian.“[1] In 1876 the Czar banned the Ukrainian language in public and the term „Little Russian“ was to replace the term „Little Polish“, the term „Ukrainer“ seemed to no longer exist and the fact that Ukrainians fought under one rule (e.g. Austro-Hungarian) against Ukrainians under another rule (Russian) was not a one-off event. After the First World War, Ukraine was divided between Poland and the USSR.

Stalin, although Georgian, was known throughout the Soviet Union for his very repressive russification, and with his death there were certain relaxations such as the recognition of regional languages as second official languages.

Various surveys after the end of the USSR revealed different results regarding the proportion of those who indicated Ukrainian as their mother tongue. But the overwhelming majority has always indicated that they speak both Ukrainian and Russian well. „The majority of Ukrainians do not see the language problem as important: in 2001 only 7% thought that it had to be solved immediately and even 10 years later 70% did not notice it at all.[2]“[2]

The relative proximity of Russian and Ukrainian has even produced a mixed language called Surzhyk.

In 1996, Ukraine adopted a constitution that defines Ukrainian as the official language of Ukraine. It states: „The State shall ensure the full development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all areas of social life throughout the territory of Ukraine“ and that „In Ukraine the free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine shall be ensured“. [3] Details should be regulated in a law, but this did not happen because judgments of the Supreme Court did not confirm the laws passed. In the following years there was a lot of back and forth in these decisions and until the civil war there was no decision.

With the civil war in Ukraine, the People's Republic of Lugansk and Donetsk separated in the east. These republics are regarded as essentially oriented towards Russia and are also supported by Russia. Thus, in practice there is a Ukraine „reduced“ by the East, governed from Kiev, oriented towards the West and supported by the USA and the EU.

„Western“ Ukraine / Kiev Republic

The attempt to create a Ukrainian national feeling after the collapse of the Soviet Union has led to the fact that several Ukrainian governments wanted to enforce Ukrainian as the only official language in various forms again and again, also in order to repress or ban Russian. There have been and continue to be protests against this.

The penultimate government under the oligarch Porochenko with the participation of fascist organizations had intensified the nationalist course and thus also the attempts to extend the imposition of one language only. Some publications therefore report some serious problems for the Russian-speaking sections of the population in the Kiev Republic: „Ukraine completely removed Russian from high school“ [4] And in one case [5] the ban on the Russian language in Ukraine is even called Nazism. The pictures of young people, published by these newspapers, whose mouths are closed by plasters in Ukrainian colors, say more than 1000 words.

The recently (2019) elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj has declared that he is striving for a policy of reconciliation with the East. It remains to be seen how this will develop and, understandably, language policy does not have the highest priority.

People's republic of Lugansk and of Donetsk

These two republics were formed on the soil of Ukraine as a result of the 2014 civil war and the population there is predominantly Russian-speaking. Therefore, no discrimination against Russian can be expected in these two republics.

A look at the constitutions of both republics reveals in Article 10: „The official languages of the People's Republic of Luhansk are Russian and Ukrainian“ and „The official languages of the People's Republic of Donetsk are Russian and Ukrainian“.[6]

The question remains whether, despite these good-sounding constitutions, the speakers of Ukrainian have to fear any discrimination. Marco Leo Samm, author and son of a multi-ethnic Baltic family, tells of his recent trip to Lugansk: „The Ukrainian language is also present in the two republics, but of course Russian is the language most people use. In the Luhansk Republic the Ukrainian language is also taught and used in schools and other educational institutions as well as in cultural fields. In the Donetsk Republic, Ukrainian is no longer taught and used in schools, but in normal as well as in cultural life there are no restrictions.“[7]
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Language impositions in the Ukraine

[1] Klaus von Beyme, Die Russlandkontroverse, Seite 84 ff
[2] Tadeusz A. Olszański: The language issue in Ukrainean attempt at a new Perspective - Seite 23
[3] ibid. page 44
[6] Lugansk:
[7] notes from a personal email

Myths and deceptions of Catalan nationalism

Peredo Alvaro discovered on his homepage "piratas&emperadores" the myths and impostures of Catalan nationalism.

Here you'll find the translation

The strategy of recatalanization

1980 the Spanish journal "El Periodico" published a secret document about the strategy of the Catalan government. It shows in a frightening way the actual spiritual world of the separatist leaders.

Now it is available in english translation.

the separatist's imperial claim

The Catalan government exports the conflict into communities with Catalan population, supporting all efforts of the separatists including financial means to destroy Spain.
An important tool is the establishment of a language dictatorship that is not afraid to use the same means as Franco.

Separatist indoctrination

In 2017, the teachers' union AMES published a study on school textbooks, as they appeared in Spain and in Catalonia on the same topic. In this study the indoctrination becomes clear, as it describes how Separatists operate. It is now translated into English

Click here to read the study


The title says: "Catalonia, a conflict is exported. Insights of a migrant"
Sorry, up to now, this book is only available in German. However, drop us a line, if you are interested to learn more Contact.