Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

Hundreds of Ukrainians rally against Russian language bill

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 5 July 2012
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Hundreds of Ukrainians rally against Russian language bill, 5 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50002527c.html [accessed 12 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

July 05, 2012

Opposition supporters and other opponents of a bill upgrading the status of the Russian language in Ukraine were rallying in Kyiv and other major cities on July 5 to protest the bill's apparent approval.

The majority Party of Regions rushed the bill through parliament two days earlier, sparking scuffles among lawmakers and between protesters and police.

Opposition figures have claimed the vote was conducted improperly and is therefore void.

Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has tendered his resignation in protest at the bill's passage, which would allow the use of Russian in courts, education, and other government institutions in Russian-speaking regions.

The bill must be signed by the speaker of parliament as well as President Viktor Yanukovych, the head of the Party of Regions, to become law.

There were hundreds of protesters in the capital, Kyiv, but smaller numbers at demonstrations against the bill in cities like Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk, according to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.

Language is a sensitive subject in Ukraine, whose state language is Ukrainian but where a significant number of people speak Russian as their mother tongue.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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