Viatrovych: The Ukrainian Language is a Cripple with Broken Legs, and can’t Compete with Russian

Volodymyr Viatrovych has an English language wikipedia page, he is the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, and responsible for Ukraine’s Decommunisation and Decolonisation policies. 

The publication Obozrevatel published an interview with Viatrovych, where he said this about the new language law, and Ukraine’s language policy. Let me translate few of his statements:

To support the [Ukrainian] language without defending it is not possible in the current political situation. Not to defend the Ukrainian language would mean condemning it to a competition for which it is not ready. I always bring forth this kind of comparison. When out of all the sportsmen, one has his legs broken, and after that all of them are placed on the starting line, and they are told to compete, to have equal conditions for running. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian language is that sportsman with broken legs…

Viatrovich also thinks that the public, in the South and East in particular, will not rebel against this new language law. He says that he has heard very few protests to his Decommunisation and Decolonisation efforts. He said the removal of Lenin’s statues did not lead to civil war, and he thinks the public will likewise accept this new law and its implementation.

He says the re-Ukrainisation of Ukraine is happening now:

When we talk about re-Ukrainisation, we are talking about returning to Ukraine her Ukrainian facade. This Ukrainian facade, we can view it on several levels. Historical, here were are talking about Decommunisation and Decolonisation. Decolonisation on the level of language, here we talk about the Ukrainian language…

The term “re-Ukrainisation” does not apply well to the territories of the South-East, that is Novorossiya. Historically this territory, and any development on it, was connected to the Russian Empire, which conquered it and established cities there, and the Soviet Union which continued its development.

“Decolonisation and Ukrainisation” much describes the processes that have been happening in this area since 1991. The civilisation, established over there by the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union is dying, and the Russian urban element over there is slowly getting replaced by the Ukrainian rural element. The renaming of cities in the South-East can, in fact, be likened to the renaming of Salisbury to Harare.

One thought on “Viatrovych: The Ukrainian Language is a Cripple with Broken Legs, and can’t Compete with Russian

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