The language side of Ukrainian patriotism
The Orange Revolution, which was the official title for several Western agencies buying the presidency of Viktor Yuschenko, has been in death throes since the Ukrainian public voted current president Viktor Yanukovych into power. Ever since Orange leaders like Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now serving a sentence for abuse of power, have been using personal funds, and the funds of western governments to try to bribe, or coerce Ukrainians into supporting their ends. The most recent example of this is the politicization of the Ukrainian language, and the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.
Firstly it is important to note that 40% of Ukrainians either do not speak the Ukrainian language, or speak and understand it poorly. In regions like Crimea Ukrainian comes in a distant third place among spoken languages. Yet the same organizations that suggest America should make the minority language an official language, due to their anti Russian stance, insist that the Ukrainian government should turn a blind eye to 40% of the population. Thanks to Orange leaders 40% of Ukrainians need translators to understand court documents and any program in Russian is subtitled in Ukrainian.
Even while legislation fairly passed the legislative branch of Ukrainian government, a very undemocratic refusal to sign the legislation keeps these laws in tact. Even while the popular opinion in Ukraine is that it should already be law, and the president is anxious to pass such legislation it remains in limbo as the head of the Ukrainian legislative branch refuses to sign it. While this has convinced most protestors to leave squares in Kiev, it hasn't changed things in West Ukraine where the west spends the most money trying to convince Ukrainians to joing their downward moral and economic spiral.
In L'vov Ukraine public funds and buildings are being used to prop up the 'One Language One Country' movement. The publicly owned opera house, and historic Rada feature massive signs in favor of the movement. As if the blatantly racist actions suggesting that the current president is not Ukrainian and should 'go home' which were conducted last week were not enough, this week tents, presumably to convince people that there are actually supporters of this movement surround a statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko; loudspeakers mix his poems with speeches criticizing the Orthodox Church, and suggesting that Ukrainian is the original Slavic language (A claim that is laughably untenable as science has long known that Bulgarian is the closest modern Slavic language to Slavonic, which is the precursor to all modern Slavic languages including Polish.)
Just as in the west proper the elite use money to buy their away around democracy they today are using money to try to convince Ukrainians that respecting the needs of 40% of the populations is the patriotic thing to do. Many western Ukrainians who generally support good relations with Russia are falling victim to this game. Fears of Ukrainian dying out as students refuse to learn Ukrainian abound even as most big business companies insist that candidates speak Russian and English as outside Ukraine candidates provide little value.
Legislating that only Ukrainian be used in legal documents is bad for Ukrainian as well as the Ukrainian language. It does nothing to encourage foreign business to embrace Ukraine, it does nothing to convince young Ukrainian to embrace the language as they strive to learn foreign languages and leave 'backward' Ukraine. The only thing it manages is the western goal of trying to split up the historical, and cultural ties between Ukraine and Russia to meet their international agenda. Ukrainian patriots should recognize this for what it is; a cheap insult against their country and the concept of a democratic Ukraine so the west can steal Ukrainian resources to makeup for the incompetent western economy.
George Green has written for Technology, Financial, and Libertarian Publications since 1997 and currently lives near Lvov Ukraine.