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Friday, May 28, 2010

Zatulin’s Man: Make Russian Official or Kiss Ukraine Goodbye

Either my way or the highway.

Vladimir Kornilov, Zatulin’s franchisee in Ukraine, doesn’t mince words.

Kornilov: Of course, sooner or later we'll have to put this reality into law as well. At any rate, sooner or later there will be two official languages in Ukraine, or there will be no state of Ukraine in these borders.

What about the Baltics? Should they have two official languages too?

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Sérgio Meira said...

Considering how much support an official status for Russian can find in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, I'm afraid Kornilov's desire will have a significant amount of political impact. And with Yanukovych as president, it's difficult to see how they could be doing something other than just waiting for the right time to implement the two offical languages.

What is going to happen to Українізація in the Yanukovych (and Kornilov) era?

Taras said...

If Yanukovych made Russian a de jure second official language, it would create at least as much resistance as support.

Besides, Yanukovych would hardly muster the 300 votes needed to amend Ukraine’s already raped but not yet repealed Constitution.

Instead, he wants to make Russian a de facto official language by making it a regional language and widening its use in courts, schools, etc.

He seeks to preserve the legacy of Russification, which suits his base but hardly makes the top of their hierarchy of needs.

lingüista said...

Maybe. I guess it depends on whether or not Yanukovych can become some sort of dictator, perhaps à la Kuchma, perhaps à la Lukashenka (though Lukashenka isn't getting Moscow's smile anymore, maybe they don't want to go this way again...).

Taras said...

In some respects, both Lukashenka and Yanukovych have a love-and-hate relationship with the Kremlin.

Lukashenka has repeatedly upset the Kremlin; the Kremlin, in turn, has recently upset Yanukovych.

Currently, Yanukovych operates in Kuchma Lite mode. He has enough votes to make Russian a de facto official language in eastern Ukraine.

Let’s see if he tries.