Today, October 13, at the International Conference of the European Federation of Language Institutions (EFNIL) "Language and Migration", the State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin presented a report “Russian policy of linguocide in the occupied territories of Ukraine as a way of dismantling the constitutional order of Ukraine and an element of genocide against the Ukrainian people”.
“When on February 24, 2022, the russian invaders violated the state borders of Ukraine, it was the language border that clearly pointed to the enemy and reminded that the Ukrainian language was a fundamental element of Ukrainian identity, national unity, and national security”, Taras Kremin stated.
The Commissioner emphasized that the so-called "language factor" became the basis for russian military aggression and mass murders of Ukrainians: "The kremlin used the artificial slogan "protection of russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine" to justify the occupation of part of the territories of Ukraine."
Taras Kremin reminded that the unification of Ukrainians lasted for more than one century. First, the russian empire and later the Soviet government purposefully and systematically pursued a policy of linguocide - the Ukrainian language was banned and suppressed.
Pro-russian political forces continued to use the "language" issue even after Ukraine gained independence. It is worth saying that Ukrainian was delayed until the adoption of the Law on the State Language in 2019, which finally introduced effective legal and institutional mechanisms to ensure the state status of the Ukrainian language. And today, the support of Ukrainian as a single state is unprecedented in all the years of Ukraine's independence," Taras Kremin said.
Presenting his report, the Commissioner noted that the tactic that russia actively uses on the language front is the spread of disinformation (information terrorism). Among the most circulated fakes of russian propaganda, Taras Kremin called the "split in Ukraine based on language" which led to "civil conflict": "False messages spread by the russian media about the "oppression of the russian-speaking population" or "forced Ukrainization" are directed to justify the war of aggression against Ukraine in the eyes of their own citizens ", - the Commissioner emphasized.
Taras Kremin informed the European partners that with the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Secretariat of the Commissioner has been conducting systematic work to record the facts of linguocide for their further transmission to law enforcement agencies and human rights organizations. "On the occupied territories, the Ukrainian language is being displaced from all spheres of public life. We have already recorded more than 200 facts of linguocide of the Ukrainian language. Discrimination, persecution and repression against Ukrainian citizens based on the language are among the components of putin's policy of genocide of the Ukrainian people," Taras Kremin underlined.
The Commissioner thanked his European colleagues for their support and called for further pressure in the issue of imposing sanctions on the terrorist country.
"We continue our struggle and we hold the language front!" - Taras Kremin stressed.
Let’s remind that on March 21, 2022, at an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the European Federation of National Language Institutions, a decision to grant Ukraine the status of an associate member of EFNIL was unanimously made.