The imperial, dictatorial method, which gained a new scale on February 24, 2022, resumed the work of the terrible machine of russification of the citizens of Ukraine. This was stated by the State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin on Ukrainian Radio.
“The struggle against educated, intelligent Ukrainians, people of will, character and experience is the first thing the russian occupiers are beginning to do on Ukrainian land. We see that this practice has not changed since the days of tsarist’s russia or since the days of the Soviet Union. And today this practice acquires new, assimilative, misanthropic forms - the genocide of the Ukrainian people. When in 2021 we conducted a study on restricting the rights of Ukrainian citizens to receive information and services in the state language in the occupied territories, we realized the huge, irreversible scale of russification of Ukrainian citizens who, due to various circumstances, were forced to find themselves in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. But we could not imagine that starting from February 24 in a short period of time schools will be liquidated, teachers of the Ukrainian language and literature will be assimilated, and Ukrainian libraries will be taken over and destroyed at the newly occupied territories. Today, total russification in the occupied territories has affected all areas without exception," Taras Kremin said.
The Commissioner stressed that the Secretariat of the Commissioner has been collecting all the facts of linguocide in the temporarily occupied territories for further transfer to the international court. In particular, all these facts will also be passed to the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which representatives Taras Kremin met with on June 9.
The term "linguocide" is not legally defined. At the same time, the linguocide, as one of the special and "sophisticated" forms of russification, is mentioned by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in its decision of July 14, 2021, which recognized the constitutionality of the language law. In particular, it says: "Through repressions, "Shooting Revival", famines, the introduction of higher education only in russian, "harmonization of dictionaries" etc., the Ukrainian language has become victim of linguocide, and Ukrainian society has undergone via total russification. The use of russian in everyday life was allowed without restrictions and it was mandatory in official life, while Ukrainian was as limited as possible.
According to the Commissioner, linguocide is one of the key components of genocide.
“Linguocide is to displace the Ukrainian language from all spheres of public life. We focused on five main areas: the sphere of official communication, the educational process, the sphere of culture, the media, and the public space. As for the educational process, in fact, from the first days of the occupation, occupiers’ initiatives have been taken to replace Ukrainian educational legislation with russian, to requalify teachers of Ukrainian language and literature for teachers of russian language and literature. At the same time, the Ukrainian language, literature, and history were removed from the curricula and educational programs. The so-called "educational activities" was carried out with school principals to press them for collaboration. But from what I know from open sources, last week such a meeting took place with all the principals of Kherson schools, and it seems that only two of them agreed to cooperate with the occupation regime. All others refused to engage in educational activities in the occupied territories. People are ready to lose their jobs, but not to cooperate with the occupiers,”Taras Kremin said.