“Everyone, who is involved in the genocide of the Ukrainian people and continues to commit acts of linguocide against our citizens and the Ukrainian language, who has been to Bucha, Irpin’, Borodianka, and other cities and towns of Ukraine and has the blood of Ukrainians on his hands, must bear the most severe punishment”, Taras Kremin commented for the Pryamiy TV Channel.
"The policy of linguocide is a traditional behavior of russians at present and past epochs. Let's not forget the Ems Ukaz, the Valuev circular, the destroyed Ukrainian intelligentsia, the Holodomor, dissent and nonconformism. All these are components of the criminal policy of linguocide, persecution of people because of language," Taras Kremin noted.
According to him, the crimes, noted by Ukraine and international human rights organizations, are a continuation of the policy that russia began in 2014 with the occupation of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This has been stated repeatedly, in particular, in the materials of the special report and annual reports of the Commissioner.
"Today, citizens of Ukraine are being persecuted because of their language, teachers of Ukrainian language and literature are being abducted, and school principals are being deported in an unknown direction. But at the same time, I want to say that not only people suffer but the infrastructure is destroyed. The whole civilized world suffers from this horde. And I hope that the continuation of the line launched by Estonia, the first to recognize the war in Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people, and supported by other leading parliaments of the world, our reliable allies and partners, will have a logical continuation in the International Criminal Court. Criminals must be severely punished, "Taras Kremin said.
The Commissioner says that today Ukrainians are returning to themselves - they are interested in Ukrainian history, master the Ukrainian language and they are aware of the great risks posed by the occupation by the Russians.
"This is our struggle that is called a return to our roots. We see the growing network of free Ukrainian language courses; we see that the people's program to promote the acquisition of the Ukrainian language has replaced the state. Today, being a citizen of Ukraine is respectable, prestigious and noble. And when people from all over the world rush to Ukraine, let's mention the visit to Uzhhorod of the First Lady of the United States of America Jill Biden or the performance of the leader of the band U2 Bono in the Kyiv metro. These and many other examples demonstrate high love and respect for the Ukrainian nation, "Taras Kremin said.
According to the Commissioner, today it is necessary to create better opportunities for improving university education and to increase the number of Ukrainian languages in general secondary education institutions. Those issues, related to the languages of national minorities and indigenous peoples, should never be politically motivated.
"Everything, that forms the basis of our great nation today, must be fully supported by the state. I am talking about state support and development of the Ukrainian language, culture, and spirituality. And our great love for the native language is one of the important bricks in the humanitarian victory.
I want to believe that Europe will also become Ukrainian speaking in the future. This March we joined the European Federation of National Institutions for Language (EFNIL), and this is one of the big steps in bringing Ukraine closer to the EU. As soon as Ukraine becomes an EU member state, this will mean that Ukrainian will be the official language of the European Community. And this is the opening of Ukrainian centers, Ukrainian studies at the largest universities in Europe and the world, " Taras Kremin said.