Distraction of reasoning produces monsters
A lot has been said (including The Day’s articles) about legal insignificance of the Law “On Principles of State Language Policy,” thus, there is no reason to repeat it all really. The most important thing is that it goes contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine. The principles of the state language policy can be defined exclusively by it. And if the Constitutional Court was actually defending the Basic Law instead of serving as a political odalisques, no one would be thinking about the lame work of the two “K” (the law was drafted by Serhii Kivalov and Vadym Kolesnichenko). However, one cannot speak of justice under creeping authoritarianism.
This, in fact, is the main problem – the creeping authoritarianism. If the majority in the parliament and the president would follow the laws and considered numerous expert opinions (Venice Commission, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Culture, Scientific Expert Directory of the Verkhovna Rada, specialized institutes of the Academy of Sciences, etc.) they would not have taken this adventurous path. However, the upcoming elections and the fear of losing power have pushed the President’s Administration and the deputies, who serve it to begin playing risky games. Paradoxically, as it may sound, the president signed the law that destroys Ukrainian statehood. The head of the state defied Constitution, despite the fact that he swore to follow it.
Processes instigated by the Law “On Principles of the State Language Policy” are dangerous due to the fact that they tore Ukraine apart, provoking conflicts over language and ethnicity. The course of events has showed that in oblasts and cities where “parade” of regional languages is in full swing officials believe that regional language is introduced to replace the official state language. Ukrainian language is being rapidly forced out from educational sphere (even though before Ukrainian was not as widely used there anyway), mass media, courts, and official records. There have formed zones that are completely free of Ukrainian, which for millions of Ukrainian citizens becomes hopelessly foreign. Along with this, as it was easily predicted, all the promises the government made to protect the languages of other minority groups were empty. Great internationalist Mykhailo Chechetov: “The most important here is Russian language,” and not “the languages used by some small groups of people.” Thus, all of these Bulgarians, Crimean Tatars, Poles, and Hungarians should not “stir up ethnic strife,” demanding status of a regional language for their languages.
Russification of Ukraine is deployed in full swing. Regions and ethnic groups face a conflict. Ukrainian language, which in the status of the state official language was supposed to serve the unifying role, is driven into ghetto. And all of this is called “Principles of the State Language Policy.” All promises made by Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov regarding the state programs to support the Ukrainian language are worthy of a donut hole, because what such program can offer when legislature has opened floodgates of Russification to the maximum. When the president signed this unconstitutional law and immediately ordered to establish a working group that would suggest the ways of improving it, did it look like an attempt to put on pants over your head? The working group, of course, drafted a project of alternations, and quite radical ones, but it is hard to say what will happen to this document next. It is obvious that everything will depend on the results of the parliamentary elections.
Thus, the implementation of the Law “On Principles of the State Language Policy” in the 21st year of Ukraine’s independence put the issue of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the future existence of Ukraine as a state on the agenda. And given the fact that the hundreds of thousands of billboards from Uzhhorod to Luhansk urge us to get to federalization of Ukraine, I get an impression that the language “experiments” are only a part of a larger scenario of state liquidation caused by both external and internal factors. What do people in special services financed from Ukraine’s budget think about it all? There is no way I may know the answer to this. It seems that, as in the Soviet times, they are more fond of fighting “Ukrainian nationalism” than of defending territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state.
So what’s next? I am convinced that the Law “On Principles of the State Language Policy” should be disavowed and this should be done by the president. He has a great variety of means for doing this (just remember the story of red flags). However, Yanukovych apparently believes that he will manage to balance it all: the law of two “K”s will remain in force (maybe with some minor changes) and the “bone” in the form of a state program to support the Ukrainian language will calm down the rest of Ukraine. There is no way this can happen!
Civic resistance to the policy of Russification of Ukraine that deprives us of the historical perspective will inevitably grow despite the current weakness of the political opposition and servility in the intellectual environment. Sooner or later this will lead to logical results: government, feudal in its nature, which acts with arrogance of an invader will inevitably go into oblivion. We should only help them do it. We have a maximum of two and a half years for this.