Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ukraine’s Language Wars Are Starting. Real Wars To Follow

Thomas De Waal, Carnegie Europe: New Fighting in Ukraine’s Language War

If Kyiv draws new battle lines in the country’s language war, Moscow is ready to restart its side of this conflict.

"I have no desire to become a soldier in this war of words,” Ukraine’s best-known novelist Andrei Kurkov wrote in 2012. He was reacting to the furor over a law instituted by former president Viktor Yanukovych that elevated Russian to the status of a regional language in Ukraine.

Kurkov writes mainly in Russian but was a supporter of the Maidan protests of 2013 that overthrow Yanukovych and turned Ukraine towards Europe. His was a plea to keep language politics out of the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.

Unfortunately that plea is unheard and Ukraine’s language wars are restarting. A bill requiring 75 percent of national television broadcasts to be in Ukrainian has just been passed by the Rada. It follows a very unpopular move by President Poroshenko to ban Russian-language social media websites, such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In the eastern part of Ukraine .... Russian is the dominant language .... and it has been the case for centuries. But the Ukraine government has now gone all out to restrict and ban Russian, starting with President Poroshenko banning Russian-language social media websites, such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. But this pales when compared to Kiev's restrictions on the use of the Russian language in the school systems. This alone has created an enormous amount of ill-will and resentment .... adding only more fuel to the separatist cause. If all of these additional anti-Russian measures are passed into law by the Ukraine government .... which I predict they will .... Russia will not have to restart its side of this conflict .... the Ukrainian-Russians will be doing it themselves.

Update: Ukraine and Russia have started a Twitter war .... Ukraine-Russia Twitter spat over origin of queen escalates to meme warfare (ABC News Online).


Anonymous said...

So, if Ukrainian is spoken in parts of Russia and the Russians only teach Russian in those schools, Ukraine and its allies would have the moral and legal right to liberate their kin who speak Ukrainian? After all, the Russians asked for it.

Given that logic, France should invade Ontario to liberate you and your neighbors. Or, the U.S. should invade Quebec to save Ontario et al.

It it pure rationalization for an imperialist move. Call it what it is and don't purvey tripe that there is any justice behind such barbaric acts.

"Sebastian" said...

No, it wouldnt be right, just like Russias war in Ukraine.

Jay Farquharson said...

Canada's bilingual, Anonamous.

French and English are official languages, and services in french, even ordering poutine in a Wendy's in Fort Mac, are available across Canada.

Many english speaking Canadian's enrole their kids in French Immersion schools, so that they will learn French at a fundimental level and be fully bilingual.

It was Ukrainian supremacists first attempts to ban Russian language and culture, ( technically, it's Russo-Ukrainian, not Russian), that started the anti-maiden, and was the trigger for Russia to seize Crimea.

Only after the start of anti-Maiden, the Russian seizure of Crimea, the Odessa murders, and the start of the ATO, did Ukrainian Legislators vote down the proposed anti-Russo-Ukrainian laws in the Rada. By then, it was too little, to late, blood had already been spilled.

War News Updates Editor said...

Just for your info Jay.

I asked my french Quebec friends who served under Harper .... and now those who serve under Trudeau .... if Canada passed a law that would prohibit french in the schools and restricted the french language in Quebec ..... what would happen?

To a tee .... all of them believe that within a year Quebecers would be fighting for their independence.

Jay .... You know where this going.

So I tell them that the same thing is happening in Ukraine .... so how can they (the Canadian government) support policies that would be completely unacceptable for them here.

I have yet to get a straight answer.

Anonymous said...

Ed: What crap. A straw man with no teeth. Quebec fighting with arms for their freedom? Ottawa could just cut Quebec off from its English support and it would wither and die.

If you are using the Fighting Quebecers as justification for Russian speaking Ukrainians to butcher their neighbors with the help of the Little Green Men, then you really do miss the good old days of Soviet butchery.

Quebec has it good. French North American culture with English financial subsidies. They voted against succession multiple times. Quebecers with AK-47s is just not in the cards despite your friends drunken assertions.

I will call Trudeau and have him get right back to you guys with your answer.

War News Updates Editor said...

I worked at ICAO in Montreal staring in 1989. I have been in this province before 1989 because of my parents .... but I have lived here permanently for over 25 years. One of my business partners use to be in the FLQ. I speak french, and I work mainly with French Quebecers. If you think that if the Canadian government did the same thing that the Ukraine is doing now that French Quebec would sit passively by .... OMG!!!! You have no clue what Quebec is all about.
For your info .... in the last referendum .... Quebecers voted 49.42% for sovereignty.

Jay Farquharson said...

You won't get a straight answer,

I listened last night to Carol Oft interviewing the US Military spokesmen in Iraq about civillian casualties,

15 minutes of weasel words, meaningless boilerplate and evasions,

Ending with a polite "thanks" from both sides,

But I don't think the spokesman will be accepting any more calls from the CBC.

The Canadian policy on the Ukraine, is to support the US Policy. That's it. Blind following as many of NATO's Members policies have been for decades.

That's one of the few good things that will come out of Trump's destruction of the US Alliances, political, economic and military.

For Canadian politics, there is no "win" to nuance on the Ukraine, you just wind up pissing off the:

-the Ukrainian nationalists,
-the Russophobes

And for what?

Jay Farquharson said...


You probably couldn't find Quebec on a map, Anon, and you certainly have zero clue about Quebec's relationship and history with the rest of Canada and vice versa.

Probability never even heard of The October Crisis.

Anonymous said...

Ed: You do not get false equivalencies. You made a false equivalency. False equivalencies are a form of mental...well you get the idea.

You use false equivalencies to set up ridiculous comparisons that are without rational merit.

Assuming that your comedy club scenario came into existence, you would first need to have a central government that would turn back decades of policy and practice. Then you would need a suicidal government run by a Brit to get it past Canada's vibrant multi-cultural government. Then you would need the Russians to smuggle in sufficient weapons to run a revolution. Then you would need to find a way for the U.S. to think that a Russian backed revolution is O.K. in its backyard (the U.S. has had plans since the 1930s to invade Canada in case of such eventualities). Then you would need to stock away enough food, fuel, and arms (think U.S. naval embargo off the coasts of Free Quebec). Then you would need to get enough suicidal Fighting Quebecers to fight against the central governments of Canada and the U.S. Then you will need to fight during the summer, make it a quick campaign, because by winter a lot of your population would be in real trouble.

In other words, your false equivalency is total crap. Intellectual fantasy.

Until you get enough votes to allow Quebec to be free from the Brits then you stay Canadian. It is called Democracy. There are enough smart Quebecers to understand the suicidal nature of Free Quebec. If you are prepared to pull the pin, then your biggest new government agency would be Poverty Quebec. You use unidimensional constructs and do not think of the impacts to the general population. Sort of like the original Soviet fantasy liberation and the grinding poverty, deaths, and sorrow of your Russian forebears.

P.S. I have been in and out of Quebec since 1967. You live on Fantasy Island.

War News Updates Editor said...

There definitely is no "win" in Canada to nuance on Ukraine.
But I do have fun pointing out the contradictions to our politicians and their support for foreign policies that they would never support on the home front.

War News Updates Editor said...

Your reality does not come close to what I know about and deal with Quebec everyday.
And wow .... you visited Expo 1967. So did I as a kid when my dad was in the foreign office. That Montreal is gone .... because of .... October crisis, Bill 22, Rene Levesque, Bill 101, massive English migration out of the province, and nothing but economic stagnation for the past two decades.
I know independence is a prescription for disaster .... but if Quebecers are given a choice between economics or culture .... they would choose culture all the time .... something that I know most Canadians (including you) have trouble to understand.

Ukrainian-Russians were put in position to make that choice. And as Jay has accurately pointed out .... when Kiev realized their mistake .... it was too late.

Jay Farquharson said...

When talking to politicians, I much prefer maneuver them into admitting their venality.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...forgot to mention that the Fighting Quebecers will need to find a new source of food since the fish stocks have dried up and the province is way up north. Nice going. For goodness sake, when the U.S. dollar spiked in recent years Canadians could barely afford fresh veggies...and these are good times. War, embargoes, cut off rail, sea, and road access to sources of critical supplies...will your War of Cultural Liberation start to use sled dog teams to smuggle in cauliflower and crème fraîche?

Fantasy right wingers and their liberation theology bring little but despair to those who are unfortunate enough to live out their dreams in their parents basement playing war games.

This person who knows nothing of Quebec or where it is has worked with René Lévesque's government. Have you?

Free Quebec!

P.S. send insulated CARE packages.

Jay Farquharson said...

A), Anon isn't Canadian, at best a one time resident of New York, Maine or Vermont, but he's Anon, so he could just be a google equippted troll in Saint Petersburg.

B) Kiev hasn't realized their mistake at all, as they continue policies that are driving the DPR and LPR away, and may wind up costing them far more territories as well.

Anonymous said...

Given the Editors and others concern, have you signed up to fight for the language liberation of Eastern Ukraine? Have others in Quebec signed up to fight as well? Like the volunteers during the Spanish Civil War? If you hurry you can get that military training you need to throw off the yoke of British rule!

Then again, you might miss out on those great spring strawberries coming from off the St. Lawrence area farms.

yeah....done that too

Jay Farquharson said...


Way up north,


Jay Farquharson said...


Definately troll,


Anonymous said...

JF: If I remember correctly you are a contractor. Many of your posts are incomprehensible scree. At least mine are understandable, even to you.

The troll accusation is interesting. It usually comes after a person runs out of sufficient invective to evaluate the facts as stated. So, no, not a troll. Just somebody with more education, experience, and facts than you can muster beneath your false bravado of LMFAO.

No, not Canadian. Proud to be an American.

So, put your die hard batteries and lug wrench away, learn how to form an argument with facts, and deal with the fact that your world view is mostly informed with gas and vituperation.

The fresh air and knowledge will be a revelation.

Anonymous said...

JF: Just to feed your paranoia...we trolls are watching you.

BTW...check a map of Canada if you have will find that most of the world finds that all of Canada is up North.

P.S. Please let us know about your experiences in Quebec...we need it for our files.

War News Updates Editor said...

You are right about the Ukraine government not learning their lesson .... they are just doubling down. That's my next post.

Your views of Quebec are most amusing.

Jay Farquharson said...

LMFAO, troll,

Probably an American troll,

The "tell" is in the attack,

You can't defend the Ukrainian Nationalist's anti-minority policies, on any grounds,

But have chosen for some strange reason that Team Ukraine is your team.

So you attack, in a completely stupid way.

It's hilarious to watch, it was a blast in the election, because of it's sheer idiocy.

I once watched a Center/Right, Far Right cat fight in a political thread go on for 3 days of viciousness over a chunk of platform.

I asked the two catfighters, in their own words, to explain in detail the proposed policy and it's potential impacts, with out links or cribbing some one elses notes, and that simple question caused both catfighters to R U N N O F T,

If you can't accept the reality that the proposed Russian language laws, are an Own Goal Score for Team Ukraine, or that trading Rookie of the Year Alexandriov for the washed out and never lived up to his publicity, Shaskavilli, how's your Team gonna get any better?


BTW, if you actually are a 'Murkin, you have so many problems in the American League, that it really makes me wonder why you are so focused on a pathetic, always losing, Minor League team, in a backwater league in Ukraine?

Anonymous said...

ED: Most amusing...when people lose their argument they often use such off the cuff dismissals.

However, please note that your security services likely monitor your posts and will find your international contacts with other governments, at the highest levels, most amusing. Don't forget your admissions of high level contacts and sympathy for those who would take up arms against the central Canadian government.

I find them amusing as well since you spend all day and night working this blog between your high level government meetings.

I hate to use it but here it goes...LMFAO.

When you have to rely on Jay for validation one knows that you are truly reaching low.

BTW..."The Girlfriend" thing is highly offensive to all women. Can't expect a former/current Russian to know such things.

Jay Farquharson said...

The Ukrainian Nationalists have created their own problems,

I've posted several times so far, an audiofile of the CBC's Idea's show, called "History Derailed".

While the author interviewed is talking about Egypt, Syria and Lybia, it's well worth listening to it with the US Election and it's aftermath, or Brexit on the mind.

Jay Farquharson said...


Breathlessly awaiting your imminent screed defending the Ukrainian Government's proposed Russian Language laws,


Anonymous said...

JF: So according to your logic, every time a country offends it citizens a bordering country can encourage revolution or invade the other country, kills its people and destroy its infrastructure?

Nice going. You just gave the lower 48 a reason to invade Canada. Logic is a killer when you get it wrong.

War News Updates Editor said...

I do not now who you are .... but I know what you are.
I feel sorry for you.

I guess you mean this.

Anonymous said...

JF: You just do not get it. I will neither defend nor attack the Ukrainians. I will however let you know that I support rule of law, borders, and peaceful means to work out problems.

What I will attack is your ability to rationalize and normalize the murder of innocents.

If you are breathless, you should see a doctor.

If you cannot get in to see one in Canada, there are many fine doctors SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Yours in health...the watchers

Best of luck with your health.

Jay Farquharson said...

Yup, everybody should listen to it, not just for understandings about Lybia, Syria and Egypt, but with Brexit, the Ukraine, the US, on the mind,

While telling the tale of how those places got where they are, through personal stories and experiences, it also foreshadows where we are heading in many places in the west.

Jay Farquharson said...

LMFAO, and the troll, trolls, with a troll tactic as old as the hills,

Anonymous said...

ED: Anon
I do not now who you are .... but I know what you are.
I feel sorry for you.

Nah...don't feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for yourself. A pumped up oligarch wannabe that gets his importance by relying on guys like Jay to validate his existence and supports the murder of innocents over language gripes is sad. It is guys like you that made Russia what it is today, and yesterday, and during the last century. I have met innumerable guys like you over in Russia. That is why the women do all the real work.

So, bloviate away. I enjoy watching you make a factual fool of yourself.

Hope that your bromance with Jay works out.

Yours in solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Jay: I am sure that when you pass there will be one or two people standing over your grave noting all the blog posts you left as your legacy. The stone will have engraved on it LMFAO. That is your legacy.

Gas bags like you find ways to dismiss reality and real scholarship. With your help we will reach back into a bloody past, the good old days.

Hope that Sears in Canada does not close. It would break your heart.

War News Updates Editor said...

Darn. English is not my first language.
I used the wrong word.
Not "sorry".