Official role for Russian splits Ukraine

Oct. 17, 2010 at 2:16 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Ukraine's opposition leader vowed Sunday to resist giving the Russian language official status.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko said her BYuT faction "will do everything we can to defend Ukraine against the introduction of Russia as a second state language," RIA Novosti reported.

Under proposed legislation, Ukrainian would remain the only state language, but restrictions would be lifted on the use of other languages spoken in the country, including Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian, granting them official regional status.

Many of the country's top politicians, including Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, cannot speak Ukrainian, and President Viktor Yanukovych is himself a novice speaker.

Russian is still used in much of the republic, especially in the east, the Crimea and the capital Kiev, and there is a strong movement to protect the rights of Russian speakers, the report said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
American Apparel files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
At least 5 dead in South Carolina's '1,000-year' rain
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz joins race for Speaker of the House
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists