10 years of prison for bilingualism in Ukraine
The voted in the Ukrainian parliament law on official language (nr.5670) significantly impacts the state policy in use of the Ukrainian, according to the authors ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language. It also proposed to fine officials, deputies, and other officials if they decline speaking the state language at work place. But the introduction of this responsibility has been postpone for three years.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the law (nr.5670 leads to fines, and there is an annex, directly indicating that attempts to introduce bilingualism or multilingualism, or grant official status to any other language in the whole country or in a particular region, is considered to be an overthrowing the constitutional order. This crime is punished for long sentences, amounting to 10 years in prison in accordance with section 109 of the Criminal Code.
All citizens of Ukraine and all officials at workplace, including the president, the chairman of parliament and his deputies, the prime minister and deputy prime ministers, the heads of all ministries and public institutions, deputies, civil servants, officials of local authorities, judges and lawyers, teachers and health workers, – all state offices are obliged to speak Ukrainian language exclusively. There are a few exceptions made to speak another language if the decision is consensual.
“It is a law on forced, in fact, total Ukrainization. Its provisions provide for significant restrictions, and in many cases, direct bans on the use of the Russian language and minority languages in various spheres of public life” spokesperson of Russian Foreign Ministry Maria #Zakharova wrote in her Twitter micro blog.
As recorded in the 2001 census, the minority groups in Ukraine include Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Tatars, Bulgarians, Poles, Jews, Romanians, Armenians, Hungarians, Greeks, Roma, and other nationalities. While a subsequent census was supposed to be conducted in 2011, it has been repeatedly postponed and is now scheduled to take place in 2020.