jgreen at communistvoice.org
Sun Nov 30 22:09:14 MST 2014
Roger Annis wrote:
> Ukraine´s constitution does not recognize
> a Tatar nationality.
Oh really? Only in a one-sided reading. In reality, the Ukrainian and Crimean
Constitutons recognized the existence of national minorities or ethnic
groups, and provided certain guarantees for their languages. In the
translations I am looking at this moment, the Crimean Constitution refers to
ethnic groups, and that of the Ukrainian Constitution refers to national
minorities, although without naming them.
Crimea was officially an "autonomous republic" in Ukraine and had a
constitution. The article 10 of the constitution of this republic stated,
with respect to the Ukrainian, Russian and Crimean Tatar languages:
"Article 10.Securing Application and Development of Official Language
Crimean Tatar and Other Ethnic Groups´ Languages in the Autonomous Republic
"1. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, alongside with the official
language, the application and development, use and protection of Russian,
Crimean Tatar and other ethnic groups´ languages shall be secured.
"2. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Russian, being the language spoken
by the majority of population and the language acceptable for purposes of
interethnic communication, shall be used in all spheres of public life.
"3. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, citizens shall be guaranteed the
right to be educated in their native language at children´s preschool
establishments, to learn the native language, to be taught in the native
language at educational establishments of state, republican and/or municipal
form of ownership or through ethnic cultural societies or in accordance with
the procedure established by Ukrainian legislation and the statutory acts of
the Supreme Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within its terms of
> Poroshenko has recently announced
> that multilingual Ukraine will become an officially unilingual country. In
> other words, the controversial measure to that effect that was proposed then withdrawn
> last March is now back on the order paper.
It's a nationalist error that Ukraine has only one "official" language. But
this has occurred simultaneously with a recognition of other languages. The
various versions of the constitution of Ukraine since independence have given
guarantees to Russian and other languages. The national constitution states
the following (note also that its reference to other national minorities is,
among other things, a reference to the Crimean Tatars):
"The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language.
"The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the
Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire
territory of Ukraine.
"In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other
languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed.
"The State promotes the learning of languages of international
"The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of
Ukraine and is determined by law."
From Article 53:
"Citizens who belong to national minorities are guaranteed in accordance with
the law the right to receive instruction in their native language, or to
study their native language in state and communal educational establishments
and through national cultural societies."
Of course, one has to know what went on in practice as well as the formal
guarantees. But this cuts both ways. One shouldn't just jump up and down
about the official language and declare that Ukraine is about to eliminate
Russian. That's hardly credible.
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