Every nation has its bugbears. Ukraine has two: the forced famine orchestrated during Stalin’s rule, which killed between four million and seven million people; and the Ukrainian language. Under the Russian empire, it was frequently banned: Catherine the Great put a stop to the use of Ukrainian at one of eastern Europe’s most ancient universities, The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Then Peter I banned the printing of books in Ukrainian. Later the Russian Orthodox church took Ukrainian language manuals out of schools. Alexander II forbade the import of books in Ukrainian; Alexander III banned the use of Ukrainian in official institutions.
The list of bans goes on, and it is clear why Ukrainians consider the article in the constitution that makes Ukrainian the country’s sole official language their most important achievement since independence.… Seguir leyendo »