Bekeshkina: Go to the front, see how many Russian speakers fighting for Ukraine, and tell them that they are not patriots, just do not speak Ukrainian!
Bekeshkina: Kiev – basically a bilingual city
The initiative of the Kiev authorities about the introduction of the Ukrainian language in the sphere of services, in practice, nothing will change, said in comments to the edition “GORDON” the sociologist Irina Bekeshkina.
“A city Council decision unrealistic. Because it is Advisory in nature, to anything special and will not. If a person does not speak Ukrainian, he suddenly talks? This will just lead to scandals. Would be better if the city Council, as in many countries, organized courses of Ukrainian language. Let them be paid but for a small fee. It would be more efficient,” noted Bekeshkina.
She focused on the fact that almost all the people of Kiev equally understand both Ukrainian and Russian language.
“I do not think that the language issue is a problem for Kiev, there is a bigger problem. Just look at the road. To travel is virtually impossible – the terrible traffic jams, a 20-metre trucks travel at rush hour… Just there are people who are sensitive to that around all of them don’t speak Ukrainian, but for others it’s just PR. Kiev – basically a bilingual city, and as a sociologist I know that problems with the Ukrainian language there. We conduct surveys across the country in two languages, but in Kiev, I have always done in the same language of the questionnaire is in Ukrainian. And there were no problems,” – said the sociologist.
According to her, the immigrants from the Donbass, living in the capital also does not experience any discomfort about this.
“I did experiments with Russian-speaking people in Kiev passed into the Ukrainian language, and they then freely passed into the Ukrainian language. Of course, if it were not newcomers. Now maybe the situation has changed a bit because many people came, displaced citizens from the Donbas. But for them no discomfort. No one is obliged to speak Ukrainian,” – said Bekeshkina.
She noted that only 1% of the population of Ukraine do not understand Ukrainian language, and many citizens don’t understand Russian.
“There is a difference between understanding the language and possession. Even in 2013, in the monitoring we asked the question about the degree of proficiency in Ukrainian and Russian languages. Answer “do not understand the Ukrainian” was given only 1% of people across the country, in Crimea said 10%. “Do not understand Russian” is also said 1%. And the degree of language proficiency is different. Fluency in Ukrainian – 76%, Russian 75%. Other answers showed a command of the language to different degrees: I understand, but not write; read and understand but not speak fluently, and so on,” – said the sociologist.
In her opinion, “language” problem in Ukraine was created artificially.
“Actually, I believe that it is an artificial problem. When I say that Russian-speaking citizens – are not true patriots, I say: go to the front, see how many Russian speakers fighting for Ukraine, and tell them that they are not patriots, just do not speak Ukrainian!” summed up Bekeshkina.
April 20 the city Council in the first reading approved the draft decision “On overcoming the consequences of Soviet occupation in the field of language”. The document stipulates that Kiev is the language of work, record keeping and documentation of local self-government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations of communal ownership is the state language – Ukrainian. Ads, signs, posters, billboards, messages, and other forms of audio and visual advertising of products must be written in Ukrainian or another language with the obligatory indication of their translation.
The initiator of the decision, the Deputy of city Council from IN “Freedom” Yury Sirotyuk noted that the document will have recommendatory character.