Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
The Problem of Bilingualism in Ukraine: The Historical and International Context
They make war against Ukraine not for the sake of protecting Russians, but for a different reason. Freedom is contagious. The people of Ukraine rebelled against the gang of thieves. The fraudsters in the Kremlin cannot sleep at night because they fear that this fire may be passed on to Russia. The criminals in the Kremlin must suppress freedom in Ukraine because it is a vivid example for the peoples of Russia. They must strangle democracy in their neighboring country to protect their stolen billions, to preserve their unlawful power, and their own heads and asses from the wrath of the people. They have nowhere to run.1
The problem of bilingualism in Ukraine used to be a subject of attention for linguists, educators and cultural workers and often resulted in never-ending discussions about the advantages for Ukrainians of mastering different languages, especially Russian, which is allegedly richer, more developed and used more widely in the world. Historians and political scientists addressed this issue less frequently, while economists virtually never did so. However, this problem, like most problems in any country, actually has an important economic component. Those who have denied the Ukrainian language’s right to existence have ultimately denied the right of Ukrainians to decide how they want to live, what to build, and what to grow on their land. In the late Soviet era, they even questioned the importance for Ukrainians of living in their homeland, promoting the well-known slogan “My...
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