Under martial law, Ukraine has made significant progress towards the state language, while the dynamics and nature of changes in 2022 allow us to talk about the launch of a rapid "self-Ukrainisation" of society. This is stated in the third Annual Report of the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language, published on 30 April.
"The rapid growth of public support for the state language, the dramatic increase in its use both in public and private spheres have proven that it is a powerful, nation-affirming factor of unity among citizens, an important factor in strengthening the Ukrainian civil nation, capable of successfully resisting the aggressor, overcoming difficult historical challenges, and winning victories on the battlefields," the document says.
The report notes that the state language has dramatically strengthened its position and played a significant role in the information war: "The language of news dissemination has become an important factor of trust in the source and its content, a means of forming and protecting Ukraine's national media space, which demostrates resistance to russian propaganda and enemy's information and psychological special operations."
In addition to an overview of the main trends in the development of the Ukrainian language under martial law, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the peculiarities of ensuring the functioning of the state language at the regional level and the situation in certain areas of public life: in the activities of state bodies, local governments, judiciary, education, science, culture, media, healthcare, consumer services, book publishing and distribution, advertising and information for general information.
A separate section is devoted to the issue of linguistic violence against the Ukrainian language in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
"The full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine by russian troops on 24 February 2022 showed that the intention to destroy the Ukrainian nation is a long-term policy of the kremlin, which involves not only the physical destruction of Ukrainians but also the destruction of the Ukrainian identity, of which the language is an integral part," the document says. "The basis for russian military aggression and mass murder of Ukrainians was the so-called language factor. The artificial slogan "protection of russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine" was used to justify the occupation of part of Ukraine's territories."
According to the report, the actions of the occupation authorities in the temporarily occupied territories regarding the language issue are similar regardless of the region under the control of the aggressor. The extent of the displacement of the state language depends on the duration of the occupation under which the settlement was located. The removal or displacement of the Ukrainian language from use occurs simultaneously with its replacement by russian.
Cases that testify to the ousting of the state language and the planned assimilation policy of the occupiers are recorded in the following areas of public life: public, cultural, educational, media and official communication.
The document also contains conclusions and recommendations on possible ways to resolve topical issues that should be taken into account in the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, other state authorities and local self-government bodies.
In accordance with Article 49(5) of the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language", the Commissioner submits an annual public report.
The report is available at the link in Ukrainian.