English language of the ‘civilized,’ Ukraine’s chief censor claims, urges Kiev to scrap Cyrillic alphabet to distance from Russia
Speaking to America’s state-run RFE/RL on Sunday, Alexey Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said the Ukrainian language – which the government has been at pains to promote over Russian in recent years – now needs to change too. “I believe that this will be one of the fundamental things that we need to get rid of the Cyrillic alphabet and switch to the Latin alphabet,” he explained.
In addition, Danilov said the Eastern European nation needs to step up its understanding of English, which he described as the language of “civilized communication.” According to him, “everyone should know English,” echoing remarks he made in March when he said it should become a second language in Ukraine, “so that we are protected from the Russian attacks we face today.”Also on rt.com Ukraine shuts down leading independent news site Strana as part of new crackdown on journalists, judges & opposition politicians
Around one in three Ukrainians says they speak Russian natively at home, while almost everyone in the country is proficient in the language. In January, laws came into force requiring public-facing workers, such as those in shops, restaurants and bars, to speak in Ukrainian – allowing them to switch only at clients’ requests. Those falling foul of the rules face hefty fines.
Kiev has also blocked the import of Russian television news, programs and films into the country in a series of increasingly tight restrictions imposed after the 2014 Maidan and Moscow’s re-absorption of Crimea. In many cases, it is the National Security and Defense Council charged with issuing bans, without involving court hearings.
Last month, the body announced it would require internet service providers to block one of the country’s most popular news sites, Russian-language outlet Strana. While refusing to give details of the charges against it, Danilov said only that the site’s editors are “engaged in illegal activities on the territory of our country.”Also on rt.com European journalists slam Ukraine’s Zelensky for banning independent media outlet Strana & threatening ‘press freedom’
The European Federation of Journalists hit out at the move, saying that “in a democratic country, media-related concerns must be addressed in a legal way that also ensures media pluralism. We call on the Ukrainian authorities to find better, judicial solutions to alleged national security threats.”
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