Russian should become extinct in Ukraine – security chief
The Russian language should be eradicated in Ukraine as it is allegedly being used as a tool by Moscow to wield influence on Ukrainians, one of the country’s key security officials has claimed.
The Russian language is nothing but an “element of enemy propaganda and brainwashing of our people,” Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on the ‘Big Lviv Talks’ show on Friday.
The official also spoke in favor of Ukrainians learning English instead.
According to Danilov, the very idea that Ukrainians have to understand the Russian tongue is a “dangerous narrative.”
“Look, we don’t want anything from them [Russians]. Why don’t they leave us alone? Let them go to their swamps and croak in the Russian language,” he stated.
The senior official went on to criticize pundits and experts who speak Russian while appearing on Ukrainian TV.
According to the 2001 census, approximately 14.3 million Ukrainians (29% of the population) speak Russian as their first language. Some other estimates put that number even higher.
The language is particularly widespread in the eastern and southern regions of the country. Ever since the Maidan coup back in 2014, Moscow has been consistently accusing the Ukrainian government of systematically discriminating against Russian-speakers.
The perceived violations of the linguistic minority’s rights were also cited by the secessionist movements in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, parts of which went on to become the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, respectively.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently cautioned his country against taking cues from those who engage in ‘cancel culture’. Speaking at a media conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, he noted that around three million Ukrainians permanently reside in Russia.
“How can we prohibit their language and culture? We don’t have anything of the kind on our minds,” Putin added.
Commenting on reports about a man who had been fined in Moscow for listening to Ukrainian music in his car, the president said that attempts to ban the Ukrainian language in Russia were “illegal in themselves.”