NEWSWATCH: “New Fighting in Ukraine’s Language War. If Kyiv draws new battle lines in the country’s language war, Moscow is ready to restart its side of this conflict.” – Carnegie Europe/ Thomas de Waal

Rada File Photo

“… Ukraine’s language wars are restarting. A bill requiring 75 percent of national television broadcasts to be in Ukrainian has just been passed by the Rada. It follows a very unpopular move by … Poroshenko to ban Russian-language social media websites …. Next up … is draft legislation that seeks to ensure ‘the functioning and use of Ukrainian as a state language in all spheres of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Russian Literature and Language Society

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Kremlin.ru – May 26, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the Russian Literature and Language Society’s Congress. The Russian Literature and Language Society was established in 2016 to consolidate the efforts of scholars, teachers, cultural figures and the global public to preserve the leading role of Russian language and literature in educating young people, strengthening the […]

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Ukraine Should Shift from Cyrillic to Latin Script, Former Verkhovna Rada Deputy Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 21, 2016) To solidify its break from a Russia-dominated space, Ukraine should shift from the Russian-based Cyrillic alphabet Moscow imposed on it to a script based on the Latin alphabet used by European countries, according to Aleksandr Donyi, the head of the Last Barricade social organization and a former deputy of […]

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Seven powerful politicians from around the world that speak Russian

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Russian is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn yet there are many influential politicians around the world that have taken it up. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 12, 2016) [Videos with Michael McFaul and Condoleezza Rice here: rbth.com/arts/lifestyle/2016/01/12/7-powerful-politicians-from-around-the-world-that-speak-russian_558729] Most Russian-speaking politicians live in former Soviet republics and other […]

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100 Million Fewer People Speak Russian Now than Did 25 Years Ago

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia Staunton, December 26, 2015) The number of people who speak Russian has declined by 100 million since 1989 or 27 percent, according to Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Duma committee on compatriots and Eurasian integration. (In 1989, 370 million said they spoke Russian; now, 270 million do.) But instead of seeing this as […]

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Russian Schoolchildren to Learn Two Foreign Languages

Russian Children File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 1, 2015) All Russian students will be required to learn two foreign languages before graduation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov was cited as saying by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta Tuesday. The new mandatory education program came into effect in all Russian schools at the start of the new school year on Tuesday. “Starting on […]

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Crowdfunding Support for a Grassroots Organization [The American Home in Vladimir]

American Home in Vladimir, Logo; Adapted from Image © Serendipity-Russia American Home

Subject: Crowdfunding Support for a Grassroots Organization Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 02:15:13 -0500 From: Ron Pope <ron42.pope@gmail.com> THE ISSUE: The American Home in Vladimir has encountered an unusual obstacle. After years of cooperative relations with our organization, the current Vladimir City Administration has decided to invoke what we thought was an outdated clause in the 1992 contract governing the […]

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A Moscow Education, in More Ways Than One

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Haddad – July 27, 2015) A recent article published in British weekly Times Higher Education revealed that one in seven Russian undergraduates admits to cheating on exams. The figure is probably much higher. Any expat in Moscow teaching English will confirm that. Cheating in the Russian educational system is rampant, even acceptable. I experienced […]

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18 of 20 Ukraine’s Ministers Now Speak English Up from Two in Yanukovich Regime

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 6, 2015) Sometimes a simple statistic can highlight a fundamental change, and that is true of one from Ukraine. At present, 18 of 20 of the ministers in the Ukrainian government speak English, up from only two of 20 under Viktor Yanukovich, Vitaly Sych, the editor of “Novoye vremya” points out. […]

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The Russian language in Ukraine: Cultural bridge or divide

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Kudinova, special to RBTH – April 24, 2014) As Ukraine is tearing itself apart, it is also facing an artificially fuelled competition between Russian and Ukrainian, two languages that are nevertheless linguistically very similar. Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “Tongue double brings trouble”. That saying might have resonated with the members of Ukraine’s […]

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Ukraine PM says authorities against abolishing language law

Maidan Square file photo

DONETSK. April 11 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said that the country’s new authorities have no plans to abolish the July 3, 2012 law that regulates Ukraine’s language policy. “No one is going to abolish the Kolesnychenko-Kyvalov law,” Yatsenyuk said during a visit to the Donetsk region on Friday. “It is a law that advocates the interests […]

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Ukraine abolishes law on languages of minorities, including Russian

(Interfax – February 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Verkhovna has abolished the law on the foundations of the state language policy adopted on July 3, 2012, by 232 out of 334 votes. In July 2012 Verkhovna Rada passed the law initiated by the Party of Regions. In August Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed it into law and bound the Cabinet to set […]

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Interfax: Most migrants come to Russia in visa-free travel regime, many don’t speak Russian

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – A third of migrant workers do not speak Russian, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said. “We are witnessing a surge in the arrivals of migrants from CIS member countries. As of now, 11.1 million foreigners are staying in Russia, and almost three-quarters of them enjoy the visa-free travel regime,” he told a roundtable in […]

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Over Half of Ukrainians Oppose Russian as State Language – Poll

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(RIA Novosti – KIEV, October 16, 2013) ­ More than a half of Ukrainians are against the idea of making Russian the country’s second state language, according to a survey released by an independent Ukrainian pollster on Wednesday. Sociological Group “Rating” said 43 percent of respondents are in favor of the idea, while 51 percent are against. Five percent said […]

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Foreign Language Skills Valued by Russians, Poll Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 24, 2013) Nearly 60 percent of the Russians speak at least one foreign language, while almost half would like to learn one, a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation found. Fifty-seven percent of the poll’s participants said they know a foreign language with English the most common at 38 percent of respondents. German […]

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136 National Languages Now at Risk in Russia, UNESCO Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 22, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-136-national.html) Some 136 national languages of the Russian Federation are at or already beyond “the edge of extinction,” according to UNESCO. Many of these languages are subgroups of others, but the danger of disappearance exists for groups as large as Avars, Bashkirs and Chechens. According to the United […]

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Russia’s indigenous languages at risk of dying out

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – March 17, 2013) Around 250 languages are spoken in Russia, including Russian, which is spoken by some 150 million people. Russian, along with several Turkic-based languages, is doing fine. However, the linguistic situation for many lost tribes and Small Indigenous People in Russia is far more  Dmitry Sukhodolsky, special to RBTH Russia’s many […]

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Russian-Language Textbooks Stir Controversy

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Patrick Reevell – December 26, 2012) A policeman says in Russian: “I work a lot, sometimes even too much. … Winter or summer, rain or shine, I go from a bank to a store, from a store to a restaurant, from a restaurant to a market, looking for where to take money.” What’s wrong with […]

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