JRL NEWSWATCH: Russian-speaking Ukrainians want to shed ‘language of the oppressor'” – The Guardian (UK)
“Kharkiv on country’s eastern border has long had Russian-speaking majority but things are changing fast”
“… A period of official ‘Ukrainianisation’ followed the October revolution of 1917, with a lively avant garde, Ukrainian-language literary scene springing up in Kharkiv. But from 1933 onwards the novelists, poets, journalists and playwrights of this brief modernist flowering were brutally suppressed. Hundreds of writers were shot, deported, or sent to the gulag; others took their own lives. These trailblazing writers … are known as Ukraine’s ‘executed renaissance.’ In the meantime, during the Soviet period, large numbers of Russians immigrated to Kharkiv and … other cities in the east and south … to work in Ukraine’s burgeoning industries. The surrounding countryside, albeit transformed by the appalling losses of the Holodomor – in which up to 4 million people died of starvation … – remained predominantly Ukrainian-speaking. …”
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