Under Putin, the Russian Language Disappears

Only a tiny handful of foreign nations say "da" to Russian

Only a tiny handful of foreign nations say "da" to Russian

The New York Times reports:

IN a corner of Bukvatoriya, a bookstore here in the capital of the Crimean Peninsula, are some stacks of literature that may be as provocative to the Kremlin as any battalion of NATO soldiers or wily oligarch. The books are classics — by Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, and Shakespeare — that have been translated into Ukrainian, in editions aimed at teenagers. A Harry Potter who casts spells in Ukrainian also inhabits the shelves.

Two decades ago, there would have been little if any demand for such works, given that most people in this region are ethnic Russians. But the Ukrainian government is increasingly requiring that the Ukrainian language be used in all facets of society, especially schools, as it seeks to ensure that the next generation is oriented toward Kiev, not Moscow.

Children can even read Pushkin, Russia’s most revered author, in translation. (This tends to bother Russians in the way that “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung in Spanish can touch off cross-cultural crankiness in the United States.)

The Ukrainian policy has become a flashpoint in relations between the two countries and reflects the diminishing status of the Russian language in not just the former Soviet Union, but the old Communist bloc as a whole.

The Kremlin has tried to halt the decline by setting up foundations to promote the study of Russian abroad and by castigating neighbors who shove the language from public life. In some nations, a backlash against Russian has stirred its own backlash in the language’s defense.

Still, the challenge is considerable. At stake is more than just words on a page.

Language imparts power and influence, binding the colonized to the colonizers and, for better or worse, altering how native populations interact with the world. Long after they gave up their territories, Britain and France and Spain have retained a certain authority in far-flung outposts because of the languages that they seeded.

Czars and Soviet leaders spread Russian in the lands that they conquered, using it as a kind of glue to unite disparate nationalities, a so-called second mother tongue, and connect them to their rulers. That legacy endures today, as exemplified by the close relationship between Russia and Germany, which stems in part from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ability to speak Russian. She learned it growing up in Communist East Germany.

But with the language in retreat, there are unlikely to be many future Angela Merkels. For the Kremlin, could there be a more bitter reminder of how history has turned than the sight of young Estonians or Georgians or Uzbeks (not to mention Czechs or Hungarians) flocking to classes in English instead of Russian?

“The drop in Russian language usage is a great blow to Moscow, in the economic and social spheres, and many other respects,” said Aleksei V. Vorontsov, chairman of the sociology department at the Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg. “It has severed links, and made Russia more isolated.”

Russian seems to be faring more poorly than other colonial languages because the countries that had to absorb it have a more cohesive sense of national identity and are now rallying around their native languages to assert their sovereignty.

Russian is one of the few major languages to be losing speakers, and by rough estimates, that total will fall to 150 million by 2025, from 300 million in 1990, a year before the Soviet collapse. It will probably remain one of the 10 most popular languages, but barely. Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic and Hindi head the list.

The situation has not been helped by the demographic crisis in Russia itself, which is expected to shed as much as 20 percent of its population by 2050.

The fall in Russian speakers has not been uniform across the former Soviet Union, and Russian officials praise former Soviet republics like Kyrgyzstan where Russian is embraced.

But countries that felt subjugated by Soviet power, like the Baltic States, have taken vengeance by mandating knowledge of the native language to obtain citizenship or other benefits. (As a correspondent in the former Soviet Union, I find that in some countries, I can often speak Russian with people older than 40 and English with those younger.)

The dispute is vitriolic in Ukraine, especially here on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea, a former Russian territory where about 60 percent of the population of two million is ethnic Russian and others also speak Russian as a first language. Many residents here would prefer that Russia reclaim Crimea.

Ukraine’s pro-Western president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, indicated this month that a deepening understanding of the Ukrainian language is one key to keeping Moscow at bay. “With our native language, we preserve our culture,” Mr. Yushchenko told the German magazine Spiegel. “That greatly contributes to preserving our independence. If a nation loses its language, it loses its memory, its history and its identity.”

The policies in Ukraine, the Baltics and other countries have often drawn the ire of not only the Kremlin, but also local Russian speakers.

At the Bukvatoriya bookstore in Simferopol, the manager, Irina P. Germanenko, said locals were upset by “Ukrainization” — laws compelling the Ukrainian language in government, on television and in other areas.

Many schools in Crimea use Russian as their primary language, but they often must teach courses in subjects like geography and math in Ukrainian. And important national examinations are given only in Ukrainian.

Most of Bukvatoriya’s stock is in Russian, but Ms. Germanenko said sales of books for teenagers in Ukrainian showed the policy’s impact. “It’s an unfortunate process that is occurring,” she said. “People should be able to have freedom of choice in their language.”

The resentment can bubble up in unexpected locales. When Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, said this summer that it would demote the status of Russian, requiring government documents to be only in the Tajik language, an outcry arose from those who saw Russian as a bridge to Russia and the outside world. And in former Soviet satellites in Europe, where Russian was essentially purged after Communism, there has been a small but noticeable revival.

The language is obviously helpful in doing business in Russia’s sizable market, so interest in Russian-language classes is rising. The lingua franca of Communism, it seems, is now an asset in the pursuit of capitalism.

45 responses to “Under Putin, the Russian Language Disappears

  1. I make a comfortable living by teaching English in Russia……so those outside the former bloc are not the only ones that see the writing on the wall.

  2. Ex-KGB Thugs Ruining Russian Legacy

    By Yulia Latynina

    We are truly living in a society that suffers from the Russian post-imperial syndrome. But what is most important is what is left after the empire falls.

    Consider the Roman and British empires. The subjugated people hated their colonialists and revolted. But when those empires collapsed, it turned out that the vast Roman and British cultural heritage continued to dominate even after the local populations gained independence. The Latin language survived longer, and over a broader territory, than did the Roman Empire itself.

    The empires of Genghis Khan and the Ottoman Turks also collapsed, but none of the people they conquered has a kind word for them today. You won’t find a Bulgarian or a Serb eager to show you the ruins of Ottoman defensive fortifications on their territories.

    True, the Mongols greatly influenced the civilizations they defeated. For example, before falling to the Mongols, Afghanistan was a prosperous country with major cities and an extensive agricultural system. It was a highly prized territory, one that dozens of would-be conquerors had tried to seize, including Alexander the Great. But after the Mongols razed all the Afghan cities, decimated the population, and destroyed the country’s complex irrigation system, Afghanistan was reduced to a country of mountains and barren deserts.

    What can the Mongols take pride in today? Where are the gems of science and art that adorn the peoples that fell under their rule? Did the Mongols give them laws? A written language? New rights?

    During tsarist times, the Russian Empire followed the example of the Roman and British empires. With all of its cruelty, it conquered the eastern territories and the Caucasus with valor and bravery. Like the Roman Empire, they gave more to their subjects than they managed to seize from them.

    The Soviet Union, however, was built more along the lines of the Mongol empire. It ruthlessly destroyed everyone and everything, and the first to fall victim were the Russian nobility, peasantry, merchants and intelligentsia. The Soviet Union left the same legacy in Russia as the Mongols did in Afghanistan — destruction. None of the former Soviet republics will ever put up monuments to Pavlik Morozov, the mythical 13-year-old Pioneer who was praised for turning in his own father to the authorities. The former Soviet colonies also do not sing the praises to the NKVD, nor have they adopted the Soviet legal code.

    Yet the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union represented Russia’s last historic opportunity. It could have become an attractive metropolis for surrounding countries, a reliable trade partner or a place where other countries’ elite came to study — just as people from Britain’s former empire still come to Oxford and Cambridge. The Soviet Union of Josef Stalin and Lavrenty Beria suffered a crushing defeat, but the Russia of Pushkin and Dostoevsky still had a chance to fill the void. Gogol, though Ukrainian by birth, wrote his masterpieces in Russian. Chechen insurgents who die beneath Russian tanks write poems about the freedom of their people in the Russian language, much like Lermontov before them.

    The former KGB thugs who now control the country are stomping Russia’s last historical chance into the dirt. They are doing everything to show the world that Russia is led not by civilized, respected leaders, but by a street gang from Lubyanskaya Ploshchad.


    • Robert,

      What Latynina, in her “holier than thou” zeal, fails to realise is that “liberals/democrats”, like her and me – we were given our chance in the 1990s. And we screwed up big time. We destroyed the economy, we increased corruption, we created the oligarch class, we have driven average people to poverty and starvation, we destroyed internatinal respect for Russia, and it were our men – Yeltsin, Berezovsky and Co – who appointed Putin to power.

      She complains about the Chechen war. But who started it back in 1994? Our man Yeltsin.

      Every ill that plagues Russia today – it was brought in by us and our man Yeltsin, whose corrupt re-election she and I supported in 1996.

      And, BTW, Robert, thanks for bringing us such true words as:

      > During tsarist times, the Russian Empire followed the example of the Roman empire. With all of its cruelty, it conquered the eastern territories and the Caucasus with valor and bravery. Like the Roman Empire, they gave more to their subjects than they managed to seize from them.

      > The empires of Genghis Khan and the Ottoman Turks also collapsed, but none of the people they conquered has a kind word for them today. You won’t find a Bulgarian or a Serb eager to show you the ruins of Ottoman defensive fortifications on their territories.

      How true, isn’t it, Robert?

      • Yeltsin, “our man”? Who are “we”? Are you now like Medvedev was in his recent open letter?

        Bureaucratic capitalism/cleptocracy/mafiya government (choose one or all ove above) being “liberal”?

        Grachov, Korzhakov, Barsukov, Stepashin – the Kremlin siloviki drinking cricle behind the very idea of the “little victorious war” of 1994 – being “liberals”?

        You are a funny guy.

        • > Who are “we”?

          Can’t you read? I said that “we” means: Latynina, I and all other “liberals/democrats”.

          • Hah, the west gave Russia the tools, and like the idiots they are the Russians continued with their usual cultural tradition of violence and corruption.

            Tsarist, Communist, or modern day neo Fascist, Russia is was, is, and always will be a criminal state.

      • @How true, isn’t it, Robert?

        The exception are the Turkish bridges in Bosnia.

        When the Croats destroyed the famous Stari Most bridge in Mostar the locals and the EU rebuilt it later.

        Btw, it’s interesting that the UNESCO page on Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad
        doesn’t even mention how hundreds of people were murdered there in by the Milan Lukic’s White Eagles gang in June 1992.

  3. the problem is that he Kremlin politicise its Russian language with its wreckless behaviour in Ukraine and elsewhere. I speak Russian for 15 years as a non Russian person leaving in Ukraine but am now turning to Ukrainian language. It is paramount to keep Ukraine language as the main language, there cant be any Russian as an official language with such shameful and disrespectful behavior from an non civilised country..

  4. Let me understand LR’s usual brilliant logic here. As her title “Under Putin, the Russian Language Disappears” suggests, she blames the natural desire on the part of the newly independent ex-Soviet republics to decrease their reliance on the Russian language and to speak their native tongues on… Putin?!

    In other words, if not for Putin, Ukrainians and Balts would have chosen to speak Russian instead of their own languages?! LR is truly hilarious in her cluelessness.

    Also, notice the New York Times concluding paragraph:
    > The language is obviously helpful in doing business in Russia’s sizable market, so interest in Russian-language classes is rising. The lingua franca of Communism, it seems, is now an asset in the pursuit of capitalism.

    Of course, the sad story of the suffering of the people of Crimea is another story altogether. But how can one expect a right wing nationalist like Yuschenko to respect human rights of linguistic minorities?

    > The dispute is vitriolic in Ukraine, especially here on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea, a former Russian territory where about 60 percent of the population of two million is ethnic Russian and others also speak Russian as a first language…

    The Crimea had been part of Russia until the Soviet-Ukrainian despot Khruschev stole it from Russia and “gifted” it to his beloved Ukraine in mid-1950s, and nobody spoke any Ukrainian there until Ukrainian independence in 1992.

    > But the Ukrainian government is increasingly requiring that the Ukrainian language be used in all facets of society, especially schools. Children can even read Pushkin, Russia’s most revered author, in translation.

    Not “can”, but “must”. Russian children in Crimea are forced to read their national poet Pushkin in clumsy foreign-language translations. This would be like the Spanish government tried to force Basque children to stop speaking Basque and to read Basque poetry in Spanish.

    > At the Bukvatoriya bookstore in Simferopol, the manager, Irina P. Germanenko, said locals were upset by “Ukrainization”… “It’s an unfortunate process that is occurring,” she said. “People should be able to have freedom of choice in their language.”

    How can you expect respect for human freedoms from a nationalist bigot like Yuschenko?

    • As opposed to a nationalist bigot like Putin?

      I guess you missed the fact that Putin wants the cessation of teching the “ethnic component” such as Tatar in state schools?

      More Russian hypcrisy and bigotry from Phobophobe.

      BTW Khruschev was born in Russia and described himself as a Russian.

      At the time he made the “transfer” the entire USSR was micro managed from Moscow so it made no difference (nobody thought the USSR would collapse a very few decades later).

      USSR = Russian empire, run for the benefit of Russia.

    • So, many people in the Ukraine use the Ukrainian language, but some don’t want to. I understand all these cultural controversies, we have plenty of that in Southern California, but what is that to YOU? I understand you are a Russian not living in the Ukraine. So, mind your own business. I don’t recall that Ukrainians ever told YOU what language to speak, or whether to have a “nationalist bigot” for President or not. It’s their business to sort out, not yours.

      Now, if it were a true human rights violation, then maybe I would concede that the government in Kiev has overreached. But I don’t think that a requirement that the Ukrainian language be used in schools is such a violation. To the contrary, I find it completely normal that the classes in public schools are taught in the national language. You will find it in every country of the world, even in the U.S., and we don’t even have a national official language!

      Russians in Crimea, however, should be allowed to start private schools, if they wish to, and to choose another language of instruction, such as Russian, if that’s what they want.

      If Russia is unhappy with the plight of the Russians in Crimea, it should invite them to move to Russia, and to pay for the move. Considering millions of Ukrainians butchered by Moscow over time, it would be a small price to pay.

      Theirs is an independent country, just as independent as that cesspool of yours. Get used to that

    • I agree with photophobe.

      LR made a mistake in naming this article.

      LR should have named the article, “Putin DESTROYS the rooshan language by aresting or culling the russian intelligensia in moscow.

      You can follow my logic in my comment below.


      Shame on us! There we go again, being too kind to Vlad Putin by half!

  5. Look at Yushchenko’s face and tell me he’s a bigot you idiot.

  6. Unfortunately, part of this article is mere wishful thinking. While the Russian language has lost its importance in part of what used to be the Eastern bloc, Russian linguistic and cultural imperialism is alive and kicking in most of the former USSR, even in countries with overwhelming non-Slav majorities. The most intriguing example for me is Moldova, where ethnic Russians are only 5% of the population, yet they control most of the media and most big business, and Russification seems to have been more vicious and effective than even in the last decade of the USSR. An increasing number of ethnic Romanians from Moldova have lost their cultural identity, speak a broken variant of Romanian heavily polluted with Slavic loan words, and even their humor is closer to the coarseness and vulgarity of Russian humor than to the wit and subtlety of Romanian humor. I understand this process of linguistic and cultural Russification is also rampant in Central Asia and the Caucasus, where even Islamist insurgents speak Russian among themselves.

    Also, it’s not only ethnic Russians that carry out this process of Russification. Especially in non-Slavic republics like the Baltics, Moldova etc, Ukrainians and Belarussians (themselves colonists, like the Russians) have also been very much involved in this. Many Ukrainians that were settled in other Soviet republics spoke and still speak Russian as their primary language.

  7. Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say that under Yushchenko, the Russian language disappears.

    • Hi Natalie,

      I hope that you are right and it disappears.

      The was a time when the moskali shot Ukrainians for speaking Ukrainian in Ukraine.

      There was a time that the kremlin forbid printing Ukrainian books.

      Now Ukrainians are not afraid to speak their own language in public, in Ukraine.

      • Well, I hope it doesn’t disappear. The fact is that the vast majority of Ukrainians speak Russian and prefer to speak Russian. It’s the stupid government they have that is ignoring these wishes. When I was in Kiev, the people I spoke with were not very pleased about Ukrainian being the only official language.

        • Thats funny, I have never met an ethnic Ukrainian that prefers to speak Russian yet.

          I do know several that can only speak Russian (from Moscow & St Petersburg) but they lament the fact they were never allowed to learn it in Soviet times.

          • Andrew,

            What kind of these “ethnic Ukrainians” do you meet in Tbilisi, who prefer to speak Ukrainian? The secret Ukrainain “military advisers” in charge of planning genocides of Ossetians?

            • No, I met them while working in Russia.

              • And these Ukrainians, living in Russia(!), dislike speaking the Russian dialect?!!

                You are a pathological liar once again. Not many Ukrainians hate speaking Russian, but those, who do, certainly don’t move from Ukraine to live in Russia.

                So, you better change your story again. This time say that you met them when you were living in Lviv or Uzhgorod or some other Western Ukrianian city.

                • No, met them in Moscow & St Petersburg.

                  I know plenty of people in Russia who miss their mother tongue.

                  Just like I know people in the US who miss hearing their ancestral language.

                  I never suad they hated speaking Russian, I said with regards to those unable to speak Ukrainian that “they lament the fact they were never allowed to learn it in Soviet times”.

                  The Ukrainians I have met who can speak Ukrainian prefer to do so. They also absolutely hate being called Russians.

                  A bit like Canadians v Americans & New Zealanders V Australians, but without the Russians killing millions of the people of the smaller nation.

                  Get it right retard.

                  For someone who claims to have a higher education, your ability to understand english is pretty poor.

                • I am sorry, Andrew, but I very much doubt that you spent your time talking to Russians of Ukrianian ancestry about the Ukrainian language. And if you did, I assure you that if a person is a Russian and lives in Russia, even if he is of Ukrainian ancestry, he doesn’t lament the fact that he, a Russian, didn’t study Ukrianian as a foreign language in his childhood. If Russians study foriegn languages, they study mor euseful ones like English.

                  Moreover, if these people want to learn Ukrianian – why not? They can study it now. There are plenty of people in St Pete and Moscow who would be glad to teach Ukrianian. But of what use is it to somebody living in Russia?

                  This is as ridiculous as to claim that Englishmen of Irish ancestry, living in London, complain that they hadn’t learned Gaelic as “wee lads” growing up in London. Who needs Gaelic in London?

                  • Now Phobophobe, you are being a retard.

                    Given your drivel and bile on all other posts, one should not be surprised by this.

                    After all, a language is a pillar of cultural identity.

                    It is amazing how Russian scum such as yourself scream blue murder about the fact that Russian is not considered a fit language to be taught in the schools of most countries of the former soviet empire (including eastern europe) but deny the significantly large ethnic minorities of Russia the right to learn their own language in areas in which they form a significant population.

                    I seem to remember you accusing Georgians of fascism because they had removed Russian as a state language.

                    Now by your logic the Russian ethnic minority in Georgia should not worry about Russian, they should learn useful languages like Georgian and English.

                    Truly Phobotosser, you really are a typical Russian hypocrite.

            • And the only genocides planned in the caucasus are those planned by Russians, Ossetian separatists, and the Apsu/Adyghe separatists from Abkhazia. They also carried them out.

              There are plenty of Ossetians in Georgia who live here no problem at all, 33,000 in Tbilisi alone.

              Stop your (all too typical) Russian lies.

              Once a lying Russian filthbag, always a lying Russian filthbag I guess.

              Did you cross your fingers whilr taking the oath of alliegance to the USA?

              • > There are plenty of Ossetians in Georgia who live here no problem at all, 33,000 in Tbilisi alone.

                And there are something like 1 million of Georgians in Russia who live there no problem at all, probably hundreds of thousands in Moscow alone.

                I am getting tired of your childish lies and accusations.

  8. This is outrageous ! Absolutely unheard of in the
    civilized world . How does that tyrant , that
    ” nationalistic bigot ” , that’s a good one , get away with it ? Imagine , a president insisting
    that the citizen learn and USE the state language .
    Those poor suffering people in Krym , my hearth really goes out to them . Here they are ,
    the remnants of a bygone era , who still don’t
    realize that the only reason they are in Krym in
    the first place , is because the rightful inhabitants
    have been exiled or exteminated . These , at
    one time priviliged apparatchiks and their ilk
    still think they can build a moscovite colony
    in Krym . What was that Phobo joker said ?
    Krushov ” stealing ” Krym from Moscovy and
    ” giving ” it to Ukraine ? How can you give someone something that is already his . And
    puhleeeze , don’t start with that old crap about
    Kruschov being Ukrainian , look at him , a true
    ” katsap ” . He is from that garden spot of
    Moscovia , Kaluga , and his parents were part
    of that great dirty , hungry , drunken horde that
    descended on Ukraine like locust to replace the
    native Ukrainians who were exterminated or
    forever exiled to Siberia . This teacher in the
    article , Germanenko , no doubt comes from the same pot .
    It always amuses me when moscovites start
    complaining about the difficulties moscovites
    have with their language in Ukraine . How they
    don’t have enough moscovite schools and how
    intense the ” ukrainization ” process is . I would
    like to ask this katsap how many Ukrainian
    schools there are in Moscovia for the benefit
    of the Ukrainian diaspora that numbers in the
    millions ? How many , huh ? How many libraries ? Huh ?
    As far as ” forceful ukrainization ” goes , do you really want to go there . Have you forgotten
    Valuev , a minister under czar Nikalay, who with
    typical perverse moscovite logic claimed that ;
    ” there is no such thing as a Ukrainian language ,
    there never was and there never will be , so
    therefore it is officially forbidden ” . Followed
    by an official ” ukaz ” by his idiot master .
    Sort of reminds me of little RasPutin not to long
    ago when he tried to convince G . Bush , that
    Ukraine was not even a country , since Moscovy
    “gifted ” Ukraine most of it’s territory . Must
    be something in the water .
    I’m always puzzled with the moscovite pre-
    occupation concerning the Ukrainian language
    in Ukraine , Phobo you and all the other
    moscovites should heed RV’S advice and mind your own business . Rather than killing yourselfs
    at something you can do nothing about , go and
    get a Berlitz course in Mandarin Chinese , ’cause
    you are gonna need it !


  9. Natalie ,
    I think I figured out why you ran into all those
    people who were unhappy with Ukrainian
    spoken in Ukraine , it’s because you were in
    Kiev . Now , if you were in KYIV , it would probably be a completely different story .
    You must really get around , if you managed
    to compile the data base that shows the ” vast
    majority speaks and preffers russian ” .
    Whatever they are paying you to post this crap ,
    it’s not enough .

  10. What is it with thsese obtuse moscovites and
    their preocupation of what language people
    should use in their own country ? God knows
    they have much more important issues to content with , that actually concern THEM .
    Andrew , this Phobo retard seems to be stuck
    in a groove that mainly consists of spreading
    idiotic lies about Ukrainians , Georgians and
    other Caucassians . Truth and logic is wasted
    on this moskal .
    On one hand he claims that if a person wants to
    learn Ukrainian in say , Moscow or St . Pete ,
    he can readily do so , yet when I asked him
    how many schools OR libraries there were
    teaching Ukrainian or containing Ukrainian
    literature , in ALL of Moscovy , he still has not come up with an answer . So , I will do it for him,
    there are NONE . Not one school , not one
    library in all of Moscovy ! And they have the
    nerve to complain about the status of their language i Ukraine ???
    Some of the other comments are actually funny
    like Georgians getting ” secret Ukrainian military
    advisers to plan the Ossetian gennocide ” . Now
    that is a whopper that should make even a
    moscovite blush . Everyone knows the Georgians to be smart , shrewd business people ,
    why in the hell should they get Ukrainians to
    plan a gennocide ? They absolutely stink at it !
    Have zero experience at it and actually prefer to
    feed people nearly to death , rather than to
    starve them . Now , if the Georgians REALLY
    wanted to put on a gennocide , they could easily
    get the best , the most experienced , bar NONE
    experts in the business ! Experience !? Into the
    millions . Diversified ? Absolutely ; Ukrainians ,
    Caucasians , Tatars whoever . The best resume
    on the planet.
    I also agree with you Andrew , how Ukrainians
    loathe to be called moscovites . If that dweeb
    and his ilk were to travel across Ukraine , as I
    did , no doubt he would encounter a very
    popular T-shirt worn by young and old alike ,
    that across the chest , in bold letters , expresses
    best the way Ukrainians feel about the
    moscovites : ” Thank you God for not making
    me a MOSKAL ! ” .

  11. [phpbophobe] said that “we” means: Latynina, I and all other “liberals/democrats”.

    This dude is just hilarious! And for me “we” means: Sergey Brin, I and all other software developers!

  12. Hi Natalie,

    If I went to Spanish Harlem in New York City, can I say that, ” The fact is that the vast majority of Americans speak Spanish and prefer to speak Spanish.”. I assume that you speak russian, and have not learned Ukrainian yet? Therefore, Ukrainians were being polite and responded in the language that you understand because all Ukrainians speak more than one language, as opposed to most moskali, who barely speak rooshan.

    When I was in Kiev, I spoke to hundreds of people. Except for four, they all spoke Ukrainian fluently. If a clerk or taxi driver [etc] asked me a question in rooshan, I would respond in Ukrainian; they would smile and the conversation continued in fluent Ukrainian! I assume that you can not experience this wonderful feeling?

    1) A university professor from St. Petersberg who spoke Ukrainian, but not fluently.

    2) A russian university student who tried to speak in Ukrainian and said, “I finally realize that I MUST learn to speak Ukrainian.”.

    3) A young clerk in a bank that only spoke rooshan.

    4) An owner of a “classy” bar/restaurant who forbid the waiters and waitresses to speak in Ukrainian. I saw the workers’ faces turn red, and I saw the sadness in their eyes, before I turned around, and walked out. Needless to say, I told everybody not to visit that establishment.

    I took rooshan in the university about forty years ago, and can read and write rooshan, but the other languages that I speak, are more than sufficient when I go to international conferences. The rooshans should learn the languages of other nations, especially if they decide to reside on the land of other nations.

    When I was in Germany, I was told that there are “towns” where the rooshans refuse to learn German in Germany. If they truly want to join the international community, they should learn, and not expect others to worship them.

    Russification is a dying procedure, and I pray to God that it never returns.

    The kremlin has been intimidating the world for years. They want to conquer and reoccupy Ukraine again! The kremlin’s new slogan, “sphere of influence”, comes from the twilight zone. If I have a farm in New York, does that give me control of my neighbors’ back yards? They are like the big bully in kindergarten that never matured. The kremlin has been executing genocide on the Ukrainian people, language and culture for ages. Yet, they state that Ukrainians are their brothers? In the bible they would be called Cain.

    They steal and lay claim on the culture of others, so they do not need to expand their own. Hohol, pronounced Gogol [due to the russification of Ukraine] in rooshan, was Ukrainian. The russification of Ukrainians is beyond the belief of most Americans. A child’s birth certificate or a person’s passport could only have the name IGOR, when the parents baptized him as IHOR, and called him IHOR. English-Ukrainian and Ukrainian-English dictionaries that were printed by the moskali had many, if not most of the Ukrainian words substituted by rooshan words.

    About eight years ago, I went to visit family members in Ukraine. One of them is an author of several books that were printed in Poland. When I asked, “Why Poland?” the response was, “You do not understand. Other books are printed in “moscow” and they would not print my subject matter.” The russification of Ukraine continues to this day.

    Although President Yushchenko has done much to reintroduce the history and language of Ukraine, the Division of certified kremlin trolls [DCKT] repeatedly tries to create false flags. The kremlin trolls call for impeachment of President Yushchenko, dividing Ukraine, early presidential elections because the kremlin does not like President Yushchenko, because President Yushchenko will not lick the kremlin’s boots the way yanykovich would. I have seen scores of DCKT posts with the disinformation that Ukrainians are Nazis. Etc. In the 1920’s the kremlin killed over 80% of the Ukrainian intelligencia [this was just another one of the kremlin’s many GENOCIDES of Ukrainians].

    After 1991, the kremlin has killed well over two hundred of their own journalists. They are still killing the cream of their own crop. These men and women could have become great poets, authors, playwrights, etc. The kremlin is now culling their own, because it is harder to kill Ukrainians because the Ukrainians have their own land again, finally. The kremlin executes genocides of other nationalities also [modern day example is Chechnya]. To hope to improve the % of their demographics?

    A 2001 census showed about four million less people in Ukraine that identified themselves as rooshan, as compared to the 1989 census. Throughout the USSR parents were raising their children to be rooshan, even though they were not. When moscow gave people in South Ossetia [and others] passports, did that make the people rooshan?



  13. LES wrote:
    > A 2001 census showed about four million less people in Ukraine that identified themselves as rooshan, as compared to the 1989 census.

    You may be right on this one, because the population of Ookraine dropped by 3.5 million from 1989 to 20001: from 51.706.742 to 48,241,000.

    • That’s a drop of 7% over 12 years. In the same period Russia lost only 1.5%.

      What happned to these 3.5 million in Ukraine? Did they run away?

  14. Bravo Les !
    I love your analogy about Harlem . Hope that
    it’s not over Natasha’s head , based on her comments , she does not sound like a rocket
    scientist .
    The other issue , you’re right again . The moscali
    alpabet , unlike the Ukrainian , does not have a specific letter for the ” G ” sound so they use
    the letter ” H ” for both sounds . Their favorite
    trick was to try and eliminate the Ukrainian
    ” G ” BUT, use the letter ” H ” to produce the
    ” G ” sound !!! Great logic !

  15. Russians don’t have the letter for the European “G” sound? And what is the letter “Г”?

    Correct me if I am wrong but the problem is that it is the Ukrainians who don’t have the pure European “G” sound but instead they use the Middle Eastern throatal “Gh” sound which they denot eby the “Г” letter. However, to show that thy are different from the rest of the Slavic world, Uke officials transliterate this “Г” into “H” when transliterating into Latin alphabet. E.g., “Гolodomor” becomes “Holodomor”.

  16. Ukrainians were killed and sent to the gulags for speaking Ukrainian in Ukraine [or writing poetry], and now now the moskali cry because Ukrainians want to speak Ukrainian in Ukraine??


  17. Hi Les,
    You are absolutely right about the Kremlin’s penchant for russification and genocide. Another aspect to russification was greatly assisted by the communist command economy. This was the slow depopulation and replacement of the Ukrainian elements in Ukraine. What I mean is, because of the fact that the moscovites decreed that all higher education in Ukraine was to be carried out in the Russian language, they were able to take the majority of Ukrainians with higher education and, because they were in control of where everyone worked, put them in job positions outside of Ukraine (Siberia, Russia proper, etc.) Similar jobs that were available in Ukraine were filled by Russians from Russia. This may not have been seen as an egregious thing on an individual level, but when looked at in the aggregate it was a distinct policy of the Kremlin with the obvious goal of russifying Ukraine. A similar thing was happening in all the enslaved republics. I have no direct proof of this, other than to say that the underground news and reports coming out of Ukraine in the 70s and 80s spoke frequently of this disgusting policy.
    Of course, the whole process was accelerated greatly in the early thirties when the moscovites surrounded all the Ukrainian lands (including the lower Volga and Kuban, which at that time were largely Ukrainian) with internal security troops and started going door to door, village to village, town to town, confiscating food. At the same time every Ukrainian intellectual, even if they were Bolshevik, was liquidated for the crime of “bourgeois Ukrainian nationalism”. Essentially, they were executed for the crime of being Ukrainian. Afterward, the dead populace was replaced by settlers from Russia.

  18. Phobodope ,
    What an illiterate , ignoramus you are ! Of
    course the moscovites DO NOT have a specific
    letter for the ” G ” Sound !
    Of course the Ukrainian alphabet DOES have
    a specific letter for both the ” H ” sound and
    the ” G ” sound . Some ukrainian words using
    the letter ” G ” ; gudz , graszda , gazda , gala,
    immigrazia , and many many others . There is
    one word however that comes to mind , because
    it is so appropriate in this case , and it is something you have nothing in common with ,

    • This is another reason why the Ukraininian language is more melodic, as opposed to the grunttal sounds of the moskali.

      The moskali do not have the Glottal consonant “H” and want to impose their language on others.

  19. Khrushchov a Ukrainian? My ass. Go ahead, russkies, check out this http://www.hrono.info/biograf/hrushev.html – it’s in Russian. See how “Ukrainian” Khrushchov and his folks were. Also take a look at who signed the Decree passing the Crimea over to Ukraine. A tip for the lazy bones: K. Voroshilov and N. Pegov (Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR – what a mouthful! – dated Feb 19, 1954). Anybody cares to check out how many Ukrainian schools they actually have in Crimea today? Grand total of 7 (Seven). Some “Ukrainization”, huh?

  20. My mistake Erikki ,
    I said that Kruschov was from Kaluga , but you
    are correct he is from Kalinovka .
    However NO mistake on the fact that he is a
    true moskal .

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