Sometimes, when reading articles about language discussions in Ukraine, I think with envy: we should have their problems! After all, everything is going up with the functioning of their native language, while with us it is on the contrary. There, for example, soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of Russian ethnic origin argue about the obligatory transition to the Ukrainian language in everyday communication. Some say, “We are Russian-speaking Ukrainian patriots! No one dares to force us to speak Ukrainian, in the trenches under shelling we answer Ukrainian words in Russian, and everything is clear to everyone!” Some of their “compatriots” answer, “But we are fighting, among other things, for the state Ukrainian language!”
No one is talking about ending Ukrainian as the state language or making Russian the second state language.
Before the invasion on February 24, 2022, there was a language ombudsman in Ukraine for a year already to monitor the free use of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of life. And although there were still a lot of Russian-speaking citizens in the country, it was becoming noticeable that the policy in this direction was correct and should invariably lead to a leveling of the situation: in everyday life, you can speak as you like, and in official communication – in the state language. Such an approach, I think, over time would lead to the final displacement of the Russian language in everyday life. Kindergartens, schools, institutes, i.e. the entire educational system actively switched to teaching and education in the Ukrainian language and on the Ukrainian ideological and cultural platform.
This was before the start of the war.
Todate, in the territories controlled by Ukraine, even more people are switching to the Ukrainian language in everyday communication, many celebrities are actively calling for abandoning the language of the occupier. Those who disagree with such a step are criticized and ostracized. Well, who now dares to openly support the language of the occupier? Unless they went to Moscow for a long ruble, like football player Tymoshchuk or pop diva Ani Lorak.
In the occupied towns and villages, according to reports from Ukrainian friends and acquaintances, Russian soldiers seize Ukrainian books from school libraries and burn them right in school yards. They know very well that everything begins with their native language – self-consciousness, patriotism, and national character. Russians will never say “What’s the difference?” about the language of education. They are imperial chauvinists, everything is clear with their language: only Russian. And those who does not agree should go “to the basement” as a Nazi.
Not only books in Ukrainian are confiscated, but also textbooks of “wrong” history and literature. Everything that does not correspond to the general line of the aggressors for the annexation of the occupied territory is being raked out. Education in schools is organized in Russian, textbooks brought from Russia. They are persistently looking for collaborators among teachers, who are hastily sent to Crimea for retraining. One thing is bad – there are not enough pupils. Ukrainians do not want to send their children to study in such schools. Firstly, in a foreign language, and secondly, in the courtyard of the school there is Russian Military equipment, and the warriors live on the first floor of the operating school. This is true. A human shield of schoolchildren is a reliable shelter, Himars will definitely not target them.
It’s a shame that among such Russian soldiers there are many of non-Slavic origin, including my countrymen from the Republic of Tatarstan. They are deprived of the opportunity to remain Tatars, being at the stage of transformation from a Tatar into a Russian-speaking Frankenstein, “languageless” and thoughtless, they call Ukrainians humiliating nicknames and do not understand what Ukrainians are fighting for, while they had given up fighting long ago. They already have to hide their “Tatarness” now, like trousers that have been torn along the seam – to quickly slip through so that no one notices that you have gone so far as to goof off.
These mobilized Tatar “vankas” do not understand that their homeland is also being occupied, but culturally. They are also looking for collaborators (minnikhanovs, khabirovs, samigullins, tadzhuddins), they are treating traitor teachers with a stick and a carrot, they are also destroying the language and culture of the Tatars. It is true, Tatar books are not yet burned, but simply made unnecessary. After all, quiet occupation can produce the same results as open aggression: there used to be a people, and now there is none. Tatars? Who are Tatars? These are the ones that once lived along the banks of the Volga? It seems that Kazan city is named with a Tatar word… No, we don’t know, we haven’t met such people. You’d better go to the historical museum, there are people who understand this… And we are all Russians, we are happy with everything. Excuse us, we need to go, our pork kebab is getting cold on the table, and vodka is warming in the sun. Well, shall we go, Ravil? Yes, Karim, we have to go!