Kiev City Council Adopted Draft Law on the Total Ukrainization of the Services Sector

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Kiev City Council adopted as a basis the draft bill initiated by Deputies from the Nationalist Party “Svoboda” concerning the Ukrainization of the capital’s industry of services, advertising etc. 91 Deputies voted for the corresponding bill.

This was reported by the local website

“To establish that in Kiev the working language of … enterprises, institutions and organizations of municipal ownership is the state language — Ukrainian. Also advertisements, signs, posters, billboards, messages and other forms of audio-visual production, and price tags must use the Ukrainian language. If a sign is presented in a foreign language, then the installation will be allowed only if there is a translation into Ukrainian or transliterations in an equally-sized font,” said the initiator of the bill, the Deputy from “Svoboda” Yury Sirotyuk.

According to Sirotyuk, this decision will allow the protection of the rights of the Ukrainian-speaking population of Kiev.

“In the sphere of services there are often conflicts, when at the request of the visitor to serve them in Ukrainian, the staff can’t answer them in the corresponding manner. This is disrespectful and also contains signs of the violation of consumer rights,” added Sirotyuk.

The relevant draft bill was registered already a year ago, however it hadn’t been considered by the Kiev City Council.

On social networks some Kiev journalists already criticized such a decision.

“The Kiev City Council approved Svoboda’s initiative whereby workers of the services industry have to speak only in Ukrainian. The decision obliges the staff of cafes, restaurants, shops, controllers, conductors, and others to speak only in Ukrainian, and also to obligatory make menus in Ukrainian and to translate signs. I understand it as being in the framework of preparation for Eurovision. Imagine a tourist arrives, comes to a restaurant: ‘Do you speak English?’ asks the waiter. And the waiter says: ‘Only in Ukrainian, uneducated rabble! Ukraine communicates only in Ukrainian, here it is not Gayropa!’, wrote the journalist Victoria Svitlova on her page on Facebook.

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I recall that this decision violates the articles 10, 11, 12 and 24 of the Constitutions of Ukraine, and also article 18 of the Law “About Fundamentals of the State Language Policy”, article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and the European Charter of regional languages or languages of minorities ratified by Ukraine.

Hey, where you are – European defenders of ethnic minorities?

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