UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Myths and Misconceptions about the Language Situation in Ukraine

16 January 2023, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

A colleague of the Ukrainian flag in the air and photo of the speaker

Please join us for this online event co-organised by the PROLang Research Group (UCL SSEES) and the Ukrainian Institute London

This event is free.

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One of the reasons put forward by the Russian leadership for their military intervention in Ukraine, both in 2014 and 2022, was the alleged discrimination against Ukraine's Russian-speaking population, who they presented as clearly distinct from the Ukrainian speakers, as strongly identifying with their primary language, and as unanimously opposed to the Ukrainian state's policy of "forcible Ukrainianization". Unfortunately, these and other tenets of Russian propaganda have been internalized by many Western journalists, politicians and even academics, who rely on them to question the legitimacy of Ukraine's language policy and thus, often inadvertently, support Russian accusations used as a pretext for military intervention. The purpose of this lecture is to show that these and similar beliefs are simplistic, distorted or outright false, and to describe the actual language situation in Ukraine and its change over the decades of independence.

About the speaker
Volodymyr Kulyk is a Head Research Fellow at the Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. His latest monograph is Language Politics in Multilingual Countries. Foreign Experience and its Application in Ukraine (2021).

This event is co-organised by the PROLang Research Group (UCL SSEES) and the Ukrainian Institute London

Image of the Ukrainian flag: Daria Volkova on Unsplash