Ukraine: Russia Imposing Russian Language Education in Occupied Regions

Russian officials are purging Ukrainian language education in the captured southern regions of Ukraine, are actively looking for publications that don’t follow the pro-Russian narrative of the war and are setting up political agitation points for the ruling United Russia political party.

Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense reported the seizure of literature on Thursday. The report focused on eastern territories of Ukraine, which Russia sees as a sympathetic stronghold, as well as freshly captured territories in the north of the country.

According to the report, Russia is using “military police” in the Sumy and Chernihiv regions in the north and Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east to enforce the policy.

“They are most interested in books that focus on Ukraine’s ‘maidans,’ the war in the East and other texts that cover revolutionary history,” the report stated, using a term used to identify Ukraine’s civilian-led insurgent movements. “Also, regular history books, scientific and popular historical literature is considered ‘extremist.'”

Additionally, the report identifies historical Ukrainian revolutionary and Cossack figures whose names should not be mentioned in publicly available literature. They include Ivan Mazepa, a Cossack leader who gathered a militia of Ukrainian villagers and waged war against Russia in the 18th century.

Ukrainian language education is the other target.

In the recently captured Melitopol in the southern Kherson region, Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported that Russian forces have been visiting schools to coerce a switch to Russian. Fedorov was abducted and threatened earlier in the war but was released following mass protests. The city’s population seems to be defiant to Russia’s rule.

“I know that Russians have been going around every school and telling teachers to start using Russian starting April 1. Nevertheless, I always found there to be unity in public education in the city. I’m sure they’ll all continue to prioritize our kids and their future,” Fedorov said.

Russia is instituting the policy by creating local occupational administrations.

The intelligence report mentions administrations in all of the captured regions. Additionally, new reports have come from the southern port city of Mariupol’s city council.

“Just near the city’s borders, Russia has opened an office for the ‘United Russia’ party in the Metro mall,” the report said. “According to the remaining population in the city, the office is distributing party literature, campaigning for Russia and giving out SIM cards named ‘Phoenix.’ The SIM cards have been used in occupied Eastern regions since the start of the war in 2014.”

One of Russia’s justifications for its invasion of Ukraine was the claim that Russian speakers were being oppressed. The polling agency Rating, however, showed that those who consider Ukrainian to be the language most close to them has grown from 57% in 2012 to 76% as of Friday.

Moreover, the number of people who use Russian in day-to-day life has fallen from 40% in 2012 to 18% in 2022. In fact, the invasion has only increased the desire to switch to Ukrainian only in respondents, the poll analysis suggests.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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