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Ukraine Russian-language bill row rumbles on

Ukraine Russian-language bill row rumbles on
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Protests continue in Kiev and in smaller towns and cities across Ukraine, as the draft Russian-language bill causes divisions.

Near the office of President Victor Yanukovych, whose party is in favour of the bill, supporters were separated from opponents. The day before, police fired tear gas at protesters after parliament voted
that Russian could be used instead of Ukrainian in some parts of the country, but not everyone is upset.

“They say that we should only speak in Ukrainian, but we don’t have to. We’re a free democratic country,” said one supporter.

Ukrainian writer Oleksiy Nikitin who speaks and writes in Russian said: “The majority of Ukrainians are bilingual – all of us do more or less speak both Ukrainian and Russian. However, we do know that behind the Russian language is Russia, with it’s institutions and finances, and behind Ukrainian – nobody, nothing but Ukraine itself, and if Ukraine doesn’t support and develop this language, nobody will.”

A survey carried out by Ukrainian non-governmental organisation the Sociological Company found that 65 percent of those who answered think the Russian-language bill is PR for Yanukovych and his government.

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