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Ukrainians protest new emphasis on Russian language

News Kiev, Ukraine - 04 July 2012

Hundreds of Ukrainian protesters gathered in Kiev on July 4, 2012 to protest a new law that would place greater emphasis on the Russian language in numerous Ukrainian provinces.

The Ukrainian Parliament approved the law the previous day; however, President Viktor Yanukovych has yet to sign the law into effect. 

According to an article on RIA Novosti, Russia's largest news agency, the law would make Russian the regional language for 13 out of Ukraine's 27 administrative territories. Kiev would be included. Although Ukrainian would remain the state language,restrictions on the Russian language would be removed. 

The protests led to clashes with Kiev police. Parliament Speaker Volodymiyr Lytvyn resigned over the law's passage.

Our contributor writes:

"The morning after pro-Russian majority senators in the Ukrainian Parlaiment (Verkhovna Rada) accepted a legislative act which evidently limits the usage of Ukrainian language in Ukraine (!) people gathered in European Square, in the center of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, to protest against such a non-patriotic act."

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