KIEV, January 16. /TASS/. From January 16, all print media in Ukraine must switch to the Ukrainian language, in accordance with amendments to the language law which come into force on Sunday.
“According to the law, print media can be produced in other languages, provided that the number of copies published in a foreign language is equal to the number of copies published in the official language [Ukrainian]State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin said in a Facebook post. “All language versions must be published under the same name and be equal to each other in terms of content, volume and printing techniques. They must enter circulation under the same number and on the same day.
The only exception to this rule is regional media, which are obliged to switch to the Ukrainian language by July 2024. Ukrainian-language print media must represent at least 50% of the assortment in every newsstand in the country.
The law will not apply to media written in minority languages (spoken by Crimean Tatars, Karaites and Krymchaks), as well as in English or any other official EU language. The Russian language is not one of these exceptions.
Violations of this law will be subject to a fine of up to 8,500 hryvnia ($300), which will be increased if the violation is repeated. Its observance will be monitored by an official known as the Languages Commissioner and his regional offices, as well as by public activists and ordinary citizens, who must notify the Languages Commissioner’s office of violations.
On April 25, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) adopted the law on the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language. On May 15, it was signed by outgoing President Piotr Poroshenko. The document stipulates that Ukrainians must use the Ukrainian language in all spheres of their lives.
The law is applicable to all areas except private conversations and religious ceremonies. Attempts to establish official multilingualism are declared “actions aimed at changing or overthrowing by force the state order established by the Constitution”. At the same time, a notion of “public humiliation of the Ukrainian language” is introduced, which is interpreted as “an unlawful act equivalent to insulting Ukrainian state symbols and punishable according to law”.