Posted 24 февраля 2022,, 15:34

Published 24 февраля 2022,, 15:34

Modified 25 декабря 2022,, 20:56

Updated 25 декабря 2022,, 20:56

The Ukrainian authorities made a deadly mistake by squeezing the Russian language out of the country

24 февраля 2022, 15:34
Алексей Чадаев
If it were not for the Ukrainian language legislation, they would not have lost Crimea, or the conflict in the Donbass, or, in general, the subject of the current conflict.

Alexey Chadayev, political analyst

When I listened to Dasha Navalnaya's speech at the Sakharov Prize, where clichés of militant anti-regime propaganda were expounded in fairly average English for a Stanford student, I thought about this. That the “beautiful Russia of the future”, judging by this spectacle, is not going to differ from the terrible Russia of the present according to the basic model: the elite, as now, will store some resources “there”, teach children “there” and borrow a picture of the world also “from there”".

When I observe the long-term efforts of the ideologists of the Ukrainian state to squeeze the Russian language out of education and the media into a purely domestic sphere, the story is about the same. Universal primary and secondary education, as well as higher education for the masses, will, of course, be in Ukrainian, but in order to make a career in public administration or the corporate sector, higher education will inevitably have to be received in English. The same will apply to specialists who want to be in demand not only in their own country with its limited supply of highly qualified personnel. Plus, of course, the elites will by no means want to give their children a Ukrainian-language education in Kiev universities - they will send them to study in the “first world”. The state language will remain for the shirnarmass, for serials, talk shows and pop music; all those areas where there is a chance to earn a little more than just a living, will, of course, become English-speaking according to the basic firmware.

Looking back, it is easy to understand that they would have neither lost Crimea, nor the conflict in the Donbass, nor even the subject of the current conflict, if it were not for the language legislation. Everything else, including decommunization, repressions against the opposition, rewriting of history, gas blackmail, etc. could well have remained - but even in this case, even in Russia itself there would be no “Crimean consensus”, but there would be a sharp polarization about the very need for a conflict. They would also nod - they say, but what about themselves? Moreover, Ukraine would be much closer to the EU and NATO than it is now. But if Putin came out with this story of his about the threat to national security, many of us would say that they are doing great, they are integrating, and we missed our historical chance and are now on the sidelines, that's where authoritarianism-irremovability-corruption etc. has been brought. And for many they would be "our people who succeeded".

Why was it so necessary? Is it more necessary than any "European integration" and other "joining NATO"?

No matter how much my acquaintances and friends “from the other side” tell me this lament that the problem of the Russian language in Ukraine exists only in the inflamed imagination of the Kremlin propagandists, I somehow see that in fact the thing is not in the language as such. And the fact that the Russian language, as the state language, still has the necessary potential even now to build real sovereignty. It will stop soon, in a generation or two, but for now it can. And by real sovereignty, I mean, among other things, such a critically important function for it as the ability to independently reproduce the elite through the opportunity to receive world-class education in their own country and in their own language.

Ukrainian, as well as any other national languages of the post-Soviet space, does not have this potential. I do not even rule out that in other circumstances he could have received it sometime in the future - but in today's world order this will not happen. Precisely because this colonial model will “get up” and will stand, with “Dashas” being sent to Stanford in a stream.

Actually, here is the “secret of the Ring” for you: this is why our dear and beloved Mordor can lie in ruins for as long as you like, be a crypto-colony and a gas station - but as long as it exists, it is not completely defeated.

Original is here.