The lawmakers of the town of Ivano-Frankovsk in Western Ukraine adopted "The program for development and functioning of the Ukrainian language for 2004-2005". The document virtually bans the use of Russian language in the local schools.
The legislation stirred up strong discontent with the members of the Russian Society of the Ivano-Frankovsk region. They believe it poses a threat to the existence of Russian-language classes and groups in the local schools and a university. "The discriminatory clauses of ‘the program’ are obviously aimed at violating the rights of the Russian-language population."
The regional Ukrainianization program also includes the mechanism of control over communicative activities of the school children. A special "committee of the public language control" comprising the town council’s authorized personnel and representatives of political parties and public organizations will be responsible for exercising control. The toll-free phone numbers are now available to law-abiding citizens who want to report on any "language violations."
It is noteworthy that all Russian-language schools in two other regional towns of Western Ukraine, namely in Rovno and Ternopol, were shut down. The Russian cultural center located in the town of Lvov is regularly desecrated by local nationalists.
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