Skip to Content

Stock photo from Pixabay

Hungary denounces Ukraine’s discriminatory language law

The language law that Ukraine’s parliament approved on Thursday is unacceptable, according to the Hungarian Foreign Minister.

Published: May 1, 2019, 9:59 am

    Read more

    The law which violates the rights of the Hungarian community in the neighbouring country reflects the ideals of outgoing President Petro Poroshenko who pursued an anti-Hungarian policy, Peter Szijjarto told public media on Thursday.

    Voters in Ukraine elected a new president, Vladimir Zelensky, with a large majority, Szijjarto said, adding that it put an end to the Poroshenko era.

    He expressed hope that the situation concerning the rights of the Hungarian community in Ukraine would soon be “clarified in a dialogue with the country’s new president on the basis of mutual respect and in pursuit of finding a solution to the issue”.

    “We will do our utmost to restore ties between Ukraine and Hungary” after Zelensky enters office, Szijjarto said.

    Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto. Photo supplied

    “Our aim is to have friendship return between Hungary and Ukraine and the outcome of this recent presidential election gives some hope for that,” the Foreign Minister said.

    The law which makes the use of Ukrainian compulsory as an official language in several areas was passed with a large majority. Hungarian organisations in the Carpathian Basin protested against the legislation saying that it eliminated all of the minorities’ rights to the use of their own language.

    In 2017, Ukraine passed a similar law that would have banned teaching in languages other than Ukrainian beyond the primary school level, but quickly ammended it after a major outcry. The law had angered the significant Hungarian, Romanian and Polish minorities as well as their governments.

    Findings of a poll conducted jointly by the Levada Centre in Moscow and the Kiev Institute of Sociology earlier, showed more than 57 per cent of Ukrainians have a positive attitude towards Russia – sharply up from 30 per cent in 2015. And an even greater proportion said they were favourably disposed towards Russians.

    Zelensky posted a diatribe over the weekend in response to Russian President Putin’s offer of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens both inside and outside the areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian speakers.

    Days after Zelenskiy defeated Poroshenko in a runoff election on April 21, the Ukrainian parliament passed a new language bill Poroshenko had backed.

    It decreed the exclusive use of Ukrainian, not just by state officials but by all service personnel such as waiters and shop assistants, and requires that all media use Ukrainian as their primary language.

    This move is a major shift in a country where top news media have always used Russian first. Officials and military personnel will now be fined for not speaking Ukrainian in official contexts.

    Ukraine’s newly-elected leader however, will have to contend with more than one foreign state issuing its passports to Ukrainians as a result of his predecessor’s divisive language and citizenship policy.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has long demanded autonomy, dual citizenship and language freedom for the more than 150 000 Hungarians in the Ukrainian Transcarpathia, once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at the time of the 2001 census – Ukraine has not held another census since.

    When it became clear that President Petro Poroshenko was set on making the Ukrainian language dominant throughout the country, Hungary quietly started issuing passports to Hungarian-speaking Ukrainians, but Ukraine expelled a Hungarian consul for the practice.

    Romania, which has issued at least half a million passports in neighbouring Moldova, may face hundreds of thousands of applications from Ukrainian citizens who speak Romanian or practically identical Moldovan. Applications for Romanian citizenship have increased since 2017, when the country scrapped consular fees for applicants.

    Russians are Ukraine’s biggest ethnic minority and Russian remains the biggest obstacle to the dominance of Ukrainian, because most people in Ukraine speak Russian, and many speak it better than the country’s now-only official language.

    The reason for this is that Russia will always be a much bigger market for books, popular music and other cultural products, while Russian social networks such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki have remained popular in Ukraine even though they were banned under Poroshenko.

    Ukrainians have used virtual private networks to access Russian social media networks under the current ban.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Interview with Alexander Dugin – ‘Welcome all newcomers!’

    Prof. Alexander Dugin, philosopher and geopolitical expert from Russia, sees the world changing: the old liberalism is being replaced by a new, aggressive, globalist mutation. Manuel Ochsenreiter's interview with Dugin gives a fascinating insight into the globalist future.

    Legal expert condemns Dutch patience for jihadists

    RotterdamA case that is representative of the ongoing Islamization of the Netherlands has exposed the Dutch tolerance for Islamic extremists, argues Paul Cliteur, a distinguished law professor in the Netherlands from Leiden University and a defence witness for Geert Wilders when Wilders was on trial for “hate speech”.

    German PEI greenlights Pfizer citing insufficient data after myocarditis reports

    BerlinThe new report by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) states that there is still "no clear picture" between cases of myocardial inflammation and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations. Mainly young men are affected. Notably, myocarditis can trigger a life-threatening arrhythmia or lead to cardiac arrest.

    AfD inquiry into refugee policy making waves in Hong Kong

    BerlinAn inquiry from the Eurosceptic AfD to the German federal government regarding the "German refugee policy towards the Chinese special administrative zone Hong Kong and the granting of asylum status" has apparently caused a sensation reaching as far as Southeast Asia.

    Education and immigration are main primers for voter choices

    ParisThe economists Amory Gethin, Clara Martínez-Toledano and Thomas Piketty, who work at the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics, asked some interesting questions in a study published in early May. The three researchers collected data from several Western democracies. Immigrant voters distinguish themselves by choosing the left.

    New Austrian conservative strongman calls into question arbitrary Corona rules

    ViennaFormer Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) is considered the new strong man in his party, slated to take over the leadership soon. In an interview translated from ZUERST! Kickl explains how he wants to bring the FPÖ back to being the top party.

    Swede gets kicked in the head by immigrant gang but media conceals the facts

    SkövdeAt Vasaskolan in Skövde, a brutal assault occurred in May, when a student received blows and kicks to the head by seven attackers. In the local media, important facts were concealed: The abuse is part of an increasingly tense ethnic conflict between Swedish young people and immigrants from Skövde's ghetto Södra Ryd.

    Macron slapped in the face: ‘He got what he deserved’

    ParisCNews star Eric Zemmour commented on the slap received by French President Emmanuel Macron on June 8, 2021. While condemning the slap given to Macron, the journalist and columnist considered that the President of the Republic "got what he deserved" because Macron "himself has desecrated the function".

    Macron slapped in the face by royalist

    Tain-l'HermitageDamien Tarel, presumed author of the aggression against the French president, and Arthur C. were arrested by the gendarmes of the Surveillance and Intervention Platoon of the Gendarmerie (PSIG) of Valence. They were presented, according to one source, as “yellow vests”, a fact which was denied by the public prosecutor.

    Alarming number of bankruptcies due to lock-down in Germany

    BerlinAlice Weidel, the co-leader of the AfD noted the alarming number of people who have filed for personal bankruptcy since the Corona pandemic began.

    Go to archive