The Ombudsman for the Protection of the State Language of Ukraine Taras Kremin demanded to change the text of the Odessa anthem, written in Russian. This was reported on May 2 by the Ukrainian edition “Strana.ua”.
Kremin, in his annual progress report, which he presented to the Ukrainian government this week, suggested translating the anthem into Ukrainian or creating a new one.
“If we really fix a violation, then it should be corrected. How the deputies of the Odessa City Council will do this, I do not know. The final part of the report contains recommendations, so the deputies must decide for themselves – this will be a new anthem, or it will be a translation, or this anthem will be unofficial, but the official one will be different, ”the Ombudsman said.
Kremin said that he discussed the issue of the implementation of the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language” with the mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov, and based on the results of the conversation, they came to the conclusion that the law should be “powerfully protected.”
In addition, according to the Ombudsman, there is an agreement with the chairman of the Odessa State Administration Sergei Grinevetsky and the Odessa Regional Council Grigory Didenko that the post of a new deputy head of the Odessa administration, responsible for the implementation of language legislation in the region, will be established.
At the same time, Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov told the publication that changing the anthem is hardly possible. “We like our anthem, Odessa is happy with everything. Personally, I am not going to take the initiative to replace or change the existing anthem of Odessa. But it will be determined by the city council, if such a question is raised, ”he commented on the Ombudsman’s initiative.
Trukhanov confirmed that he had met with Kremin and advised him “to treat Odessa and the nationalities living on its territory with respect,” but, apparently, was not heard, the mayor said.
Earlier, on April 23, Kremin threatened that he would demand to deprive the mandates of deputies who systematically violate the law on the state language.
According to him, using a non-state language in the performance of their official duties, the deputies violate not only article 12 of the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language”, but also the deputy’s oath.
In 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted in the final reading the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language.”
The bill implies the use of only the Ukrainian language by state and local authorities, educational institutions, hospitals, as well as in the service sector. Thus, the use of the Russian language, which is spoken by a significant number of residents of Ukraine, is virtually excluded.