Department of Slavonic Studies
(Text will appear in Harvard Ukrainian Studies XXVIII (2006))
1The Ukrainian Language in Education and Mass Media
As the national census  of December 2001 indicates, Ukraine is today de facto a bilingual nation. Regarding the question of their mother tongue („ridna mova“), it is true that 67.5% of the Ukraine population declare Ukrainian and „only“ 29.6% declare Russian, showing a
sizable growth of 2.8% for Ukrainian since 1989. But regarding other languages of which they freely make use, 36.1% declare Russian and 20.3% Ukrainian. Thus, it is possible to approximate the actual Ukrainian speakers at upwards of 87.8% and that of Russian at 65.7% of the population, clearly illustrating that many are convinced of their bilingualism: 43.3% of Ukrainians claim a fluent knowledge of Russian in addition to their own mother tongue, and even 54,8% of Russians claim to freely speak Ukrainian in addition to their mother tongue . The question which language is most often used or preferred in daily affairs was not asked this time. According to the results of the last National census in1989, in response to the question of language preference, Russian was clearly ahead of Ukrainian . One very unique dimension of this Ukrainian bilingualism is that many bilingual speakers do not notice that either their Russian or their Ukrainian or both are variants of the mixed language Surzhyk, thus neither pure Ukrainian nor pure Russian (see article by M. Flier).
In compliance with the Constitution of 1996 (see paragraph 2) the national government is trying to introduce Ukrainian as the single official language throughout the entire country. The feasibility of such a measure is limited to specific spheres of public language use. A central position in the contemporary discussion is taken by the educational instruction and the mass media. Both are viewed as crucial areas that will decide the fate of the Ukrainian language, since, as many are convinced, the use of language in these areas will have a decisive impact on the language preferences of the Ukrainian youth. The following article will address the legal situation, then the current language situation will be discussed.
2. The current legal basis for the use of Ukrainian in education and mass media
In first place - in terms of its importance, not temporally - is the Ukrainian constitution adopted in June of 1996, which declared in Article 10 that Ukrainian is the state language and ensures its use “in all spheres of social life”, not without guaranteeing free development, the use and protection of Russian and other minority languages. For details reference is made to the corresponding law. There is no express mention of the language of educational instruction or of the language of mass media. The rights of minorities are defined in Articles 11, 24 and 53, the latter ensuring the rights of to be taught the mother tongue or in the mother tongue in state and municipal educational establishments or through national cultural societies. According to the Law on Languages 1989 (Zakon 1989), passed two years prior to the collapse of the Soviet union but still in effect, the use of language in education and the media is regulated through the following measures: In Articles 25-29 the individual’s right to free
1 I thank Svitlana Dechakivna Li, Derzhavnyj komitet telebachennja ta radiomovlennja, who made me available some official documents of 2004 and an extraxt from her Master’s thesis of 1999 about the Ukrainian language policy.
choice of language of instruction is laid down. Though the primary language of instruction is to be Ukrainian, in those places where other nationalities are compactly settled, lessons may be conducted in their language or in another language. Groups and classes, taught inone language, may be set up in a school with a different language of instruction. If one nationality stands clearly in the majority, yet their members do not have sufficient knowledge of their national language or if multiple nationalities live within the region and none is in the majority, parents may come to an agreement upon the language of instruction. The study of both Ukrainian and Russian is obligatory for all pupils. In tertiary education, the opportunity to set up classes with Russian as language of instruction is expressly allowed. For all students in institutions of higher education, lessons of Ukrainian language are obligatory. Entrance exams for all post-secondary educational institutions are conducted in Ukrainian, the entrance exam in a group with Russian als language of instruction in Russian and those for national language groups in the corresponding national language. The language of the mass media is only mentioned in a single article (Article 33) as Ukrainian, but may also be the language of another nationality.
For both fields of application only a vague commitment to the Ukrainian language is provided, indeed, Russian may always replace Ukrainian. Particularly unclear are the conditions under which the language of another nationality may be used: What, for instance, should be understood as a „compact settlement“? Also, no sanctions against acts be viewed as
punishable violations of the law are designated.
As the situation in the Ukraine in the aftermath of the soviet era has fundamentally changed, an effort to reassess and replace the 1989 Law on Languages has been under way. For quite some time now, the reality of the Ukraine has no longer fit with the provisions laid out in the law. Thus, in many parts of the Ukraine, lessons are given either solely in Ukrainian (western Ukraine) or Russian (Crimea); the issue of determining Ukrainian as the language of University entrance exams was raised by President Kuchma in the course of the 1999 Presidential campaign. To date, no less than ten proposals for a new Law on Languages have thbeen drawn up. Eight of these (the most recent proposal was submitted on the 17 of May
2004) pursue the goal of giving Russian a better status so that it is considered equal or nearly equal to Ukrainian. Usually, a ruling of the Constitutional Court challenges such proposals on the grounds that they are not consistent with Article 10 of the Constitution. Furthermore, a ruling of the Constitutional court of December 14, 1999 finds fault with the insufficient progress made by the Ukrainian state until now in implementing Ukrainian as the official language, specifically in state-run and municipal education establishments as well as in public administration, noting that the official language is only Ukrainian and that all state officials must be proficient in Ukrainian. In this ruling the proposal - often suggested by Russia, Russians and the Russian-speaking population - that Russian be given the status of “official
language” or “second state language” was rejected, as the expressions “state language“ and „official language“ were viewed as synonymous.
Both legislative proposals, which permit the Ukrainian language its dominant position, are substantially quite similar; in fact the December 3, 2003 proposal (Prp rozvytok 2003), currently the most advanced in the legislative process, presents a mere revised vision of a proposal introduced by then Prime Minister Yushchenko on June 30, 2000. This proposal in which already all responsible ministries have agreed has been passed on to the relevant Parliamentary committee. In contrast to the old Law on Languages, this proposal provides that Ukrainian in principle be recognized as the official language of education at all levels of study, however all citizens belonging to the national minority groups be guaranteed the right to be taught their mother tongue or in their mother tongue. Such lessons would be provided either through state or municipal schools or through national cultural societies (Artcle 18, in compliance with the provisions of Article 53 of the Constitution).
The language of the printed media is Ukrainian or other languages, television and radio are broadcast in the official language; but may, in regions where minorities are compactly settled, be broadcast in the language of the minority. Programs for foreign audiences are aired either in Ukrainian or the appropriate foreign language (Article 22). This article complies with the often quoted Article 9 of the Law on Television and Radio, which from the perspective of the Ukrainian authorities has been interpreted such that all countrywide active broadcasts are exclusively in Ukrainian, regional broadcasts at 50% (some say at 70%) and, at most, 50% and 30% in other languages respectively. The Russian language is not mentioned in this legal proposal. nd of October, 2003, for the second time , a “National Program for the On the 2
Development and Functioning of the Ukrainian Language until 2010” was adopted by the Cabinet. Ninety million Hryvni have been allocated to this project. In the Preamble it is revealed that the development and use of Ukrainian have not been proceeding in desired measure. Noted as particularly problematic areas are orthography, mass media, culture, education, science, information technology, and advertising. Therefore, a set of concrete tasks have been assigned to public institutions (State Committee for Television and Radio [Derzhkomteleradio], Ministry for Education and Science, Academy of Educational Sciences, public regional administrations etc), whose substance stems from recommendations of the Parliamentary hearing of the March 12, 2003 (Rekomendaciї 2003) . The first of these
recommendations is the development in 2004 of a plan for a national language policy. To this end, a “language policy” division of the Derzhkomteleradio is currently built up expanding from just three to 40 the number of employees. This task was already laid out at the establishment of the Derzhkomteleradio on August 27, 2003 (see Polozhennja 2003, Sect. 4, Art. 23-25), however was never specified. Among its concrete objectives are the sanctioning of violations of the Law on Languages, the establishment of a monitoring system to monitor the functioning and use of Ukrainian in various spheres of social life, particularly in higher education. Even more concrete - besides the customary goals of writing dictionaries, encyclopedias, new and additional textbooks, the setting up of more Ukrainian classes and schools, continuing education for teachers etc. - are television programs on the state language and customs of Ukrainians, more computer programs in the Ukrainian language, a special control of language of instruction in the Crimea and in the Oblasti Doneck, Luhansk, Odesa, and Dnipropetrovsk, the expansion of the areas of use of Ukrainian, the establishment of Ukrainian-language grammar schools (“gimnaziї”) in Simferopol and Jalta, the establishment
of a University branch in Sevastopol, new measures to increase the prestige of the Ukrainian language, language competitions, assistance for the Ukrainian film industry and dubbing, support for the translation of stage plays into Ukrainian, and expansion of the support of Ukrainian newspapers, which until yet is enjoyed almost only by “Kryms?ka svitlycja”.
Most of these points are not new and might look like a more or less haphazard selection, yet one thing is particularly worth noting: The recognition that a comprehensive conception of language policy, addressing the rights and interests of all affected parties is urgently needed. After the closing of the “Departament iz zdijsnennja movnoї polityki“ in 2000, which was
located in the State Committee on Minorities and Migration, there was no longer a responsible organization for such affairs.
With the integration of the Ukraine into European institutions, particularly following its 1995 admittance to the Council of Europe, an organization known for its responsiveness to minority issues, the Ukraine was forced to begin dealing with its stance on minority rights in the areas of education and the mass media. Already in 1992 the Ukraine had adopted a “Law on National Minorities”, which after evaluation by the OSCE High Commissioner on Minorities
won praise. The right to be taught one’s mother tongue or in one’s mother tongue in public educational establishments or national cultural societies was first established in this law and is
later on reflected in the Constitution. Additionally, Article 8 grants the right of access to mass media. This was incidentally the first law in which Russians were not even mentioned, but only the Ukrainian people and national minorities. Thus Russians belong inevitably to the latter.
The Ukraine then joined the Strasburg Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, which came into force in 1998, and must not only submit regular reports on its implementation progress (for the first time in 1999), but is subject to investigation by an Advisory Committee. Frequent seminars with representatives of the responsible Ukrainian Ministries and other officials are held in Kiev, and so on. One of the shortcomings noticed in 2002 has concerned minority access to the mass media, which, to a great extent, exists in reality, but lacks sufficient legal oversight .
A core theme of the current language debate is found in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, ratified by the Ukrainian parliament on May 15, 2003 (European Charter 2002). Before, an expert opinion was voiced at a function of the Council of Europe in Kiev (October 2002) expressing the view that the Charta would not have a negative impact on the establishment of Ukrainian as the state language, but even foster it. In fact it is expressly stated in the preamble of the Charter that “... the protection and encouragement of regional or minority languages should not be to the detriment of the official languages and the need to learn them“; also numerous Ukrainian experts (e.g. Li 1999, Pohribnyj 2003b) have expressed
this view. However, this can no longer be claimed with certainty: In making reference to the Charter, an array of new draft bills call for the lifting of the prefererential status of the Ukrainian language (e.g. a proposed bill concerning advertising claiming the right to use Russian). Furthermore, in closing Ukrainian language classes and schools, increasingly common in east Ukraine since 2003, frequent reference has been made to the Charter. Yet many who cite the Charter are not actually familiar with the text itself. The ratification of the charter had, above all, a psychological effect and was understood primarily as a signal that the preferential status of Ukrainian had come to an end.
Passed by the Council of Europe in 1992, the Charter already has a long history in the Ukraine. The then Ukrainian Foreign Minister signed it in May 1996 and was urged by the Council of Europe to ratify the Charter within 12 months. In a parliamentary voting, the ratification law was adopted on 24. 12.1999 against the votes of the National Democratic deputies. Afterwards, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Carter was in conflict with the Constitution – among other things regarding the use of minority languages in public
administration - and blocked the ratification due to a procedural error. In October 2002 President Kuchma once again presented the Charter for ratification, which after multiple attempts was adopted on 15.5.2003, despite a petition by members of parliament and prominent personalities asking not to sign it because it would hinder the further development of Ukrainian (Signature through Kuchma on June 7, 2003).
The ratification law puits into force 42 points of Part III of the Charter, comprising 98 paragraphs and subparagraphs, though only 35 would have been needed. As in the first ratification law of December 24, 1999, the special consideration of languages not unique to a territorial area is ruled out; this conflicts actually with the right to national-cultural autonomy guaranteed by the Law on National Minorities. With regard to education (Article 8) it is assured that at the request of families and given a sufficient number of schoolchildren, preschool and school lectures as well as professional training will be offered in minority languages; at universities, courses in minority languages or the opportunity to study these languages will only be “allowed” or “encouraged”. The latter provision is provided for adult and continuing education courses as well. Lessons on the history and culture of minorities as well as the training of teachers in these areas are assured. In the field of media (Article 11), the state agrees to assure that broadcasters offer programs in minority languages and to facilitate access to regular airtime for radio and television programs and the creation of at
least one newspaper in every minority language. A financial obligation on the part of the state to achieve these ends is not provided for. The training of personnel who speak a minority language, a guarantee that stations from neighboring countries with programs in such languages will not be hindered and the free spread of information in print media in such languages identical or similar to the minority languages are provided. The interest of minorities must also be ensured and monitored by an oversight board responsible for freedom and pluralism in the media.
The minorities to whom the Charter shall find application according to the corresponding ratification law (Zakon 2003) are Belorussians, Bulgarians, Crimean Tatars, Gagausians, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Jews, Moldavians, Poles, Rumanians, Russians, Slovaks; four additional groups were added in 2004, among them the Roma and Armenians. The Russians, having been highly involved in the push for the ratification of this law, are a minority recognized in the same manner as any other. The call for a status as a “second state language” for Russian which many Russians had justified by their special position not as minority group, but rather as a “state-forming nation”, has thus lost its basis.
Compared to the first ratification law of 1999, the state is bound to fewer and weaker obligations regarding minorities and it is emphasized that the implementation measures for Ukrainian present no threat to the preservation and development of minority languages Additionally, the minority languages may only be used as official language at the regional or local level, but not in the “administrative districts of the state” (=Oblasti) and public services may not be provided in a minority language. In this way, the ratification law seeks apparently to comply with the Constitutional Court ruling of 14.12.1999 and to avoid a renewed annulment of the ratification. Further differences with the first version of the law of ratification of 1999 are: No use of minority languages in official documents (i.e. employment contracts) and technical documents (i.e. instruction manuals); and in the economic sector and social establishments minority languages shall not be promoted.
The financial situation of the Ukraine places quite narrow limitations to the implementation of the Charter, which according to Ukrainian estimates would cost approximately 2 Billion Hryvni. Radio and approximately 100 newspapers printed in minority languages have been in existence for some long time, the parliamentary newspaper “Holos Ukraїny” contains supplements in six minority languages. Minority festivals, schools and classes in minority languages are financed by the state.
It is really remarkable that, relating to the signing of the Charter, the Council of Europe has put so much pressure on the Ukraine, even including the threat to exclude the country from the Council of Europe. Numerous other European states, among them even EU member states, have neither signed nor ratified the Charter. Many European states outright reject collective minority rights and grant only individual rights. The widely held opinion of the Council of Europe and the OSCE that the new post-soviet states are in need of special oversight with regard to the treatment of minorities has, curiously enough, not led to a similar pressure on Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In fact, all three have not even signed the Charter up to now. There is a supposition that, in the case of the Ukraine, Russia had made special use of its influence on the Council.
The Charter is, as is made clear in the preamble, apparently geared to a (Western)European “normal case” in which a large majority of the population speaks the state language and the
minority population is struggling for its linguistic and cultural survival. The case, that the titular nationality has a minority status in at least parts of the state and that its linguistic rights there are limited has not been considered. The Ukraine therefore seeks to interpret the Charter in a more suitable way; among other things, the translation of the term “minority language” is publicly discussed and, as a more fiting translation, „menshynnaja mova“ and not „mova menshyn“ is proposed (Radchuk 2003, 51). Accordingly the promotion of Russian would be
ruled out either totally or at least in some regions, as Russians, but not the Russian language, can claim minority status.
One final regulation concerning minority languages in the mass media and their relation to Ukrainian is worth mentioning. On April 14, 2004, a news report gave the Russian media and politicians quite a scare: The head of the license issuing National Council for Television and Radio , Boris Kholod, had ordered by decree that all countrywide (thus, reaching more that the half of all Oblasti) Radio- und Television stations within very short time constraints (5 days) broadcast only programs in Ukrainian and that in regions with compact minority settlements, stations should transmit at least 50% of their programs in Ukrainian language and at most 50% in another language or languages. Actually, such quotas were always fixed in the licensing agreements (50% or 75% Ukrainian language programs), based on the previously mentioned Article 9 of the Television and Radio Law. By the end of 2000 this regulation had already created worries among Russians as the Derzhkominform reiterated that stations must adhere to the decree. Nevertheless, stations never had taken this order seriously and their disregard had never been sanctioned. This time as well, the National Council promised that, until the Presidential elections of October 2004, no punitive measures would be brought against stations that did not comply with the regulation. President Kuchma rushed to assure everyone on the 22 of April that the decree should not be taken too seriously and that it had the character of a recommendation.
It is a vestige of the soviet era that a large gap rests between legal orders and the reality in Ukraine, as has been illustrated here. Legal decrees are often vaguely formulated and allow significant room for interpretation, particularly by local officials, concrete adherence to them is often not expected, violations go frequently unsanctioned – or are overly sanctioned,
depending on which is more politically opportune.
3. Statistical and unofficial data on education and the media
In comparing official data released by the state and data published by researchers and media, a number of curious differences emerge.
a. Official data concerning the Ukrainian language in educational establishments 
Table 1: Children in preschools (by language of instruction, in %)
1991 1995 2000 2001 2002 1991 1995 2000 2001 2002
50,8 66,0 78,0 79,4 80,5 48,8 33,0 21,6 20,2 19,0
Table 2: Children in secondary educational institutions  (by language of instruction, in %)
1991/2 1995/6 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3 1991/2 1995/6 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3
49 58 70 72 73 50 41 29 27 26
stndTable 3: Students in institutions of higher education of the 1 und 2 levels of accreditation
(by language of instruction, in %)
1995/6 1999/0 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3 1995/6 1999/0 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3
55 75 78 80 82 45 25 22 20 18
rdth and 4 level of accreditation Table 4: Students in institutions of higher education of the 3
(by language of instruction)
1995/6 1999/0 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3 1995/6 1999/0 2000/1 2001/2 2002/3
51 69 73 76 78 49 31 27 24 22
According to official statistics, there has been constant growth nationwide in the number of institutions in which Ukrainian is the language of instruction. Looking at particularly key regions, a very heterogeneous image of the use of Ukrainian as a language of instruction emerges. For comparison, the proportion of the Ukrainian population in the corresponding region will be provided.
Table 5: Regional differences in the use of Ukrainian in the educational system (in %)
Ukrainian as Proportion of Ukrainians
Language of Instruction
1991/2 2002/3 Dec. 2001
Oblast? Ivano-Frankivsk 97,7% 100,0% 97,5%
Oblast? Luhansk 5,8% 25,3% 58,0%
City of Kiev 72,8% 99,9% 82,8%
Autonomous Republic of Crimea 0% 3,4% 24,3%
Sec. educational institutions
Oblast? Ivano-Frankivsk 96% 99,6% 97,5%
Oblast? Luhansk 7% 23% 58,0%
City of Kiev 31% 95% 82,8%
Autonomous Republic of Crimea 0% 2% 24,3%
Institutions of higher education stndof the 1 and 2 level of accreditation
Oblast? Ivano-Frankivsk 100% 100% 97,5%
Oblast? Luhansk 8% 58% 58,0%
City of Kiev 72% 99% 82,8%
Autonomous Republic of Crimea 0% 2% 24,3%
Institutions of higher education rdthof the 3 and 4 level of accreditation
Oblast? Ivano-Frankivsk 100% 100% 97,5%
Oblast? Luhansk 8% 34% 58,0%
City of Kiev 67% 97% 82,8%
Autonomous Republic of Crimea 0% 0,4% 24,3%
This data serves to illustrate that the distribution of language of instruction in education does not always correspond with the national composition of the region, as established in the census of December 2001. Whereas in the east and in Crimea the proportion of Ukrainian-language educational establishments in relation to the proportion of Ukrainians is much too low, in Kiev it is too high.
b. Unofficial Data
The data in the Statistical Yearbook 2002 conceals the fact that these figures only address public state-run schools. Beyond these, private Russian-language educational institutions of all levels have been established throughout the country. The numerous Russian-language private universities in Kiev would alone serve to considerably change the above data. Additionally, there is information that entire schools are often reported as Ukrainian-speaking, despite the fact that only a handful of subjects are taught in Ukrainian (the rest in Russian), or that only a few classes are run in Ukrainian language (the rest in Russian, see Levyc?ka 1996). Some mixed schools combining Ukrainian and Russian classes have been converted to Russian only, against the will of Ukrainian-speaking parents and children. This was justified by a decree of the Ministry of Education on 22.07.1993 in which regional officials were ordered to replace, if possible, mixed language schools (which are regarded as hotbeds of Surzhyk) with single language schools (Mentel? 1997). In East Ukraine, in so-called Ukrainian-language schools, lessons are often taught in Russian, the mother tongue of teachers and children (Dzhuvaha 1998).
A notable increase in closures of Ukrainian-language schools or their reversion to Russian-speaking has been witnessed since 2003. The opening and closing of schools is left to the sole discretion of local officials and may not be ordered from Kiev. In the Fall of 2003, despite month long protests by parents and school children, the only Ukrainian-language school in the city of Doneck, a city of over 1 million inhabitants, was closed by city officials. This despite a high demand for entrance, the first class was said to have ten candidates per available place. This school, faced with 152 Russians, had met strong resistance by the city authority which allegedly was not able to accommodate the school, and had stood in the cross-fire from the time of its establishment. It had been continually threatened with closure and turned many times to Kiev for assistance, finally without success. This case, which was closely monitored by the media for over a decade is symptomatic, as the regional administration often demonstrates itself to be the primary opponent of the schools establishment and of the maintenance of Ukrainian-language educational institutions, makes complaints about “enforced Ukrainization” and looks for an occasion to retransform a school
into a Russian one or outright close it. Similar cases in Odesa, Kharkiv (closing of Ukrainian- language classes even since 1996, the introduction of Russian as the language of instruction in 30 “Ukrainian schools” in 2003), Dnipropetrovsk (closing of three Ukrainian-language
schools in 2003) and Luhansk are known. Official pretexts for the retransformation or closing of schools are commonly the lack of Ukrainian-speaking school children, teachers or schoolbooks, or structural deficiencies which lead to a temporary and then final closing of a school, or official administrative conditions which cannot be fulfilled. Since 2003 the ratification of the Charter serves as a new justification. In the 1990’s a number of open letters
written by parents, teachers and school headmasters and addressed to the President appeared in newspapers (e.g. Literaturna Ukraїna, Ukraїns?ke slovo) and lamented the calamitous
conditions of the Ukrainian-language educational system (e.g. in Luhansk und
Dnipropetrovsk there was until 1994 not a single Ukrainian-language school), but these grievances were left unanswered.
The situation in Crimea for Ukrainian-language schools is particularly troubled. In the 2001/2002 school year, a mere 1,4% of the pupils were taught in Ukrainian as language of instruction, with a population that is 24,3% Ukrainian of which 40,4% declare Ukrainian as their mother tongue. To build up an Ukrainian-language class in a Russian-language school, some twenty school children must meet together. At present, there are only four Ukrainian-language schools and one “himnazija” (grammar school, in Simferopol) in Crimea. In 2002 the Crimean parliament passed its own law for the preservation and development of the Russian-language schools. Since 1993 Russian is an obligatory language in all types of schools in the Crimea, the state language Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar are not. Therefore, in the 1990’s Sunday schools for Ukrainian school children were established – a typical measure
to preserve a minority language. rdth and 4 It is particularly difficult to believe that in institutions of higher education of the 3level of accreditation, 78% of students throughout the country receive an education in Ukrainian as teaching language. East of Kiev Ukrainian is often limited to the humanities. Even though according to statistics the language of instruction in institutions of higher rdthlearning of the 3 and 4 level of accreditation in the region of Kharkiv in 2002/3 was 77%
Ukrainian, at Kharkiv University courses are taught with hardly a single exception in Russian. This leads in some subjects to the quite curious situation that, since textbooks are already written in Ukrainian, students must themselves compile the terminology in two languages. The single matter laught in Ukrainian, beyond the subject of “Ukrainian philology,” is the nationwide obligatory course „Ukraїns?ka dilova mova“, taught in the first year of study for two hours a week. In this course, Ukrainian special terminology as well as administrative language (the composition of a CV, an application etc.) is covered. Weather or not an institution of higher education conducts it lectures in Ukrainian is dependent upon the orientation of the Rector, that is, if he or she makes it a requirement of his teachers to lecture in Ukrainian and what consequences are provided to control this. Thus a complaint was lodged by a student of Chernivtsi University in response to the actions of a teacher who switched to speaking Russian during an after class discussion. The faculty member was reprimanded.
Since President Kuchma in 1999 permitted the taking of university entrance exams in Russian in addition to Ukrainian, it has become de facto possible to complete ones studies without a competent knowledge of Ukrainian. As dissertations may be written in Russian but must be defended in Ukrainian, there is a certain measure of assurance that scientific trainees hold some competence in Ukrainian
4. Statistical and unofficial data regarding the mass-media
a. Official Data
Table 6: Books, Journals and Newspapers 
1985 1995 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Number of titles 8362 6109 7065 6282 7749 10614 12444
Total number of copies
published (in m) 155 68 44 22 44 50 48
out of these in Ukrainian 78 32 24 12 29 29 30
in % 50,3 47 54,5 54,5 65,9 58 62,5
Number of titles 206 604 1009 1374 1245 1653 1923
Yearly number of copies
published (in m) 170 24 57 40 52 60 84
out of these in Ukrainian 151 17 10 14 12 17 26
in % 88,8 70,8 17,5 35 23 28,3 30,9
Number of titles 1799 1877 2659 2551 2667 2727 3045
Circulation (in m) 23 21 48 39 48 53 87
out of these in Ukrainian 15 10 19 15 13 18 32
in % 65,2 47,6 39,6 38,5 27,1 33,9 36,8
Yearly circulation (in m) 4438 4652 3096 2984 3459 3632 4860
Bilingual newspapers (those in which both Russian and Ukrainian articles appear in a single
edition) are not mentioned, which calls for caution in looking at these figures.That even
official data can be conflicting is illustrated in the following example: The Ukrainian State
Committee for matters of nationalities and migration showed in 1998 the following numbers
for the previous year: in 1997 the circulation of Ukrainian-language newspapers was at
9,8929 million, of Russian-speaking 14,5292 million, a total sum of approximately 24,5
million issues. The Staystychnyj Shchorichnyk 1998 shows, however, a circulation of 34
million for the previous year (of which 14 million are Ukrainian-language).
On 17.2.2004, the following figures for the year 2004 were published by the
- Registered printed media (= Newspapers and Journals) in Ukrainian language: 3864
(519 more than 1.1.2003);
- Registered printed media in Russian language: 2567 (367 more than 1.1.2003);
- Registered printed media with mixed text: Ukrainian plus another language 2479 (658
more than 1.1.2003), Russian plus another language 3091 (515 more than 1.1.2003);
and an additional 93 mixed language publications,
- Registered printed media in parallel additions: Ukrainian plus one other language 3521
(469 more than 1.1.2003); Russian plus one other language 3461 (464 more than on
1.1.2003) as well as more than 1000 parallel issues in other languages. By January 2002 the Derzhkominform (the predecessor organization to the
Derzhkomteleradio, which functioned until 27.8.2003) had registered 9180 newspapers (2300
countrywide und 6880 local), additionally more than 5000 journals. The serious discrepancy
between these data and the figures for the year 2002 in table 6 can be explained only through
the distinction between “active” and “passive” licenses.
Table 7: Local state-run Radio and Television stations in 2002 
Hours of air-time
countrywide per day 344,0 237,7
in Ukrainian 87,9% 82,4%
in Russian 8,3% 16,5%
The regional distribution is also quite interesting here: Whereas in the Autonomous Republic
of Crimea 57,1% of the regional state-run television and 56,3% of the radio programs are