RFE/RL: Moscow concerned over 'anti-Russian escapades' in Ukraine


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Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 08:24:30 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: RFE/RL: Moscow concerned over 'anti-Russian escapades' in Ukraine

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

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RFE/RL: Moscow concerned over 'anti-Russian escapades' in
Ukraine



RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
________________________________________________________
RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report
Vol. 2, No. 22, 13 June 2000
 
A Survey of Developments in Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine by the
Regional Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team
 
...................

UKRAINE
 
MOSCOW CONCERNED OVER 'ANTI-RUSSIAN ESCAPADES.' Quoting diplomatic
sources, Interfax reported on 7 June that Russia's Foreign Ministry
has sent a note to the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow expressing concern
over "the continued anti-Russian escapades of radical right-wing
forces in Ukraine." In particular, the ministry noted that radical
nationalists in Lviv "organize rallies under the wild slogans 'Death
for death!' and 'Beat the Muscovites!'" It also accused Western
Ukraine's press of "playing into the nationalists' hands."
       
According to Interfax's sources, "the Lviv authorities actually
manifest solidarity with the radical nationalists and are conducting a
full-scale attack on the Russian language and culture." To support
this statement, the informants pointed to the closure of the
Russian-language station Our Radio in Western Ukraine.

A wave of anti-Russian sentiment has swept Lviv in particular and
Western Ukraine in general since the death of well-known composer Ihor
Bilozir on 28 May. Bilozir died as a result of the fatal injury he
sustained in an attack by a group of Russian speakers who did not like
his singing Ukrainian songs in a cafe (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus,
and Ukraine Report," 6 June 2000).

Yevhen Stasyuk, head of the Humanitarian and Social Policy Department
and the Ukrainian Language Commission in the Lviv City Executive
Committee, told Interfax on 8 June that "the Russian minority has no
reason to complain about some restrictions" in the city. "It is
another matter that the recent events are being used by different
political forces in their own way," Stasyuk added.

Stasyuk said his commission has found that Lviv restaurants and cafes
often play a "disproportionate" amount of Russian and "primarily
low-quality" music. To improve the situation, Stasyuk has initiated
monthly briefings for cafe owners.

Stasyuk also said the Lviv City Council will soon discuss a draft
resolution on "audioecology" in the city. The document was submitted
by councilor Orest Drul, who is also chief editor of the "Postup"
newspaper. Drul proposes "to introduce a moratorium on the
broadcasting and performance of Russian songs on Lviv's streets and
squares." According to Drul, Lviv, a city with great historical and
cultural heritage, "is losing its Ukrainian face." Drul maintains that
"the vigorous [Russian] minority does not understand [the city's
heritage] and brings Lviv down to the level of other Ukrainian and
Russian cities."

...................
 
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"RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report" is prepared by Jan
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