Russian-language media in Ukraine will now be forced to publish a secondary version in the country’s official tongue under a new law that selectively bans “foreign” language publications that don’t come with a translation.
According to the law, which was passed in 2019 but came into force on Sunday, all print media must publish a Ukrainian version on the same day, with the same name, content, and volume.
Despite Russian being a common mother tongue in much of Ukraine and predominant in many cities in both the east and south of the country, it has not been granted an exception in the law. Instead, these have been given to Crimean Tatar, the languages of some indigenous peoples of Ukraine, as well as English and all the official EU languages. This means, for example, that a Polish document would not require a translation. The same would even apply to the likes of Irish and Maltese, which likely have very few speakers in the country, outside embassy staff.