Donbas residents have to 'be lured to join Ukrainian-language space' as soon as they find it possible - Ukrainian language ombudsman
There is a problem "of the actual lack of the state language" in Donbas in those public areas as are envisaged by the law, Ukrainian governmental commissioner for the protection of the state language Tetiana Monakhova said.
"There [in Donbas] is actually a problem of the actual absence of the state language in those public areas, which are envisioned by the law, and we will apparently work out the entire strategy of humanitarian and cultural measures. It is necessary not only to fine people as is stipulated by the law, but encourage them to shift to the Ukrainian language, learn the state language and apply it in those situations as is implied by the law," she told a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
As for certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions outside Kyiv's control, the language policy, which is aimed at people living there, is also required, Monakhova said.
"Now, we, in every possible way we have in hand, will send messages, address people and talk to these people. As soon as a legal opportunity and a political opportunity appear we will encourage them to join the Ukrainian-language space," she added.
The Ukrainian language should become a factor of unification, but not a split in society, the ombudswoman said.