Status of the Russian language takes 31st place in Ukrainians’ priorities
The fight in parliament on 24 May over a language bill from the Party of the Regions condemned by many civic leaders and organizations as aimed at distracting public attention from economic and other issues and dividing the country. The law would effectively give Russian second langauge status in many regions
Ukrainians are most concerned about material issues – unemployment, the crisis, foodprices, according to a public opinion survey carried out by the Razumkov Centre and the Democratic Initiatives Foundation.
Such ideological issues as the status of the Russian language; conflict in the Church; and NATO are at the end of the list of important issues.
If in 2004 the status of the Russian language interested 3.9% of Ukrainians, in 2012 this figure was 3.9% Out of 33 issues, it was 31st, followed only by “overcoming conflict of religious denominations” and Ukraine’s joining NATO.
The first issues of concern were: unemployment: 59.3%; overcoming the economic crisis and economic growth – 51.8%; increasing the general level of pay, pensions, student grants – 51.5%; reducing food price and basic commodities: 43.3%
Respondents could pick no more than 10 imporant issues.
The study was carried out between 31 May and 6 June, with 2, 000 respondents.