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LAW OF THE UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

On Languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Vidomosti Verkhovnoyi Rady Ukrayiny (VVR), 1989, issue 45, page 631

Carried into effect by Resolution of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of Ukraine #8313-11 of 28 October 1989, VVR 1989, issue 45, page 632

Changed and amended according to Law of Ukraine #75/95-VR of 28 February 1995, VVR 1995, issue 13, page 85

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic acknowledges the vital and societal value of all national languages and guarantees the national cultural and linguistic rights to its citizens without reservation, assuming that only the free development and equal standing of national languages, the high linguistic culture are the basis of the mutual spiritual understanding, reciprocal cultural enrichment and strengthening of the friendship between people.

The Ukrainian language is one of the important factors of the national originality of the Ukrainian people.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic vests the Ukrainian language with the status of the state language in order to support the comprehensive development of spiritual creative forces of the Ukrainian people and guarantee its sovereign national state future.

The development of the understanding of the social value of the Ukrainian language as the state language of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Russian language as the language of the interethnic communication of peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics among citizens regardless of their national affiliation shall be the duty of the state, party and public bodies and mass media of the Republic. The choice of the language of the interpersonal communication among citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be an inalienable right of citizens themselves.

1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Objective of the Linguistic Legislation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

The objective of the linguistic legislation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be to govern public relations in the sphere of the comprehensive development and use of the Ukrainian and other languages used by the population of the Republic in the state, economic, political and public life, to protect the constitutional rights of citizens in this sphere, to develop the respectful attitude to the national dignity of an individual, his culture and language, to foster the friendship and co-operation among peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Article 2. State Language of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

According to the Constitution of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian language is the state language of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall ensure the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of public life.

The republican and local state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations shall provide all citizens with conditions required for the study of the Ukrainian language and the profound fluency in it.

Article 3. Languages of Other Nationalities in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall create the conditions required for the development and use of languages of other nations in the Republic.

The national languages may be used together with the Ukrainian language in activities of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations located in places of residence of the majority of citizens of other nationalities (towns, districts, village and settlement councils, villages, their totalities).

If the citizens of another nationality constituting the majority of the population of the said administrative and territorial units or populated areas are not sufficiently fluent in the national language or if several nationalities reside within boundaries of such administrative and territorial units or populated areas and none of such nationalities is in majority among the population of the locality in question, the Ukrainian language or the language acceptable for the whole population may be used in the work of the said bodies and organisations.

Article 4. Interethnic Communication Languages

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian, Russian and other languages shall be the interethnic communication languages.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall provide for the free use of the Russian language as the interethnic communication language of people of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Article 5. Right of Citizens to Use Any Language

Citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall have the guaranteed right to use their national or any other languages.

A citizen shall be entitled to address the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations in Ukrainian or another language of their work, in Russian or in a language acceptable for the parties.

The refusal of an official to accept and consider an application of a citizen with a reference to the non-fluency in the language of such application shall be liable under the current legislation.

The decision on the substance of the application shall be formalised in Ukrainian or in another language of activities of the body or the organisation, which the citizen addressed. At citizen’s option, such decision may be issued to him translated in the Russian language.

Article 6. Obligation of Officials to be Fluent in Languages of Activities of Bodies and Organisations

Officials of state, party, public bodies, institutions and organisations shall be fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, and, if necessary, in another national language in the extent required for the exercise of their duties.

The citizen’s non-fluency in Ukrainian or Russian shall not constitute the basis for the refusal of employment. After the employment, the official shall become fluent in the language of activities of the body or organisation in the extent required for the exercise of duties.

Article 7. Protection of Stocks and Monuments of the Language

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall ensure augmenting and maintaining the stock and monuments of the Ukrainian language, other national languages in scientific research institutions, archives, libraries, museums, as well as their protection and use.

Article 8. Protection of Languages

Any privileges or limitations of rights of an individual on a linguistic basis, the linguistic discrimination are not permitted.

The public humiliation or disrespect, the deliberate distortion of the Ukrainian or other languages in official documents and texts, the creation of obstacles and restrictions in the use thereof, the advocating of the enmity on a linguistic basis shall be liable by law.

Article 9. Organisation and Control of the Implementation of the Law on Languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

The Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in charge of the organisation of the implementation of the law of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The councils of people’s deputies of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in charge of the control of the implementation hereof.

II. LANGUAGE OF STATE, PARTY, PUBLIC BODIES, ENTERPRISES, INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANISATIONS

Article 10. Language of Acts of State Authorities and Administrative Bodies

Acts of the highest state authorities and administrative bodies of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be adopted in Ukrainian and published in Ukrainian and Russian.

Acts of republican ministries and agencies, local authorities and administrative bodies of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be adopted and published in Ukrainian; if necessary, they shall also be published in another national language.

Inscriptions on seals, stamps and letterheads of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in Ukrainian or in Ukrainian and Russian.

Article 11. Language of Activities, Records and Documents

The Ukrainian language shall be the language of activities, records and documents, as well as the relations of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In cases covered by part two of Article 3 hereof, a national language of the majority of population of a certain area or, in cases covered by part three of the said Article, a language acceptable for the population of such area may be the language of activities, records and documentation together with the Ukrainian language.

Article 12. Language of Relations of Republican and Local Bodies with Union Bodies and Bodies of Other Republics

The Russian language shall be the language of relations of republican and local state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations with Union bodies.

The Russian language or a language acceptable to the parties shall be the language of relations of the said bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations with enterprises, institutions and organisations of other union republics.

Article 13. Language of Technical and Design Documents

The technical and design documents in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be produced in Ukrainian or Russian.

Article 14. Language of Documents Certifying the Status of a Citizen of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Official documents certifying the status of a citizen - passport, labour record book, education documents, birth and marriage certificates, as well as documents on the death of an individual shall be issued in the Ukrainian and Russian languages.

Article 15. Language of Congresses, Conferences and Other Forums

The Ukrainian language shall be the language of congresses, sessions, conferences, plenary sessions, meetings, other gatherings of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In cases covered by part two of Article 3 hereof, a national language of the majority of the population of a certain area or, in cases covered by part three of the said article, the language acceptable for the population of such area may be the language of congresses, sessions, conferences, plenary sessions, meetings, other gatherings of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations together with the Ukrainian language.

The language chosen by participants of a forum shall be the language of inter-republican, all-union and international forums taking place on the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Participants of local, republican, inter-republican, all-union congresses, conferences, meetings and other gatherings of bodies and organisations shall enjoy the guaranteed right of the choice of the language of their speech with the interpretation into the working language of the forum in question.

Article 16. Language of Documents on Elections of People’s Deputies

Documents on elections of people’s deputies of local, republican and union bodies shall be issued in Ukrainian.

Documents on elections of the people’s deputies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission in Russian.

Election bulletins shall be printed in Ukrainian or in another language accepted in records of the relevant council of people’s deputies.

Article 17. Language in Services Sector

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian or another language acceptable for parties shall be used in all spheres of services to individuals.

Article 18. Language of Court Procedures

The court procedures in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in Ukrainian.

In cases covered by part two of Article 3 hereof, a national language of the majority of the population of a certain area or, in cases covered by part three of the said article, the language acceptable for the population of such area may be the language of court proceedings.

In case of the consideration of criminal and civil cases by courts, the persons taking part in proceedings but not fluent in the language of court proceedings shall enjoy the right to familiarise themselves with materials of the case, to participate in court procedures through an interpreter and to address the court in mother tongue.

The investigation and court documents shall be handed to persons participating in the case translated, on their request, in their mother tongue or another language, in which they are fluent.

Article 19. Language of Proceedings in Administrative Misdemeanour Cases

The proceedings in administrative misdemeanour cases in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in Ukrainian.

In cases covered by part two of Article 3 hereof, a national language of the majority of the population of a certain area or, in cases covered by part three of the said article, the language acceptable for the population of such area shall be used for proceedings in administrative misdemeanour cases.

If the person brought to the administrative liability is not fluent in the language of proceedings, he may speak in his mother tongue and make use of the assistance of an interpreter.

Article 20. Language of Notary Records

The notary records in state notary offices and executive committees of city, town and village councils of people’s deputies shall be kept in the language of court proceedings in the area in question.

If the person, who applied for a notary act, is not fluent in the language of records, the texts of the issued documents shall also be drawn up in the translation into the Russian or another language (the translation shall be carried out according to the procedure specified by law).

Article 21. Language of Arbitration Proceedings

The arbitration proceedings in cases involving the parties located on the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in Ukrainian.

The arbitration proceedings in cases involving a party located on the territory of another union republic shall be in Russian.

Materials of the case issued in Ukrainian shall be sent to the State Arbitration Court of the USSR or the state arbitration court of another union republic translated into Russian.

Article 22. Language of Public Prosecutor’s Supervision

The public prosecutor’s supervision acts in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be compiled in Ukrainian. The same language shall be used for the correspondence with state, co-operative and public enterprises, institutions and organisations located on the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in connection with the exercise of the public prosecutor’s supervision.

The Russian language shall be the language of relations of public prosecution bodies of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with the public prosecutor’s office of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other union bodies, the public prosecution bodies of other union republics.

Article 23. Language of Legal Assistance

The legal assistance shall be provided to individuals and organisations in Ukrainian or a language acceptable to the parties.

Article 24. Language of International Agreements and Treaties

The Ukrainian language and the language of another party to an agreement or a treaty shall be the languages of bilateral international treaties of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and agreements of public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations of other states.

III. LANGUAGE OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND CULTURE

Article 25. Language of Upbringing and Education

The free choice of the language of education shall be an inalienable right of citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall guarantee the right of each child to upbringing and education in the national language. This right is protected by the establishment of a network of pre-school establishments and schools with upbringing and teaching in the Ukrainian and other national languages.

Article 26. Language of Upbringing in Pre-school Establishments

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the upbringing in pre-school establishments, including orphan boarding houses, shall be in Ukrainian.

In places of the compact residence of citizens of other nationalities, pre-school establishments may be set up to bring up the children in their national or another language.

In pre-school establishments, separate groups to be brought up in another language different from the language of the establishment as a whole may be set up, if necessary.

Article 27. Language of Education and Upbringing in General Education Schools

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the educational and upbringing work in the general education schools shall be conducted in Ukrainian.

In places of the compact residence of citizens of other nationalities, the general education schools may be set up with the educational and upbringing work to be conducted in their national or another language.

In cases covered by part three of Article 3 hereof, schools may be set up with the language of the educational and upbringing work to be jointly chosen by parents of schoolchildren.

In general education schools, separate classes may be set up with the educational and upbringing work to be conducted in the Ukrainian language or the language of the population of another nationality respectively.

The study of the Ukrainian and Russian languages in all general education schools shall be mandatory.

The procedure of the study of the Ukrainian language by persons arriving from other union republics or that of their exemption from the study of the Ukrainian language shall be specified by the Ministry of Education of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Article 28. Language of Education in Vocational Schools, Specialised Colleges and Higher-Education Institutions

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the educational and upbringing work in vocational schools, specialised colleges and higher-education institutions shall be conducted in Ukrainian; in cases covered by parts two and three of Article 3 hereof, it shall be conducted also in the national language of the majority of the population together with the Ukrainian language.

Groups educated in the relevant national language may be set up for training the national staff in such institutions.

In such institutions, the Russian-language groups may be set up for citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, who studied their national language in the general education schools together with the Ukrainian and Russian languages, for citizens of other union republics and foreign citizens, as well as in cases specified by the relevant state authorities. The same state authorities shall specify the educational institutions with the Russian language of education.

In all groups with the Russian language of education and non-Ukrainian-language educational institutions regardless of their subordination, the study of the Ukrainian language shall be ensured.

Article 29. Linguistic Entrance Examinations

Entrants seeking the admission into specialised colleges and higher-education institutions of the Republic shall pass the competitive entrance examination of Ukrainian language skills.

Entrants being citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, who studied their national language together with the Ukrainian and Russian languages, as well as entrants from other union republics, while seeking the admission into educational institutions in groups with the Ukrainian language of education, shall pass the testing entrance examination of their Ukrainian language skills; those seeking the admission in groups with the Russian language of education shall pass the competitive entrance examination of Russian language skills.

Entrants seeking the admission into specialised colleges and higher-education institutions training the national staff shall pass the competitive entrance examination in their national language.

The procedure of the entrance examinations in individual higher-education institutions and the procedure of the passage of such examinations by persons, whose Ukrainian-language skills are not attested, shall be determined by the Ministry of the Higher and Specialised Secondary Education of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Article 30. Language in the Field of Science

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the results of the scientific research shall be issued in the Ukrainian or Russian language.

The researchers may choose the language of the publication of the scientific results.

In periodicals published in Ukrainian, the description of major scientific findings shall be provided in the Russian or another languages. In periodicals published in Russian or another language, the description of major scientific findings shall be provided in Ukrainian.

Article 31. Language of Information Technologies

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the information technologies shall be based upon the Ukrainian and Russian languages.

Computers used in activities of the state, party, public bodies, scientific research, design institutions, communication facilities, in the sphere of trade, accounting and supply, in educational and cultural institutions shall provide for the opportunity to work with texts in both Ukrainian and Russian languages.

Article 32. Language in the Field of Culture

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall guarantee the operation of the Ukrainian language and other national languages in the field of the cultural life of the Republic.

For the purposes of the wide-scale familiarisation of citizens of the Republic with cultural achievements of other peoples of the USSR and the achievements of the international culture, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall ensure the translation of the fine, political, scientific and other literature into Ukrainian and other national languages, as well as the translation and public demonstration of movie films and other audiovisual works in the Ukrainian language.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall ensure the development of the cinema and theatre art in the Ukrainian language.

IV. LANGUAGE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION

Article 33. Language of Mass Media

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian language shall be the language of official mass media.

Languages of other nationalities may also be the languages of official mass media.

Article 34. Working Language of the Post and Telegraph

The postal and telegraph messages from citizens, state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations shall be accepted in the Ukrainian or Russian language for mailing within the Republic.

The post and telegraph offices shall be provided with envelopes, postcards, letterheads, etc. with inscriptions in the Ukrainian and Russian languages.

Article 35. Language of Announcements and Notices

Texts of official announcements, notices, slogans, posters, advertising, etc. shall be in Ukrainian. The translation of the text into another language may be placed next to the text in Ukrainian.

Article 36. Goods Marking Language

Marking of goods, labels on products, user manuals for products manufactured in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be in Ukrainian.

Goods designated for the export from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be marked in the Ukrainian or Russian language.

The names in trade and service marks shall be submitted by Ukrainian applicants in the Ukrainian language, if the goods are sold and services are rendered solely on the territory of Ukraine.
(Part three of Article 36 in the wording of Law #75/95-VR of 28 February 1995)

V. LANGUAGE OF NAMES

Article 37. Language of Names of State, Party and Public Bodies and Organisations

The official names of the state, party, public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations shall be formed and presented in the Ukrainian language. These names translated into other languages may be presented on the right-hand side (or in the bottom).

Article 38. Language of Toponyms (Place Names) and Maps

In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the toponyms (names of populated areas, administrative and territorial units, streets, squares, rivers, etc.) shall be formed and presented in the Ukrainian language. The toponyms may also be presented in the national language of the majority of the population of a certain area.

The Ukrainian toponyms shall be reproduced in other languages in transcription.

Toponyms from outside the boundaries of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be presented in the Ukrainian language in transcription from the original language.

The maps designated for the use in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be prepared in published in the Ukrainian language.

Article 39. Language of Personal Names

Citizens of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall enjoy the right to be named according to the national traditions. Their names shall be reproduced in the Ukrainian language in transcription from the national language.

VI. SUPPORT TO THE NATIONAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF UKRAINIANS RESIDING OUTSIDE THE UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

Article 40. Support to the National and Cultural Development of Ukrainians Residing outside the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

On the basis of agreements with other union republics, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall support the national and cultural development of Ukrainians residing in such republics.

According to the norms of the international law, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall provide comprehensive assistance, if so requested, to schools, scientific institutions, national culture societies of Ukrainians and people of Ukrainian origin residing in foreign countries with the study of the Ukrainian language and the scientific research in the field of Ukrainian studies, and support the education of people of Ukrainian origin in educational institutions of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

V. SHEVCHENKO,
Chairperson of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

M. KHOMENKO,
Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

City of Kyiv, 28 October 1989
#8312-11

RESOLUTION
OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL (PARLIAMENT) OF THE UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

On Procedure of Enforcement of the Law of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic “On Languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic”

Vidomosti Verkhovnoyi Rady Ukrayiny (VVR), 1989, issue 45, page 632

The Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic RESOLVES hereby as follows:

1. The Law of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic “On Languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic” (8312-11) shall be carried into effect from 01 January 1990.

2. The following deadlines shall be specified for the gradual introduction of individual provisions of the Law in all spheres of the public life:

- Article 6, parts two and three of Article 10, part one of Article 11, part one of Article 15, parts one, three and four of Article 18, parts one and three of Article 19, Articles 20, 21, 22, 31, 36 and part four of Article 38 shall be carried into effect within three to five years from the date of this Law’s coming into force;

- Articles 13, 25, 26. 27. 28 and 29 shall be carried into effect within five to ten years from the date of this Law’s coming into force.

3. The Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic shall be instructed to develop and adopt till 01 July 1990 the “State Programme of the Development of the Ukrainian Language and Other National Languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic for the Period till the Year 2000”, which, inter alia, should define exact deadlines of the implementation of Articles of the Law mentioned in item 2 hereof in specific regions of the Republic.

V. SHEVCHENKO,
Chairperson of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

M. KHOMENKO,
Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (Parliament) of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

City of Kyiv, 28 October 1989
#8313-XI


Source: Unofficial translation


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