Today, in Ukraine the Law “On ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as the state language” comes into force. The document came into force two months after its publication in the newspaper Voice of Ukraine.

The law states that Ukrainian is the only state (official) language in Ukraine, so it is mandatory for authorities and public sector throughout the state.

Public humiliation or contempt for the Ukrainian language will be the basis for prosecution.

Punishment is also provided for deliberate distortion of the Ukrainian language in official documents and texts or the creation of obstacles and limitations for the use of the Ukrainian language.

In addition, the law obliges officials to use the official language and apply it during the performance of official duties.

Also, the state language should be used in the educational sphere and at work, in the medical sphere, while serving consumers, during public events, in advertising and other spheres.

The effect of this law doesn’t extend to the sphere of private communication and performance of religious rites. The law provides for the organization of free Ukrainian language courses for adults.

The law does not provide for criminal liability for its violations. However, violation of citizens’ rights to receive services in the Ukrainian language in state institutions and defined in law public places will be punished with fines. The maximum amount of fine will be 11 900  hryvnias. These standards will be put into operation in three years.

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