Sunday, April 28, 2019

Belarusianization More Insidious than Ukrainianization, Telegram Channel Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 27 – A Russian nationalist and imperialist telegram channel says that Belarusia’s “neo-Banderites have studied the experience of their Ukrainian language comrades” and adopted a more insidious and potentially more successful approach to reducing the role of the Russian language among their subjects.

            The “Bulba of Thrones” telegram channel says that the Ukrainian government has pursued its Ukrainization policy directly adopting laws and issuing policy pronouncements, an approach that has generated opposition both among Russian speakers and in Moscow (; picked up and disseminated by

            But, the channel says, “Belarusian elites consider the Ukrainian authorities as being not very clever because the latter are thus signaling their intensions and therefore losing their financial and resource backing from Russia.”  Instead, after consulting with “Western specialists on the theory of escalation,” officials in Minsk have adopted a different approach.

            They have concluded that “any sharp step (such as the introduction of an official ban on Russian) will provoke a reaction by Russia.”  But if each move in that direction is small, Russia’s reaction will be as well – and the result will be far better than the one Ukraine has achieved. Belarus will still get Russian money and will eliminate Russian within its borders.  

            “In Belarus,” the “Bulba of Thrones” channel says, “Russian, the language of the majority of the population is being pushed out [of various spheres] in general without the adoption of any law or the change of its status in the Constitution.  This is being achieved by the developed command-administrative system, telephone law and the closed nature of institutions.”

            Not all Russian officials understand this or recognize that what Belarus is doing is far more likely to succeed than what Ukraine is doing.  They need to wake up now, “Bulba of Thrones” and the Rex news agency suggest, or when they do, they will see a Belarus where people no longer use the great and powerful Russian language.

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