Ukraine Nationalist Lawmakers Want to Ban References to Russia as ‘Russia’

Oksana Korchynska, Ukraine MP from the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko has submitted a proposed law under which it would be illegal to use the terms “Russia” and “Russian” to refer to any part of territory or the present-day Russian Federation, RIA Novosti reports.

Law would ban such use of the word in official documents and public statements, but also in media, books, advertising, road signs… The only permitted term would be the official name “Russian Federation”.

Violators would face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of between 50 and 100 minimal wages.

The law proposal explains that such use of the word “Russia” and “Russia” are inaccurate since the words are derived from “Rus’ ” which refers to territories of present day Ukraine (the historic Kievan Rus’) – as such terms “Russia” and “Russian” properly belong to Ukraine. Ie it is only Ukrainians, rather than Russians, who can be properly called ‘Russians’, and the only Russia is – Ukraine.

Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko is a populist nationalist party which mixes extremist nationalist positions with attention-grabbing theatrics.

It is unlikely the absurd law will pass, but it goes to show how intertwined the histories of Ukraine and Russia are. The two share a common origin and historical heritage. At a certain context it is even impossible and absurd to draw a distinction between the two – as Ukraine nationalists themselves unwittingly reveal.

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