Will Ukraine switch to the Latin alphabet?

This article in based on a piece published by Strana.ua

Ukraine needs to switch to the Latin alphabet, said the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexei Danilov, in an interview with US funded Radio Svoboda.

This is not the first time the topic of the Latin alphabet has been raised in Ukraine.

“We need to get rid of the Cyrillic alphabet”

During an interview with Radio Svoboda, journalists asked Alexey Danilov questions coming from social media users.

One of them suggested that the next logical step after the Ukrainianization law is the transition to the Latin alphabet.

“I am in favor”, said Danilov. “I believe that this will be one of the fundamental things – we need to get rid of the Cyrillic alphabet and switch to the Latin alphabet”, said the secretary of the Security Council.

He also added his long-standing thesis that English should become the second compulsory language of learning in Ukraine.

The current Ukrainian government is unlikely to start the eradication of the Cyrillic alphabet. This step in the eyes of the majority of Ukrainians would very likely be perceived in a very negative way.

Nevertheless, at the level of the Ukrainian post-Maidan establishment, the idea of romanizing writing in Ukraine has been hovering for a long time. Three years ago, Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin suggested discussing it.

“We talked with representatives of the Central European countries about the fate of the region and the role of Ukraine in the Central European community … In a friendly conversation, historian and journalist Zemovit Sherek asked why Ukraine should not introduce the Latin alphabet along with the Cyrillic alphabet. Our task is to form a Ukrainian political nation, so we need to work on what unites us, not separates us. On the other hand, why not have a discussion?”, wrote Klimkin at the time.

A year earlier, a petition had been submitted to the president to switch to the Latin alphabet. But since then, only 61 people have supported it.

Nevertheless, enthusiasts did not abandon the topic. In the same year, the publication Na Chasi published a Manifest ukraїnśkoї latynky, that is, a Manifesto of the Ukrainian Latin alphabet. This is how it proposed to change the Ukrainian alphabet.

Only the letter Ї would be kept from the current alphabet. The rest of the letters that are not characteristic of Western European languages are letters that are used in Polish (for example the analogues of the Cyrillic “ж” and “х”).

Discussions are still going on today. In early August, the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, funded by Western grants (George Soros), published an article in which it cited the main, from his point of view, argument for switching to the Latin alphabet: “Get away from Moscow”.

Many argue them like this – Ukraine should integrate into the Western world, where the Latin alphabet is dominant. This will make it easier to learn European languages as well.

However, it is not yet entirely clear what kind of integration this will be. The question is clearly not in the transition (or not transition) to the Latin alphabet: Greece, which does not use it, has been a member of the EU for several decades.

It is unlikely that Danilov and the others do not understand this. That is, the purpose of the transition to “Latin” is some other. Apparently – not to “come to Europe” but “to leave Russia”.

In fact, no one is building Europe here, but they are trying to dig the deepest possible ditch between Ukrainians and Russians. Moreover, as it is easy to see, this strategy is imposed from above, and the peoples themselves do not particularly see the need to break away from each other.

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