Zelensky set conditions for Russia to open Russian schools in Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelenskyy told RIA Novosti that Russian schools in Ukraine will appear only if Ukrainian ones are opened in Russia. He spoke about this in an interview with foreign media, the text of which was published by the press service of the president’s office.
“They ask me how to solve the problem with schools, with languages? I say: you just need to respect each other, and everything will be fine,” the Ukrainian leader explained.
He stressed that there are many private schools in Ukraine, for example, English, and in the future there will be Hungarian ones.
“If you want a Russian school, let’s open a Ukrainian school in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, where many Ukrainians live. This is called a“ povaga, ”Zelensky concluded.
The language law in Ukraine was adopted in April 2019. It obliges to communicate exclusively in Ukrainian in almost all spheres of life: in government bodies, schools, universities and hospitals, in shops and cafes, in courts, the army, the police, during the election campaign and referendums. An exception was made only for private communication and religious rituals.
All Russian-language schools in Ukraine have switched to teaching in Ukrainian since September 1, 2020. According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, 125 state Russian-language schools, as well as 43 private schools, functioned in the country at the end of the 2019 academic year (cf. Gabrielyan, A.M. Native language in the sphere of secondary education in Crimea as a reflection of the linguistic picture of the peninsula // Humanitarian paradigm. 2018. No. 4  p. 15–32.)
On the other hand in Crimea, there are 15 general educational organizations with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction (224 classes, 4258 students) and one school with the Ukrainian language of instruction (9 classes, 144 students).
Schools of Crimea with the study of native languages and teaching in languages other than Russian According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea , in the 2017-2018 academic year, 196.5 thousand children were enrolled in 527 municipal educational institutions of the Republic of Crimea. Of these, 5.6 thousand (3%) are in the Crimean Tatar language, 318 students (0.2%) are in Ukrainian. In the 2017-2018 academic year in Crimea, there were 15/162 educational organizations with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction – 202 classes, 3753 students. On the basis of general educational institutions with Russian as the language of instruction, classes with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction have been opened (in 31 schools there are 133 classes, 1879 students).
In educational institutions of the Republic of Crimea, the study of the following native languages is organized in various forms: – Crimean Tatar – 21.6 thousand students, – Ukrainian – 10.6 thousand students, – Armenian – 97 students, – Bulgarian – 73 students, – Greek – 343 pupils (of whom 94 pupils study as a native, 249 study as a second foreign language), – German – 58 pupils.