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Ukraine’s language commission snubs Russia

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Ukraine’s National Commission for State Language Standards has ruled that writing words such as “Russia” and “Moscow” in lowercase letters in unofficial documents will no longer be considered an error.

The commission said it made the decision after considering appeals from Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and official letters from the Institute of Ukrainian Language and the O. O. Potebnia Institute of Linguistics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

From now on, spelling words such as “Russian Federation,” “Russia,” “Moscow,” “Moscow Kingdom,” “Russian Empire” and “State Duma of the Russian Federation,” in lowercase will not be a “deviation from the norms of the Ukrainian language in texts of an unofficial nature,” the commission said.

Many Ukrainians, on social media in particular, had already been using lowercase letters when referring to Russia, ever since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of the country began in February 2022.

Veronika Melkozerova in Kyiv contributed reporting.

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