Russian nationalists seek to penalize use of English


Russian ultra-nationalists wave Russian Empire's black-yellow-white flags and hold banner as they take part in the so-called 'Russian March' in central Moscow on November 4, 2012, marking the National Unity Day. The annual Russian March is timed to coincide with the Day of Popular Unity, a national holiday which this year marks the 400th anniversary of the 1612 expulsion of Polish occupiers from the Kremlin in Moscow. Members of nationalist movements of all hues will take to the streets as Putin, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term in May, is struggling with the worst political crisis since he came to power 12 years ago.


Kirill Kudryavtsev

A new bill advanced by Russian ultra-nationalists would fine the use English words in a bid to protect linguistic purity of the Russian language, according to The Christian Science Monitor

"We cannot bear to watch how our language is becoming cluttered up with foreign words, while perfectly good Russian words are being shunted aside," The Monitor cited Vladimir Ovsyannikov of the uber-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party as telling lawmakers today.

The proposed legislation, set to go before the Duma in coming days, would reportedly fine reporters, politicians and teachers if they used a blacklist of some 100 English words and Anglicisms, among them "killer" and Russo-English combinations like "korruptsioner," said the Monitor.

The bill could cost some people their jobs, according to the report

The move comes at a time of heightened nationalism in Russia particularly focused on curbing Western influence, with authorities recently imposing a raft of protectionist economic measures and banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

In that spirit, the official slogan of the new language campaign translates to an enthusiastic: "Rid the Russian language of garbage!"