On 20 April, Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, proposed on her Facebook account to make Oleg Skripka’s comments regarding the need to make a ghetto for everyone who cannot learn the Ukrainian language to be the official greeting for Eurovision participants.
Zakharova said that the message should be written on banners located everywhere from the Borispol airport to the Khreschatyk [a popular pedestrian street in downtown Kiev – Editor]. It should read: “We welcome the participants of Eurovision! You should feel just like you’re in Europe: we are building a ghetto for the retards who do not speak Ukrainian.”
On 20 April, the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper published an interview with Oleg Skripka, the lead singer of the band of Vopli Vidopliassova. He said, “People who cannot learn Ukrainian have a low IQ. They get diagnosed with mental retardation. These people should be separated from the others because they are dangerous. We should make a ghetto for them. We will help such people, like we help people with problems. We will sing the ‘Vladimirsky Tsentral’* song to them for free.”
Earlier, Skripka called to ban the Russian language and Russian culture in Ukraine. He proposed to bar people who don’t speak Ukrainian from holding government jobs, and to cancel the licenses of “anti-Ukrainian” TV-channels, in order to solve the contradictions between the western and eastern parts of Ukraine.
Though the Russian language has never been the official language of Ukraine, in 2012 Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych signed the Law on the Principles of the State Language Policy. According to the law, the Russian language received the status of a regional language in the Odessa, Zaporozhye, Lugansk, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kherson, Kharkov, Nikolaev regions, and in the city of Sevastopol. The Republic of Crimea has adopted the Russian language as a regional language even earlier, in 2010.
The All-Ukrainian Census in 2001 showed that 29.6 percent of population consider Russian to be their native language, including 14 percent of ethnic Ukrainians.
On April 22nd, after speaking with the prank caller Vovan, who introduced himself as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, Skripka commented on his statement about making a ghetto for Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who could not learn Ukrainian. The musician accused the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper of taking his words out of context. He did not apologize saying Russian-speaking Ukrainians have a “low IQ”, nor for saying that such people should be kept separate from others. Of note, Skripka spoke Russian to the supposed Minister of Internal Affairs thus completely forgetting his previous demands of banning the people with no knowledge of Ukrainian from working for the government. Later in the evening of the same day, after finding out that he had become the victim of a prank call, Skripka finally publicly apologized for his words. At the same time, the musician stated that this prank call was a provocation against Ukraine rather than against him.
* ‘Vladimirsky Tsentral’ is a well-known Blatnaya Pesnya or “gangster song”. When mentioning this song, Skripka hints that those who speak only Russian are not only people with a low IQ, but also criminals – Editor.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency