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Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv #02


The World’s biggest Russian-speaking city

Many guests will arrive in Kyiv having heard all manner of nonsense about Ukraine’s allegedly oppressed Russian-speaking minority. Such misconceptions are the result of journalistic laziness as much as deliberate disinformation. The international media has sought to simplify the war in Ukraine by painting a black-and-white picture of a country split neatly along linguistic lines. In this dumbed down version of Ukraine, Russian-speakers in the east lean towards Moscow, while Ukrainian-speakers in the west favor Europe. In reality, most Ukrainians are bilingual, while language has never been an accurate indicator of political affiliations. The situation in Kyiv highlights the folly of portraying Russian-speaking Ukrainians as Kremlin supporters. Russian is the dominant language throughout the Ukrainian capital, both in the media and on the streets. This makes Kyiv the biggest Russian-speaking city in the world outside of Russia itself, and yet it remains a staunchly patriotic Ukrainian city. Kyiv residents simply see no contradiction in being a Russian-speaking Ukrainian patriot.

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