Zelenskyy signs decree on Russian territories historically inhabited by Ukrainians
On Unity Day of Ukraine, January 22, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs a decree "On the historically Ukrainian-populated territories in the Russian Federation"
He said this in his greetings to Ukrainians on the occasion of the holiday.
Zelenskyy emphasized that it is necessary to take steps not only to strengthen the unity of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people but also to take actions for the unity of rights and freedoms, the truth about Ukrainians, and the history of Ukraine.
"For the sake of this goal, today I signed a decree ‘On the historically Ukrainian-populated territories in the Russian Federation.' This is a return to the truth about the historical past for the sake of the Ukrainian future," said the president.
Later, the text of the corresponding decree appeared on the president's website. The document stipulates submitting for consideration a plan of action to preserve the national identity of Ukrainians in the Russian Federation, including on the historically populated territories.
This refers to territories such as Kuban, Starodubshchyna, Northern and Eastern Slobozhanshchyna within the modern boundaries of Krasnodar Krai, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk, and Rostov Oblasts of the Russian Federation. The aim is to address and preserve the national identity of Ukrainians in these historically populated areas.
The Decree includes:
- The investigation of crimes against Ukrainians in the historically Ukrainian-populated territories of Russia, including policies of forced russification, political repression, and deportations. It also includes initiatives for the restoration and preservation of historical memory, including the establishment of a center to handle these matters;
- Intensifying efforts to counter disinformation and propaganda from the Russian Federation regarding the history and present of Ukrainians in Russia and all oppressed nations. This includes engaging domestic and foreign scholars, experts, representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora abroad, and international organizations in preparing and conducting activities aimed at debunking Russian myths about Ukraine;
Development of interaction between Ukrainians and peoples enslaved by Russia;
Ensuring, in collaboration with the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, the preparation and dissemination of materials about over a thousand-year history of Ukrainian statehood, historical connections of lands populated by ethnic Ukrainians, and Ukrainian national state formations in various historical periods. This aims to provide information in Ukraine and globally;
Coverage in curricula and textbooks for educational institutions of the true history of ethnic Ukrainians in the lands historically inhabited by them within Russia.
The presidential decree comes into force on the day of its publication.
On September 21, the Verkhovna Rada passed a draft law on national minorities, which is one of the requirements for starting negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the EU.