Ideological Motifs of Ukrainian State Language Policy in Legal Texts and Caricatures

After the events of 2014, the Ukrainian political elite, reacting to Putin’s and Russia’s use of the language issue as a pretext to ideologize their policies, engaged in increased Ukrainization. During this period, a number of laws were adopted in Kiev that progressively curtailed the rights of Russians and other minorities to use their mother tongue. In parallel with the promotion of the Ukrainian language, a political and information campaign has been launched which portrays the presence of a minority language (primarily Russian, of course) in the country as a threat to the language, the nation, and the existence of the state. At the same time, the state language law adopted in 2019 and its interpretation by the Constitutional Court have attached a symbolic meaning to the Ukrainian language, where the state language is an important guarantee of social integration, state security and the territorial integrity of the country. In this paper, we have shown how this was reflected in legal texts that were the defining and guiding documents of state language policy, and how propagandistic caricatures were used to support this ideology in the political press. The ideology of linguistic nationalism can be seen in the language policy of Ukraine after 2014, and this ideology is reflected in the cartoons that have been produced on the subject.