Ukraine’s Hungarian minority threatened by new education law

CHOP, Ukraine (AP) — The Hungarian minority in western Ukraine is feeling besieged.

A new education law that could practically eliminate the use of Hungarian and other minority languages in schools after the 4th grade is just one of several issues threatening this community of 120,000 people in Transcarpathia.

In February, the headquarters of the minority’s biggest political organization, the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association, was firebombed. More recently, mysterious billboards have appeared in the region accusing its politicians of separatism. And a dispute has erupted over the legality of the community acquiring dual Hungarian citizenship.

The incidents have left many worried that even as Ukraine strives to bring its laws and practices closer to European Union standards, its policies for minorities seem to be heading in a far more restrictive direction.