Stuck at home in Kyiv in March 2022, Mykhailo Revenko suddenly had time on his hands. A native Russian speaker, he decided to improve his Ukrainian vocabulary. A month later, the 39-year-old project manager had switched from speaking Russian to Ukrainian, except when he talks to his mother. So had his partner, Tetyana, and so had all his work colleagues. He has changed his name from Mikhail to the Ukrainian Mykhailo, and now uses Russian only when he swears. “I have never been a nationalist. Now Russia has made me one,” he says. He expects Russian to vanish from Ukraine in the next 10 years. In invading Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed he was ‘saving’ Russian speakers. But the Russian army has killed thousands of Russian-speaking civilians, banned Ukrainian from schools and universities, forced Ukrainian teachers to use a Russian curriculum and removed Ukrainian-language books from libraries in occupied areas.

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