Major Russian city bans foreign language signs

Lazy eyes listen


The southern Russian city of Krasnodar has decided to ban any signs and billboards that use foreign languages, including transliteration, according to a statement issued by municipal authorities on Monday. According to the city council, the modifications will take effect on September 1.

According to Krasnodar Mayor Evgeny Naumov, local lawmakers favor prohibiting the use of foreign phrases on business signage, trading stalls, booths, and public traffic stops. He referred to the new legislation as a “milestone” in the development of the city that will aid in the creation of a “unified architectural scene.”

The amended municipal beautifying guidelines, which include the ban, represent the views of the local public, according to Vasily Domrin, the head of the city architecture and building department. The amendments were implemented after two weeks of public discussion, which began in mid-April.

According to the city government, commercial firms located along important avenues and within Krasnodar’s historical center must comply with the new criteria by March 1, 2024. Those with enterprises in other parts of town must relocate by September 1, 2024.

The decision comes months after the Russian lawmakers restricted the usage of foreign terminology in the country. The February law requires all public and private bodies to utilize solely Russian terms in official communications. The only exception is for words without a Russian counterpart.

Language is regarded “official” under the legislation if it is utilized in the sectors of education or in state and municipal information systems, as well as by private entities when dealing with business partners or clients.

Naumov addressed the issue in February, claiming that Krasnodar was littered with signs and billboards in other languages. “We have a lot of signs in English and who knows what else,” he stated at the time, calling such actions “unpatriotic.”

The State Duma also suggested prohibiting all foreign language signage at the national level in June 2022. Elena Yampolskaya, chairwoman of the Duma Committee for Culture, noted that the number of signs throughout Moscow employing the Latin script outnumbered those in Russian by 30% to 50%. However, business owners objected to the idea, citing the expensive expenses of upgrading advertising billboards.