DISINFO: Half of Ukrainians consider themselves Russian despite active anti-Russian brainwashing
Ethnic Russians Russian language Russophobia Anti-Russian Conspiracy theory Ukrainian statehood

DISINFO: Half of Ukrainians consider themselves Russian despite active anti-Russian brainwashing


Almost half of Ukrainians consider themselves Russian.

41% of Ukrainian survey respondents agree that Russians and Ukrainians are one people belonging to the same historical and spiritual space, compared to 55% who disagree. Taking into account the inevitable errors in the survey, the people were roughly divided evenly. This comes after 30 years of active brainwashing of the Ukrainian population over their independence, and after 7 years of a very aggressive approach against Russia: banning the Russian language, anti-Russian propaganda, killing and arresting politicians, writers and journalists who defend friendship with Russia. Had it not been for this intimidation that people are subjected to, the result would have been completely different.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about Ukraine's alleged ban of the Russian language and ubiquitous Russophobia.

Claims about the ban on the Russian language usually refer to the law “on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language”, passed by the Ukrainian parliament in April 2019. This law does not discriminate against other languages. The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education and science. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian, or other languages, in private communication and religious ceremonies.

Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, radio, television, education, and the service sector. The law also allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and law enforcement.

Ukraine is not a Russophobic, anti-Russian country. The relations between the countries only worsened after Russia occupied Crimea in 2014. Russia has also been involved in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, the creation of DNR and LNR and the supply of personnel and weapons. The destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea have been condemned by the Council of the European Union and led to restrictive measures since 2014.

The article also refers to a margin of error which makes the survey result evenly divided. This assumes for no reason that the margin of error moved the results away from a more even result. Moreover, the error margin of representation in this study is no more than 2% with a confidence level of 0.95 percent, so even in the case that it moved the result away from a more even outcome, it would still be far from evenly divided. Finally, the article had a misleading title claiming that "half of the Ukrainians consider themselves Russians", whereas the survey question was on whether they agree or disagree with the statement that “Russians and Ukrainians are one people".

Read a similar case that in Ukraine, it will be forbidden to communicate in Russian from January 2021, that Ukraine has established an apartheid regime in relation to Russian speakers, and that Ukraine fights against the Russian language.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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