Disinfo: In 2014 in Ukraine a Junta came to power in Kiev, created new legislation on languages and triggered a purely internal conflict in the country


In Ukraine, there is a conflict which is really internal, which arises from the legislation adopted by the new junta in Ukraine on languages. There was a snowball effect that has been created around of this question of languages. 


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about a coup and military Junta in Kiev and as a result the alleged civil war in Ukraine based on languages.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. There wasn't any new regulation on language decided by Kiev then. Certainly, on February 23, 2014, right after then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country the Verkhovna Rada voted for the abolition of the bill “On the principles of the state language policy” from 2012 and known as the “Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law”. However, neither then-acting President Oleksandr Turchynov nor the subsequent president, Petro Poroshenko, signed or vetoed the law abolishing the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law. This means it was still in force until February 2018,when it was ruled unconstitutional by Ukraine’s Constitutional Court because of systematic procedural violations during its adoption.

This untrue narrative was used by Russia as a pretext to justify the annexation of Crimea and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

See similar narratives about Ukraine's role in the conflict and the Minsk Agreements here.


  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Russian language, Junta


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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Disinformation campaign around the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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Everything that we know [on the Navalny’s poisoning – context], we know from the words of people. From the words of people who are not ones to be trusted. We know very well that the OPCW falsified data on chemical attacks in Syria, this has been proven many times.


No evidence given. Recurrent conspiracy narrative proliferated by Kremlin-linked outlets repeating statements by Russian officials.

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Novichok was developed to replace nuclear weapons on the battlefield and has 100% mortality.


The story is part of an emerging web of counter-narratives designed to confuse Western public opinion and deny Moscow's involvement in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

This argument follows a recurring Kremlin pattern of denying that Navalny was poisoned and that Moscow had anything to do with it. In this case, the argument is that Novichok is only a lethal military-grade nerve agent and that the result is always death. However, we know that Novichok is a highly toxic nerve agent that slows the heart, paralyses the muscles used for breathing and — if the dose is big enough — can lead to death by asphyxiation. A smaller dose may result in seizures, neuromuscular weakness, liver failure and other damage. This has been presented in various other reports here, here and here. So, Novichok does not necessarily lead to the death of everyone who came in contact with it.