Disinfo: Kyiv broke bilingualism that was promised


Over the years of independence, the Ukrainian authorities have consistently violated the promises made to the people, which were indicated in the Declaration on State Sovereignty, upon secession from the USSR. According to it, the decision to withdraw Ukraine from the USSR was made because it was supposed to introduce bilingualism and the country’s neutral status.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.

One of the main reasons stated by the then Ukrainian Soviet Republic for declaring independence was the "mortal danger surrounding Ukraine in connection with the state coup in the USSR on 19 August 1991."

The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine does not declare two languages ​​in the country. According to the eighth part on “Cultural Development”, the Ukrainian SSR provides “the national and cultural revival of the Ukrainian people, their historical consciousness and traditions, national and ethnographic features and the functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of public life”.

Also, the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine is not the main law in the country and was adopted before independence. The Constitution of Ukraine, which was adopted after the declaration of independence and is the fundamental law, states that the Ukrainian language is the only state language

On April 25 2019, the Verkhovna Rada passed the law “on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language”. 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.


  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: USSR, Russian language


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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