DISINFO: Most Ukrainians are Russian speakers
  • Outlet: russian.rt.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: September 12, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine, Russia
Russian language Anti-Russian Russophobia Ukrainian statehood

DISINFO: Most Ukrainians are Russian speakers


Most Ukrainians are Russian speakers.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the language issue in Ukraine.

An overview of opinion polls conducted in Ukraine throughout 2020 demonstrates that the claim is very far from the truth. According to an August 2020 survey, 60.9% of respondents said they predominantly used Ukrainian at home (against 36% Russian); 57.2% said they used Ukrainian in the workplace (24.1% used Russian); 73.4% consider Ukrainian their native language (compared with 22% of self-described native Russian speakers); 82.3% agreed that "all state officials should communicate in Ukrainian while at work" (14% disapproved).

The claim is part of the broader pro-Kremlin narrative painting Ukraine’s Russian speakers as second-class citizens. This also includes claims that Ukrainian law only allows Russian in private communication and religious ceremonies; that the use of Ukrainian in public is enforced by “language patrols”; and that Russian speakers in Ukraine are living under an apartheid regime.


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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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