Disinfo: Most Ukrainians are Russian speakers

Summary

Most Ukrainians are Russian speakers.

Disproof

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Russian language, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Ukrainian statehood
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Disinfo: Moscow has proof of US interference in Russian domestic affairs

Russian authorities possess convincing proof that the United States interfere in the country's domestic affairs and in its electoral process.

Disproof

Disinformation about alleged Western and more specifically US efforts to interfere in the domestic affairs of Russia.

This narrative is aimed at discrediting reports and statements according to which Russia meddles in the election processes of European countries and the US.

Disinfo: The NYT article on Russia and Catalonia was paid by Europe and NATO; its author linked to US intelligence

The author of the NYT article on Russian alleged meddling in Catalonia, Michael Schwirtz, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for his articles on Russian interference and hybrid war against the West. He is probably very close to the US intelligence service, as nobody receives a Pulitzer Prize for so little, so this award is another move against Russia. The NYT article is an attempt to return to the fairytale of Russia’s interference. It has probably been paid from Europe, from its intelligence controls, essentially NATO, with the acquiescence of the US, and with Schwirtz being paid for putting his signature on it.

Disproof

This disinformation story is a reaction to the publication of a New York Times article about contacts between top Catalonian pro-independence figures and Russian officials, which were acknowledged by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his top advisor Josep Lluis Alay.

There are no proofs to back the claim that Michael Schwirtz has links to US intelligence services or that the NYT article was commissioned by any external actor. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has previously attacked the Pulitzer Prize when articles exposing Russian wrongdoings have been awarded, as in 2018 and again in 2020. Schwirtz was awarded for his 2019 article on Russia’s military intelligence (GRU) Unit 29155. These findings have been confirmed afterwards by other investigators such as Bellingcat or French and Czech security officials.

Disinfo: Russia is restoring its historical space, and Belarus is just the first step

Russia is restoring its historical space, which shrank after the USSR broke up. This historical process can only be stopped if the Russian Federation, the backbone of the Russian civilisation, is disintegrated. The restoration of historic unity corresponds to the interests of Russia and all former Soviet republics.

Belarus is a historical part of Russia, and the Belarusian people are an integral part of the Russian people together with Great Russians and Little Russians. The Belarus-Russia integration accelerated once Belarus's sovereignty was threatened by the West. Western plans to tear Belarus away from Russia are doomed. The deepening of Belarus-Russia integration is proof that the Russia-led integration of post-Soviet countries is inevitable. Sooner or later, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine will join the Eurasian Economic Union.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and imperialism and suits a recurring propaganda narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

The deepening of Belarus-Russia integration is not backed by the popular support in Belarus and is driven by illegitimate Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenka, who received Kremlin's political, financial, and media support amid unprecedentedly massive protests following the falsification of the 9 August 2020 presidential elections. Both the EU and the US referred to the elections as neither free nor fair and refused to recognise Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus. According to international election monitoring organisations such as OSCE and Civil Rights Defenders, every single one of the last five presidential elections in Belarus has been unfair and unfree, which is the primary reason for the public discontent.