Disinfo: New language law in Ukraine discriminates against the Russian language and Russian-speaking population


The aim of the law is not to strengthen the functioning of the Ukrainian language or to protect it as the only state language, but to discriminate against Russian and the languages of national minorities.

People will be deprived of the right to speak the language they are used to by a punitive law.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers.

The new language law  (The Law on the Functioning of Ukrainian as a State Language) is still in a draft phase. The draft says that Ukrainian is the only state language and defines the spheres of life where Ukrainian is necessary. Yet, it specifically says that people are free to choose what language they want to speak. The draft law, inter alia, proposes that any language, other than Ukrainian, can be used in schools, hospitals, other cultural and social institutions. It also says that along with Ukrainian, media outlets and Internet websites can use other languages, nevertheless, priority is given to Ukrainian.

The law does not define what language is to be used in private conversations.

Previous debunk on this case is here.


  • Reported in: Issue 141
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, 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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