Disinfo: Only a few thousand Muslims live in Ukraine, they do not need public holidays

Summary

The Ukrainian authorities want to make Muslim holidays Qurban-Bayrami and Oraza Bayram public holidays. This is a strange decision because only a few thousand Muslims and Crimean Tatars live in Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a recurring Kremlin-led narrative about Crimean Tatars. Ukraine plans to give state status to the two main Muslim holidays: Oraza Bayram (Eid al-Fitr), a Muslim holiday after the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and Qurban-Bayrami (Eid al-Adha), a Muslim holiday marking the end of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. In total, roughly 1 million Muslims live in Ukraine, according to Sheikh Said Ismagilov, although half of them live in the Russian occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. There are around 350 000 Crimean Tatars living in Crimea and 170 000 Muslims still living in Donbas. Ukraine is creating a working group to solve the problems of the Crimean Tatar people. The plans that President Volodymyr Zelenskуy announced on May 18 include the construction of houses for 500 apartments for displaced persons from the temporarily occupied Crimea, the creation of a hub on the administrative border with Crimea and the construction of a mosque for Muslims.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Muslim/Islam, Crimean Tatars
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US and IMF define and control political appointments in Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is frankly helpless in economic decisions and appointments (these issues in Ukraine are controlled by the US Embassy and the IMF). As a matter of fact, the president-actor gave up the key government functions in the field of humanitarian policy to “sorosiata” [followers of George Soros] and nationalists. As a result, the policy of state Russophobia under the new regime has not been curtailed, it continues to be officially supported.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine became a puppet of the US, the EU or the West because they fomented a coup, mixed with a narrative about Russophobia in Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected President and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The US recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25 December 1991. The US policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. Ukraine has been a member of the IMF and World Bank since 3 September 1992. The relations between Ukraine and the IMF are based on agreements that support the economic development of Ukraine and the improvement of the free market conditions. Likewise, Ukraine is not a Russophobic country as is often claimed by the Kremlin media. It had to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the act of aggression by the Russian armed forces in Donbas. It did not ban the Russian language, as is often claimed by the Kremlin, nor did it ban contact between Ukrainians and Russians. Read more disinformation cases about Ukraine being under foreign control here.

A hunger riot broke out near Odessa

In Ukraine riots break out because people are hungry and lash out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people, which is the definition of riots.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative undermining Ukraine, specifically about hunger riots. In reality the port of Chernomorsk, near Odessa experiences economic difficulties and some employees of "Europian Agro Investment Ukraine", which rent the second terminal since 2018, haven't been paid since last October. About 100 people demonstrated peacefully, with protective masks and respecting social distancing. They blocked a street near the bus stop "railroad station" with signs expressing their will to receive their salaries and their company to be nationalised by the Ukrainian state. They warned that next time they could block a road with more traffic to make their demand more audible. The reportage of the media Dumskaya documents the event and shows that no violence was used.

Switzerland banned all vaccinations for 5 years and considered them harmful

The Federal Assembly passed a law on a moratorium on vaccinations for 5 years. The documents explain that vaccines against measles, chicken pox and all other infections cause harm and are dangerous for human health.

Disproof

Recurring conspiracy theory on vaccines which are being amplified in the context of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus. The claim is false and was originally invented by Russian satirical website panorama.pub. Vaccinations in Switzerland are not compulsory but vaccines against various infections are recommended. Switzerland nonetheless has high vaccination rates. For example, in 2018, among 16 years olds in Switzerland, 97% had been vaccinated for Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Tenanus. Vaccinations for other diseases such as Tick-borne encephalitis (47%) are lower – however, at the beginning of 2019, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed that vaccination against tick borne encephalitis is now covered by basic Swiss health insurance. See here for more examples by Myth Detector on how satire is spread as real news to affect public opinion.