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


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.


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.


  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Crimean Tatars, Muslim/Islam


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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The article indulges what is arguably the oldest conspiracy theory in existence: that the Jewish people are an international cabal secretly controlling or poisoning the "elite" strata of human society. See here and here for more examples of pro-Kremlin outlets embracing anti-Semitic myths for disinformation purposes.

Europe, including Germany, is subjected to Washington’s power

A deputy in the Russian parliament criticised Germany’s decision not to exclude the Nord Stream 2 project from new gas regulations in Europe. He said that it indicates that Berlin does not have autonomy in decision making.

It is clear that in addition to the pseudo-European unity, Germany is subjected to Washington, which has repeatedly pressed Berlin to renounce the Russian gas project.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of European countries.

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The European Parliament has falsely accused the Soviet Union of the Second World War moving Hitler to the background

Truth is a difficult goal to achieve in the West, where fake news and now also “fake history” have become the norm. The OSCE and the European Parliament accuse the Soviet Union of the Second World War, suggesting that Russia and Putin are to blame. Hitler is moved into the background as a result of these baseless accusations. The hidden actors that are pushing this parallel history are the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine, which are full of hatred for Russia. Today the Baltic states remember Nazi collaborators as national heroes and celebrate their cowardly deeds. Today the Polish government is destroying monuments. Polish “nationalists” cannot stand the memory of the Red Army that liberated Poland from the Nazi invaders.


This message is part of the pro-Kremlin’s disinformation campaign against the European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe. It reflects the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and is an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as not aggressive.

The European Parliament resolution, stressing that World War II was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, was portrayed as “fascist” along with the Parliament which adopted it. The pro-Kremlin media outlets claimed that the European Parliament has joined forces with fascism, that it represents the Third Reich, and relieves Germany of the responsibility of World War II. The disinformation campaign about the European Parliament resolution has also targeted Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and Ukraine.