Disinfo: Russian citizens living in Ukraine are objects of genocide


Many cities in eastern and southern Ukraine such as Kyiv, Chernihiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhya, Kharkiv and Kirovohrad are Russian cities. Hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens who are now living in Ukraine are objects of genocide.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets, claiming that Ukrainian cities with a large proportion of Russian speakers are Russian per se and that Russians in Ukraine are persecuted and oppressed.

No evidence is provided to support the claim of genocide.

In reality, all these cities are within Ukraine’s borders as recognised by the United Nations and other international institutions. Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution guarantee the free development of the languages and cultures of Ukraine’s ethnic minorities, including Russian-speakers.

Over 500,000 people in occupied Donbas have Russian passports. Russia illegally launched a massive passportisation campaign there in 2019 to change the balance of the population in favour of Russian citizens. Nonetheless, Ukraine treats bearers of Russian passports from Donbas as its own citizens and does not recognise their Russian documents. Nor does the European Union recognise Russian passports issued in Donbas.

According to unofficial data, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians hold passports of other countries. Article 4 of the Ukrainian Constitution reads that there is only one citizenship in the country. Nonetheless, all these people are not persecuted by law because there is no punishment for holding multiple citizenships in Ukraine's penal code. Nor are those Ukrainians holders Russian passports from Donbas persecuted for this fact.

Read more disinformation narratives about Ukraine allegedly perpetrating genocide against Russians.


  • Reported in: Issue 253
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/07/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Donbas
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Disinfo: The West treats Russians today as it did Jews in the 1930s

The West's attitude toward Russians today resembles the treatment of European Jews in the 1930s. A pathological, bestial Russophobia has gripped the Western world, which pretends not to see the plight of those who are persecuted for being Russian or speaking Russian.

For instance, the West has no problem with the persecution of Russians in the Baltic States.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the West as pathologically Russophobic, and Russians/Russian speakers living abroad as victims of constant persecution.

The claim is made without evidence. It cites only one (false) example to make the egregious comparison between the historical suffering of European Jews and the imagined martyrdom of Russian minorities in the West today. See e.g. here and here for further reading on how the Kremlin uses the concept of "Russophobia" for disinformation purposes.

Disinfo: Moscow-Kyiv relationship deteriorated after the 2014 coup in Ukraine

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv deteriorated after the coup in Ukraine in 2014, which was followed by the accession of Crimea to Russia.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the 2014 Euromaidan protests and their consequences.

First, there was no coup in Ukraine in 2014. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU.

Disinfo: Ukraine's internal processes are under complete US control

After 2014, the United States has assumed complete control of all internal processes within Ukraine.


The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting Ukraine as a crumbling state, too weak and divided to make its own strategic choices and thus forced to serve as a US client state.

As a large and politically diverse country, independent Ukraine has elected six presidents since 1991, each with his own set of domestic and geopolitical priorities. Thus, the tenure of both Leonid Kravchuk (1991-1994) and his successor Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) were periods of "multi-vector" balancing between Russia and the West; the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko (2005-2010) was succeeded by pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2014) who, upon his flight in disgrace from Ukrainian politics (and from Ukraine), was replaced by Petro Poroshenko. The latter was elected on a firm pro-EU platform and anti-Kremlin rhetoric during a period of large-scale military aggression by Russia.