Disinfo: The language law signed by Poroshenko is a huge, unjustified bomb that splits Ukrainian society


The language law signed by Poroshenko is a huge, unjustified bomb that splits Ukrainian society and makes it very difficult for Zelenskyi to take office, because he will have to react to it somehow.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers. Find more disinformation cases on the Ukrainian language law here.

On 25 April, The Verkhovna Rada passed the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language".  The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media.

However, the language rights of national minorities have to be in line with the obligations of Ukraine under the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, guaranteed by a separate law, the draft of which the government must develop and submit to the parliament six months after the law on the state language will enter into force.

The usage of Russian language is not limited in private communication and religious ceremonies.  Just like the languages ​​of other minorities,  Russian can be present in book publishing, the press, television and education and in the service sector.  But the Ukrainian language in these areas is preferred.. the Ukrainian language is positioned as the main language of publishing activity, and circulation in other languages ​​can not exceed the circulation in Ukrainian.

For discrimination of the Ukrainian language, including in favour of Russian, administrative responsibility is given. In the humanitarian sphere - education, science, culture, sports - for violating language policy, there is a fine of 200 to 300 times the non-taxable minimum wage (now it is from 3400-5100 hryvnias). The entry into force is delayed for three years.


  • Reported in: Issue150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine, Rule of law, Russian language, Petro Poroshenko


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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Petro Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada deliberately delayed Zelenskyy’s inauguration

The Central Elections Committee of Ukraine concluded the elections on April 30, but Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s inauguration took place on 19 of May. Experts believe that Petro Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada deliberately tried to delay the process. According to analysts, this way they were trying to prevent the dissolution of parliament, as well as to strengthen their positions before the parliamentary elections in late 2019.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Petro Poroshenko, with recent examples about him allegedly harming the newly elected president Volodymyr Zelenskyy or suggesting he instigated the provocation in Kerch Strait to extend his power.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his team proposed 19th of May as the date of the inauguration. Zelenskyy's inauguration actually took place on 20th May 2019. The political party of Petro Poroshenko opposed the date of 19th May because on that day Ukraine commemorates the victims of political repressions.

Russia introduced passport control at the border with Belarus because of European fraud with export of food

EU businesses did multiple attempts to bypass Russian embargo and to sell their food products on the Russian market. This way Europeans framed the Belarusian government. These massive provocations by EU businesses resulted in a passport control on Belarus-Russia border that the Russian government had to introduce.


This ungrounded claim is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about West's attempts to bring discord in Belarus-Russia relations.

In the last years Russia indeed restricted control at the border with Belarus. It established a security zone with random border controls along the border with Belarus and moved flights to Belarus from domestic to international terminals. Given that the signing of the Agreement on mutual recognition of visas between Belarus and Russia is delayed, the issue of transit through Belarus-Russian border for third country nationals remains unresolved.

Ukraine is under foreign control

A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine.

Russian experts stressed that it would be much more interesting to conduct a study on the impact of the EU and the US on elections and other processes in Ukraine. Ukrainian experts say straightforwardly that the country is under external control.



No evidence given. Recurring Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, which allegedly is under external control from the US or EU.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government.  Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.