DISINFO: War in Donbas is a consequence of USSR's break-up and ban against Russian language
DISINFORMATION CASE DETAILS
  • Outlet: sputnik.by (archived)*
  • Date of publication: November 21, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • Countries / regions discussed: Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
Tags:
Historical revisionism Russian language Russian expansionism Russian world War in Ukraine

DISINFO: War in Donbas is a consequence of USSR's break-up and ban against Russian language

SUMMARY

The war in Donbas is a consequence of the USSR’s dissolution. The war originates from the ban on speaking Russian, which was impossible in the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic, but it happened in Ukraine. The Belarusian and Ukrainian societies have to finally realise that the Russian language is native to Belarus and Ukraine, just as it is to Russia. It belongs to all three branches of Russian people: Great Russians, Little Russians, and Belarusians, this is our common heritage.

RESPONSE

This case misinterprets the reasons behind the war in Donbas and puts forward propagandistic narratives about the all-Russian nation and Russian World/civilization. It presents the war in Donbas as a result of USSR's break-up and the alleged ban on the Russian language, thus disregarding the actual sequence of events and extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. The law on regional languages was repealed by the parliament of Ukraine on February 23, 2014. However, the decree was not signed then. The law officially expired only on February 28, 2018, when the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the law unconstitutional. The EU condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. The publication uses a derogatory term 'Little Russians' to identify Ukrainians, which derives from imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians and undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. Belarusians and Ukrainians are not part of Russian people as alleged, Belarus and Ukraine are well-defined nation-states with a long history, which preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West is targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine are three Russian political nations, and that the Eastern Partnership is about external control and disintegration, whereas Belarus is part of the Russian World.

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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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