Disinfo: Ukrainian language does not exist, it is a dialect of Russian

Summary

The law on the Ukrainian language regulates a language that is simply a dialect of Russian.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the existence of a separate Ukrainian language and the language law. Ukrainian is an East Slavic language and the official state language of Ukraine. It is one out of 20 Slavic languages. Linguists trace the origin of the Ukrainian language to the Old Slavic language of the early medieval state of Kievan Rus'. The Modern Ukrainian language has been in common use since the late 17th century. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, modern literary Ukrainian emerged out of the colloquial Ukrainian tongue at the end of XVIII century. Attacking the Ukrainian language is one of the recurring topics of pro-Kremlin propaganda. Similar examples can be found here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
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Russia finds US mercenaries in Syria

US Central Command is increasing the presence of mercenaries in Syria to make up for the withdrawal of regular troops. Only in the second half of June another 540 private military contractors arrived to the country, including commanders and instructors. The mercenaries are transported by car in groups of 12 to 16 people, and their task is mainly to form combat units loyal to Washington and protect oil and gas infrastructures.

Disproof

The deployment of US private military contractors (PMC) in this war theatre is no secret: in 2018, the Pentagon acknowledged the presence of over 5,500 PMCs in Syria and Iraq. Therefore, claiming that "Russia found them" now is a deliberate distortion of facts. No evidence is provided to support the affirmation than their number is increasing or that 540 were sent to Syria last June. Moreover, this so-called revelation coincides with reports about the presence of Russian ground troops fighting in Idlib, denied by Moscow. Mentioning PMCs' task of protecting hydrocarbon facilities is significant, since this is exactly what Russian private military contractors have been doing in Syria, and serves to fuel the recurrent Russian narrative of a US aggression to take over the resources of the country. You can see other examples of disinformation about the US presence in Syria, such as its alleged plans to divide the country, its alleged support to jihadist groups, its alleged plundering of archaeological sites, its alleged role in fake chemical attacks or its alleged deliberate targeting of civilians.

There are no Russian ground troops in Syria

The Russian army has never sent any ground troops, and hence no special units to Syria. The article by Reuters about alleged involvement of Russian ground forces and special units in the province of Idlib is an absolute lie. Only observation troops of the Russian military police are positioned in Idlib.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Russian ground troops are not active in Syria. There is a wide spectrum of evidence disproving this claim: In 2016, Russian military intervention helped President Assad's forces regain the control of territory in Syria. The Russian military took news crews to Kawkab in Hama province to demonstrate their success. Moscow built up substantial ground forces throughout Syria.The estimates place around 4,000 troops on the ground even including several private military companies (PMC)—ENOT Corp, “Wagner” and Morgan Security Group PMC — along with Russian military police with modern weaponry. Early examples of Russian interaction with pro-government militias date back to at least August of 2015, although they are more limited. Pictures of Russian soldiers and officers interacting with the Prophet Younis Mountain Battalion, a Latakia-based pro-Assad militia, are available.

There are no Russian ground troops or special forces in Syria

News about the participation of Russian special and ground forces in the battles of Idlib is again false news. There are no Russian ground troops in Syria.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russian ground troops are not active in Syria. There is a wide spectrum of sources disproving this claim.

In 2016, Russian military intervention helped President Assad's forces regain control of territory in Syria. As a result, Moscow built up substantial ground forces throughout Syria. Estimates place around 4,000 troops on the ground including private military companies such as ENOT Corp, “Wagner” and Morgan Security Group PMC. Subsequently, Russia established a permanent military presence at naval and air bases in Syria. Last year, President Putin said that Russia has no plans to pull its military out of Syria.