Disinfo: Ukrainian language law intentionally discriminates half of Ukraine’s population

Summary

It is not just about strengthening the state language in Ukraine. The new law is about discriminating against half of the country’s population. The law is directed against the Russian-speaking population, first of all, Russians, who are actually forbidden to speak their native language everywhere except at home. And this is almost half the population of the country.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers. The Verkhovna Rada passed, on April 25, 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, education, science, etc. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force. 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 200-300 times the non-taxable minimum wage (now it is from 3400-5100 hryvnias).n The entry into force is delayed for three years. Similar disinformation cases are here and here. For background on the Ukrainian language laws, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 151
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Russian language
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Alyaksandr Lukashenka skipped the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels because the West could organise his killing

Neither pro-West experts nor the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Uladzimir Makey, know why Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not accept the EU’s invitation to attend the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels to mark its 10th anniversary. Attending the summit meant that Lukashenka would have to meet and hug the failed robber of the Ukrainian people, Petro Poroshenko, hence, aggravating Belarus-Ukraine relations. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is well aware that such anniversaries and visits have no value. Furthermore, he rightly does not trust the West’s bureaucracy which, with assistance from Belarusian puppets can organise a vile provocation including the physical elimination of a politician disliked by all.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy consistent with extreme modification of recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's attempts to destabilise Belarus and to organise a colour revolution in the country. Belarusian FM Uladzimir Makey explained Alexander Lukashenko's decision to skip the summit through an insufficient level of Belarus-EU cooperation. See another extreme modification of this narrative in an earlier disinformation case alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies.

OPCW leaked report contradicts official conclusions about Douma attack

A report prepared by engineers of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) contradicts the final report of this same UN institution about the events in the Syrian city of Douma (Eastern Ghouta) in April 2018, and raise questions about the existence of political pressure from the US, UK and France. According to the document, “there is a higher probability” that two gas cylinders found in Douma “were manually placed at those to locations rather than being delivered from an aircraft”, which means that Syrian rebels could perfectly have planted them there. “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder been delivered from an aircraft”, the engineers concluded.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "never-before-seen-report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organization. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently have access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the claim that the incident was staged "and designed to frame the Syrian government." The White Helmets have not once been "busted" staging anything, see our debunking on the subject for more details.

In contrast to Russia, western Europe is abandoning Christian roots

Western Europe is moving away from its Christian roots. The western European society gets dominated by materialism and pursuit of money. Western Europeans are disappointed with the Christian church primarily because of the way of life of local priests, which is full of materialism and debauchery. European culture has abandoned Christianity, and is getting absorbed by Muslim migrants. In contrast, the Russian Orthodox Church has preserved the original Christian spirit. Eastern Slavs are more likely to sacrifice themselves and their lives for the others.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Islamisation of Europe, in line with a similar narrative on the morally decaying West. Despite the dropping levels of religious practice in Europe, the majority of western Europeans still identify themselves as Christians, a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center shows. According to the same survey, 31% of western Europeans who identify themselves as Christians attend religious services at least monthly. At the same time one of the 2018 polls in Russia concluded that 17% of Russians who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians attend church at least monthly. See a collection of earlier disinformation cases concerning the Orthodox church.