Disinfo: Ukrainian language law prohibits use of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian languages

Summary

This law is not about protecting the Ukrainian languages, but about prohibiting Russian language, and at the same time Hungarian, Romanian and other minority languages. This law divided the population, as was the intention of previous authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law. 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. Similar disinformation cases are here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/06/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Russian language
see more

A coup d'état occurred in Ukraine in 2013-2014

A coup d’état took place in Kyiv in 2013-2014, supported by the West.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, this is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan protests. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here. MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation". This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.

DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine

The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine and are now fighting a civil war against the Ukrainian armed forces controlled by Kyiv, which are supported by the West.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. Donetsk and Luhansk are part of Ukraine and controlled by Russia-backed armed formations. Not a single country has recognised them as independent. The war in Ukraine was provoked by Russia - it is not a civil war.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation." This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. Further debunk here. MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.

US will give Ukraine $250 million for war and provocations against Russia

The United States will give Ukraine a quarter billion dollars for the war in Donbas. Next year, the Pentagon intends to use Ukraine as a military buffer between the United States and Russia and intends to turn Ukraine into a provocateur of Russia. The United States will never wage war against Russia, but they sell weapons to others to fight it, and Ukraine is an example of this.

Disproof

This is a Kremlin narrative claiming that Ukraine, the United States and the European Union are provoking Russia. According to the bill on the US military budget for 2020, the US government really intends to provide Ukraine with $250 million to improve the defence sector. However, this money will not go to the “war in Donbas”, but to the security and intelligence support areas. The main focus of the United States will be on strengthening Ukraine’s naval capabilities after Russia's aggressive actions in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. There is no talk of a "provocation ground" in the draft law. The United States insists that it is Ukraine and the countries of the Black Sea region that need to protect themselves from Russian attacks at sea.