Disinfo: Ukrainian language was artificially created by the Soviet Union

Summary

Since the 1920s, the Bolsheviks launched a policy of “Ukrainianisation”. Literary norms of the Ukrainian language (previously considered a dialect of Russian) were developed. Soviet authorities began to introduce Ukrainian in education, culture, and bureaucracy. The Russians living on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR were recorded as “Ukrainians” by nationality.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Ukrainian language.

Literary norms of the Ukrainian language were developed way earlier than the 1920s. The Ukrainian language is one of the Slavonic languages. It is a lineal descendant of the colloquial language used in the Rus in the 10th-13th centuries. The modern literary Ukrainian emerged out of the spoken language at the end of the 18th century. The starting point of the modern Ukrainian language is the publication of the Ukrainian version of Aeneid by Ukrainian writer Ivan Kotliarevskyy in 1798. In the 19th century, the next generation of writers further developed the Ukrainian language, spelling, grammar and vocabulary.

In the 19th century, the Russian empire tried to ban Ukrainian from public use. The 1863 Valuev Circular suspended the publication of religious and educational texts in Ukrainian, pamphlets and books. In 1876, Czar Alexander II issued Ems Ukaz that banned the public use of the Ukrainian language altogether.

It is a historical fact that in the 1920s the communist regime started the policy of "Ukrainisation" in Soviet Ukraine which was a part of the all-Union program of "korenization", or indigenization. This policy was an attempt by the communist government to legitimise Soviet rule in Ukraine and to appease the Ukrainian peasantry. The policy was effective: the usage of the Ukrainian language in education and culture was improved; some progress was achieved in bureaucracy; the Ukrainian population of cities and the number of workers doubled.

Although the policy of "Ukrainisation" was upheld by some Ukrainian communists, it was opposed by other Bolshevik leaders in Ukraine and, particularly, in Moscow. As a result, in 1931-33 the policy was curtailed. In 1930-1933, the mass repressions against the Ukrainian intelligentsia - writers, scientists, philosophers, clerics, as well as political leaders who were members of the Communist Party of Ukraine - marked the end of "Ukrainisation". Most of them had been deported to concentration camps and executed in 1937-1938. The two most prominent examples are the trial against the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine and the Executed Renaissance.

Further debunking by StopFake.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine

Disclaimer

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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Disproof

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