Disinfo: Ukrainians were never unequal while in the Russian Empire

Summary

There was not a single moment in Ukrainian history during the Russian Empire, when Ukrainians were unequal, circumvented or oppressed.

Ukraine has no understanding of sacred power, the sacredness of the country. Ukrainians do not understand anything about the country, nor about the state, nor about the people.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative designed to denigrate the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and its independence.

When Ukrainian lands became part of the Russian Empire, they formally lost all traces of their national distinctiveness. The territories were reorganised into regular Russian provinces administered by governors appointed from St. Petersburg. In religious policy, the Tsarist regime promoted the elimination of Ukrainian peculiarities. Although the largely Polish Roman Catholic Church was allowed to continue, Catherine launched a program of administrative conversion of Ukrainians from the Uniate Church. The anti-Uniate campaign was partially reversed by her immediate successors but was renewed with vigour by Nicholas I.

In 1863 the minister of the interior, Petr Valuev, banned virtually all publications in Ukrainian, with the exception of belles lettres. The ban was reinforced by a secret imperial decree, the Ems Ukaz, of Aleksandr II in 1876 and extended to the publication of belles lettres in Ukrainian, the importation of Ukrainian-language books, and public readings and stage performances in the language. The prohibition even extended to education.

The other claims about the statehood of Ukraine are also groundless. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language and with a democratically-elected president and parliament.

The history of Ukraine dates back to the era of the Kyivan Rus’ in the 9th-13th centuries. A national movement developed during the ages while Ukraine was ruled by Russia; Ukrainian nationalists took part in the revolutionary movements that led to the demise of the Russian empire.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Historical revisionism, Russian superiority, Russian expansionism, Ukrainian statehood

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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Allegations about Kiselyov-controlled RT, Russia’s implication in Skripal poisoning and MH17 downing work only for anti-Russian audiences

Lithuania has banned the broadcasting of five RT TV channels on its territory, following Latvia’s analogous decision. The decision claims that RT is controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov, whereas, in reality, RT has nothing to do with news agency Rossiya Segodnia chaired by him.

Allegations about Kiselyov-controlled RT, Skripal poisoned by Vladimir Putin and MH17 downing by Kremlin are fine for anti-Russian audiences. The West increasingly sees no reason to waste its resources on Russia and the forces that sympathize with Russia, apparently considering it as hopeless to persuade and attract them on its side.

This sloppy approach was the product of West’s monopoly in information, political, and ideological spheres. It is because of this monopoly that at a certain stage the West ceased to consider it necessary to rigorously and professionally elaborate its policies on a general level, but also in what concerns its competitors. As a result, the West did not notice how it lost the monopoly because of the loss of competences.

Disproof

This message questions Dmitry Kiselyov's relation to RT and presents RT broadcasting bans in Latvia and Lithuania, Skripal poisoning, and MH17 downing as West's anti-Russian provocations to influence public opinion. It is consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about West's deliberate anti-Russian activities. In fact, the Skripal case, and the downing of MH17 are well-documented cases of acts of Kremlin-enabled violence outside Russia.

Latvia and Lithuania have banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, saying it is controlled by an individual, Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is under EU sanctions. According to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog, RT and the network of channels operated by it are under Kiselyov's "effective control".

Anglo-Saxons are at the edge of anti-Russian attack, Germany is semi-occupied by the US

Some time ago the West created media in their contemporary understanding. Since then the freedom of speech and the free spread of information have turned into one of the West’s trump cards in its struggle against ideological and geopolitical opponents.

Anglo-Saxons remain at the edge of anti-Russian attack, they are its driving force. At the same time lately, Anglo-Saxons have been losing the support of their closet allies who prefer a more neutral approach to Russophobia. Currently, anti-Russian positions of leading German media run counter to the politics of German ruling establishment, which defends common projects with Russia and tries to get rid of the half-occupational dependency on the US. Extreme subordination and unequivocal loyalty of key German media outlets to Washington remain.

Disproof

This is a mix of recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about lost sovereignty / external control, Western Russophobia and anti-Russian activities, and conspiracy about US-controlled media in Europe. In the pro-Kremlin media, the term “Anglo-Saxons” means “evil”, “belligerent” and “morally corrupt” Westerners, as explained in our earlier analysis.

German media, like that in other pluralist democracies, represent a wide range of political opinions and do not have a single editorial policy for any country or topic. Nor they subordinate to Washington or any other foreign capital. Germany ranked 11th in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, higher than the US (45th) and Russia (149th).

CIA occupies a whole floor at Security Service of Ukraine’s building

A good example is if you look at what happened in Ukraine. If we look at the presence of the CIA, in the framework as part of the staffing of the Security Service of Ukraine. They have a whole floor. Yes, they have a whole floor there.

Disproof

No evidence given. Such a claim on the CIA's floor at the SBU's building in Kyiv was made by the so-called DNR's figurehead Oleg Tsarev, reported by RIA Novosti in 2014, without any supportive evidence or further reporting. The narrative that Ukraine is under "external control" is recurrent. See other disinformation cases on the external rule of Ukraine, CIA's involvement in "a coup d'etat" and their debunking.