DISINFO: Zelenskyy discriminates against Russian language for the sake of the "Right Sector"
  • Outlet: iz.ru (archived)* ren.tv (archived)*
  • Date of publication: January 19, 2021
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine, Russia
Volodymyr Zelensky Russian language Ethnic Russians Ukrainian statehood Right Sector Russian world Petro Poroshenko

DISINFO: Zelenskyy discriminates against Russian language for the sake of the "Right Sector"


Russian speakers represent more than 70% of the country’s residents, 50% of them do not know the Ukrainian language well. In addition, the leadership of Ukraine itself is confused in “mova” (Ukrainian language), so such discriminatory measures are taken only for the sake of the “Right Sector” (an extremist organisation banned in Russia) and nationalist circles. President Zelenskyy obeys them today, just as Poroshenko did earlier.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about the status of Russian language and Nazism in Ukraine.

This is a reaction of the Russian Federation to the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language". On 16 January 2021, the rules of Article 30 of the law came into force. According to the new rules, customer service must be provided in the state language. In particular, this applies to enterprises, institutions and organisations of all forms of ownership; individual entrepreneurs; business entities providing services to consumers (including online stores).

The claim about the language rights of Russians in Ukraine being violated is false. On 25 April 2019, the Verkhovna Rada passed the law 'on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language'. Russian, as well as other languages, can be used in private communication, religious ceremonies, press, book publishing etc. The law also allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and law enforcement.

According to the latest survey, 27% of Ukrainian citizens use the Russian language in their everyday communication; the Ukrainian language is preferred by 51% of Ukrainians and 21% are bilingual.

See other cases of disinformation linked to language issue: Estonia again on the way to war against Russian language, Ukraine forbids 40% of the people to speak Russian.


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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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