Russia’s Defense Ministry television channel Zvezda published a story claiming that one fourth of Ukraine’s citizens consider themselves to be citizens of the USSR and every 20th resident of Ukraine considers himself Russian. The source for these claims is a poll conducted by the Gorshenin Institute together with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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The two think tanks presented their findings earlier this month and those findings are considerably different from what Zvezda claims.

Zvezda declares that every fourth person polled identifies himself as a citizen of the former Soviet Union and every fifth identifies as a Russian.

One of the questions in the poll is “What nationality do you consider yourself to be?” 92 percent answered Ukrainian, 5 chose Russian and 3% said other.

The question “How would you identify yourself?” gave the following results: 81.8% said Ukrainian citizen, 5% said former USSR citizen, 6.3% see themselves as citizens of the world and 3.3% as European citizens.

As only 5% see themselves as former Soviet citizens, where did Zvezda get their fake massive 25%? They did it by cynically manipulating the answer to the question “How would you identify yourself” which was broken down by nationality – Ukrainian, Russian or other, age and place of residence. 24.8% of those Ukrainian citizens who identify as Russian see themselves as citizens of the Soviet Union.

So that is 24.8% of the 5% who thought of themselves as Russian, and that adds up to a tiny 1.2% of the Ukrainian population who consider themselves Soviet citizens. And that is vastly different from the quarter of the total of Ukraine’s population that the liars or extremely poor mathematicians at Zvezda contend regard themselves as Soviet citizens.

But that is Zvezda for you, and this kind of misrepresentation is their forte. Take for example their claim that 11% of Ukrainian residents consider themselves to be citizens of the world. Pretty cosmopolitan you might think, right? Er, no. The 11% citizen of the world answer only refers to 18 to 29 year olds, one small slice of four age groups in the overall poll.

Manipulating poll results is a favorite Russian disinformation and propaganda technique. To verify the veracity of such manipulated claims, check out the Instruments section on our web site.