Ukraina.ru reported this week that members of the European Parliament are calling on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to stop political repression in Ukraine while another Russian site, RIA FAN declared that the European Parliament has directly accused Poroshenko of political repression.

Website screenshot FAN

Website screenshot FAN

Website screenshot Ukraina.ru

Website screenshot Ukraina.ru

The source for these claims is a June23 letter to President Poroshenko from the GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) European parliamentary group, signed by German socialist EU MP Gabriele Zimmer, the group’s president.

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The letter does not reflect the position of the European parliament, but simply of one radically left faction made up of 35 MEPs out of a total of 766 deputies.

Ukraina.ru and RIA however, do imply that the letter reflects the view of the entire European parliament and distort the language of the missive to claim that in Ukraine, activists are increasingly subjected to intimidation and violence. “These are the methods Ukrainian authorities use to suppress society’s political and social demands” claim Ukraina.ru and RIA, and note that in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, activists’ rights are increasingly being curtailed.

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The actual quote from Zimmer’s letter reads as follows: “The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also observed an increased number of incidents involving political and right-wing activist groups in Kharkiv who suppress the political and social demands of the public through intimidation and violence”.

Gabriele Zimmer’s letter expresses concern about the banning of the Communist Party and the alleged persecution of leftist organizations in Ukraine and calls on the Ukrainian president to provide opponents the political space to advocate alternative ideas. Nowhere in the letter does she refer to state intimidation or state sponsored political repressions.