Aid to the

Russian fake news about a taxi driver with hearing impairments and what it has to do with Arestovych

Several media outlets have fallen for the Russian fake, in which a passenger allegedly calls for support for the taxi service and is outraged at the driver who refused to speak the state language. The fake was also spread by Mr Arestovych.

The Russian fake regarding a taxi driver with hearing impairments who allegedly refused to speak Ukrainian didn’t just make its way to several media outlets. It even caught the attention of the former adviser to the head of the Presidential Office, Oleksiy Arestovych (no surprises there!).

Unfortunately, Oleksiy spread this fake across his three platforms: Telegram (with 339,000 readers), Facebook (825,000 followers), and Twitter (556,000 readers).

The crux of the fake story revolves around a passenger named Tetiana, who turned to the taxi service and lodged a complaint against a taxi driver named Yuriy for his refusal to converse in the state language, thus violating, in her opinion, the “language law.” 


Tetiana threatens to report this to the police and demands Yuriy’s dismissal. However, customer service swiftly responded, revealing that the driver was, in fact, hearing impaired and unable to speak.

It’s likely that the architects of this fake news aimed to stir up unrest once again within Ukrainian society, targeting people who are susceptible to such topics.

The facts

We managed to find the original screenshots from which the russians concocted this fake. They sourced them from a Ukrainian review site:

Here you can see a screenshot with map. This review was written in February 2023, recounting an experience with a driver from Zhytomyr.

By following this link, you'll be able to see a screenshot of the correspondence. This review, from September 2023, detailed an encounter with a driver from Kyiv.

There is further evidence of false details 

First, let’s talk logic. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which a passenger wouldn’t recognize that the driver was hearing impaired and mistake their inability to speak as a refusal to communicate in the state language. The driver would have employed sign language, making the situation clear to everyone.

Second, translation errors. While mistakes in the text of the support message are possible, it’s very unlikely that the app would read “Поїздка с Юрій instead of «Поїздка з Юрій” [note the letter “c” in russian instead of “з in Ukrainian]. So, if you follow this link, you can see that the app uses the letter “з”, and not “c”. The fake makers also misspelled the abbreviation for the day of the week — it should be “вт, and not ві” [Tuesday] small logo

фактчекерка на всі крильця
Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
01 / 01