Facebook account owner Nona Sharabidze, whose pieces of disinformation have been verified by FactCheck multiple times in the past (links: 1;2;3;4), posted another piece of disinformation in social networks. In particular, she claimed that Ukrainians changed Mendeleev’s periodic table and renamed the element Moscovium as Ukraini.

The publication reads as follows:

“Ukrainians changed Mendeleev’s periodic table and renamed the element Moscovium as Ukraini. I would not be surprised if they turn Mendeleev himself into a khakhol.”

This claim was also verified by the Ukrainian fact-checking organisation StopFake.

The lower right-hand corner of the photograph includes the email address ([email protected]) of the book publisher which allows people to check the name of the publisher and verify whether or not this information was really printed in a book.

The Літера ЛТД publishing house made a publication on its Facebook page as early as on 24 January 2023 to comment on this disinformation. The publishing house said that they do not print tables of chemical elements on the covers of their books and posted a couple of real photographs of their books.

In addition, the Літера ЛТД publishing house draws attention to the fact that the element with the number 115 only goes under the name of Ununpentium (Uup) in their publications. Interestingly, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) decided to rename Ununpentium as Moscovium on 28 November 2016. It was synthesised for the first time in 2003 by a group of Russian and American scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna (Russia). As elements are often named after the places where they were discovered, this element was named as Moscovium. StopFake’s article read that Ukrainian textbooks contain both versions of this element’s name.

Of additional note is that Ukraine is not authorised to arbitrarily change the name of a chemical element because the elements’ names are approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Therefore, the claim that Ukrainians changed a chemical element’s name is fake.


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