Ukraine’s Diia app is not connected to the ‘Great Reset’

15 March 2023
What was claimed

Ukraine has “tacitly” announced it’s the first country to implement the World Economic Forum’s ‘Great Reset’ by launching a social credit app which will include universal basic income, digital ID and a vaccination card.

Our verdict

The existing Diia app can be used to store digital ID documents, including vaccine passports and an ID card. But Ukraine doesn’t have any official plans for a universal basic income scheme and the app has nothing to do with ‘The Great Reset’, a WEF initiative on how governments may respond to a post-pandemic world.

A post on Facebook claims that “Ukraine has tacitly announced that it will be the FIRST COUNTRY to implement the WEF's "GREAT RESET" by LAUNCHING the SOCIAL CREDIT APP, which will include a UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, DIGITAL ID and VACCINATION CARD in the already existing Diya app”.

Much of this is false. Diia is a genuine government app for people in Ukraine to access ID documents and vaccine passports, and many could previously use it to apply for a one-off payment if they’d lost their job due to the war. A separate payment was also available for those who were vaccinated against Covid-19

However, it’s unrelated to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Great Reset initiative. We’ve seen nothing from either the Ukrainian government or the WEF linking the two, and last year a spokesperson for the WEF told fact checkers at USA Today that claims of a connection were baseless.

There’s also no evidence Diia is or is planned to become any kind of “social credit app”, and it doesn’t give access to basic universal income, which Ukraine does not have.

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What is the Diia app?

According to the Ukrainian government, the app’s users can access and share 14 digital documents including their passport, driver’s licence, birth certificate and ID card—so it does arguably include “digital ID” as the post claims.

It’s also true that the Diia app was how digital vaccine certificates were generated in Ukraine, which the Facebook post also says.

However, there’s no evidence the app provides or will in due course provide a universal basic income.

According to the House of Commons Library, “Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a term used to describe a number of different proposals where the state would provide income for all citizens, without any conditions attached, and regardless of their other resources”.

Ukraine doesn’t have such a scheme currently, and there isn’t any evidence of it having official plans to start one either, though some including an economic adviser to the Ukrainian President have suggested one should be started by foreign powers using frozen Russian assets. 

It’s true that the country’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced a one-off payment for those who lost their jobs because of the war, and that those eligible could apply for this money through the app. (Some online claimed that only those who were vaccinated could get this payment, but this isn’t the case, and may have come from a mis-translation of the Prime Minister’s statement.) 

It’s also true that until February 2022, Ukrainian citizens could also get a payment for being vaccinated which they could spend on sports, transport or cultural events. They could apply for this payment through the app.

The post also says Diia will become a “social credit app”. We often see online speculation about the introduction of a social credit system similar to the one in China, which works like a credit score, whereby actions of citizens, businesses and government entities will be monitored and assessed. 

The exact details of the scoring system in development in China are not fully known, and may vary by region.

As we’ve written before, there’s no evidence that any such system is planned in Ukraine. We’ve written about false claims that such systems are planned for other countries too.

What is the Great Reset?

The post refers to the “WEF’s Great Reset”. Broadly, the initiative discusses how the world’s political, business and social institutions may wish to address pre-existing geo-political concerns, such as global warming, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The WEF’s founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab also co-authored a book called “Covid-19: The Great Reset”, published in 2020. We’ve not been able to find mention in the book of social credit scores, universal basic income, vaccination cards or passports.

While the Great Reset is a real thing, and has faced genuine criticism for what it purports to be, it has also spawned a number of false and unsubstantiated claims which amount to the basis of a conspiracy theory. We have checked misinformation about the book and Mr Schwab before, including false claims it said people would die in planned epidemics and that Mr Schwab had been arrested for crimes related to the pandemic.

Image courtesy of Adrian Swancar

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