Spilnota Detector Media
Detector Media collects and documents real-time chronicles of the Kremlin disinformation about the Russian invasion. Ukraine for decades has been suffering from Kremlin disinformation. Here we document all narratives, messages, and tactics, which Russia is using from February 17th, 2022. Reminder: the increasing of shelling and fighting by militants happened on the 17th of February 2022 on the territory of Ukraine. Russian propaganda blames Ukraine for these actions.

On 19 June, on the 846th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Disclosure Russia floods the West with disinformation

Journalist for the American online publication The Washington Post, Lee Hockstader, claims that Russia began actively spreading disinformation in Europe even on the eve of the European Parliament elections. In his column, Hockstader writes that in 2022, Europe was already experiencing a large-scale Russian disinformation operation: “The Moscow-controlled organization cloned the websites of newspapers, magazines and news services, including the British Guardian and the German Bild, posted copies under similar domain names and filled them with Kremlin”.

The main attacks of Russian disinformation are directed against Ukraine: “A website posing as the French Ministry of Defense announced that 200 thousand French recruits will be sought for service in Ukraine. A prominent German TV journalist known as a “Putin expert” and Moscow sympathizer was found to have received more than $600,000 from a Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire”.

Russia's war against Ukraine has removed obstacles to Moscow's use of various disinformation tools. The United States may face a similar or even greater challenge this fall on the eve of the presidential election. If Europe does not respond to this challenge, Hockstader said, which is looking increasingly likely, then the picture will look even bleaker in some places. Particularly in the United States, where dysfunctional policies and First Amendment protections make tracking Russian mischief even more difficult.

Disclosure Allegedly, the French website Republican Resistance is spreading Russian narratives about the war in Ukraine

This resource disseminates fake news, in particular, about “the death of soldiers of the French Foreign Legion in the war in Ukraine”, criticizes the French government, publishes caricatures of President Macron, promotes pro-Russian fakes and supports right-wing radicals. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Resistancerepublicaine.com is registered and hosted in Moscow - that is why the .com domain was chosen rather than .fr, intended for French online resources. This was determined by researchers from Insight News Media.

According to investigators, the materials on this site are intended to spread chaos, despair and protest sentiments in France, to blow up the French government and support right-wing radicals committed to Moscow. Previously, we denied information that France had allegedly made an official decision to send its troops to Ukraine.

Fake In Lviv, school graduates were allegedly given ribbons with a map of Ukraine without Crimea

Pro-Russian resources are distributing a photo showing Ukrainian graduates at the last bell celebration ceremony, dressed in graduation ribbons. And, according to propagandists, this year the ribbons seemed to depict a map of Ukraine without the temporarily occupied Crimea.

However, this is a fake photo. The photo has been edited, because in the original photo the map of Ukraine on the ribbons is shown including Crimea. This was reported by specialists from the VoxCheck project. Using the PimEyes program, which performs a reverse face search, they found a photo of one of the girls in the feed - she was present at the Ukrainian Greco-Roman wrestling championship in Ternopil.

Then, thanks to a search using the words “last call celebration Ternopil”, it was possible to find original footage from the graduation. In fact, they were made not in Lviv, but in Ternopil - they were distributed by local media on May 31, 2024. In the photo of all graduates, the ribbons of all graduates depict Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders of 1991, including the temporarily occupied Crimea.

In addition, on the fake photo one can see signs of editing, probably with spot correction: on one ribbon in the place of Crimea there is a noticeable darkening, on the other there is a gap in the outline of the map.

Also, in all online stores where such graduation ribbons are sold or produced to order, Ukraine is depicted within the internationally recognized borders of 1991. In the end, this “news” is spread mainly by Russian websites and telegram channels. There is no mention in the Ukrainian media of the incident, which would certainly provoke outrage in the Ukrainian-language segment of social networks, because such situations are reacted sharply in the media space.

Message Ukraine will allegedly collapse “according to the Afghan scenario”

Russian propaganda media are spreading the message that Ukraine will supposedly “end up just like Afghanistan” - when the collapse happens, it will happen instantly. In asserting this, propagandists refer to the statement of the Irish “journalist” Chey Bowes.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine writes that such statements have nothing to do with reality and are not supported by any facts.

In fact, “journalist” Chay Bowes is a well-known relay of Kremlin narratives and propaganda. He collaborates with Western publications that spread Russian lies. For example, Bowes claimed that the Ukrainian military has allegedly “killed thousands of civilians” since 2014, and that there is an ongoing “civil war” in Ukraine that began after the “Maidan coup” for “CIA sponsorship”.

The Center also adds that the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to destroy Russian occupiers, and international partners provide all necessary assistance and support to Ukraine. This, in particular, does not give grounds to talk about the so-called Afghan scenario in Ukraine.

This stuffing is another information operation of the Russian Federation, the purpose of which is to convince the Western audience that supposedly “the victory of the Russian Federation is close and inevitable”, and support for Ukraine makes no sense. Previously, we analyzed the message that the United States could turn Ukraine into a new Afghanistan.

Manipulation Polish doctors are allegedly being sent to Ukraine to participate in hostilities

Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels spread information that Polish doctors are allegedly being sent to Ukraine to front-line hospitals and to participate in hostilities. According to Russian propagandists, this will happen in the near future and, moreover, forcibly. As proof, the Russians provide screenshots of one of the Polish sites with the corresponding article.

However, this information does not correspond to reality, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security Council. The article actually says that 15 Polish doctors will come to Ukraine precisely for educational purposes. The material does not mention their participation in hostilities at all.

By spreading such messages, Russian propaganda promotes the narrative of “foreign mercenaries” allegedly fighting against the Russians in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Earlier, we refuted information that a Ukrainian called on Poles to go fight against Russia.

Fake Territorial center of recruitment and social support representatives hand out draft notices at Prom.ua goods delivery points

Russian propagandists spread information that Ukrainian men are given draft notices near Prom.ua goods distribution points. As “proof” they add screenshots from a review site about these stores, where outraged users allegedly complain about the arbitrariness of the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support.

However, this information is not true, VoxCheck experts write. Firstly, the Prom.ua company does not have its own delivery points for goods - delivery is carried out by logistics companies or the goods can be picked up at pick-up points of online stores selling goods on Prom.ua.

Also in both screenshots above you can see the text First independent review site in Ukraine. This is the site OtzyvUA.net. Considering that responses to angry comments are written about the company Prom.ua, to create a fake, propagandists used the section of the site with reviews of this particular company. In the first screenshot one can see the complaint “Lawlessness of the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support!” from a user with the nickname Maryna on May 28. However, such a response does not really exist. There is one review on the platform for May 28 from another user, and it does not concern the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support.

In the screenshot of the propagandists below, under the fake response, there is another one, with the topic “WILD AND CREEPY. NO WORDS” dated May 14 from a user with the nickname Serhii. This review is real, between it and the review for May 28 there are nine other user reviews that are not in the screenshot from the propagandists' post. This means that the fakers took a screenshot of the response from the site, which was immediately after the response “WILD AND CREEPY. NO WORDS” and replaced it with a fake one, which describes “rude actions of Territorial centers of recruitment and social support representatives”. This is also confirmed by the fact that both the fake comment and the real one, which was immediately after “WILD AND CREEPY. NO WORDS”, wrote a user with the nickname Maryna and rated the service one star out of five.

The second screenshot shows a complaint with the subject “given a draft notice” for May 27 from a user with the nickname Vika. There is no such response either. There are no reviews at all on the OtzyvUA website for Prom.ua dated May 27. The fake review had one star rating for the quality of the store's work, two responses, three preferences from other users and contained the address - Stolychne Highway in Kyiv. According to these characteristics, only one response is suitable - dated May 22, and it does not mention the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support and the issuance of draft notices. That is, the propagandists took a screenshot of the original response for May 22, changed the date and text, and wrote a complaint about the alleged distribution of them. This is confirmed by the fact that the text of the service’s response to the original and fake review begins the same way: “Hello, Vika! It’s a pity that you have such an opinion about Prom”.

Moreover, VoxCheck specialists analyzed all reviews on Prom.ua on the platform for 2024 and did not find a single mention of agendas, front and Territorial centers of recruitment and social support. Previously, we refuted the information that Territorial centers of recruitment and social support employees announced an evacuation from Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, and then handed out draft notices.

Disclosure Fake warning about “severe outages” supposedly on behalf of “Ukrenergo”

On the social network Facebook, on behalf of Ukrenergo, advertisements are being distributed about “severe power outages” in different regions of Ukraine.

However, Ukrenergo itself denied this message. They explained that the company never publishes a schedule of hourly outages in the regions. Also, even grammatical errors indicate the falsity of the message - power engineers will never write “power outage”.

By publishing false messages about outages, unscrupulous people thus increase the audience of their telegram channels, Ukrenergo adds. True information about power outages can be found on the official pages on the social networks of the Ministry of Energy, NEC Ukrenergo, every oblenergo and local authorities.

Disclosure “Military police offers cooperation”: Cyber ​​police and the Center for Countering Disinformation discovered Russian IPSO

Online, on behalf of the alleged National Police of Ukraine, information is being spread that the “military police” are offering Ukrainians a reward for their cooperation in identifying evaders.

However, this information is not true. The National Police of Ukraine did not make any such proposals, according to the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. Also, there is simply no “military police” in Ukraine.

Such messages are an element of the Russian information psychological operation (IPSO) and are aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. The Center urges Ukrainian citizens not to call the numbers indicated in these messages and not to follow links from unknown sources. At the same time, Russia can use real telephone numbers of Ukrainian government authorities.

For its part, the Cyber ​​Police of Ukraine recalls the importance of verifying facts, information and statements that are disseminated through various communication channels.

Previously, we analyzed the manipulation that the Ukrainian authorities allegedly purchased several hundred SUVs so that “the police would catch the Ukrainians”.

Fake The Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire is allegedly recruiting mercenaries to participate in the war against Russia

While monitoring the African segment of the network, the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council discovered material that the Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire seems to be recruiting mercenaries to participate in the war against the Russian Federation. In particular, this information was disseminated through the WhatsApp messenger and the social network Facebook.

However, this is fake. The document that is being distributed as evidence contains signs of forgery. The Ukrainian embassy in Côte d’Ivoire does not have a diplomat named Denys Chernyshenko, who is listed as a contact person in the fake document. The address and telephone number of the department are also incorrect, the Center reports.

Russia has intensified its attempts to discredit Ukraine amid the expansion of the network of Ukrainian diplomatic missions in Africa. Also, the spread of disinformation about the activities of Ukrainian diplomats in Africa is part of the Russian information campaign ahead of the Peace Summit, which will be held in Switzerland on June 15-16. Previously, we analyzed the Russian message that the Peace Summit is supposedly a cover for Zelenskyi’s illegitimacy.

Message Russia plans to create a new federal district “Novorossiia” from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

Russian propaganda is actively spreading the statement of Yevhen Balytskyi about the creation of a new federal district of the Russian Federation in the occupied Ukrainian territories called “Novorossiia”.

This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation. Similar ideas were heard before, but they were not implemented. Also, after the start of the occupation, a “federal district” was created for Crimea, which lasted only two years.

With these statements, Russian propaganda is trying to create the impression that the integration of the temporarily occupied territories is at the final stage and convey a message to the local population and the world, supposedly “Russia is here forever”. This once again proves that Moscow does not intend to negotiate to achieve peace.

If this plan is realized, it will allow Putin to consolidate his power in the captured territories and tighten his control over local officials. Also, by unifying the temporarily occupied territories with other regions of the Russian Federation, it will be easier for Moscow to filter them and repress the disloyal population.

Orest Slyvenko, Artur Koldomasov, Vitalii Mykhailiv, Oleksandra Kotenko, Oleksandr Siedin, Kostiantyn Zadyraka, and Oleksiy Pivtorak are collaborating on this chronicle. Lesia Bidochko serves as the project coordinator, while Ksenia Ilyuk is the author of the project.