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 18 July, on the 875th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Manipulation Zelenskyi does not believe in victory, therefore he is afraid to announce a counteroffensive

This message is circulating in the Russian segment of Facebook and Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. As proof, they cite Stephen Bryen’s article What happened to Ukraine’s General Valerii Zaluzhny? posted on the Asia Times website. Zelenskyi seems to have doubts, despite the Ukrainian Armed Forces being equipped with American and European weapons, including Leopard tanks, because “Ukraine will have to go mostly without air cover for any advance and will face a heavily electronically jammed battlefield where Western smart weapons may not work”, as the article notes. This is manipulation.

Stop Fake experts drew attention to the case, noting that this article in Asia Times is an outright manipulation. The author of the article, Stephen Bryen, is spreading fake Russian propaganda about the allegedly missing Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. Earlier Detector Media denied this information.

Bryen also writes that the United States is allegedly pressuring Zelenskyi to launch a counteroffensive, and then adds that “There are other rumors pointing to an ongoing struggle in Ukraine between military and civilian leaders”. The opinions expressed in the article spread Russian narratives.

Detector Media found out that on May 13, 2023, in an interview with Italian media, Zelenskyi said that the issue of a counteroffensive is the most popular in Ukraine, but the president cannot disclose details so as not to do harm.

And on May 29, he wrote on his telegram: “I just finished the Headquarters. Important questions. Important decisions. The main thing is timing. And most importantly, there are answers regarding the timing”.

Russian propagandists continue to spread narratives about an upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive that is supposedly doomed to fail. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to demoralize the Ukrainian military, discredit Volodymyr Zelenskyi and sow discouragement among Ukrainians. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that NATO military experts are confident in the failure of the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian military, and also that the West is allegedly preparing for the loss of Ukraine in the war.

Fake Social advertising in Ukraine encourages schoolchildren to join the army, not universities

The Kremlin propaganda media and anonymous telegram channels spread information that in Ukraine they are allegedly distributing announcements with the inscription “Join the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, and below the abbreviation ZVO (institution of higher education) is crossed out. Also, in the announcement there is an inscription “To be a student in Russia or to be a defender in Ukraine”, a pink emblem of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and a phone number. It’s fake.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. The number indicated in the photo (0800507028) belongs to the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and not to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, the experts turned to the Forces Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for comment, and they said that “there are no such messages in any outdoor advertising in Ukraine ordered by the Troops”.

Also, this announcement was not found by searching Google Images. However, such a picture can be found on the site of stock photos, as well as through VPN on Yandex Images, which is banned in Ukraine. In Ukrainian online stores one can find paintings by numbers and posters with this pattern. As for the call to join the Ukrainian army, it was posted on the official Facebook page of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in video format.

Russian propagandists systematically spread fake news about mobilization in Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to demoralize the Ukrainians and convince them that there is no one to fight, the army is weak and Ukraine will not win. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that dogs are being mobilized in Ukraine, and mass mobilization of students is being carried out at Ukrainian universities.

Fake Ukraine can join NATO if it refuses the territories seized by Russia

The Kremlin propaganda media are spreading information that Ukraine can join NATO if it refuses to return the temporarily occupied territories. This was stated in an article by the American edition of The New York Times, which was written by correspondent Steven Erlanger. It's fake.

Experts of the Stop Fake project analyzed the article “If a Divided Germany Could Enter NATO, Why Not Ukraine?” in The New York Times cited by the propagandists. They found that the article does not mention that NATO put forward the demands of Ukraine. Steven Erlanger wrote an article in which he thinks about the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO without temporarily occupied territories and draws parallels with Germany in 1955. Then the Federal Republic of Germany joined the Alliance, and in 1990 the former German Democratic Republic. That is, it happened after the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990.

At the same time, the journalist writes that the issue of the integrity of Ukraine will not be removed from the agenda, and the experts he interviewed note that the ceasefire is an unfortunate decision, since in this case the war could start again after some time.

Russian propagandists systematically disseminate information that Western partners do not want to help Ukraine and do not want to see it in NATO. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine is not expected to join NATO.

Fake Britain incites Kyiv to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia

Kremlin propaganda media are spreading information that London is allegedly inciting Kyiv “to attack civilian objects and civilians within Russian borders”. Russian propaganda refers to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley and writes that he is ready to take responsibility “for the damage and suffering inflicted on the citizens of the Russian Federation, as well as for the dangerous escalation of the conflict”. It's fake.

The fact-checker of the Stop Fake project drew attention to the case. According to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense, Ukraine, while repelling Russian aggression, should not be limited to striking Russian targets exclusively on its territory. According to international law and the laws of warfare, Ukraine's legitimate goals to counter Russian aggression are military installations on Russian territory, such as airfields. That's what the British Foreign Secretary was talking about. “Ukraine defends itself”, “it does have the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia's ability to project force into Ukraine itself”, said James Cleverly. 

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Western partners and intimidate the whole world with war. They are also trying to shift the responsibility for the invasion and Russian crimes to the victim. Earlier, Detector Media explained the message that Ukraine is allegedly a terrorist country, and also talked about manipulations, that Ukraine allegedly blackmails Western partners with terrorist attacks if they stop supplying weapons.

Fake A radioactive cloud is coming from Ukraine, Italian media partially confirmed

Russian telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread the information that the Italian media had allegedly confirmed about the radioactive cloud - it is on its way from Ukraine to Poland. They also note that the cloud was formed as a result of the explosion of ammunition with depleted uranium. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. On May 20, the Italian newspaper Metro published a statement by Mykola Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, about the spread of radiation. However, they further cited the position of the National Atomic Energy Agency of Poland, which claims that there is no radiation threat, all indicators are normal.

This is not the first time Russian propagandists have spread fake news about the radiation threat from Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainians and Western partners, as well as to convince them that Western weapons do not help, but only aggravate the situation. Detector Media refuted the fakes that a “radioactive cloud” was allegedly approaching Europe, which arose as a result of the destruction of ammunition in Ukraine.

However, the quoted Italian newspaper quotes the position of the National Atomic Energy Agency of Poland: there is no radiation threat in the country.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the newspeak: parallel import

A number of large companies stopped their work in Russia as a response to its aggression against Ukraine. Among them are manufacturers of clothing, electronics, and popular fast foods. This move, coupled with sanctions, has left Russians queuing in the final days of the closure of H&M, Zara, Ikea, and other stores. However, “import substitution”, which the Kremlin politicians love to boast of, cannot cover the needs and create worthy alternatives for foreign brands. Therefore, the Russians resort to “parallel import”.

“Parallel import” is the purchase and sale of foreign branded goods without their consent. Usually, such goods are bought through Chinese AliExpress, and then sold through the Russian analogue of Wildberries. In fact, this is theft, since it raises at least the issue of copyright for a particular product. In addition, it puts brands in an uncomfortable position, their products are sold in the country under sanctions without their knowledge. This technique also helps the Russians bypass illegal sanctions. Propagandists can't call it “stealing” on the air, so they use a reasonable and official-sounding phrase.

This is how propagandists want to veil the illegal actions of Russia. In addition, trying to explain the reason for this, they may resort to the victimization of Russians. Like, they are the real victims of this war, from whom they took away all the most valuable. However, the exit of foreign brands from the Russian market is an adequate response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, since instead of working to improve its economy and industry, Russia spends money on waging war against a neighboring country with the tacit consent of its society.

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.