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 12 April, on the 778th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: “vyrus”

The appointment of Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi to the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on February 8, 2024 led to a new surge in popularity of the word “vyrus” on pro-Russian resources. This is what propagandists call a person of Russian ethnic origin who has “lost his Russian identity”. According to propagandists, Syrskyi is trying to seem like one among strangers, however, for example, for the Ukrainian military he will allegedly always be an outsider because he has Russian roots. For Russia, he is a “corrupt collaborator”.

The reason for the “denazification” of the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was that he was born in Russia (Volodymyr region) and graduated with honors from the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School in 1986. It should be noted here that after his studies, Syrskyi served in Lubny, Poltava region, and Chuhuiev, Kharkiv region. And after the declaration of independence of Ukraine, he continued to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Previously, the term “vyrus” was more of a jargon and was used in subcultural movements, but in recent years it has become the norm among the general public. For example, propagandist Simonian uses this word to call those Russians who ridicule Russia.

Also in Russia, the term “vyrus” can be used to designate a person who “breaks his native language about a foreign language”, that is, uses broken Ukrainian when he spoke Russian from birth. They say that this is self-humiliation for a person, because in this way he “expels “Russianness” from himself”. This word, in particular, can be applied to officials or people in the media space who have switched from Russian to Ukrainian.

Russians explain the imaginary existence of the “vyrus” by the influence of “Ukrainian propaganda”, as well as commercialism and miscalculations of “corrupt collaborators”. Propagandists include the current Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksii Danylov, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klymkin, ex-Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov and many others as the “vyrus”. In particular, in relation to them in Russia they are promoting the message that “Galicians do not perceive them as real patriots.”

The purpose of calling Ukrainians of Russian ethnic origin “vyrus” is nothing more than to sow discord among the people of Ukraine, as well as to cast doubt on Ukrainian civic identity. Propaganda seeks to assure that there is only one identity - Russian, and that any attempts to communicate in Ukrainian, to live in Ukrainian space, are classified as ignorance of Russia.

However, if you look into the past, in particular, to the creation of the USSR, the deportations and destruction of entire nations, it is not surprising that many can be born in Russia, but with Ukrainian roots or not. People are ready to choose any country to live in, and this also proves that Ukraine exists as a separate sovereign state.

Message NATO allegedly wants to occupy the Arctic and Ukraine during training

Russian media continue to publish “analytical” materials on NATO exercise Steadfast Defender 2024. By spreading false narratives about “Alliance aggression against Russia”, pro-Kremlin media claims that the “real goal” of allied maneuvers is to “start” World War III and “capture” Ukraine. “In connection with the assessment of Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as the Arctic, as a potential site for the outbreak of conflict regarding the Union State, the United States and NATO countries are intensifying their military activities in this region”, Russian propagandists write.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to the message. They remind that Steadfast Defender is a regular deterrence exercise in which troops from across the Alliance train in defending European NATO allies rather than attacking third countries. The exercises do not pose a threat to Russia, and certainly are not aimed at reproducing maneuvers to “occupy” the Arctic, Ukraine or any other territory or state. The planning of the maneuvers took place long before they began, and information about their conduct was transmitted to other states. No NATO country has ever attacked another state under the guise of military exercises - this is unique to Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022 in exactly this way.

The alliance, in light of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the possibility of its spreading to other European countries, has begun developing new defense plans in those areas that NATO believes Russia could use to launch an invasion. Therefore, the legend of the exercises involves the deployment of forces from North America and other parts of the Alliance to Eastern Europe in order to create the ability to counter a hypothetical large-scale threat to the allies.

The exercise involves approximately 90,000 troops from all NATO countries and involves more than 1,200 pieces of equipment, including ground combat equipment, naval weapons and aircraft. The maneuvers are multi-faceted, with allied forces demonstrating their individual and joint defenses on land, air, sea, cyber and space. Capabilities in various sectors show NATO's commitment to collective defense, regardless of the method of hypothetical attack.

This is truly the biggest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War, just as Russia's war in Ukraine is the biggest aggression on the continent since 1939. It was the Russian attack that became the impetus for the Alliance to mobilize all efforts to revise the defense plans of NATO countries. In February 2022, NATO member countries revised their Strategic Concept. The North Atlantic Alliance recognized Russia as “the most significant and direct threat” to security in Europe. However, separately for those who declare “NATO aggression”, the allied countries wrote out paragraph 9, which notes that “NATO does not seek confrontation and does not pose a threat to the Russian Federation”.

At the Vilnius NATO Summit in the summer of 2023, Alliance countries continued to develop new defense concepts to counter possible Russian aggression. These plans were not hidden from the public and were widely covered by the press. The summit noted that Russia's attack on Ukraine has forced NATO to strengthen its deterrence and defense efforts, as well as develop new regional plans and new force models using large numbers of allied troops. Now, during the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, allies are practicing precisely to improve their defense capabilities.

Fake In Ukraine they are allegedly looking for people who write negative comments about Carlson’s interview with Putin for money

Users of social networks and Kremlin media are spreading false information that vacancies for “provocateurs” have appeared in Ukraine. It is noted that they “need to leave negative comments” during the interview of Russian President Volodymyr Putin with Tucker Carlson. Russian propaganda added fake screenshots of “vacancies” from Ukrainian job search sites to these messages. However, this is fake.

After disseminating such information, StopFake decided to check whether similar vacancies actually appeared on Ukrainian sites. It turned out that this is not true.

Propagandists are distributing three different screenshots of similar “announcements”. The first was allegedly made on the website Robota.ua, the second on Work.ua, and the third on Jooble. The job description states that a future employee will have to review Carlson's interview with Putin and then comment negatively on it. Since the propagandists did not leave links to these vacancies, StopFake tried to find them on its own.

From the first fake ad on Robota.ua, it is clear that the vacancy for a “provocateur” - “media strategist” was posted by the company Telemarketing 24. StopFake specialists found such a company on this site, but did not find a vacancy for a “media strategist”. However, among the positions offered by the company there is an advertisement that is very similar to the spread of propaganda - “system administrator”. This announcement coincides with the time of publication, the proposed salary, place and working conditions, but there is no task to leave comments under Putin’s interview. It seems that it was the description of this vacancy that was edited in the fake advertisement.

The second fake ad – “technical support specialist” on Work.ua – was allegedly published by the company New Media Space. StopFake was also able to find this company, but there is no such position among the vacancies it offered. But there is a vacancy for “sales manager”, in which we offer a place of work, the salary and conditions are similar to those indicated in the fake advertisement. There is also no obligation to leave comments under Putin’s interview.

The third fake ad - a “copywriter” from the Jooble website - was published by Recruiting Group. Such a company, as in the first and second cases, exists and is really looking for a copywriter. However, in the original vacancy there is not a word about working with comments under Volodymyr Putin’s interview with Tucker Carlson. However, the conditions, place of work and part of the description are similar to what propaganda publishes. StopFake also tried to contact Recruiting Group and Telemarketing 24, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

It looks like Russian propagandists took real vacancies published on Ukrainian job search sites. By changing their description, they created another fake that discredits Ukraine. Detector Media wrote about the main messages of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin and his true goals.

Fake Economist Kiyosaki allegedly called financial aid to Ukraine nonsense

Users of social networks broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric are distributing a video allegedly produced by the American media company Bloomberg, with statements attributed to economist and author of the best-selling book “Rich Father, Poor Father” Robert Kiyosaki. Like, he called any financial investments in Ukraine “nonsense”. “He believes that helping Ukraine means passing money through a shredder, because Ukraine will disappear in the near future”, propagandists write. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They noticed that the video material distributed online imitates the design of videos from the Bloomberg news agency, including the company logo in the upper right corner of the frame. However, there is no corresponding material either on the official website or on the social networks of the American media company. Even if attackers use a media company’s logo, a mismatch in the video’s design (font and caption design) indicates that it is a fake. It should also be noted that most Bloomberg videos are published without a logo.

If a publication uses someone else's videos or photographs, the source must be indicated in the story. The video circulating online is a compilation of various video clips from old interviews with Robert Kiyosaki, but nowhere in the story is it mentioned where these clips were taken from. For example, a video clip in which Kiyosaki allegedly expresses his opinion about the absurdity of financial assistance to Ukraine appeared on the Internet four months ago. In it, an economist actually talks about investing.

StopFake was unable to find any evidence that Robert Kiosaki publicly opposed financial assistance for Ukraine. The last statements he made about Russian military aggression against Ukraine date back to February and March 2022. One can also find a video clip online where he expressed condolences to Ukrainians suffering from the war.

The purpose of this fake is to undermine partners’ trust in Ukraine and its financial support. They say that even economists do not consider such actions to be correct, therefore, this support must be stopped.

Fake Norway is allegedly in debt to Ukraine

Russian media and telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric are disseminating information, allegedly Dariia Kaleniuk from the Anti-Corruption Center expressed the claim that “Norway owes money to Ukraine because it makes money from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that it was created based on an interview with Dariia Kaleniuk on Radio NV. The conversation discussed which countries could help Ukraine if it does not receive support from the United States.

Dariia Kaleniuk noted that there are alternative sources of financing, including from Norway. She expressed the opinion that the Norwegians are ready to help Ukraine more and spoke about the Nansen program, which provides funding and support for humanitarian projects. Kaleniuk also emphasized that Norway has received significant revenues from gas sales as a result of the boycott of Russian gas, and expressed hope that Ukraine will be able to establish more active cooperation with Norway, including the appointment of an ambassador and military attaché in this country.

Russian propagandists spread such fake news to undermine confidence in Ukraine among its partners and create a negative image of Ukraine among its allies. Detector Media continued to refute Russian fakes regarding international partnership in the context of Ukraine.

Orest Slyvenko, Artur Koldomasov, Pavlo Rud, 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.