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 15 June, on the 842th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Fake French mercenaries were allegedly liquidated in Sloviansk

Propaganda telegram channels write that Russian troops attacked the location of Ukrainian artillerymen and, probably, the French were there, bringing CAESAR installations for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

However, this information is fake. Such statements by Russian propagandists are an attempt to justify the terrorist attack on Sloviansk on April 15, 2024. Then the Russians fired at the city with a Grom-E1 rocket-bomb, damaging two apartment buildings, an educational institution and a bank building.

In a similar way, Kremlin propaganda justified the January 16, 2024 strike on Kharkiv. Then, investigators of the All Eyes on Wagner project noted that the news story was spreading against the backdrop of news about the provision of French missiles to the Ukrainians. “France does not have mercenaries either in Ukraine or anywhere”, was the response of the French Foreign Ministry to reproaches from Russia, writes Reuters. We also denied this information.

The Russian propaganda rhetoric about “foreign mercenaries” in Ukraine is intended to demonize the West in the eyes of the Russian population, as well as to portray Russia as a victim of this war, in particular.

Message In the United States, doubts allegedly appeared about Zelenskyi’s legitimacy due to the cancellation of the elections

A screenshot of an alleged Politico article is being circulated online, which states that on the sidelines of the White House they are beginning to doubt the legitimacy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The reason for this is the cancellation of presidential elections. “The country lacks basic democratic procedures” - such phrases of dissatisfaction are allegedly heard in private conversations of American officials.

However, this is not true. None of Politico’s social media pages or media websites published a similar article. The same screenshot is distributed only by Russian and pro-Russian resources. Specialists from the VoxCheck project write about this.

Currently, martial law has been introduced in Ukraine, therefore, in accordance with Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”, holding elections is prohibited. This means that for the duration of the martial law, the President of Ukraine will remain in office legally, and the next elections will be held after the martial law is lifted.

The problem with holding elections in Ukraine is the safety of citizens. After all, part of the country’s territory is temporarily occupied, some cities are within reach of enemy artillery, and the entire country is under the threat of missile attacks. In addition, in wartime, the costs of holding elections are unjustified, because Ukraine is fighting for its existence and funds for holding elections can be used to purchase military equipment.

After all, Zelenskyi did not lose his legitimacy after the elections were canceled. Despite the drop in ratings, the incumbent president maintains a relatively high level of support. Data from the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) show that as of February 2024, trust in Zelenskyi was 64%. Before the full-scale Russian invasion, 37% of citizens trusted him, and immediately after February 24, 2022, Zelenskyi's level increased to 90%. Also, the KIIS study shows that in February 2024, 69% of Ukrainians supported the opinion that Zelenskyi should serve as president until the end of martial law.

Disclosure Russian telegram channels are spreading a fake message on behalf of the Center for Countering Disinformation

Russian propagandists, on behalf of Alina Bondarchuk, deputy head of the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council, claim that Ukrainian military prisoners are being used as part of the “Evader” flash mob.

In fact, Alina Bondarchuk did not make a corresponding statement. They write about this in the Center itself. There is no information with similar content on her official Facebook page, where the correspondence was allegedly taken from. In addition, the official profile of the Deputy Head of the Center has a different name and a different photo.

Such fakes are being spread as part of Russia’s large-scale information campaign called “Evader” in order to discredit the work of the Center, which, in particular, is counteracting this information campaign. Discrediting mobilization, sowing discord among Ukrainian society, and undermining Ukraine’s ability to defend itself are the main goals of this IPSO.

Fake Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly beat an elderly man because of his reluctance to leave his home

Russian resources are disseminating information that allegedly in the village of Kozacha Lopan, Kharkiv region, officers of the 121st battalion of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade beat an elderly man. This allegedly happened because he refused to leave his house. As a result of the beating, the man's leg was allegedly broken.

In fact, this information is not true, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. This is another fake by the Russians, based on a photograph from the official Facebook page of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade. In fact, the military of the 121st separate battalion of the Troops Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine evacuated an elderly man from his house destroyed by the Russians.

By spreading disinformation of this kind, propagandists are trying to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and sow distrust of them on the part of the people of Ukraine. In addition, in this way, propagandists also seek to incline to the idea that perhaps the elderly man did not want to leave because he was waiting for “liberation” by the Russians. Previously, we denied information that the Ukrainian military is planning to seize the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Fake Kyrylo Budanov was allegedly captured

Pro-Kremlin propagandists are spreading information that the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, was captured by the Russian military. Before this, it was reported that after a large-scale missile strike on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, “one of the important Ukrainian figures” was allegedly eliminated.

In fact, this information is not true, write the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. To create the fake, propagandists used deepfake technology with Budanov’s face. 

By the way, at the 2024 Kyiv Stratcom Forum, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate said: the most absurd Russian fake was that he was killed last year. In addition, propagandists have already captured Budanov - they spread this fake back in October 2023.

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.