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 25 June, on the 852th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly preventing the evacuation of civilians from Chasiv Yar

Propagandists claim that the Ukrainian Defense Forces, according to them, are preventing the evacuation of civilians from the city of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region. Russian media, citing Russian Ihor Kimakovskyi, claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly using people as human shields to stop the Russian offensive. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region was no exception to Russian propaganda. The invaders systematically destroy the city, shelling every meter of the populated area. Voluntary evacuation of the civilian population there began in 2022; in August 2022, the evacuation of Donbas residents became mandatory, and by March 2023, the Ukrainian military evacuated all children from the city.

As of April 2024, about 700 people remained in Chasiv Yar; by the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 16 thousand people lived in the city. Therefore, speaking in such conditions about the Ukrainian military’s obstruction of the process of saving people is a cynical fake of Russian propaganda. According to Serhii Chaus, head of the mountain military administration of Chasiv Yar, explanatory work is carried out with these people every day, but the main argument for evacuation is the destruction of housing.

“We've actually seen a slight increase in evacuations in recent weeks. Every day the number did not change: one or two, maximum three people, but in fact every day people left... the moment may come when we simply physically cannot do this. We say this openly, we warn people”, Chaus emphasized in an interview with Radio Svoboda (Liberty) on April 15, 2024.

Any evacuation is carried out in close cooperation between the Ukrainian military, volunteers, human rights activists and international organizations, for example, people from the Donetsk region were evacuated under the auspices of USAID. The entire evacuation process takes place openly and under the supervision of Ukrainian and foreign observers. People are transported in organized columns, evacuated families are provided with free housing in safer regions of Ukraine, social guarantees, humanitarian assistance and psychological support are provided.

It is worth noting that Kimakovskyi, used by propaganda to create anti-Ukrainian fakes, cannot be a reliable source of information - a Russian citizen occupies a fictitious “position” in a non-existent “government body” of the temporarily occupied parts of the Donetsk region of Ukraine. In 2015, the Security Service of Ukraine accused a citizen of the aggressor country of spying for Russia. According to Ukrainian intelligence services, Kimakovskyi is an agent of the Russian FSB who collected information about the redeployment of Ukrainian military personnel in the Donetsk region. The Russian was also accused of interfering in the territorial integrity of Ukraine. In 2019, an FSB agent was exchanged for Ukrainian political prisoners, among whom were Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Roman Sushchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, as well as a number of other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including sailors abducted by Russia in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.

Propagandists are spreading another fake about the Ukrainian military in order to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian propaganda systematically spreads disinformation about the evacuation of civilians from advanced Ukrainian settlements, traditionally keeping silent about the root cause of the complicated situation - Russian aggression against Ukraine, daily shelling, killings of civilians, destruction of critical infrastructure of settlements.

Fake The deceased Ukrainian soldier was allegedly only 16 years old

Pro-Russian sources are spreading information about the death of a military man from Konotop, Dmytro Oleksandrovych Boiko. Propagandists claim that the guy was supposedly only 16 years old - to confirm this, they provide a screenshot from an unknown database of personal data of Ukrainian citizens. The publications accuse the Ukrainian military of concealing the real age of the young man, since the obituaries indicate a completely different date of birth – July 28,2005. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the deceased warrior was actually 18 years old, as local media reported. This was confirmed by Konotop Lyceum No. 9, which the deceased fighter graduated from. According to the lyceum management, the guy’s date of birth is indeed July 28, 2005, and he graduated from school (full 11 grades) two years ago. However, another Dmytro Oleksandrovych Boiko, born on February 16, 2008, lives in Konotop. The guy plays football in the youth sports school in the city of Konotop. In one of the recordings of a football match between the teams of Konotop and Shostka, he scores the third goal, and one can see that the young man looks completely different from the deceased soldier. Consequently, another message about minors serving in the Ukrainian army turned out to be fake.

This news fits into the Kremlin’s narrative about children and teenagers in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in order to disrupt the mobilization process in Ukraine. Detector Media has already refuted other Russian fabrications on this topic.

Fake In Ukraine, they seem to want to mobilize Russians and Belarusians with the status of political refugees

Propagandists began disseminating information on social networks and the media that Ukraine intends to mobilize Russians and Belarusians who are in the country with the status of political refugees. In such “news” they attach a fake “document” in which, as they claim, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi addresses the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umierov with a corresponding initiative. “It says that the Ukrainian command initiated the conscription of citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus with the status of political refugees to serve in a special unit formed from foreigners”, propagandists write. This “document” was allegedly signed personally by Commander-in-Chief Alexander Syrskyi. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that, despite the fact that neither Russian media nor social media users provide any additional information about who published the “document”, Russian propaganda began discussing it with various “experts” in propaganda programs.

StopFake submitted an information request to the Public Relations Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They asked whether such an initiative and such a document really existed. They were told that this information was not true.

In addition, the fact of forgery of the “document” is confirmed by the presence of a number of gross errors, which were probably made by a person who does not speak Ukrainian. For example, propaganda uses the word “we care” in a sentence where we should have written “we urge.” It is likely that the propagandists mistranslated the Russian word “boy” (to try to help someone), which would have been more appropriate in a Russian document. Another example is with the phrase “the issue of conscripting foreigners”. The word “call” (call, invite) is incorrectly used in the context of the appeal “about mobilization”. Propaganda should have written “the issue of conscription (mobilization) of foreigners”.

They are spreading such manipulations to disrupt the mobilization process in Ukraine.  Detector Media also refuted other fabrications of Russian propaganda on this issue.

Manipulation Energy in Ukraine was allegedly protected only with sandbags costing two billion hryvnia

Propagandists in the Russian media say that the energy sector in Ukraine, as they claim, was “protected with sandbags worth 2 billion hryvnia”, and this is supposedly why the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant (TPP) in the Kyiv region was destroyed. They say that corruption and the lack of desire to truly protect the country’s energy structure were the reason for the destruction of Ukrainian thermal power plants, and not targeted missile attacks by the Russian army. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They remind us that on the night of April 11, Russian troops completely destroyed the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant in the Kyiv region, as reported by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Centerenergo PJSC Andrii Hota in a commentary to Interfax-Ukraine. Centerenergo added that Trypilska Thermal Power Plant was the largest supplier of electricity to the Kyiv, Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions.

After the destruction of the thermal power plant, information began to spread on social networks that last year Centerenergo PJSC claimed that the Trypilska station was 100% equipped with physical protection from shelling, and money was allocated for this from the budget (we are talking about 9.7 billion hryvnia - note ed.). Based on this, the Russian propagandist began to write that this defense was “sandbags” worth 2 billion hryvnia.

Centerenergo OJSC responded to this information and explained that Trypilska Thermal Power Plant did not receive 9.7 billion hryvnia from the state budget for the construction of protection against drones and missiles, and that this amount was allocated by the Cabinet of Ministers to protect the entire critical infrastructure of the country’s fuel and energy sector, and not just separately for the Trypilska station. In addition, Centerenergo added that the company, through its efforts, ensured 100% physical protection of the station, but this protection can only protect against fragmentation damage, and not against direct missile hits.

The head of the State Agency for Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Development, Mustafa Nayyem, said the same, explaining that the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant is a very large facility, and it is impossible to completely protect it only with protective engineering structures without the use of appropriate air defense systems.

Later, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, in an interview with the American media PBS, said that the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant was destroyed by the Russians because Ukraine had no missiles left to protect it. Commenting on the problems with weapons by the allies, Zelenskyi gave an example of the situation with thermal power plants: “I’ll give you one example, very simple: at the Trypilska station, the light in the Kyiv region depends on it. 11 missiles were flying. We destroyed the first seven, the next four destroyed TPP. Why? Because there were zero missiles”.

Centerenergo also adds that at the moment, the resumption of thermal power plants without providing Ukraine with air defense systems is “surprisingly useless”. This was stated by the head of the supervisory board of PJSC Centerenergo Andrii Hota on the air of the Ukrainian Voice of America service.

Such statements are yet another example of Russian propaganda manipulation aimed at spreading narratives of massive corruption in the country in order to discredit Ukraine’s efforts to ensure the security of its critical infrastructure. At the same time, Russian propaganda misses the fact that it is the Russian army that is committing war crimes, shelling the energy infrastructure of Ukraine and causing significant damage to the civilian population.

Fake Ukrainians are allegedly ready to live even “next to Chornobyl” in order to hide from the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support

Propagandists spread information on social networks and Russian public pages that Ukrainians are ready to live even in the Chornobyl zone just to save their lives. “Enterprising Ukrainians began to make minimal repairs and sell “safe houses near Prypiat”. Among the main advantages is the absence of a shopping center. The price of pleasure is $6,500”, social network users report, distributing in their publications a video announcing the “sale of a house near Prypiat”. A male voice in the video talks about the plot and the house for sale, and on the video itself there are the inscriptions “Safe house near Prypiat”, “No shopping center”, “Renovated, clean, comfortable, stove heating”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that in fact this announcement concerns the sale of a house in the village of Krasnianka, Vinnytsia region and has nothing to do with either the Chornobyl exclusion zone or attempts by potential buyers to avoid mobilization in Ukraine.

They found the real video, distributed on social networks and Russian media, on the Ukrainian YouTube channel “It’s easy to move to a village”. The channel was created in December 2022 and is dedicated to reviews of private houses for sale located in rural areas. The mentioned video is located in the YouTube Shorts section of the channel and has received more than 19 thousand views to date.

It is interesting that both the voice-over of the presenter, the background music, the detailed information about the property, and the photographs of the house and yard completely coincide with the fake advertisement about “selling a house near Chornobyl”. This makes it obvious that we are talking about the same ad. However, at the beginning of the original video, the presenter states that the house is located in the village of Krasnianka, Tyvrovskyi district, Vinnytsia region. In the fake publications, this information was cut out using video editing programs and, for greater reliability, text was added to the video itself, confirming that the house is located near Prypiat. There is no text in the actual ad in the video. In addition, the price of the house was changed in the fake ad. According to the authors of the fake, a plot of land near Prypiat costs $6,500, but in the original video the price is listed as $2,500. This was done, obviously, in order to show: Ukrainians are ready to give up considerable sums of money just to get away from Territorial centers of recruitment and social support.

The Chornobyl exclusion zone is located in the north of the Kyiv region. It was formed as a result of radioactive contamination of the territory after the accident at the 4th power unit of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986. Its area is 36545 hectares. Consequently, the sale of houses near Prypiat is prohibited in Ukraine, and information about this is another fake of Russian propaganda with the aim of discrediting the mobilization campaign in Ukraine. The original video was deliberately altered to create a false narrative that Ukrainians are willing to live even in the exclusion zone just to avoid Territorial centers of recruitment and social support.

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.