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Fake Ukrainians wish death to Russian children

Anonymous telegram channels and propaganda media distribute photos of chocolate bars produced in Ukraine. The wrapper depicts a boy in a communication helmet with a mourning ribbon. Allegedly, the chocolate is called “Alioshka's death”. They say that the real boy Oleksii from the Belhorod region of Russia, who greeted the Russian military, became the prototype of the cover. Now they want him to die for it. It is not true.

This photo is fake. It was first posted on a pro-Russian Twitter account. The description noted: “Ukrainians wish death to a child because he is proud of his country”. According to the Center for strategic communications and information security, the account is a channel for the distribution of anti-Ukrainian and anti-American propaganda in English. A significant part of the publications are memes, collages and other graphic content. Further, the fake was spread by other pro-Russian accounts. The story about the boy was indeed in the Russian media space in the spring of 2022. Russian TV channels filmed stories about him, including about the boy's meeting with the Russian military and a photo shoot in military uniform.

Russian propaganda has used the symbolism of the image of a child proud of its defenders to dehumanize Ukrainians in the eyes of Russians. Propaganda has already used similar tactics to promote the message that Ukrainians want to destroy all Russians, including children.

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