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 24 July, on the 881th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Message In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a conspiracy theory is spreading about “a world government that starts wars and epidemics so that people come to it for vaccines and chips”.

An alleged quote from Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former adviser to several American presidents, is being circulated on social networks. According to a Facebook post, he allegedly said that global elites are preparing to cause wars, famines and epidemics around the world with the help of vaccines and chips. Fact-checkers of the Czech project Demagog.cz established that this quote was invented by Russian users of social networks, and then supplemented by Slovak ones.

“Our ultimate goal is a one world government. We will do terrible things: wars, famines and epidemics around the world. After the first, the second, third, fourth, fifth will come, until you yourself ask us for vaccines, and in the end, for chips. If only all this would finally end”, says the quote, which is distributed in Slovak.

The fictitious quote from Zbigniew Brzezinski was first distributed on the Internet in a somewhat abbreviated form - without mention of vaccines and chips, only about a “one world government” and “wars, famines and epidemics”, Demagog.cz reported. Myth Detector, a fact-checking organization, has previously refuted the authenticity of these words and found that the false quote began to spread from Russian sources back in 2012. It was first published in August 2012 by Russian publicist Mykola Kofyrin in his conspiracy blog post, and the next day the fake quote began to spread on the Russian blogging platform LiveJournal.

A post with an invitation to a protest march containing this fake quote began spreading in Facebook groups on April 6, 2024. They used the full version of the quote from vaccines and chips. A similar version first appeared on social networks in October 2020. It was mentioned without specifying a source in an interview for the Extra Plus website by Slovak entrepreneur Jan Semaniak.

Semaniak, who died in January 2024 in Slovakia, was involved in book publishing. His publishing house, Torden, has published books by Volodymyr Putin's advisers and defenders of Russian imperial ambitions. “The publishing company did not stop selling books with pro-Kremlin propaganda even after the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Semaniak himself also openly held pro-Russian views in life and liked to spread unfounded conspiracy theories”, Demagog.cz reports.

More refutations of propaganda theses and conspiracy theories can be found in the sections “Messages”, “Tactics and tools”, “Newspeak” and “Conspiracy Theories” of the Detector Media “Disinformation Chronicles”.

Fake Ukraine can carry out provocations with biological weapons “under a false flag”

Propaganda resources are disseminating information that allegedly the Security Service of Ukraine and the National Police of Ukraine “under a false flag” may resort to provocations related to biological weapons. The head of the radiation, chemical and biological protection forces of Russia, Ihor Kyrylov, said that according to the scenario, first in the Mykolaiv region the emergence of cases of infectious disease with the bird influenza virus will be recorded, and then Russia will be blamed for this. It's fake.

The case was documented by the fact-checkers from the Center for Countering Disinformation. They found out that the information about provocations has nothing to do with reality, that is, fake. In addition, over the past 20 years, neither the Ukrainian side nor the WHO have reported cases of human infection with bird flu in Ukraine.

This case of disinformation primarily targets ordinary Russian citizens and fuels the Russian narrative about biological weapons in Ukraine. Previously, we refuted information that the authorities in Odesa were destroying traces of US military biological laboratories.

Fake In Ukraine, they created biological weapons under the leadership of the United States, ex-lieutenant Scott Bennett said

In the Georgian segment of Facebook, a fragment of an interview with American ex-lieutenant Scott Bennett, which he gave to Iranian media Press TV, is being distributed. Bennett said that under the leadership of the United States, biological weapons were allegedly produced on the territory of Ukraine. This process began in 2005 with the creation of the 501C3 organization, which then transformed into Metabiota, funded by a company led by Hunter Biden. Scott Bennett also said that the Obama and Biden administrations collected the DNA of the Slavic population in order to create biological weapons against them. It's fake.

The case was investigated by specialists from the Myth Detector project. The statements of ex-lieutenant Scott Bennett repeat Kremlin fakes and manipulations of a biological laboratory in Ukraine. His words that the DNA of the Slavic peoples was collected to create biological weapons against them are unsubstantiated. Also, evidence that the Metabiota company is involved in the creation of biological weapons has not been proven. Professor Oliver Jones, Head of Biosciences and Food Technology at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, responded to the statement and explained that people are too genetically similar, so it is technically impossible to create bioagents that selectively destroy only the Slavic gene. In 2005, Ukraine and America signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of biosecurity. It is an Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens and Expertise That Could Be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Department of Defense of the United States of America.

Russian propaganda systematically spreads fakes and manipulations on the development of biological weapons in Ukraine. This is part of the narrative that “the West controls Ukraine”. There have never been American biological laboratories in Ukraine. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the United States is conducting military biological research in Ukraine with the bird flu virus.

Manipulation Kennedy Jr. confirmed the development of bioweapons in Ukraine

Propagandists are spreading information that US presidential candidate from the Democratic Party Robert Kennedy Jr. confirmed the existence of US biological laboratories in Ukraine, which are working on the development of various types of biological weapons. This is manipulation.

Specialists in the VoxUkraine project drew attention to it. They found out that Kennedy Jr. took part in a discussion with Elon Musk and David Sachs on June 5th. In it, Sachs referred to the “surreal case of war in Ukraine” when US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland allegedly confirmed the existence of biolabs in Ukraine. Kennedy Jr. picked up on this and added that she announced the existence in Ukraine of a network of American laboratories for the development of bioweapons. Analysts emphasize that Kennedy Jr. has a dubious reputation in the American political community, since he has been an active anti-vaccinator for the past 15 years. He spread false claims about vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic and promoted unproven treatments for the coronavirus. Therefore, in 2021-2022, the pages of the figure and organizations associated with him were blocked on social networks, however, thanks to the status of a presidential candidate, Instagram opened access to his personal account.

The information that Nuland allegedly confirmed the development of a bioweapon was refuted earlier. Following her statements on the subject, the State Department emphasized that Nuland was referring to Ukraine's diagnostic and biodefense labs, distinct from the biological weapons facilities. In addition, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine noted that there are no “American laboratories” on the territory of Ukraine, and the laboratories that exist are designed to identify pathogens of infectious diseases.

By spreading the claims of “handy foreigners” like Kennedy Jr., propagandists are giving false verification to their claim. In addition, in this way, they again want to justify the aggression against Ukraine. They say that the war was started in order to destroy biolaboratories that posed a threat to Russian security. However, Detector Media has repeatedly refuted these messages.

Fake Ukraine collects DNA samples of Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers to create biological weapons

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Ukraine is collecting DNA samples from Ukrainian Armed Forces fighters to create biological weapons in American laboratories. The authors of the messages add that in this way the United States is trying to destroy all the Slavs. In support of this information, the authors refer to the statement of US Air Force  Captain (ret.) Stanislav Krapyvnyk. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to this case and determined that there is no official confirmation of how Ukraine is going to produce or has already produced biological weapons. Even at the beginning of the large-scale invasion, Russian statements about biological weapons were refuted in the United States, and later in the UN.

In 2005, the Department of Health signed a cooperation agreement with the United States on the Biothreat Reduction Program. Therefore, Ukrainian laboratories are working to detect and reduce the threat of dangerous pathogens.

In addition, the fact-checkers found out that Stanislav Krapyvnyk himself was born in Luhansk and now lives in Russia. No information about him was found in the foreign segment of social networks. Information about officer service in the US Army can only be found in the Russian segment.

Fake The United States resumed the program to create biolaboratories in Ukraine, which are disguised as non-governmental organizations

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that in Ukraine, non-governmental organizations are turning into “poison storage sites” and thus the US seeks to hide the real purpose of funding Ukraine and non-governmental organizations. It is not true.

The EU vs Disinfo project specialists worked on the case, they found that in Ukraine there are dozens of civilian health laboratories working on the study of dangerous diseases. Some organizations receive financial and other support from the US, the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO). At the same time, Russian propaganda deliberately blurs the line between biological weapons and biological research, saying that any research conducted on the territory of Ukraine could pose a threat to humanity.

The thesis about the US program to provide biological weapons in Ukraine has been repeatedly refuted. For example, Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament affairs explained that Russia is portraying Ukraine as an aggressor, and no signs of the creation of biological weapons, especially with US support, have been recorded.

Fake Hunter Biden financed the creation of biological weapons in Ukraine, as evidenced by the documents of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Propagandists distribute photos depicting an archival document of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. According to it, on February 24, 2022, all materials related to the activities of Ukrainian laboratories collaborating with the American company Metabiota were allegedly specifically destroyed. Users spreading this information add that this is evidence that the son of US President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, personally oversaw this operation. It's fake.

Analysts of the Lithuanian project 15min drew attention to it. They found that the “document” contained many grammatical errors, indicating that it was probably written by a non-native speaker. In addition, Hunter Biden's involvement with Metabiota Inc. has not been proven. When searching for information about this, one can only find articles in the state Chinese and Russian media on this topic. Metabiota collects disease information and sends specialists to countries upon request. Collaboration with the company's scientists, as stated in the document, cannot mean working on biological weapons.

Thus, propagandists want to justify their aggression against Ukraine and again discredit the family of the US president. Together with conspiracy theorists, they repeatedly hacked into Hunter Biden's personal laptop and leaked data from it to the network, independently drawing conclusions based on these materials.

Fake The United States plans to use psychotropic drugs against the Russian military

Such messages are spread by Russian propaganda to foreign audiences. The reports refer to the words of the head of the Russian troops of radiation, chemical and biological protection, Ihor Kyrylov. He claims that “preparation for the crime is in full swing”." Like, psychotropic weapons have already been taken to the territory of Ukraine. In particular, sixteen hermetically sealed metal boxes were allegedly delivered to Kramatorsk in a railway carriage accompanied by foreigners, half of them had a chemical hazard sign BZ (Chinuclidil-3-benzilate). Also supposedly on the boxes there is a marking with two red lines, which corresponds to a certain class of toxic substances. It is not true.

EU vs Disinfo analysts drew attention to the spread of the fake. They note that Russia did not provide any evidence to support what was said. At the same time, such reports nourish Russian narratives about Ukraine's alleged use of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons against Russia. Russian propaganda also recently spread reports that radioactive substances were brought to Ukraine for provocations against Russia.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, because if any of these types of weapons are used, civilians living near the front line are also at risk. The Russians intimidate Ukrainians and try to instill distrust in the Ukrainian authorities and partner states.

Fake American scientists worked on the COVID-19 virus in Ukraine

Russian media and users of social networks write about this. It seems that former US chief epidemiologist Anthony Fauci admitted this in an interview with Fox News. Allegedly, when asked about special laboratories in Ukraine, Faucher said that “experiments that were very necessary in the interests of US national security were carried out there.” Like, these experiments are extremely dangerous, and it is forbidden by law to conduct them on the territory of the States, and the Ukrainians were paid “good money”, so they were satisfied. Also, the US allegedly opened several laboratories even in China, in Wuhan, in particular. Allegedly, the Chinese were aware of only some relatively safe jobs, and the Ukrainians “did not have an idea about most of the experiments”. It is not true.

Anthony Fauci never said that American scientists were working on the COVID-19 virus in China and Ukraine. According to StopFake, the quote is made up and is not found in any reliable source of information. Moreover, statements about the presence of American biological laboratories in Ukraine are also erroneous. Ukrainian laboratories are financed from the state budget and are subordinate to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Message Hundreds of containers with the causative agent of anthrax and cholera were taken from Odesa to the USA

This thesis is actively disseminated by the Kremlin propaganda media with reference to the Russian Defense Ministry. Allegedly, one of the priority tasks of Ukrainian laboratories is to collect and send to the United States strains of pathogens of dangerous infectious diseases - cholera, anthrax, tularemia.

Russian propagandists claim that at the Research Anti-Plague Institute named by Mechnikov, hundreds of containers with the causative agent of anthrax and cholera were stored in Odesa, which were allegedly taken to the United States in February 2022. At the same time, in Russia they refer to an employee of the Odesa Institute whose name is not called.

The representative of the head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Serhii Bratchuk, believes that the Russian invaders have no choice but to invent fables, because they have no real victories.

One of the most widespread fakes of Russian propaganda is the development of biological weapons in Ukraine. Recently, these messages have become more frequent. In particular, in the first days of September, the Russians spread the thesis that Ukraine was a biological threat and that the United States had developed a drone that would transport “infected insects”.

Fake The United States has developed a drone that will transport "infected insects"

Allegedly, this unmanned aerial vehicle can destroy or disable enemy fighters without risks to US soldiers.

The Russian Defense Ministry claims that document No. 8967029 issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office allegedly testifies to the creation of such a drone.

Also, allegedly, Ukraine asked the Turkish manufacturer Bayraktar about the possibility of equipping drones with aerosol spray systems with a capacity of more than 20 liters.

Message Ukraine bears a biological threat

This is one of the most common statements of Russian propaganda. It seems that Ukraine poses a biological threat to the world, because it creates biological laboratories, artificially spreads various diseases, including cholera or plague. After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, disinformation about "dangerous" research and biological weapons programs with the participation of the United States acquired a special scope.

Russia actively disseminated information about outbreaks of cholera in different cities. In particular, in Odesa, Kyiv, Bila Tserkva and others. In fact, all these are outright fakes with the aim of intimidating and spreading panic among the population. According to analysts of the Myth Detector project, in any natural environment there are pathogens of many diseases, including cholera. For example, in Ukraine, as well as anywhere else, there are natural cholera alarms. Of course, under certain climatic conditions, the likelihood of infection increases. However, propagandists greatly exaggerate the fact of a probable infection.

They are referring to real disease outbreaks that have happened before. However, these outbreaks are natural and, as a rule, are not associated with the artificial spread of infection. Infection occurs mainly from water, less often contaminated food. In general, poor sanitation contributes to the spread of the disease.

In addition, during the global outbreak of Ebola (the pathogen) in Ukraine, there was not a single confirmed case of infection. Therefore, all cases are only natural. That is why Ukraine cannot pose a biological threat.

Fake The USA stopped the work of the consulate in Odesa

The Russian media reported this information. They said that not only the consulate in Odesa was closed, but also the US embassy in Kyiv stopped working, and employees were evacuated due to a "bacteriological" attack on Kyiv, which the American army would prepare. It is not true.

During the period of Ukraine's independence, that is, since 1991, there has never been a US consulate in Odesa. There is no information about the consulate in Odesa on the website of the US Embassy in Ukraine. It is confirmed by checking the information on the website EmbassyPages.com. As StopFake writes, the last US representative office in Odesa was closed in 1918, and its work has not been resumed since then. The US Embassy in Kyiv is also open, although the agency's website has asked Americans to leave Ukraine. Propagandists' assumption that the American military is preparing a "bacteriological" attack on Kyiv is also part of the fakes about American biolaboratories in Ukraine. Detektor Media has already reported on the "suspension" of the US Embassy in Kyiv and the existence of "biolaboratories."

Fake Skadovsk, in the Kherson region, is threatened by an anthrax epidemic

The Russian military is intimidating residents of the temporarily occupied Skadovsk in the Kherson region by threatening the spread of anthrax in the city. However, this is not true. As Suspilne writes, the message was refuted by the deputy chairman of the Kherson regional council Yury Sobolevsky. "All burial places of a dangerous ulcer were preserved, constantly inspected, about what made the act. The state food and consumer service were engaged in it. The situation was completely controlled. We don't know what it is now; our service doesn't have access to burials. However, if the Russian military won't damage anything, there is nothing that threatens the population," Sobolevsky said. Skadovsk Mayor Oleksandr Yakovlev also denies the fake - the cattle burial ground is outside the city, and no actions providing damage to it are carried out. "He is absolutely safe because he was registered and had proper care. All these years, the cattle cemetery did not pose a danger to anyone. I contacted the head of the organization where the cemetery is located; everything is fine with him," Yakovlev said. It is not the first attempt to intimidate the inhabitants of the occupied territories and the whole of Ukraine by spreading infectious diseases. The same technology is used every time - firstly, it is about the situation in one city. It gradually spreads to other cities, imitating the epidemic and intensifying people's panic. Earlier, we wrote about the same technology of distribution of fakes about cholera in the Ukrainian cities, in particular in Odesa, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Berdyansk, Bila Tserkva, etc. We have also already denied information about the spread of the plague in Odesa. Russia may continue the same information operations on outbreaks of fake infections, diverting attention from the real problems in the occupied territories.

Fake Monkeypox was created in the biolaboratories of Ukraine

Russian media spread a fake that the United States allegedly "developed viruses in Ukrainian biolaboratories, including monkeypox," and lay it in Europe "Ukrainian refugees." In fact, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine has officially stated that no cases of monkeypox have been reported in Ukraine.

At the same time, an anonymous telegram channel administered by Russia's intelligence services, «Spletnytsa, is spreading conspiracy theories, drawing parallels between an outbreak of monkeypox and a coronavirus pandemic, saying it was an artificial disease that was allegedly launched on purpose. Smallpox was first detected in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, cases have been reported in 11 African countries. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the disease occurs mainly in the rainforests of Central and West Africa and is sometimes exported to other regions.

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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.