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 13 June, on the 840th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

2208
Fake
699
Manipulation
655
Message
453
Disclosure
Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Fake In Vinnytsia, an outbreak of hepatitis A occurred due to “the work of biolaboratories and destroyed medicine”

Russian propagandists spread information that there was an outbreak of hepatitis A in Vinnytsia and note that “the reasons are simple - biolaboratories and destroyed medicine” in Ukraine. This is a fake.

As noted by the fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project, people with hepatitis A are indeed hospitalized in Vinnytsia, since October 16, 280 cases of infection have been recorded. However, the cause of the outbreak of this disease is currently being investigated, and the necessary measures are being taken. It was for this purpose that the team of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine headed by Ihor Kuzin arrived in Vinnytsia on October 28.

Outbreaks of hepatitis A are not a sign that medicine is “destroyed” in Ukraine, because such outbreaks were recorded in 2022 in the USA in the following states: California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. In 2023, it occurred in California, Arizona, Minnesota, and North Dakota. And the cause of the outbreak was strawberries imported from Mexico.

Tetiana Bondarenko, deputy director of the Department of Health Care and Rehabilitation of the Regional Military Administration, reported that the situation is under control. Moreover, the Vinnytsia region received from the Ministry 1,060 doses of vaccine for vaccinations of doctors involved in the elimination of the outbreak, and 1,100 doses of vaccine for vaccination of children. And if necessary, the necessary amount of vaccines from other regions will be redirected to Vinnytsia. This fact shows that the health care system works in Ukraine.

Russian propaganda systematically spreads fakes about biolaboratories in Ukraine. In this way, propagandists are trying to sow panic among Ukrainians, saying that biolaboratories are now not only harming Russians, but have also destroyed Ukrainian medicine. And as a result - diseases that cannot be cured. Earlier, we wrote about the manipulation that the authorities are destroying traces of US military biological laboratories in Odesa.

Manipulation The authorities destroy traces of US military biological laboratories in Odesa

Propagandists, spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media, claim that evidence of the existence of US military biological laboratories is being destroyed in Odesa. Like, they do it in the burial ground, which was used for the disposal of hazardous waste, during the disposal of 147 tons of dust. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts of the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that at the end of October, work on the disposal of 147 tons of dust near Odesa really began. In particular, according to the local authorities, this year funds were allocated from the local budget for the elimination of hazardous substances due to fears that Russian shelling could lead to chemicals entering the water and soil. Liquidators began their work in time, as some bags of poison were on the verge of depressurization.

The fact is that in 1972, the ship Mozdok, which was transporting 900 tons of dust on board, sank in the Odesa Bay. Two years later, a storage facility was built near the village of Altestove, and the dust was conserved in concrete bunkers. Already in 2012, most of the chemicals were disposed of, but due to a lack of funding, 147 tons of dust continued to be stored in this special storage facility.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to cause panic among Ukrainians and justify Russia's aggression against Ukraine. They said that Russia is destroying biolaboratories that could harm Russians. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted fakes about American biolaboratories in Ukraine, and recently told how propagandists use the conspiracy theory of “chemical emissions” to scare Ukrainians.

Fake In Odesa, authorities are destroying traces of US military biological laboratories

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the burial ground in Odesa was allegedly used to dispose of hazardous waste associated with the activities of US military biological laboratories. They say this was discovered during the neutralization of 147 tons of dust that had accumulated due to the fact that a ship sank near Odesa in 1979. Already today, local authorities have decided to cover up the traces of their activities instead.

The fact-checkers of the VoxUkraine project decided to investigate this case. They found out that on October 20, 2023, work on the disposal of 147 tons of dust near Odesa actually began. In 1972, the Mozdok ship sank in the Gulf of Odesa, containing 900 tons of dust on board. Two years later, a storage facility was built near the village of Altestove, and the dust was preserved in concrete bunkers. Already in 2012, most of the chemicals were disposed of, but due to lack of funding, 147 tons of waste continued to be stored in storage. Over the years, local residents felt the stench, and chemicals penetrated the soil and poisoned the Khadzhibey Estuary. This year, funds were allocated from the local budget to eliminate hazardous substances due to fears that Russian shelling could lead to the release of chemicals into water and soil. The liquidators got to work on time, as some bags of poison were already on the verge of depressurization.

Russian propagandists are spreading fake news about American biological laboratories in Ukraine and discrediting the Biological Threat Reduction Program, in which Ukraine has been participating since 2005 and of which Russia was a participant until 2014. This program operates within the framework of another – the general program of joint threat reduction. Russian propaganda uses tactics of demonizing the enemy, claiming that in Ukraine there are biological laboratories with dangerous substances, the purpose of which is to harm Russia.

Message Ukrainian soldiers and refugees abroad spread antibiotic-resistant diseases

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social media claim that Ukrainian soldiers sent abroad for treatment and refugees contracted infections in Ukrainian hospitals and then spread these diseases to the EU. They say that these infections are resistant to most antibiotics, and this supposedly proves that the United States is testing bioweapons in Ukraine. In doing so, they refer to an article by the Financial Times.

The message was noticed by the fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project. They found out that this was not true. An October 2 Financial Times article titled “Ukrainian infections show rising threat of antibiotic resistance” stated that Russia's invasion of Ukraine back in 2014 contributed to the rise in drug-resistant infections in Western Europe. As the authors point out, this could be due to the toxicity of heavy metals in the balls, which caused injuries and wounds that could lead to infections, as well as the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The situation was also complicated by the fact that medical facilities in combat regions were often damaged, tests to determine the necessary antibiotic were largely lacking, and local residents forced to leave the region could carry these diseases. The article also pointed out that after the start of the full-scale invasion, due to the arrival of Ukrainian military and refugees in EU countries, there was indeed an increase in the number of drug-resistant infections. In particular, they explain this by the fact that in some regions the healthcare system was overloaded.

The VoxCheck experts once again note that there are no US biological laboratories in Ukraine, and no country is engaged in the production or testing of biological weapons here. They also found that antibiotic resistance is an international trend that occurs due to the limited number of effective drugs available and the low number of new drug developments. According to the publication, even states that spend a lot of money on financing the healthcare system cannot cope with this problem.

Propagandists spread this message to discredit Ukrainians and create artificial panic about their presence in Europe. They say that helping Ukrainians is dangerous. Detector Media also wrote about other messages and fakes with which Russia is trying to discredit both the Ukrainian military and refugees.

Message “Unknown” vaccines are being tested on Ukrainian Defense Forces soldiers

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular in telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the so-called Western biological laboratories have already flooded the whole of Ukraine and are conducting experiments on the military there: in particular, they are testing vaccines of “unknown” origin. The experiments are allegedly carried out by the Pharmabiotest company, which is allegedly affiliated with clinics in the USA. The authors add that in the temporarily occupied Luhansk region, Russian troops found the corresponding “documents” confirming the testing. Interviews with supposedly Ukrainian prisoners of war are added to the publications.

VoxCheck project analysts analyzed this case and came to the conclusion that the Russians did not provide any evidence or documents in their publications to support their thesis. Moreover, the fact-checkers were unable to identify the characters in the video. That is, probable military prisoners of war. They suggest that the videos could have been compiled and passed off as Ukrainian prisoners. Or the occupiers forced the Ukrainian military to lie, blackmailing them in any way. After all, Russia can use prisoners of war for its own political purposes. For example, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry condemned such actions by Russia.

Read what is happening to Ukrainian soldiers behind the walls of Russian prisons in the Human Rights Media Initiative. Because intimidation, constant terror and blackmail are the actions of the Russians towards Ukrainian captives.

By the way, Pharmabiotest is a real laboratory where experiments are carried out. However, on the website of the State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine there is a list of all possible experiments conducted by different clinics. Therefore, Pharmbiotest conducted studies on the bioavailability of drugs such as Adesin, Tenzocard, Klovask, etc. All these names are common drugs. There is no mention of vaccine testing on the clinic's website. That is, propagandists threw in information without confirmation.

Message The outbreak of cholera in the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions is associated with the activities of biological laboratories in Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that the alleged “cholera viruses” found in the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions are associated with the activities of US biological laboratories in Ukraine. The authors argue that the outbreak occurred with a “leak of viruses” in a biological laboratory in Odesa, built in violation of safety requirements.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project took up the case, explaining that cholera is not a viral, but a bacterial disease, and therefore “cholera viruses” simply do not exist. And as of the beginning of July 2023, not a single case of cholera infection was recorded in Ukraine. For other infectious diseases, the department of the Ministry of Health explained that the risk of their outbreak is increasing, but at present, enhanced epidemiological surveillance is being carried out in the affected areas. The Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin spoke about a number of regular measures to combat cholera and about innovations introduced after the Russians undermined the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

To counter the outbreak of infectious diseases in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson regions, 38 water monitoring points were opened. Also, in Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Odesa, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, the centers for disease control and prevention have been transferred to a special response mode.

That is, the thesis about the so-called “biological laboratories” is also unfounded. Propagandists systematically speculate on this topic in order to intimidate Ukrainians.

Fake Ukrainian battalions kill Ukrainian children and then export organs under the grain export code

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric circulate an excerpt of a video in which former OSCE observer Vira Vaiman says in Russian that there were allegedly secret laboratories in Ukraine where they allegedly harvested organs from children. According to her, Ukrainian national battalions were engaged in the seizure and trade in organs, they “sent [organs] abroad, processing the parcels as grain exports”. It's fake.

The fact checkers of the 15min project drew attention to the case. Russian propagandists are spreading a fake documentary. Vira Vaiman, who in the video talks about the alleged crimes of the Ukrainian battalions, in fact, was previously known as Vira Nikulina and lived in Vladyvostok. Fact-checkers found no mention of Vira Vaiman or her photographs on the OSCE website.

Previously, two OSCE missions operated in Ukraine, but neither Vira Nikulina nor Vira Vaiman are mentioned in the documents of these missions. And in the OSCE archives and on the organization's website there are no records of the alleged laboratory or trafficking in children's organs in Ukraine.

The fake about the sale of children's organs abroad is part of a disinformation campaign about “black transplantation” that allegedly operates in Ukraine. As for the transplant procedure itself, Detector Media has repeatedly refuted the fakes. This is a complex procedure that requires several specialists, specific equipment, and is limited in time.

Fake US conducts military biological research in Ukraine with bird flu virus

Anonymous telegram channels spreading pro-Russian rhetoric citing the Russian Defense Ministry claim that “in the interests of the Pentagon in Ukraine, the conditions for the uncontrolled transmission of avian influenza were studied”. This happened in the Kherson region, where strains capable of causing epidemics were studied. Also, “the US Department of Energy recruited specialists with experience and knowledge in the field of weapons of mass destruction to Ukraine”. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Vox Check project drew attention to the case. As part of the program to reduce the biological threat, Ukrainian scientists really cooperated with American ones. Such studies are carried out around the world to counteract the spread of the virus in a particular area. Moreover, studies of bird migration and the transfer of the pathogen by them are also being investigated in Russia.

The fake about the biological laboratory in Kherson has been spreading since 2015, when Tetiana Tomilina, who ran for the role of the Kherson mayor, spoke about it as part of her election campaign. She subsequently became a collaborator. 

Russian propaganda also talks about the alleged “recruitment of specialists in weapons of mass destruction”. Probably, the reason for the spread of this fake was the training of the National Police, the Security Service of Ukraine and the State Border Service, which was supported by the International Program to Counter the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). These courses taught to identify “potential dual-use items and block their movement”.

Russian propagandists systematically spread fakes and manipulations on the development of biological weapons in Ukraine. This is part of the narrative that “the West rules Ukraine”. “U.S. Pentagon biolabs” have never existed in Ukraine, a Russian fake that has been circulating since 2010 and is one of the longest-running propaganda narratives. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that Russia received more than twenty thousand documents confirming the work of American biological laboratories in Ukraine.

Fake The United States confirmed the existence of biological laboratories in Ukraine

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that Ukraine, together with the United States, allegedly conducts dangerous experiments in Ukrainian biological laboratories. Like, such information was confirmed by the US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. At the same time, the authors also refer to the material of the American edition of OAN where this is mentioned. However, this is not true.

Analysts at the VoxCheck project got down to this case and investigated that Victoria Nuland did not make such a statement. There are no laboratories in Ukraine that would develop biological weapons or conduct dangerous experiments. However, such a story from the American channel “One America News” really exists. Analysts explain that this is a biased publication that spreads propaganda, conspiracy theories and fake news. Therefore, the plot cannot testify to the official position of the country, since the plot is fiction.

Russia uses the topic of “biological laboratories” as part of the narrative about the “Western control of Ukraine”, as well as the existence of “Russophobia”. It seems that Ukraine is a “puppet of the West”, which follows its instructions and works with dangerous substances in order to do harm to Russia.

Fake Russia received more than twenty thousand documents confirming the work of American biological laboratories in Ukraine

Russian media cite Lieutenant General Ihor Kyrylov, commander of the radiation, chemical and biological defense forces of Russia. At the briefing, he said that allegedly during the full-scale invasion, Russia received more than twenty thousand documents confirming the work of American biological laboratories in Ukraine. Like, the Pentagon created components of biological weapons and tested them on Ukrainians and residents of other states bordering Russia. These messages also got into the foreign information space. However, this is not true.

The fact checker of the MythDetector project found out that the “documents” published by the Russian Ministry of defense are not evidence of the creation of biological weapons components in Ukraine. They are available in open sources. Moreover, the appendices to the order are presented without a signature or seal, so they have no official value. Some of these “documents” have been published previously.

The narrative about the development of biological weapons in Ukraine is one of the longest-running Russian propaganda narratives. Detector Media has repeatedly explained the origins of this information and refuted the fakes: the United States conducted training in Ukraine with pathogens of especially dangerous infections; The US has developed a drone that will transport “infected insects”; the work of biolaboratories led to an outbreak of African swine fever in Ukraine; American scientists tested biological preparations on patients in a mental hospital in Kharkiv; The US planned to use Ukrainian birds and mosquitoes to carry diseases to Russia. Russia also used the narrative about American biolabs in Ukraine to justify a full-scale invasion, but there is no real evidence about them.

Fake The United States conducted studies and training in Ukraine with pathogens of especially dangerous infections

On December 24, the Russian Ministry of Defense once again returned to statements about “US military biological activities in Ukraine”, allegedly as a result of the investigation, they discovered that the United States conducted studies and training with pathogens of especially dangerous infections on Ukrainian territory.

On December 24, the Russian Ministry of Defense once again returned to statements about “US military biological activities in Ukraine”, allegedly as a result of the investigation, they discovered that the United States conducted studies and training with pathogens of especially dangerous infections on Ukrainian territory.

This time, the Russian department notes that the president of the Pfizer international research department and ex-heads of structures of the US Department of Health are involved in the “biological laboratories”. Like, all the listed participants in military biological projects in Ukraine are associated with the US Democratic Party.

Allegedly, the Pentagon is transferring the unfinished research in Ukraine to the countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

We remind that there have never been “American Pentagon biolabs” in Ukraine, this is a Russian fake that has been spreading since 2010 and has been debunked many times. Only during the war in Ukraine, it was refuted by the Pentagon, the US State Department, and representatives of the EU, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

Fake The activities of biolaboratories led to an outbreak of African swine fever in Ukraine

Russian collaborators spread information about record outbreaks of this disease in the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region. Also, allegedly, the activity of biolaboratories is associated with an increase in the incidence of the thyroid gland among the inhabitants of this region. It is not true.

There is no large-scale outbreak of African swine fever in Ukraine. In 2022, cases of this disease were registered among animals in Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Kirovohrad and Sumy regions. In June-July 2022, new cases were only in Sumy and Kirovohrad regions. According to the fact checker VoxCheck, according to the statistics of the incidence of African swine fever since 2012 in the first 7 months of 2022, it does not differ from previous indicators. The African plague virus is dangerous only for domestic and wild pigs. Currently, the disease is periodically recorded in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions. This virus is not transmitted to humans and is safe for human health.

In May 2020, the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine reported that over the past 5 years, the number of thyroid diseases has increased 5 times. This indicator depends on the external environment, iodine deficiency, lifestyle, stress, nutrition, concomitant diseases. The Center also reported that a high percentage of the risk of thyroid problems is inherited. However, there is no link between the African plague virus and thyroid disease.

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.