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 14 July, on the 871th day of the full-scale war, our editorial office recorded:

2262
Fake
710
Manipulation
667
Message
467
Disclosure
Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Fake Ex-Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov allegedly received American citizenship

Russian media write that ex-minister Oleksii Reznikov allegedly acquired United States citizenship, and he allegedly even wrote about this on his page on the social network Instagram. At the same time, the fake news agencies claim that the primary source of this news is the American CNN.

StopFake analysts analyzed the case and found out that such news was completely made up. The ex-minister did not make such statements and there is no such publication on CNN.

Russian propaganda periodically spreads disinformation that Ukrainian officials, politicians or military personnel have allegedly received citizenship of other countries. First of all, such narratives are aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian government and army, creating the false impression that they do not believe in Ukraine’s victory and are preparing to flee abroad.

Fake Syrskyi allegedly submitted his resignation

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, allegedly submitted his resignation, but the presidential office refused to register the document. So Syrskyi allegedly sent it to Zelenskyi by “General Staff special mail”.

In fact, “this news” is fake. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Firstly, the primary source of this information is an anonymous account on the social network X (formerly Twitter), which regularly disseminates pro-Russian narratives. Secondly, the author does not provide any evidence to support the treacherous theses about Syrskyi’s alleged resignation. In the end, there is no information in any official sources about Syrskyi’s supposedly impending resignation.

The purpose of spreading this disinformation is to sow panic among Ukrainians and turn them against the current government. Previously, we refuted information that the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Syrskyi, allegedly confirmed the “pathetic state of the Ukrainian army”.

Fake Bellingcat's investigation allegedly proved that Yermak paid Time for a place in the ranking of the most influential people of the year

Russian media write that the head of the Presidential Office, Andrii Yermak, allegedly paid $27 million for a place in Time’s ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world. As evidence, propagandists cite a short video from BBC News, where they broadcast the results of the Bellingcat investigation. It's a lie.

StopFake analysts found that neither Bellingcat nor BBC News reported that the official’s place in the ranking was obtained through corruption. This is proven by a banal search on the websites of both media.

This is not the first time that propagandists have referred to Bellingcat to give their words credibility, despite the fact that this organization is recognized as a “foreign agent” and “undesirable” in Russia, and propagandists regularly accuse the investigators of political bias and manipulation.

Manipulation Oleksii Danylov, after his resignation, allegedly called the situation in Ukraine “hopeless”

Russian propagandists are spreading a statement by the alleged former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksii Danylov. According to them, after his recent dismissal from office, Danylov described the situation in Ukraine as hopeless. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. On March 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi fired Oleksii Danylov and appointed Oleksandr Lytvynenko, the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. The changes in leadership were explained by presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak as a step towards strengthening the analytical component of the National Security and Defense Council.

When leaving his post, Danylov expressed gratitude on Facebook for the opportunity to serve the country and people in times of peace and wartime. He also stated: “No matter how difficult or hopeless the situation seems, we worked and will continue to work for the sake of Ukraine, we believed and continue to believe in our victory! The main thing is to always remember that you should not be afraid of anyone, ever, move forward and believe in Ukraine, believe in its people!”

However, Russian propaganda interpreted his words as “revealing the true situation in the country”, which was a complete distortion of Danylov's message.

Propagandists spread such misinformation to cause panic among Ukrainians. Like, everything is so bad that a high-ranking official admitted it.

Fake Arestovych allegedly accused Zaluzhnyi of shooting down the Il-76 aircraft

A video is being distributed online in which a former freelance adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, Oleksii Arestovych, allegedly accuses Valerii Zaluzhnyi of shooting down the Il-76 aircraft in order to frame the Office of the President. The video also states that there were supposedly Azov brigade prisoners of war on board of the plane. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that Arestovych never made such statements, and the video was a deepfake made with the help of artificial intelligence. No evidence or comments from Arestovych on social networks were found to support this story. In addition, incorrect facial expressions and the discrepancy between the term “Azov Regiment” and the actual name of the brigade indicate falsification. The results of testing the video using tools such as Deepware and AI Speech Classifier confirmed the possibility of creating it using AI. In addition, experts discovered that the footage used to create this fake was taken from a live broadcast on Arestovych’s YouTube channel, but the speaker did not mention the Il-76, and the reticence occurred the day before the event.

Propagandists create and spread such fake news to divert attention from the crimes of the Russians and incite controversy among the political elite of Ukraine.

Fake The President's Office allegedly introduces a tax on parasitism

Propagandists in pro-Russian telegram channels are spreading information that the Office of the President of Ukraine plans to introduce a “tax on parasitism”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the Beyond the News project drew attention to it. They found out that the fake was created on the basis of material from Ukrainska Pravda, which states that out of 11.1 million men aged 25 to 60 years who are subject to mobilization, 950 thousand do not work, do not pay taxes and do not serve in the army . However, pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that Rostislav Shurma, deputy head of the Office of the President, took the initiative to introduce a “tax on parasitism” in order to stimulate labor and pay taxes.

The fakers came up with the idea that the tax could reach 1,500 hryvnia per month, and if it is not paid, citizens will not have access to government services, will not be able to drive a car or travel outside of Ukraine, and their property will be seized and sold. They also emphasized that paying such a tax will not exempt them from mobilization, and they plan to include this provision in the bill on economic mobilization.

However, there have been no official announcements about these plans. Even at the level of rumors in the Ukrainian information space they do not talk about this. Punishment for parasitism existed in the former USSR and in Belarus, but was later abolished. There were also talks about introducing a “tax on parasitism” in Russia, but then this initiative was rejected.

Propagandists spread such fake news to intimidate society. They say that the Ukrainian authorities are mocking their own citizens. It also fuels what is already quite an active discussion about new ideas for mobilization. Detector Media has already refuted other Russian inventions regarding mobilization in Ukraine.

Hungary allegedly has territorial ambitions regarding Transcarpathia

Russia continues to promote the message that “Hungarians are encroaching on Transcarpathia”, despite a direct statement by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó about supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The corresponding information leaks took place against the backdrop of Szijjarto’s arrival in Uzhhorod to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, as well as the head of the Office of the President Andrii Yermak.

An important goal of such a meeting was to improve relations between the two countries by organizing a frank and constructive dialogue. Another goal of the conversation was to create the preconditions for a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

At the same time, the result of negotiations in Uzhhorod between Szijjártó, Kuleba and Yermak was the beginning of an important dialogue on the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine. Hungary and Ukraine agreed to create a joint commission, which, 10 days from the date of the meeting, should present a complete list of controversial issues regarding the rights of national minorities.

Also during the meeting, they discussed Ukraine’s membership in the EU, cooperation in logistics, development of transport links, energy and financial projects, etc. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation.

Fake Ukraine allegedly spent 1.2 billion on fakes

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks are distributing a video with the symbols of the British language corporation BBC, which claims that Ukraine allegedly spent $1.2 billion in 2023 to create fakes about the victories of the Ukrainian army at the front. The order, according to the video, was carried out by one of the largest PR companies in Britain. Propagandists claim that, as a result, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Yermak, allegedly “refused to renew the contract for 2024 with the British”, since their activities “did not help in any way to increase the attractiveness of mobilization in Ukraine”. They say that the money went down the drain or “was stolen according to the old Ukrainian tradition”. The video claims that this information was discovered by the independent international research team Bellingcat. However, this is a fake.

Analysts from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that the BBC had never published such a video on its social networks. This video is likely fake. The attackers deliberately crystallized the logo of the British television company and their design for propaganda purposes. To create the video, footage from open sources was used (in particular, an image of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Andrii Yermak) and stock videos (in particular, with people in suits shaking hands). Propagandists used archival photographs of Ukrainian military personnel taken before the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The portion of the video purported to be Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins talking about his “investigation” was taken from his #ConflictZone interview with DW (December 2022 issue), where Higgins is actually talking about the Russian disinformation against Ukraine and the activities of Russian spies in the West. Official information on Bellingcat resources also does not contain any information about the investigation that propagandists refer to. Previously, Higgins noted on his X (formerly Twitter) account that propagandists had already attributed false statements to Bellingcat several times.

Since the start of the full-scale invasion, in order to cover up the war crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine and create a false impression among the world public about the failures of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield, Kremlin propaganda has been actively spreading the narrative that Ukraine is creating fake content about the war in Ukraine. They say that Ukraine lies to its citizens, which means there is no point in trusting it.

Manipulation Kuleba allegedly said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would lay down their arms if Western aid ceased

Pro-Russian media disseminated manipulative messages that the Ukrainian military-political leadership allegedly does not have a backup plan in case of the end of aid from the allies. In asserting this, Russian propaganda refers to a statement by the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in which he allegedly “recognized the absence of a plan B” in Ukraine in case the “military support for Ukraine from the countries of the collective West is completely stopped or reduced so the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be forced to stop fighting”.

This information is not true. Answering a question from a CNN journalist about how Ukraine will resist Russian aggression if financial and military assistance from allied countries is delayed, Kuleba noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will, in any case, continue to repel the Russian occupiers. Fact-checkers from the StopFake project write about this.

“We don’t have a plan B, we are confident in plan A - Ukraine will always fight with the resources it has”, Kuleba said in an interview with CNN. The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also added that any officials who think that Putin will never dare to attack a NATO country if the Kremlin “sees the possibility of victory” in Ukraine are deeply mistaken. If Russian aggression expands beyond Ukraine, democratic countries will pay much more than the Russian-Ukrainian war, so Ukraine is confident in the support of its allied countries, Kuleba concluded.

Disinformation is spread by Russian propaganda as part of promoting the narrative about the “West prolonging” the war in Ukraine. They say that Western countries benefit from this war, since it exhausts Russia, which continues to pursue its imperialist dreams. In addition, the West supposedly has the opportunity to test existing weapons at a “testing ground in Ukraine”, and also, if necessary, modernize them and replenish stocks with new weapons and military equipment. In fact, it was Russia that started the bloody war in Ukraine and it is it who continues it, and not the collective West, because it sees a certain benefit in it for itself.

Fake In 2024, expenses for the Office of the President will allegedly amount to 18.8 billion hryvnia

Russian propagandists are disseminating information that the 2024 state budget allegedly included 18.8 billion hryvnia for the maintenance of the Office of the President (OP), although this money could have been spent on the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, this is a fake.

Fact-checkers from the VoxCheck project processed this case. On November 9, 2023, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the law on the state budget for 2024. On November 17, the bill was signed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, and on November 28 by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, approving the draft state budget.

In fact, according to the adopted law on the state budget of Ukraine for 2024, 1.1 billion hryvnia are provided for the OP, and not 18.8 billion hryvnia, as propagandists write. In addition, 1.69 trillion hryvnia will be allocated for the security and defense of Ukraine - almost 100% of annual budget revenues.

Thus, Russian propaganda seeks to discredit the OP and undermine the trust of the Ukrainian population in it. The ultimate goal of such disinformation is to force Ukrainians to rebel against the “Zelenskyi regime”.

Fake An investigation has allegedly been launched against Davyd Arakhamia due to his “involvement” in the sale of weapons to Hamas

This information is disseminated by pro-Kremlin resources. In this “news”, propaganda  refers to the British broadcasting corporation BBC, which published the corresponding video. The information itself is distributed in several versions. The first piece of propaganda allegedly attaches a BBC video with text about accusations against the head of the Servant of the People faction. It says that the case is likely to be investigated by the International Criminal Court, and information about this was received by the BBC, as well as the research group Bellingcat. In the second version, only a screenshot from the same video is attached. All this is done in the corporate style of the British broadcaster. However, this is fake.

Experts on the StopFake project studied this case. They managed to find out that the information was not true. Journalists from Newtral and Checkyourfact, who checked the video, also came to the conclusion that it was fake.

Firstly, the video in question says that one of those who received information about the investigation is BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh. It should be noted that such a journalist really exists, and he is engaged in fact-checking. However, on his page on the social network X, the journalist himself said that the video being distributed was fake.

Secondly, the incorrect spelling of David Arakhamia’s last name in the video indicates that the material is likely fake. In the accompanying text he writes “Arahmia”, but in English the surname of the head of the Servant of the People faction should be written as Arakhamia. In addition, a search on the official BBC website for the surname Arahmia does not yield any results.

Thirdly, on the same official website of the BBC, on the social networks X and Facebook, on YouTube there is no video publication published by propaganda. Propagandists once again used the corporate style of the world's leading media, in this case the BBC, to create yet another fake story about Ukraine.

This is not the first time that Russian propaganda has used the corporate design style of reputable foreign media to publish its fake news. Previously, we refuted information that the German media Deutsche Welle allegedly distributed a video about an anti-Ukrainian flash mob that took place in Poland.

Manipulation Ukraine allegedly itself refused to end the war

This information is disseminated by pro-Russian resources. Russian propaganda refers to an interview with the head of the Servant of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamiia, who allegedly said that Ukraine could have stopped the war by agreeing to the neutral, non-bloc status proposed by Russia. However, representatives of Ukraine “rejected peace” and “doomed hundreds of thousands of their citizens to death”. This is manipulation.

This case was processed by fact-checkers from the StopFake project. They found out that Arakhamiia stated that Ukraine really did not agree to the non-bloc status proposed by Russia, but there were objective reasons for this. Firstly, there is no trust in Russia’s promises to withdraw troops and not engage in hostilities with Ukraine anymore, and secondly, the Constitution of Ukraine should be changed, since the path to NATO is written there.

Throughout the war, the Russians have been promoting the thesis that Ukraine itself does not agree to peace. Thus, the Kremlin wants to show that the root cause of the armed aggression was allegedly the actions of Ukraine, which “provoked” Russia to war, and that in fact it was the Russian government that was the “peacemaker”. The purpose of such a narrative is to refute that it was Russia that started the war and that it was Russia that is to blame for all the crimes committed against the Ukrainian people.

Read on Censor.NET: 90% of Ukrainians are against territorial concessions to the aggressor, even for the sake of ending the war.

Fake The Office of the President of Ukraine allegedly transferred Ukrainian land to Soros' son for storing toxic waste

A number of netizens spreading pro-Russian rhetoric are disseminating information that Alexander, the son of the famous philanthropist George Soros, allegedly entered into an agreement with the Ukrainian authorities to allocate 400 sq. m. km of land for disposal of hazardous waste from chemical, pharmaceutical and oil refineries. It is noted that this information was allegedly exposed by an investigation by French journalist Jules Vincent. He showed two “documents” that supposedly confirm this agreement - a Memorandum on the provision of land to foreign companies, allegedly signed by the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak on the one hand and Alexander Soros on the other, as well as the Decree of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi on the allocation of land in Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi regions. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the information was first published by a user of the X network (formerly Twitter) under the nickname @VincentVinxent1. In his 6-minute video, this user, introducing himself as Jules Vincent, said that he was allegedly approached by a representative of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, who anonymously handed over documents to the “independent journalist” @VincentVinxent1, which, according to him, confirm the transfer Ukrainian black soil for storing hazardous waste to the Soros family StopFake analysts discovered that the French journalist Jules Vincent really exists, but the @VincentVinxent1 account probably belongs to someone else. On the Strategic Horizons website one can find a biography and photo of columnist Jules Vincent, who, according to him, worked as a documentarian and journalist. However, a comparison of the photos shows that the people in the photos on the site and on Network X are different. A reverse search of @VincentVinxent1's profile photo yielded no positive results. It is also surprising that the “independent journalist” page consists mainly of retweets. So far, it has existed since September 2018, but there are only seven of its own publications, and all of them are without curse words or retweets. In addition, 1,129 accounts subscribed to the profile, a significant number of which are bots.

As for the information about the transfer of land to the Soros family, which is disseminated by this profile, it is not true. Documents distributed online are forgeries. The Decree of the President of Ukraine on the transfer of land plots to American companies shows that the document was supposedly signed on November 13, 2023 and has number No. 603/2023. However, such a document was not found on the website of the President of Ukraine, where all decrees are published. There is also a gross error in the spelling of the Ternopil region and insignificant differences in spelling. In addition, the “document” contains a mention of Part 1 of Article 116 of the Land Code of Ukraine, which does not correspond to reality. This part of the article provides for the transfer of the right to use a land plot by the President of Ukraine. Also, according to Ukrainian legislation, foreigners and foreign companies cannot purchase agricultural land.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to strengthen the myth of Ukraine’s subjectivity. They say that the Ukrainian authorities do not care about the rights of Ukrainians, they do not own their territory, and therefore they distribute it to their leaders. Russian media regularly spread disinformation about the Soros family, which was refuted by the Detector Media.

Fake Yermak allegedly announced plans to achieve peace with Russia in 2024

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks claim that the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Yermak, said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda that it is planned to achieve peace with Russia in 2024. They attach an image similar to the screenshot of this news as “proof”. However, this is fake.

After the dissemination of such information, StopFake decided to check whether Yermak had made such statements. As it turned out, the disseminated information is not true. Since Russian media and social network users did not provide a direct link to the news, but only a screenshot, StopFake decided to look for it on its own. The distributed image shows that the news should be published on November 1, 2023 at 21:49 under the authorship of Yevhenii Kyzylov. According to the specified time and date, there is indeed a publication by this author on the Ukrainska Pravda website. But it has a completely different title: “Zaluzhnyi spoke about evaders and reserves: Gaps in legislation”, and in the text of the news there is not a word about “peace plans” with Russia. StopFake analysts also checked the presence of similar statements by Yermak in other authoritative Ukrainian media, but found nothing of the kind there. In his interviews, speeches and comments, the head of the Presidential Office said that peace negotiations with Russia are impossible if Ukraine has to sacrifice territory, independence or sovereignty.

Propagandists spread such fake news to discredit the political leadership in the country and destabilize the situation. They say that everything is so bad that even Bankova is ready to agree to Russia’s conditions. Detector Media has already repeatedly refuted other fakes in which the President's Office appeared.

Manipulation Office of the President of Ukraine threatens Poland with rupture of relations after the war

Russian media are actively spreading information that Ukraine threatens Poland with a “complete break in relations” after the end of the war. Like, adviser to the head of the President's Office Mykhailo Podoliak said that “Ukrainian-Polish friendship is over”. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Podoliak did indeed make a statement about competition with Poland, but only in the context of free trade and a market economy. He noted that although Ukraine and Poland take different positions on some economic issues, this does not threaten the relations of both states. In an interview with the FreeDom TV channel, Podoliak stressed that bilateral relations between Ukraine and Poland are at the highest level. He also cited the Polish-Ukrainian negotiations in the field of agriculture as an example, saying that “this discussion will not lead to breaks or anything like that”.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to discredit relations between Ukraine and Poland. In addition, in this way they want to set the Poles to be skeptical towards the Ukrainians and help them. Like, the Ukrainians are really ungrateful and only use Poland in their own interests. However, this is not the case – Ukrainians help develop the Polish economy and make a valuable contribution to the culture of the state. This is evidenced by the level of cooperation between Poles and Ukrainians in a number of industries.

Message The Office of the President deliberately drags out the war in order to postpone the elections in Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the cancellation of the upcoming elections is an expected move from Zelenskyi who wants to stay in power longer. According to the authors, Zelenskyi understands that he will not be able to secure a victory in the presidential election, since society is “extremely unhappy” with him. Like, Volodymyr Zelenskyi is losing Ukrainian lands and at the same time the support of Ukrainians. The authors argue that Zelenskyi wants to seize all power in Ukraine.

However, this thesis is unfounded. According to Ukrainian law, elections cannot be held under martial law. That is, Zelenskyi will remain president until the end of the war. This is not his desire, but a forced step in order to avoid violations of the law and various conflicts. Moreover, no one “drags out” the war if the Russians shell Ukraine every day. Recently, the head of PACE Tiny Kox spoke about the possibility of holding Ukrainian elections. He explained that elections should be held in Ukraine, however, most likely after the end of active hostilities, when martial law will still be maintained. He acknowledged that it is difficult to hold elections under such conditions. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities at the PACE event said that the elections should be held in 2024. The head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, Mariia Mezentseva, said that the Ukrainian authorities are now striving to adhere to the usual calendar. That is, 2024 is the year of presidential and parliamentary elections as planned, and 2025 is the year of local elections.

The Ukrainian government does not refuse to hold elections, but rather seeks ways to hold them. However, politicians consider all the risks associated with the war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine. Under such conditions, Russia is preventing the elections from being held, as they shell Ukrainian cities and villages on a daily basis, and the Russians kill Ukrainian civilians.

Message In the Ukrainian information space, censorship is much greater than in Russia

Such a message is spread by pro-Russian telegram channels. Like, censorship has become the main tool of power for concealment of corruption, criminal orders or command errors. It seems that the situation with the shelling clearly demonstrated this - the Ukrainian authorities are “rejoicing” at the shelling of Makiyivka, but they are silent about Druzhkivka.

Manipulation Zelenskyi's office urged to establish a monarchy in Ukraine

This information was disseminated by Russian resources. Allegedly, Oleksii Arestovych, adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, called for the creation of a monarchy.

Russian propagandists took the words out of context and presented Orestovych's quote as the official position of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

In fact, on January 1, 2023, Arestovych was visiting Oleh Skrypka on the Apostroph tv channel as a mystic and esoteric, and not as an adviser to the head of the President's Office. The whole conversation was about mythology, magic and dreams in the history of Ukraine and the present. Skrypka asked Arestovych about the magical scenario of the present, to which he replied that he suggested the provocative thought: “There must be a return of the king, he is walking somewhere”. Further, Arestovych pondered, “Is Ukraine ready for a monarchy?” However, Russian propaganda used this interview as a politician about the plans of the Office of the President.

Fake The Verkhovna Rada publishes video from computer games passing it off as real footage of the war

Such messages are distributed through social networks and hostile telegram channels. It says that the Parliament resorts to tricks: publishes a variety of videos from computer games, passing it off as real footage. They say that Ukraine is suffering huge defeats and is trying to somehow stabilize the mood of the population. Propagandists add to their message a likely screenshot, which allegedly depicts a publication from the telegram channel of the Verkhovna Rada. However, this is a fabrication.

According to VoxCheck fact checkers, there is no evidence that the telegram channel of the Verkhovna Rada published or reposted such a message. Experts in the course of the investigation did not find such a publication.

Moreover, the official telegram channel of the Parliament has been verified and has a corresponding “✓” flag, which indicates the authenticity of the channel. There is no flag on the propaganda screenshot. In addition, on the screenshot of the telegram channel, one can see that the number of subscribers reaches about 350 thousand. However, about 223 thousand people have subscribed to the official telegram channel of the Verkhovna Rada.

Propagandists are spreading this fake to nourish the narrative that Ukraine is losing in this war.

Message The new law on media introduces a "total" state dictatorship in the information space

Pro-Russian resources and telegram channels reacted to the adoption of the new media law with numerous fakes and manipulations. Like, this law is “worthy of the worst authoritarian states”. It seems that the authorities are “cleansing” the information space and introducing censorship. It seems that telegram channels remain the only platform where there is still “freedom of speech”.

In fact, this law is one of those that had to be adopted in the context of Ukraine's European integration. Media professionals and members of the public were involved in its development. The law establishes rules that did not exist before and regulates certain media processes. This will make it more difficult for Russian narratives to enter the Ukrainian information space. Therefore, before the adoption of the law, Russian propaganda launched a campaign to discredit it. Instead, Ukrainian media professionals welcome the adoption of the law, despite challenges in its implementation.

Message The opposition to the current government is activated ahead of the elections

Telegram channels run by Russian intelligence have recently focused on Ukraine's internal political strife. They promoted the message that allegedly in Ukraine before the parliamentary elections, the opposition to the current government, which will be made up of mayors of cities and the military elite, as well as a new pro-Russian force, which will be formed by Serhii Liovochkin, will become more active. This is evidenced by the monitoring data of pro-Kremlin telegram channels, which was made by the Center for Strategic Communications.

The channels wrote about the formation of a “regional movement of mayors and military men” by the mayor of Kyiv Klychko and ex-minister of internal affairs Avakov, and the formation of a new political force by Liovochkin. They also spread the thesis about a split in the Servant of the People party about the deprivation of mandates of people's deputies from the Opposition Platform for Life. Like, it is beneficial for Yermak to keep them in the Verkhovna Rada to push through the necessary decisions. They also wrote that the Office of the President is planning repression by the SSU (Security service of Ukraine) against the mayors of cities who are forming a coalition against the central government due to the adoption of law 5655 on urban development reform. Another widely spread thesis is allegedly “non-supply of equipment and parts by the central government” to cities headed by mayors “opposing the government”. Among other things, the mayor of Dnipro Filatov was named, under whose leadership the city ‘suffers from power outages more than Zaporizhzhia, Odesa and Kharkiv’.

These messages are yet another attempt by Russian propaganda to influence support for the government and its decisions, as well as create tension in society. Previously, propagandists called for “going to rallies due to unfair blackouts” and promoted messages that “the authorities export electricity for their own enrichment, despite the fact that Ukrainians are without electricity”.

Message The President's office exaggerates the effectiveness of air defense and "invents" missile attacks

To downplay the successes of the Ukrainian air defense forces, anonymous telegram channels run by Russian intelligence spread the following message: "The President's office exaggerates the number of missiles launched by Russia". And therefore, "air defense successes" are also exaggerated. They also spread the fiction that the Office of the President itself gives orders to turn on air raid alerts in regions “which Russia did not intend to shell,” and then allegedly the authorities inform citizens that they shot down “non-existent” missiles.

This is an obvious lie since even the Russian military admits the massiveness of their own rocket attacks, and each time they rejoice at every report about the blackout of electricity, water and heat as a result of these missile strikes. Independent experts also regularly report on the number of missiles that Russia has fired at Ukraine, and also calculate how many missiles the aggressor state has left after each such shelling. In the days leading up to the strike, both foreign and Ukrainian experts also warned that Russia was stockpiling a large number of missiles and that at least 50 missiles were needed to basically break through the Ukrainian air defense system. By the beginning of November, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the effectiveness of Ukrainian air defense was from 60 to 80%. This time, about 60 out of 70 missiles were shot down during the shelling, the air defense reported. This fully confirms the message of the Ukrainian military about the ratio of downed missiles and those that hit the target.

Message Ukraine missed its last chance for peace with Russia on February 10

Such a message is spread by anonymous telegram channels, which, according to the Security service in Ukraine (SSU), are controlled by Russian intelligence. Reports say that Ukraine could have prevented a war with Russia or rather avoided it. However, according to the authors of the messages, Ukraine, due to the incompetence of the leadership, missed its chance on February 10. According to the authors of the telegram channels, the last chance for peace was on that day, during the visit of the head of the office of President Andrii Yermak to Berlin. According to propagandists, in order for there to be peace, Ukraine should have simply started to implement the Minsk agreements signed in 2014. The authors of the messages also claim that the employees of the President's Office simply lied to people telling them that everything was fine, that there was no need to panic and in such a way they allowed the war. In fact, the Minsk agreements were systematically violated not by Ukraine, but by Russia, which started the war and occupied part of Ukraine in the spring of 2014. That is, experience proves that peace agreements with Russia do not work. However, Russian propagandists need such messages in order to shift the responsibility for the war from themselves to Ukraine. They say that the attack allegedly occurred due to the fact that Ukraine did not work well, and not because Russia is the aggressor. 

Manipulation The decision of the President's Office to speed up the supply of light only made it worse

Telegram channels from a network run by Russian intelligence are promoting the following message: Ukrainians have suffered because of the decision of the President's Office to restore power as soon as possible. Firstly, their equipment breaks down, and secondly, this will lead to fires and big problems with the energy system. This is manipulation.

Firstly, because the Office of the President does not turn on or order the lights to be turned on after massive shelling by the Russian army. This is done by the state enterprise Ukrenergo together with local services, as well as the DTEK concern. They bring light to homes whenever possible, they also turn it off: sometimes according to the schedule to stabilize the system, sometimes in an emergency - after damage to the system and before it is restored.

Secondly, this manipulation is an attempt to blame the Ukrainian government or the president for blackouts in order to divert attention from the main culprit, that is, Russia. Ukrainians now often live without electricity due to the fact that Russia is massively shelling the objects of the energy system of Ukraine, it has been doing this systematically since October 10th. This is a war crime for which Russia is responsible. And the Ukrainian government and the power industry itself are trying to restore this system after the destruction. Unfortunately, the situation is critical. And fires occur in Ukraine not because of the voltage fluctuations, but because of Russian missiles.

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.