Spilnota Detector Media

Fake As a result of the work of Ukrainian air defense forces in Zaporizhzhia, a residential building was damaged

Pro-Kremlin telegram channels are disseminating information that on the night of October 18, a house in Zaporizhzhia was damaged, allegedly as a result of the work of Ukrainian air defense forces. It is not true.

The case was examined by the fact-checkers from the Center for Countering Disinformation. According to the Secretary of the Zaporizhzhia City Council Anatolii Kurtiev, at night the Russians fired 6 missiles at Zaporizhzhia, “apartments in 2 entrances of the building were partially destroyed”. As of 16:47, four people are known to have died, and search and rescue efforts are continuing.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to shift responsibility for the crimes of Russians into Ukraine and cause panic among Ukrainians, saying that air defense forces do not protect, but destroy civilian objects and kill people. Previously, we wrote about manipulation, supposedly the Ukrainian Air Force admitted that “Ukrainian air defense missiles are hitting” residential buildings.

Message Ukraine is preparing to blow up the Kremenchuk hydroelectric power station “according to the Kakhovka scenario”

Propaganda resources are disseminating information that Kyiv is preparing a provocation at the Kremenchuk hydroelectric station “according to the Kakhovka scenario”. They say that Ukraine replaced the station in order to create public tension and blame the Russian army for the attack on the hydroelectric power station.

The information was processed by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. They found out that there is no evidence of the mythical mining of the Kremenchuk hydroelectric power station by the Ukrainian military. Russian propaganda is based on its previous lies that the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station was blown up by Ukraine. All critical infrastructure facilities, which include hydroelectric power plants, are constantly under the protection of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard and the police in wartime. After the Russian terrorist attack with the explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the Ukrainian Defense Forces tightened patrolling of the stations.

It is Russia that attacks the critical infrastructure of Ukraine - as a result of massive shelling of the occupiers in the autumn-winter period of 2022-2023, not a single thermal or hydroelectric power station remained undamaged in Ukraine.

Message The strike on the village of Hroza in the Kharkiv region is “beneficial” for Zelenskyi

On October 5, 2023 at 13:24, Russian invaders attacked the village of Hroza, Kupiansk district, Kharkiv region. The Russians hit a local store and café, where a funeral was being held for a fellow villager who was a military man. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko said that in total there were 60 people on the territory, and at least 52 people died, including a child. Also recorded were seven victims who were seriously injured - they were at a distance of at least 50 meters from the café itself. On the air of the national telethon, the minister also said that 330 residents lived in the village and “from every family, from every yard, one person was present at this memorial dinner”. Anonymous telegram channels that broadcast pro-Kremlin rhetoric are spreading messages that Ukraine struck the village, and this happened, supposedly, at the request of Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Propagandists convince people that in fact the tragedy is “beneficial” for the Ukrainian leadership for its own profit. In particular, we are talking about receiving additional humanitarian assistance and increasing financial support. In addition, they wrote that there were Ukrainian soldiers in the café, which means that the Russian army was allegedly targeting military and military targets. But they finally explain: “The West has reduced its negativity towards Russia, so Ukraine is obviously increasing it”.

However, the head of the Kharkiv Military Regional Administration, Oleh Syniehub, said that there were civilians and cars at the scene of the strike. Subsequently, the chief of police of the region, Volodymyr Tymoshko, confirmed this to the Suspilne. The Kremlin seeks to hide its own criminal actions against Ukrainians, hiding behind “military targets” that are supposedly a legitimate target. However, it is not military facilities that are suffering from Russian missiles and drones, but Ukrainian peaceful cities, villages and civilian infrastructure. Moreover, any attack on another country, even on military targets, is a crime. Among the dead was the son of a military man, who was reburied that day. The son was also a military man. He was in a café with his wife and mother - they died from a rocket hit. But the memorial site is not a military target, and the son of a fallen soldier did not perform military duties during the memorial dinner.

The head of the Kharkiv region police also explained that it has already been established precisely that the hit was made by an Iskander ballistic missile. This is the type of missile in service in Russia. The head of the Kharkiv Military Regional Administration said that it was a “targeted strike” and the hit was in the very center of the building, which resulted in so many casualties.

The authors resort to conspiracy theories when they write that Zelenskyi seeks to profit from the war in Ukraine and personally gives orders to shell Ukrainian cities and villages. These attempts indicate the demonization of Ukraine and the creation of an erroneous impression about it among partner countries. For example, similar rhetoric is used on anonymous telegram channels in response to the arrival of foreign politicians in Ukraine. Then propaganda systematically promotes the thesis that the worries in Ukraine are not real, but only attempts to intimidate foreigners and get as many weapons as possible.

The missile attack on the village on October 5 was the largest in terms of casualties in 2023 in Ukraine and the largest since a full-scale invasion in the region.

Fake The Baltic countries could carry out drone strikes on Pskov

Similar theses were heard on Russian propaganda television channels. They say that the border with Estonia lies not far from Pskov and some strange sounds were allegedly heard from there. Russian propaganda states that “the question of Estonia’s participation remains open”. “Pskov is located on the NATO border. Where did the launch come from? From Ukraine or what? In any case! From the Baltic territory? Destroy the hell out of the Baltic countries if that’s the case”, the propagandists said on air. It's fake.

As EUvsDiDiNFo analysts note, on the night of August 29, a series of explosions occurred at Pskov airport. It later became known that four Il-76 military transport aircraft were damaged as a result of drone strikes, and at least two aircraft were destroyed. A spokesman for the government of the Republic of Estonia commented to Newsweek about Estonia's involvement in the attacks on Pskov and stated: “This is false information”. Also, the Latvian Ministry of Defense issued a similar statement, denying any involvement by Latvia, and condemned the accusations against the Baltic countries.

The drone strike on Russian territory is the result of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. Thus, Kremlin propagandists are trying to accuse the Baltic countries of “provocation” and are using nuclear blackmail to intimidate the inhabitants of these countries. Earlier, Detector Media talked about manipulation, as the UN said that Ukraine threatens nuclear security in the world.

Fake Zelenskyi decided to shell Kostiantynivka to “put pressure on Blinken”

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric disseminate information that “most likely, the strike was carried out by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in order to beg for more weapons”. Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly decided to “put pressure on Blinken”. They also call Kostiantynivka a “large village”. It's fake.

The case was studied by fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. On September 6, 2023, the Russian military shelled the city of Kostiantynivka, Donetsk region. As reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, as a result of a missile attack by Russians on a market in Kostiantynivka, 16 people were killed and 33 were injured.

During a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Matte Frederiksen in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyi emphasized: “This is yet another deliberate terrorist attack by the Russian Federation”. He also commented on Russian statements about an allegedly Ukrainian plane that “got to the wrong place”: “This is an absolute lie. We understand what is happening there and what types (of weapons) they hit us with”.

Russian propaganda is trying to shift responsibility for the actions of the Russians onto the Ukrainians, saying that it was Ukraine itself that launched a missile strike on Kostiantynivka, in order to intimidate the citizens of our state. Also, in this way, Russian propagandists intend to encourage Ukrainians to put pressure on the authorities to stop the counter-offensive or demand peace negotiations. Earlier we wrote that the Russians disseminated information that the missile attack on Kostiantynivka was allegedly carried out by the Ukrainian military.

Fake In Romny in the Sumy region, the Russians destroyed the Ukrainian Armed Forces base

Such information was disseminated in social networks and propaganda media. The reports say that on August 23, 2023, the Russians shelled the Sumy region and the city of Romny. The authors added that the invaders managed to destroy the school where the Ukrainian Defense Forces were located. The publications added that only the Ukrainian military suffered from the missile attack. It is not true.

The VoxCheck project specialists investigated the case and found that in fact there were no military among the victims. Instead, the occupiers fired on civilians - and they fired on a civilian object, not a military one. Particularly the local school. Four people were killed in the attack by Shahed drones: a school principal, a deputy principal, a secretary and a librarian. Also four civilians were injured who were passing by the school and came under fire. The head of the Romny Regional Military Administration explained that at the time the drone hit the school, there were 19 teachers. One of the eyewitnesses, a primary school teacher at the Romny school, also confirmed the presence of employees at the school. That is, the authors are trying to deny their own attacks and hits on civilian infrastructure. They disfigure reality and convince themselves of their “truth”. And they say: wherever they went, there were definitely soldiers there. However, the authors do not provide any facts and reject any reproaches in their direction.

The occupiers are constantly working on similar tactics: wherever the shelling occurs, it is allegedly justified. But documented cases of Russian terror testify otherwise. By the way, one  can read the chronology of Russian shelling of residential and civilian objects here. Also, check out fakes on similar topics, in which Russian propaganda denied shelling civilian infrastructure, justifying itself by “NATO headquarters”:

For example, when the Russians allegedly fired at a meeting of Lithuanian and Polish NATO officers in Chernihiv, but in fact the invaders got into the local drama theater. Or a case where propagandists tended to believe that the terrorist shelling of Odesa in July was a shelling of weapons production sites. And not on the cultural sites of Ukraine, included in the UNESCO world heritage, as it really is. Or, let's say, how the occupiers “destroyed” the ammunition depot in Uman. We found out that the Russians hit an industrial facility and a car wash. And finally, read here how a propaganda shelling of the residences of “NATO instructors” in Kramatorsk turned out to be a terrorist attack on a local cafe.

Fake Russians fired at a meeting of Lithuanian and Polish NATO officers in Chernihiv

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric and the Lithuanian media spread information that on August 19, the Russian army fired cruise missiles at an alleged meeting place of NATO officers in Chernihiv. Among them were many Polish and Lithuanian soldiers. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the 15min project. On August 19, the Russian army hit the center of Chernihiv with an Iskander-M ballistic missile, including the drama theater, which hosted the announced exhibition of drones. As a result of the Russian attack, 7 people were killed; 144 people, including 15 children, were injured, Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a video message.

At first, Russian propaganda disseminated information exclusively about SBU specialists in Chernihiv, and the version about Lithuanians or Poles - high-ranking NATO officers appeared much later. However, there was no meeting of NATO soldiers in the theater. In a 15min comment, a representative of the Lithuanian army said: “Officers of the Lithuanian army do not participate in hostilities in Ukraine, so this information is not true”.

There is a Foreign Legion in Ukraine, but the alliance is not directly involved in hostilities in Ukraine. If any of the NATO countries entered the territory of Ukraine, the forces of the alliance would come into direct conflict with Russia.

Thus, Russian propaganda promotes the message that NATO and Russia are fighting on the territory of Ukraine, and also tries to justify missile strikes on the territory of our state. This is a continuation of the narrative that the Russian military only targets military facilities in order to whitewash itself and show that they allegedly do not commit war crimes against Ukrainians. Earlier, we talked about the message that Ukrainian officials pass off military facilities as civilian ones.

Disclosure What propagandists wrote about Russia's strike on Chernihiv

Detector Media has prepared a selection of messages about Russia's strike on the center of Chernihiv, which Russian propaganda has been distributing since August 19.

On August 19, the Russian army hit the center of Chernihiv. At the time of the strike on the drama theater, the building was hosting an announced drone exhibition. As a result of the attack by the Russians, 7 people were killed, 144 people, including 15 children, were injured  as a result of a strike on the center of Chernihiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a video message. On August 21, the chairman of the Chernihiv Regional Military Administration, Viacheslav Chaus, wrote in his telegram channel that the liquidation of the consequences of the Russian missile attack continues, and damage to 10 administrative and 66 residential premises (53 were examined) has been established to date.

Russia reacted to the missile attack on Chernihiv with a number of messages. The authors of the telegram channel of the Digital Army of Russia gave instructions to subscribers from Russia on how they should comment on messages in Ukrainian telegram channels. We have highlighted some of them.

All air defense systems were installed in Kyiv, so Chernihiv and other cities of Ukraine are unprotected.

“Who is going to defend our cities or is it not a pity for the periphery?”, “When will air defense begin to protect not only Kyiv? (...) Our people are dying while you bitches are robbing us”, such messages were supposed to be sent out by the Russian Digital Army troops.

This is not the first time propagandists have been spreading this message. The message that all air defense systems exclusively protect the capital of Ukraine is promoted from time to time in the telegram channels of the Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kharkiv regions. Allegedly for the authorities there are “more strategically important” cities that are better protected. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainians, cause distrust in the authorities and split society. However, this statement is incorrect.

Earlier, the speaker of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, denied the message that the entire air defense was installed in Kyiv: “The capital is attacked most often, so this city obviously needs more protection”. He also added about “the eastern and northern regions – there is also a very serious vector of work and air defense is also working there. Therefore, we distribute our forces where it is most needed”.

Authorities talk about successful counteroffensive while civilians die.

“The authorities have no time to protect us from shelling, they need to draw counteroffensive maps”, is another message that Russians should promote in the Ukrainian segment of social networks after the shelling of Chernihiv.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to convince Ukrainians that the counteroffensive is unsuccessful - that is why the authorities come up with victories on the battlefield, and besides that, to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and create a false impression of Russia's advantage.

Only a stupid person could hold a drone exhibition 30 km from Russia.

According to the co-organizer of the drone exhibition, volunteer Mariia Berlinska, “the announcement that there would be an event was in the public domain. But the specific location was reported only to registered verified participants (!) a few hours before the event”.

The responsibility for the missile attack on the center of Chernihiv lies solely with the Russian army. As reported in the Office of the Prosecutor General, they are identifying the people who made the decision on the missile strike and delivered it. Also, all the circumstances related to the organization of the exhibition in the drama theater are being studied, and the version of the strike by Russian agents on the territory of Ukraine is being worked out separately.

The shelling in Chernihiv occurred due to the fact that competitors wanted to let down the curator of the exhibition Mykhailo Fedorov.

“The exhibition was supervised by Mykhailo Fedorov (not the last person in the Information and Psychological Operations Center, by the way), who is now a candidate to replace Prime Minister Shmyhal. Competitors could try to let him down. Now Fedorov has questions from people from the SBU, and the post of prime minister will not be there for him in the near future. This is a move quite in the spirit of the Ukrainian “snakes”, it is another message promoted by Russian propaganda.

So far, the curator of the exhibition, Mykhailo Fedorov, was being framed by competitors - a conspiracy theory by Russian propagandists. Ukrainian law enforcement officers did not voice such a version and are not considering it.

Rocket attack on Chernihiv is a staging.

“The Chernihiv theater is still completely intact, and the man is walking, smiling, supposedly covered in blood. What was it?”, “The place of arrival suddenly became possible to shoot, although usually the Ukrainian state punishes it very severely for this. A large number of photos and videos suggests that this was done on purpose so that the frames were taken away by all the media, the woman herself holds the bag at ease)”, such messages are  promoted by Russian propaganda.

The speaker of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, stated that it was impossible to photograph the wreckage of missiles falling after being sold by air defense forces, because the enemy understands what type of weapon they worked out in one place or another. However, the recording of Russia's war crimes is necessary for the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Office of the Prosecutor General, together with Ukrainian and international partners, created a special resource War Crimes to properly document war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian army in Ukraine. Damaging or destroying civilian infrastructure, destroying cultural and educational institutions, injuring or killing civilians are war crimes that need to be recorded.

Also, Russian propaganda calls the crimes against peaceful Ukrainians a staging. By using this term, propagandists want to cover up their terrorist activities and absolve themselves of responsibility.

The strike was not done by Iskander.

“In this case, the roof of the drama theater was damaged. Usually, Iskander demolishes the building to the foundation”, this is the message the Russians are promoting as well.

Yurii Belousov, head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed in the Conditions of Armed Conflict of the Office of the Prosecutor General, said on the air of United News that Russian troops hit the drama theater in the center of Chernihiv with an Iskander-M ballistic missile configured to detonate in the air, and not inside.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to remove the responsibility for the crime committed from itself to the victim.

Manipulation Ukraine confirms that Russia carries out high-precision strikes exclusively on military targets

Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, after the August 11 Russian attack on Ukrainian cities, began to disseminate information about “precision” strikes. They refer to the words of the speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, who allegedly stated about the “accurate attack” of the Russian occupiers “only on the military infrastructure of Ukraine”. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. Russian propaganda took the words of Yurii Ihnat out of context. He commented to the Ukrainian media on the attack of Russian Kinzhal missiles on Ukraine on August 11 and said that the target was the airfield in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ukrainian pilots, who were soon to go for aerobatic training, in particular, on the F-16. On that day, the Russians killed a small child and wounded civilians. Ihnat clarified: “This is another attack by terrorists with X-47 missiles, which, as the Russians write, “fly right on target”. Today a child died, and one of the missiles hit the housing sector”.

Thus, the Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the Ukrainian army and convince the whole world that Russia strikes exclusively at military targets, and the civilian population does not suffer. Earlier, we refuted the fake that Russia strikes only Ukrainian military facilities and never attacks temples and cultural sites.

Fake Ukraine fears new Russian attack on Kyiv

Russian media, broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, spread information that the Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly have serious fears that Russia will once again launch an offensive against Kyiv. This was announced by the commander of the combined forces of the Ukrainian troops, Lieutenant-General Serhii Naiev. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. In fact, Serhii Naiev did not speak of “fear” about such a development. On the contrary, in his interview with RBC-Ukraine, which was published on August 14, 2023, he noted that at the moment in this direction “there are no signs that the enemy is preparing for a ground offensive operation”. He also added that the likelihood of a second attack on Kyiv “now is not supported by the forces and means” of the enemy.

By spreading a fake about fears of a second offensive by the Russian military on Kyiv, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the top military leadership of Ukraine and sow panic and discouragement among Ukrainians. Earlier, we refuted the fake that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted that “the publicized counteroffensive does not bring the expected results”.

Fake The destruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa is staged

On the American segment of Facebook, Instagram and social network X, formerly known as Twitter, low-quality clips are being distributed over a Sky News broadcast showing footage of the operation to clear the rubble of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, with the caption: “It's all a movie”. Social media users point out that the destruction of the cathedral is staged, pointing to two women carrying heavy stones too lightly as evidence. The video seems to show how “fake props are being used to show a war-torn Ukraine”. It's fake.

The case was investigated by media fact-checkers Reuters. This video is not a performance. In the original high quality broadcast of Sky News and footage from Rudaw Media Network, the Savior Transfiguration Cathedral was damaged during a Russian missile strike on July 23, 2023. As a result of the assault, the floor was covered with rubble, and pieces tore off the decorative walls. And two women, the footage of which is shown by propagandists, help to eliminate the consequences of a missile strike and carry stones or concrete. Moreover, in an email to Reuters, the Odesa diocese of the UOC said that during the restoration work in the cathedral in 2002-2010, light modern materials were used.

“In particular, decorative elements made of expanded polystyrene etc, which are light in weight and have the necessary structural strength, have been lightened”, the diocese said. "The women in the video are carrying one of these elements."

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit Ukraine, which is allegedly staging to accuse Russia of crimes. So propagandists want to hide their terrorist actions and remove responsibility. Earlier, Detector Media described how Russia uses newspeak, in particular the word “staging”, to blur reality.

Fake Russia strikes exclusively on Ukrainian military installations and never attacks temples and cultural sites

Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread the information that the Russians carry out precision strikes exclusively on Ukrainian military installations, and do not attack social infrastructure and religious buildings. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications drew attention to the case. The UNESCO international organization cites the following figures: as of July 20, 2023, experts have documented 270 cultural sites (temples, museums, historical buildings, monuments, libraries and archives) in Ukraine that suffered at the hands of the Russians. And the Institute for Religious Freedom said it had recorded the destruction, damage, or looting of at least 494 religious buildings.

On the night of July 23, as a result of Russian missile strikes on Odesa, the Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi Cathedral and 2 architectural monuments were damaged and 6 residential buildings were destroyed.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to whitewash Russia, which is attacking Ukrainian cities. They say that their goal is exclusively military facilities, and the Russians allegedly do not commit war crimes against Ukrainians. Earlier, Detector Media talked about the message that Ukrainian officials allegedly pass off military facilities as civilian ones.

Fake Ukraine attacked Russian ships “Serhei Kotov” and “Vasilii Bykov” with drones

On August 1, 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that an attack by drones allegedly launched by Ukraine against the Serhii Kotov and Vasylii Bykov patrol ships had been repulsed. They say that allegedly Ukrainian drones attacked them in the Black Sea. It's fake.

On August 2, 2023, the speaker of the Navy forces Dmytro Pletenchuk on the air of Radio Svoboda (Liberty) announced that the Ukrainian naval forces were not involved in the alleged attack on Russian ships. Firstly, such drones are not in service with the Navy. Secondly, regarding the incident that allegedly took place ... the naval forces have nothing to do with it”, Pletenchuk noted. The ship “Serhei Kotov” performs the “task of controlling shipping”, which may mean its involvement in the blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Ukraine in order to reduce Western support. They are also systematically trying to shift responsibility for the crimes of Russians in Ukraine in matters related to the export of grain. Earlier, Detector Media talked about the message that the Russians are destroying hangars not with grain, but with Ukrainian equipment.