Spilnota Detector Media

Fake The inscription “Ukraine” instead of “Republic of Ukraine” on the international passport allegedly proves that Ukraine is not a state

Russian propagandists are spreading false information that Ukraine is not in fact a sovereign state, since its international passport has “Ukraine” printed on it instead of “Republic of Ukraine”, unlike the passports of European Union countries. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to this fake. They found out that Ukraine is the full name of the state, and therefore “Ukraine” is marked on the cover of the Ukrainian passport. This practice is standard in many countries around the world, including members of the European Union. For example, a Czech passport says “Czech Republic”, and a Polish passport says “Republic of Poland”.

However, not all EU member states use the word “republic” in the name of their countries, as propagandists claim. This is because not all of them are republics. For example, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Sweden are kingdoms and therefore do not have the word “republic” on their passports. Also on the passports of other European republics, such as Hungary, Romania and Ireland, one can only see the name of the country without this word.

On passports of different countries one can see different approaches to indicating the full name of the state. Therefore, the claim that Ukraine is not a state due to the absence of the word “republic” on its passport is baseless.

Propagandists spread such fakes to justify Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine by the fact that Ukraine does not seem to be a real state.

Fake The Czech Republic is allegedly trying to avoid responsibility for “complicity in the crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that the Czech Republic refused to take part in a meeting of the UN Security Council, which was initiated by Russia, because it is afraid of responsibility for involvement in the shelling of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Russian territory (Belgorod).

This information is erroneous, the fact-checkers from the StopFake project report. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipovsky called Russian statements propaganda and added that Prague would be happy to appear at a meeting of the UN Security Council if its topic was the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. In addition, the Kremlin, in the form of an ultimatum, demanded that the Czech Republic participate in the meeting, but as a result was refused.

During a meeting of the UN Security Council, other allied countries of Ukraine reminded Russian representatives that the blame for everything that happened lies solely with Russia and the unprovoked war against Ukraine. During the meeting initiated by Russia, none of the countries came out in support of the Kremlin, so the meeting on the triumph of Russian propaganda turned into yet another accusation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Russian propaganda is trying to shift responsibility for the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine onto someone else’s shoulders, and also to present itself as a victim of its own aggression. In addition, this fake is another attempt to divert attention from the crimes of the Russian army against the civilian population of Ukraine and massive attacks on Ukrainian civilian targets. Previously, we analyzed Putin’s message that Russia allegedly does not violate the UN Charter.

Fake The “Prague shooter” allegedly turned out to be Ukrainian

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the man who carried out the shooting at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) allegedly turned out to be an ethnic Galician, an emigrant from Ukraine. According to propagandists, the Czech media are trying not to voice this fact, since it seems that too many serious crimes have already been committed by Ukrainians in the country. It's fake.

Experts from the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council worked on this case. They found out that the information about the shooter’s connection with Ukraine had already been denied by the head of the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs, Vit Rakušan, who said at one of his briefings that “the shooter, Davyd Kozak, was a Czech from birth, who grew up in a Czech family... had no relations with Ukraine”.

Russian propagandists are trying to cultivate a biased attitude among foreigners towards Ukrainian refugees abroad by spreading fake information on this topic online. Like, “Ukrainians are to blame for all the world’s ills”. Previously, we refuted information that a shameful monument to Ukrainian refugees in the form of a gnome was allegedly erected in Wroclaw.

Manipulation The head of the Czech Foreign Ministry said that Ukraine had failed the counteroffensive and would face pressure from its Western allies

Pro-Kremlin media are disseminating information that the head of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavský, allegedly said that Ukraine failed the counteroffensive and will now face pressure from its Western allies. They will encourage negotiations with Russia. This is manipulation.

The case was noticed by the checkers of the StopFake project.  Jan Lipavský did not talk about the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive or about new problems for Ukraine. Russian propaganda took out of context a comment by the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry for Bloomberg, in which he reflected on the West’s desire to put an end to Russian expansionism.

“If Ukraine is forced into a solution it doesn’t accept, the West will lose it — and we’ll have a nation of 40 million at our borders feeling betrayed. We don’t want to just defer the war. We want to end Russia’s ability to expand in eastern Europe by force”, ” Lipavský said.

It was this quote that Russian propaganda distorted, deliberately rejecting part of his statement.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Western partners and continue to promote the narrative of a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive. They also continue to nourish the message that the West is tired of war, so Ukraine will have to give in to Russia. Previously, we refuted the fake that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the West is tired of war and is ready to make concessions to Russia.

Fake During his visit to the Czech Republic, Volodymyr Zelenskyi “adjusted the Ukrainian symbols with his shoe”

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that during a visit to the Czech Republic, Zelenskyi “adjusted Ukrainian symbols with his shoe”. As proof, the authors add a freeze frame from the Czech media video. It's a lie.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project investigated the case and found out that Volodymyr Zelenskyi did not fix Ukrainian symbols with his foot. And the freeze frame does not reflect what actually happened. On July 7, Zelenskyi, together with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, laid flowers at the Velvet Revolution Memorial in Prague. The event was filmed by many Czech media. The authors stopped the video at the moment when Zelenskyi approached the Memorial and his toe was raised. Subsequently, from that moment they took a screenshot and passed it off as Zelensky's “careless attitude” to Ukrainian symbols.

However, the President simply came close to the monument and laid flowers. Then he immediately got up and walked away from the monument. He did not make any additional movements with his foot.

Fake Volodymyr Zelenskyi booed during a visit to the Czech Republic

In the Polish segment of Facebook, a video recording of the visit of the President of Ukraine to Prague is being distributed. During a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel, Zelenskyi was booed. The video is also accompanied by the caption: “Television will not show this! Zelenskyi was booed in the Czech Republic”. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Demagog project drew attention to the case. Volodymyr Zelenskyi did meet with Czech President Petr Pavel on July 6, 2023, but no one booed him. The video shared on Facebook is edited. The original footage of the meeting was posted by CNN Prima News, with only the music in the background.

Thus, the Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the assistance of the Czech Republic, to convince everyone that the West is already tired of the war and is not on the side of Ukraine. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Zelenskyi turned to the French amid protests and said that peace would return with Ukraine.

Manipulation The President of the Czech Republic urged to send Russians living in the West to concentration camps

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric are circulating a video in which Czech President Petr Pavel calls for closer monitoring of Russians living in the West, as was the case with the Japanese in the United States during World War II. Russian propaganda distributed this video with the caption that Peter Pavel said to create concentration camps for Russians living in Europe. This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. On June 15, 2023, the Ukrainian division of Radio Svoboda (Liberty) media published an interview with the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel. He stated that “all Russians living in Western countries should be more monitored than in the past as they are citizens of a country that is waging a war of aggression”. He noted that when World War II began, all Japanese living in the United States were under strict surveillance.

Later, the presidential speaker sent an email to Radio Svoboda (Liberty) clarifying the comparison. She wrote that supervision should apply to those Russians who bear risks. And that restrictions on citizens of the aggressor country are nothing new. Peter Pavel did not speak about the creation of concentration camps for the Russians.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Czech President Petr Pavel and expose him as a violator of international law. This is how Russian propaganda tries to divert international attention from Russian war crimes. Earlier, Detector Media talked about the message that the supply of Western weapons allowed Ukraine to destroy the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

Disclosure How Russian propaganda penetrates Czech Telegram

In the Czech segment of Telegram, the number of anonymous channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric in Czech has increased. This was researched by analyst Josef Shlerka from the Czech project investigaci.cz. Detector Media outlined the main theses from his article and found out why it is so important for Russian propagandists to maintain influence in the Czech Republic.

Shlerka says that such Czech-language telegram channels usually repost content from foreign sources that are considered conspiratorial and inaccurate. They often repeat conspiracy narratives, such as the “rigged” elections in the United States in 2020 or that earthquakes in Turkey are man-made. Moreover, most of the publications coincide with the news of “Sputnik” being blocked in the EU.

In addition, these telegram channels tried to destabilize the Czech domestic political situation. For example, one of the most popular of them posted a fake video of the then-Czech presidential candidate Petr Pavel, where he allegedly talks about the need to go to war against Russia.

The researcher also divides them according to the genre of news reporting: one category tries to seriously provide information, while the other expresses its support for Russia as informally as possible. All these channels have one thing in common: they openly sympathize with Russia, repeating the narratives of its propaganda.

Some of these channels contain grammatical errors in their Czech messages. From this, the researcher concludes that the authors are probably not Czechs and use machine translation to create content. Most of these channels also do not reveal the identity of the message authors and use Czech bank accounts to raise funds to keep the channels running.

Thus, Russian propagandists want to sow doubt among the Czechs about the appropriateness of supporting Ukraine. Like, don't let the West rule you, support your state brothers. This is of particular importance if to consider the historical past of the Czech Republic and its connection with the Soviet Union.

Disclosure Death of Petr Pavel, the candidate for the presidency of the Czech Republic, was reported via Russian Yandex

Unknown people sent letters to the mailboxes of the Czechs claiming that one of the candidates for the presidency of the Czech Republic died on the night of January 26, the day before the opening of polling stations, from “probable heart failure”. The letter was sent through the Russian mail service “Yandex”. The letter itself allegedly quoted the press secretary of the candidate Petr Pavel.

However, all the information in the letter is fake. In particular, according to Yevropeiska Pravda (European truth), the header of the e-mail contains an error, namely, Pavel's surname is spelled incorrectly, and in the letter itself there is a link to a website with the “com” domain, which has an address similar to the address of the official website of Pavel's election campaign. Visually, the site is really very similar to the original. The journalists found out that the metadata of the letter has a Russian trace, because the letter was sent from a Russian mail service.

The domain and website are operated by Njalla based in the Caribbean island of Nevis. And the domain itself is registered for the Canadian company Tucows, so it is impossible to trace the owner from public sources. This company is involved in pseudo-news sites that are used as a tool to destroy competition in business, Seznam Zpravy notes.

According to journalists, the unknown sent not only a letter announcing Pavel's death. Subsequently, another one came to the mailbox, it was on behalf of his communication manager. The letter stated that at night the candidate for the presidency of the Czech Republic experienced clinical death, but survived thanks to the efforts of doctors. However, all this is not true, and the manager's quote is fake. Pavel himself said that the criminal police of the Czech Republic were investigating the situation.

We remind that a new president is currently being elected in the Czech Republic. Among the candidates who made it to the second round, having received the voters' commitment, is Petr Pavel who received the largest number of votes in the first round of elections - 35.39%. His opponent was 0.39% behind.