Spilnota Detector Media

Message Putin's decision on Crimea 10 years ago supposedly preserved peace and stability on the peninsula

Russian resources are disseminating information that the situation in Crimea has been taken under full control after Putin’s decision and the actions of the Russian army. They say that this “ensured the preservation of peace and stability”. The corresponding statement was made by the ex-chairman of the Crimean State Committee for Interethnic Relations and Deported Citizens Smyrnov.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine denied this information. In fact, the introduction of Russian troops to the peninsula provided not “peace and stability”, but occupation. In 2014, the Russian military forced residents of the peninsula to vote “correctly” for Russia. This is what is happening today in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular in Crimea. That is, we are not talking about “ensuring peace and order on the peninsula”, but about limiting rights and freedoms.

After 2014, Crimea turned into a huge military base, from where the Russians launch missiles at peaceful Ukrainian cities, where they store military equipment and conduct military exercises.

Read also: Turkey allegedly admitted that Crimea “is Russian territory and will always be so”.

Fake Rustem Umierov’s children are allegedly US citizens

The media are disseminating information that members of the family of Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umierov are US citizens. This thesis is based on the fact that in his declaration Umierov noted the registration of his three children in the United States. This became known from the Unified State Register of Declarations. However, information about the American citizenship of the children of the Secretary of Defense is fake.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine explained that the minister’s children (a son aged 10 and daughters aged 8 and 2) are citizens only of Ukraine. Members of Umierov’s family do not have citizenship of other countries. In 2016, the family of the current Minister of Defense of Ukraine was forced to go abroad due to assassination attempts and threats as a result of the systematic activities of Rustem Umierov regarding the de-occupation of the temporarily occupied Crimea.

They received Ukrainian passports, issued to children after the expiration of the previous ones, at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States. That is why in the declaration referred to by the media, the place of issue of documents was indicated in the United States.

Fake Britain will send its military to Ukraine to liberate Crimea

Pro-Kremlin media are disseminating information that Great Britain allegedly has plans to bring British military personnel into Ukraine to de-occupy Crimea. Russian propaganda refers to a statement by the top military leadership of the United Kingdom about the prospect of transferring the training of the Ukrainian military from Great Britain to the territory of Ukraine. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checker of the StopFake project. They established that Great Britain had no plans for the participation of the British military in the de-occupation of Crimea. Russian propaganda manipulates, citing an article by The Telegraph about the new Minister of Defense of the United Kingdom, Grant Shepps. He reflected on assistance to Ukraine and training of the Ukrainian military by British instructors, but did not make statements on the introduction of British troops. Grant Shepps suggested that training could be moved closer to the western regions of Ukraine.

Subsequently, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak explained that these plans are long-term and that instructors will not be sent to Ukraine in the near future. Moreover, he emphasized that Great Britain does not intend to send its army to war with Russia.

Thus, Russian propaganda nourishes the narrative that Russia is allegedly at war with NATO and the collective West. This should create the impression that Russia has the best army and justify defeat at the front. Previously, we talked about the manipulation that Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Russia invaded Ukraine “because of NATO”.

Fake Turkey recognized that Crimea “is Russian territory and will always be so”

Such information was disseminated on social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan allegedly made a statement about Crimea, which “is Russian territory and will always be so”. The authors of the fake message add that the Turkish president is supposedly giving a clear signal to the whole world that continuing to arm Ukraine is “pointless and futile”. Such publications refer to Erdogan’s interview with the American PBS television channel. It's a lie.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project investigated this case and found out that the Turkish President did not make such statements in an interview, and propagandists simply made it up. At the same time, he said that, in his opinion, today it is impossible to force Russia to leave the temporarily occupied peninsula, but “time will tell”.

Turkey has taken a strong position in supporting Ukraine and condemning the occupation and subsequent annexation of Ukrainian Crimea by Russia. But he emphasized that the Crimean Tatar people remain loyal to Ukraine, but not to the aggressor. And during a speech at the Crimean Platform summit on August 23, 2023, the Turkish leader also emphasized that Crimea is part of Ukraine, and Turkey speaks about this “at all international platforms”.

Find out here what propagandists wrote about the bilateral meeting between Putin and Erdogan in Sochi on September 4, 2023.

Tactics and tools How Russian propaganda uses euphoria to achieve its goals

Euphoria is a psychological state in which a person experiences elation, happiness and joy that are not justified by objective conditions. It can occur during listening to music, dancing and synchronized activities, including religious rituals, parades, and public celebrations. Russian propaganda uses states of intense emotion, including feelings of intense happiness and well-being, to manipulate public opinion and promote a particular agenda or ideology. The goal of the tactic is to create a positive emotional association with a certain phenomenon or political leader, often to sway public opinion in favor of a particular point of view. Russian propaganda uses this tactic to raise morale and greater unity of certain social groups by holding mass events, spreading fake news about the unprecedented successes of the Russian army at the front, the mass deaths of Ukrainian military personnel or the destruction of equipment.

Every year on May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day on a grand scale - loud parades are held with the participation of military equipment, concerts with military songs, flash mobs and events like the “Immortal Regiment”, where participants walk in columns holding photographs of their relatives who participated in World War II. At the same time, Russia calls this war the “Great Patriotic War”, blurring reality and leveling the role of Ukraine and other countries in the fight against Nazism. All these measures are aimed at inducing euphoria and a sense of greatness among Russians - they say those are they who defeated Nazism, flew into space, had super-powerful nuclear potential, etc.

Russia also pompously celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day on February 23, a legacy of the Soviet past. This day is a day off; there are solemn ceremonies near the Kremlin, parades, mass celebrations, laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, concerts and spectacular fireworks. All this is intended to cause euphoria in people and fuel patriotism, as well as unite them into a strong social group, which thus heroizes the Russian military and encourages them to defend Russia from imaginary enemies. On February 24, 2022, Russia began a full-scale war in Ukraine. This happened the day after Defender of the Fatherland Day. As propagandists systematically spread fakes and manipulations promoting the narrative of the dangerous “Kyiv regime”, this prompted Russians, on a wave of euphoria, to take up arms with great enthusiasm and fight against the far-fetched Nazism on the territory of a foreign state.

In 2023, in the occupied cities of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Russians also celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day. “In the Novoaidar district, after 8 years, schools again held lessons dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day”, wrote in the pro-Kremlin media. Let us remind you that Russian troops occupied Novoaidar in early March 2022. In the temporarily occupied territories, Russian propaganda is trying to bring back the holidays that Ukraine canceled in order to give people a feeling of euphoria and create the illusion of joy and a happy life. They say that Russia will return both the holiday and pleasant emotions to the residents of Luhansk and Donbas.

In this context, it is worth mentioning the concerts in the Russian “Luzhnyky” on the occasion of the annexation of Crimea, which the Russians call “annexation” and “return to their native harbor”. Since 2015, March 18 is a day off in Crimea, and flash mobs and public events are held in a number of Russian cities. In particular, a large concert-meeting is being held in Moscow, at which Volodymyr Putin gives a speech and to which Russian show business stars are attracted. In 2022, the concert was called “For a world without Nazism”; its characteristic feature was the justification of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, patriotism, love for Russia and support for the Russian military. Celebrations are held every year to consolidate the positive impressions of the holiday and to ensure that the public does not cool down and systematically feels the euphoria of capturing new territories.

Euphoria paralyzes the ability to think critically, so when this state begins to pass, Russian propaganda tries to feed it with fake news about an inevitable victory over Ukraine and all Western countries or to hold another concert and mass event. Thus, Russian propagandists used the “euphoria” technique, spreading fake news that the United States welcomed Russian troops with the conquest of Bakhmut, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Kyryl Budanov and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly “died” - they say, the “special services” work so skillfully. This tactic is not only designed to instill joy and a sense of expected victory among the Russians and boost morale, but also to demoralize the Ukrainians.

Manipulation Volodymyr Zelenskyi called Crimea Russian territory and said he was afraid to transfer hostilities to Russia

The Kremlin media are spreading information that Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in his interview that he is “afraid” to transfer hostilities to the territory of Russia, therefore he “will not attack the Russian Crimea”. Russian propaganda concluded that the President of Ukraine allegedly “hinted that he was ready to give up” the peninsula. It is not true.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. Russian propaganda fabricated statements by Volodymyr Zelenskyi about Crimea by combining two different excerpts from an interview he gave to the 1+1 TV channel. The President of Ukraine did not make statements about the “Russian” status of Crimea, the “belonging” of the peninsula to Russia and about Ukraine's readiness to abandon Crimea.

Zelenskyi said that Ukraine does not need to transfer hostilities to the territory of Russia, because only the de-occupation of Ukrainian lands is important for the Armed Forces. And on the de-occupation of Crimea, Zelenskyi noted that the liberation of the peninsula and its demilitarization by political means would help Ukraine save the lives of its citizens.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit Volodymyr Zelenskyi and cause mistrust among Ukrainians. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Zelensky had “usurped” power in Ukraine.

Message Ukraine “sold” Crimea to Western countries

This thesis was spread by the propaganda media. Reports say that during the Crimean Platform on August 23, 2023 in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyi “recognised” the transfer of the Crimean peninsula to Western countries. They say that after the de-occupation of Crimea, the West will try to seize it and establish its own order there. The authors conclude: Zelenskyi is not seeking to return Crimea to Ukraine, but merely trading it to Western leaders.

Fact-checkers of the StopFake project analyzed this message and explained that the international summit was not about “selling Crimea to Western countries”. Such a message is baseless and does not contain any factual basis. This is an invention of Russian propaganda and an attempt to discredit the international partnership of Ukraine and other states for the return of Crimea to Ukraine. Among other things, at the summit, for example, they discussed the total militarization of the peninsula, its isolation from the rest of the world. They also talked about the consequences of the occupation since 2014 and the return to Ukraine and further development prospects. But they did not talk about the “sale” of the peninsula to other countries.

The Crimean Platform is an international coordination mechanism initiated by Ukraine to bring the issue of Crimea back on the agenda. This year's summit was attended by 63 states and various international organizations. That is why Russian propagandists are using such rhetoric to demonize the West and Ukraine, which allegedly act only in predatory and selfish interests.

Fake Ukraine is committing terrorist attacks in Crimea, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov admitted

Russian media, broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, spread information that Ukraine “threatens to continue terror against the Crimeans” and announces new attacks on the “civilian infrastructure” of the peninsula. This was told by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov. They also wrote that Ukraine was striking at the Crimea, despite the “prohibition of the Americans to strike at the territory of Russia”. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the Myth Detector project. The fake appeared against the background of news about explosions on the Crimean bridge on the night of July 17, as well as frequent explosions at military training grounds in Crimea. Pro-Kremlin media are calling the attacks “terrorist attacks on civilian targets”, but the bridge was built in defiance of international law, and the Russian military is using it to deliver ammunition to military firing ranges.

Ukraine does not comment on the attacks on the Crimean bridge, but on July 25, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov gave an interview to CNN, in which he said that Russian ammunition depots in the temporarily occupied Crimea and an illegal bridge are legal targets for attacks by the Ukrainian military. He also noted that cutting off the path of military supplies to the enemy is a normal practice during the conduct of hostilities.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to feed the narrative about the existence of Nazi Ukrainians who are ready to kill civilians. But to convince that Russia was forced to enter the war in order to defend itself from the attacks of Ukraine. Earlier, we talked about the message that Ukraine is committing war crimes because it “transferred” the war to Ukrainian cities.

Fake Ukrainians are afraid of Russia's answer for the Crimean bridge, so they leave Kyiv creating traffic jams

Facebook and Twitter users broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric circulated a video of traffic jams in Ukraine on July 17. On it, the inhabitants of Kyiv are allegedly fleeing the city out of fear that Russia will retaliate for the explosions on the Crimean bridge. The Ukrainians decided to flee as if after Volodymyr Putin announced that his defense ministry was preparing proposals for a response. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Reuters media drew attention to the case. The video shared on July 17, 2023 showing the traffic jam was actually filmed last year. It was reposted by Instagram user lyudaoshomok. According to her, the video was filmed on August 21, 2022, and it shows vehicles heading to Kyiv.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to intimidate Ukrainians and sow panic. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the head of the GUR, Kyrylo Budanov, thanked the patriots for the special operation in Crimea. We also talked about what pro-Kremlin telegram channels wrote about explosions on the Crimean bridge.

Fake Kyrylo Budanov, head of the GUR, thanked the patriots for the special operation in the Crimea

Anonymous telegram channels and Russian media that broadcast pro-Kremlin rhetoric, as well as a number of Ukrainian media, have spread information that the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, allegedly wrote on Telegram about a “successful operation in Crimea” and allegedly thanked “Ukrainian patriots in Crimea” for the video of the joint work of the Main Intelligence Directorate and AFU”. It's fake.

The case drew the attention of the Center for Strategic Communications. The Telegram channel referred to by Russian propaganda and Ukrainian media is indicated as fake. The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, did not make such statements about the events in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Also, there are no such statements on the official channels of the GUR and Kyrylo Budanov’s channel. Moreover, Andrii Yusov, a spokesman for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, told the Suspilne that “the comment allegedly on behalf of Kyrylo Budanov that the explosion at the training ground in Crimea was the work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Main Intelligence Directorate is a fake. All our official pages are on the website of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine”.

This is not the first time that propaganda is trying to discredit the head of the GUR, Kyrylo Budanov, and to whitewash the Russians by accusing the Ukrainians of crimes. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake about Kyrylo Budanov that allegedly he announced a plan to destroy 3 million inhabitants of Crimea after the victory. We also talked about what pro-Kremlin telegram channels wrote about explosions on the Crimean bridge.

Disclosure How Russian propaganda discredits the Crimean Tatars

In shaping the image of the Crimean Tatars, Russian propaganda uses a number of predatory narratives that Russia has nourished for centuries. Some of them are taken from tsarist times. In particular, we are talking about the Slavic, and not the Crimean Tatar nature of the Crimean peninsula. Russian propaganda repeats Soviet narratives about the “unreliability” of the Crimean Tatars and about the “positives” of Stalin’s deportation. Read more about how Russian propaganda discredits the Crimean Tatars here.

The modern propaganda machine is spreading the message that Crimean Tatars are political and religious extremists. According to the pro-Russian anonymous telegram channels, the qırımlı cooperate with the Ukrainian special services, carry out subversive activities, mine territories, lead the Defense Forces to targets, and participate in sabotage. We looked at four key organizations against which propagandists are spreading more defamatory messages regarding the message of Crimean Tatars as “political and religious” extremists. A number of theses about Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Noman Çelebicihan battalion, the Turan battalion and the Mejlis in almost 100% of cases describe them in a negative way, contain unfounded accusations of criminal activity; manipulative statements that personally and expediently discredit members of organizations.

1. Immediately in 2014, the Russians launched a campaign to persecute the Crimean Tatar community by outlawing the Mejlis, the representative body of the Crimean Tatar people. Russia accused the Mejlis of fomenting inter-ethnic tension and facilitating the extremist activities of the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula. Russia discredits the only supreme executive and representative body of the Crimean Tatars, recognized throughout the world and officially representing the nation at the international level. The Mejlis were critical of the Russian annexation of Crimea and defended the rights of Crimean Tatars, including the restoration of their property and cultural heritage. In 2016, Russia banned the Mejlis and labeled it an extremist organization, leading to harassment of its members, including arrests, detentions, and intimidation tactics.

2. The propaganda machine is also conducting a discrediting campaign against members of the volunteer Crimean Tatar battalion named after Noman Çelebicihan, who has been fighting on the side of Ukraine since 2016. Russian propaganda often accuses the members of the battalion of extremist political beliefs and participation in the food and energy blockade of Crimea. Russia has recognized the battalion as a terrorist organization. A large number of those detained for their alleged links to the battalion reported that they were tortured to extract confessions. So, it is highly likely that most of those arrested and found to be involved in the battalion are innocent. Over the past year, several members of the community who are charged with participation in the battalion have already received harsh sentences of 5 to 8.5 years in prison.

3. Russian propaganda in every possible way denigrates the activities of the Turan battalion, created in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The ideological basis of the battalion is ethnic and religious solidarity with the Crimean Tatars. In particular, propaganda accuses the participants of neo-Nazism. Turan is the name of the territory inhabited by Iranian-speaking nomadic peoples. The battalion is formed partly from fighters from other units of the Ukrainian army, and partly from those who have not served before, but live on the territory of Ukraine. Religion in it is an important factor, as the head of the battalion Almaz Kudabek assures: those who protect the interests of the Kremlin and kill Ukrainians automatically renounce their religion.

4. But the most frequent targets are members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international political organization seeking to create a unified Muslim state where the Islamic way of life will be restored and where Muslim law will prevail. Although some of the ideas of the organization run counter to democratic values, it is still not criminal, and is also far from terrorism and violent actions. Propagandists accuse the members of the organization of religious extremism and a powerful anti-Russian underground on the peninsula. In fact, Hizb ut-Tahrir insists on peaceful methods of struggle. The work of Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia, China, and most Arab and Central Asian countries. In other states, in particular in the UK, Hizb ut-Tahrir operates openly. The community operated in the same way legally in Ukraine. However, after the annexation of Crimea, the Russians arrested more than 70 people in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. Russian human rights activists consider the persecution of members of this organization politically motivated.

Russia is persecuting the most active members of political associations, and its propagandists do their best to discredit any Crimean Tatar initiatives. This indicates that the Russian intelligence services see a threat to the ability of the Crimean Tatars to organize themselves and identify their own political position that contradicts the Kremlin.

Manipulation Ukraine was preparing a blockade of the inhabitants of Crimea

Russian media are spreading reports about the “plans” of the Ukrainian army to “destroy the Crimeans”. Like, Ukraine allegedly “let slip about a new blockade” of the temporarily occupied Crimea, and the Ukrainian military “will spare no one”. This is manipulation.

The Ukrainian authorities have not made any statements about preparing “a blockade” of the temporarily Russian-occupied Crimea, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are “not preparing to destroy the civilian” on the peninsula. According to StopFake fact-checkers, Russian prpaganda used the words of Ukrainian military analyst Petro Chernyk to report on the “preparation for a blockade” of Crimea. However, his opinion is not the official position of the political or military leadership of Ukraine.

On the air of the Ukrainian talk show, Petro Chernyk expressed his opinion that the military liberation of the temporarily occupied Crimea is a realistic plan for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He added that a military blockade of the peninsula could become an effective lever to start the liberation of Crimea. So, it was about the depletion of the Russian armed group in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Russian propaganda not only published the expert's own opinion as an official position, but also distorted the content of what was said.

Earlier, propagandists wrote that Ukraine’s disconnection of Crimea from electricity and water supply was a war crime, and Ukrainians rejoice that war has come to Crimea. Thus, the invaders are trying to turn the residents of the temporarily occupied peninsula against Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Manipulation British colonel believes that Ukraine will not be able to return the Crimea

Propagandists are spreading information that allegedly the former commander of the British contingent in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, in his opinion column for The Daily Telegraph, said that Ukraine will not be able to seize Crimea. Like, Kemp “dispelled the dreams of Ukraine”. This is manipulation.

StopFake analysts drew attention to it. They found that Kemp's article titled “A total Russian collapse is surprisingly close” does not mention that Ukraine will not be able to return the previously annexed Crimea. On the contrary, the colonel concludes that Ukraine will be able to take back the peninsula and “achieve the complete collapse of Putin's forces, but only with boosting our support”. In the column, Kemp notes that contrary to the expectations of many people, Ukrainians continue to successfully lead resistance against Russian soldiers. He is surprised that many Western observers still underestimate Ukraine and notes that “Far from being cowed, Zelensky’s government is emboldened. Kyiv is openly preparing its own major thrust against Russian ground forces in the spring”. The colonel also says that “It is a crying shame when the possibility of a total Russian collapse remains within reach”.

Thus, propagandists are trying to demoralize Ukrainian society and convince them that Europe is tired of helping Ukraine. Like, the West does not see progress, and the Ukrainian armed forces are incompetent. Detector Media has already written about how the Russians repeatedly try to use the statements and materials of foreigners against Ukraine, taking words out of context.

Manipulation Ukraine is preparing terrorist attacks in Crimea

Such messages are distributed in anonymous telegram channels and Russian media. They say that Kyiv began to openly threaten Moscow. Like, against the background of the victories of the Russian army, the West began to look for ways to turn the tide. Allegedly, Washington plans to seize the temporarily occupied Crimea. This is manipulation.

The propagandists used the words of Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Office of the President, as the basis. He said that Ukraine has begun negotiations with partners on the supply of long-range missiles and aircraft. Podoliak noted that aviation is needed to cover the military, and missiles are needed to destroy Russian weapons depots, including in Crimea. It was this thesis that the propagandists used for manipulation. Using the tactics of substitution of concepts, the Russians began to call attacks on warehouses with weapons terrorist attacks.

Russia systematically spreads messages that discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the inhabitants of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Earlier, they wrote that the Ukrainian army plans to “recapture” Crimea in Russia, and after the liberation, it will deport 800,000 Crimeans. Or propagandists claimed that Ukraine “changed its mind” about returning Crimea, and Ukrainians rejoice that war has come to the peninsula.

Manipulation After the liberation of Crimea, Ukraine plans to deport 800,000 Crimeans

Russian telegram channels and media disseminate information about the “forced deportation of 800,000 Crimeans” upon the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control. This is manipulation.

Russian propaganda disseminates this information with reference to an interview with Tamila Tasheva, the representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in several publications and in particular, the British Daily Mail. Tasheva said that, according to experts, between 500,000 to 800,000 Russian citizens illegally moved to Crimea. By moving to Crimea, they violated both Ukrainian and international law. When Crimea returns to Ukrainian control, Tasheva believes, most of them will return to Russia on their own. For those who remain, Ukraine can apply the procedure of forced deportation: “Some of them will leave on their own, we are sure of this. Those who do not leave on their own, there is such a thing as forced expulsion in the current Ukrainian migration legislation and in the migration legislation of all countries. Because if a citizen of another country crossed the border illegally, then forced expulsion occurs, so there is only one scheme”, Tasheva said. She also added that certain categories of people who moved to Crimea will be able to apply for a place to live on the peninsula, but first they must leave.

Tasheva's statement does not refer to Crimeans who lived in Crimea until 2014 and received Russian passports after the annexation of the peninsula, since Ukraine does not recognize documents issued by the occupiers. StopFake resource reminds that Russian citizens who moved to Crimea crossed the border of Ukraine illegally and, according to the norms of Ukrainian legislation, must leave the peninsula upon the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control.

Message Ukrainian army plans to "recapture" Crimea in Russia

This is the message Russian propaganda is spreading to the audience of the European Union. Allegedly, the Ukrainian army is preparing to attack Crimea in order to return the peninsula, whose inhabitants in 2014 voted for reunification with Russia.

The EU vs Disinfo fact-checkers drew attention to the spread of the message. Allegedly, Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to reunite with Russia in 2014 after violent riots in Kyiv that led to the ouster of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

Earlier, Russian propagandists spread the manipulation that Ukraine had changed its mind about returning Crimea. And to the fact that the German Parliament allegedly recognized that Crimea cannot be returned to Ukraine.

Manipulation Ukraine “changed its mind” about returning Crimea

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Like, Zelenskyi got scared and abandoned plans for the military de-occupation of Crimea. Allegedly, Zelenskyi was convinced that the Russian army would not leave Crimea just like that, and therefore "they should not waste time on forceful methods". Allegedly, Crimea should be de-occupied through diplomacy. Like, the "collective West" advised Ukraine to "more realistically" look at the de-occupation of Crimea. This is not true.

In fact, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, in an interview with the Financial Times, did not say anything about his intentions to refuse to return Crimea. Moreover, he noted that Ukraine will return all its territories. As long as the occupation of Ukrainian territories continues, there will be no peace in Ukraine. The president also noted that Russia is trying to force the Ukrainian authorities to make concessions due to systematic attacks on critical infrastructure and the energy system.

According to StopFake, the propagandists took out of context Zelenskyi's phrase that he would support the non-military de-occupation of Crimea, if any. Crimea, according to the President, should be de-occupied, and everything else is a waste of time.

Fake Ukraine used the grain corridor to attack the Russian fleet in Sevastopol with drones

Such accusations were voiced by the Russian Ministry of Defense and Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasylii Nebenzia, as well as written by Russian media and anonymous social media channels. It is not true.

UN spokesman Martin Griffiths confirmed that on the night of October 29, at the time of the attack, there were no ships in the humanitarian grain corridor. Russia accuses Ukraine of using a humanitarian corridor for drone attacks without providing any evidence. The Ukrainian side did not claim responsibility for the incident, although it did not unambiguously deny involvement in the attack.

On July 22, through the mediation of the UN and Turkey, Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement under which a safe maritime corridor was agreed between three Ukrainian ports and Turkish territorial waters. To control the implementation of the agreement, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was established in Istanbul, which, in turn, includes four groups of 8 inspectors. Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN each provided two inspectors. Monitoring groups check all ships that enter Turkish waters along the corridor from Ukraine. Empty ships returned to Ukraine are also checked to prevent the transport of weapons or unauthorized goods to Ukraine by ships and the illegal transportation of people. On November 02, four days after withdrawing from the agreement, Russia rejoined the agreement.

Russia, long before the attack of the fleet in Sevastopol, was preparing to withdraw from the grain deal. The attempt to block the grain corridor is a part of Putin's plan for a new phase of the war to deplete Ukraine.

Message Ukraine will take revenge for the drone attack in Sevastopol Bay

After the Russian occupiers announced an attack by drones on their ships in Crimea on October 29, messages on this topic appeared in anonymous propaganda channels.

NATO forces were allegedly engaged in a drone attack in Sevastopol Bay. It was allegedly their military training under cover of Ukrainian strikes. Once again, propagandists repeat the message that Ukraine has become a testing ground for Western and American weapons.

Allegedly, revenge is expected for this, and the Ukrainians will receive a response in the form of strikes on the energy system. Whenever the occupiers report an attack on the occupied sites, they resort to intimidation tactics against the civilian population. Propagandists spread similar messages on October 8 after the attack on the Crimean bridge.

The window of opportunity has allegedly opened for Russia to start a "full-scale war." However, Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022.

The Russians terrorize millions of Ukrainians daily, destroy entire cities and villages, and attack the energy system. In this way, they want to sow panic among Ukrainians to start protests and force the Ukrainian authorities to negotiate with Russia, which means meeting the Kremlin's requirements and capitulating.

The shelling of the power system and residential buildings only angers Ukrainians more, and more Ukrainians say there can be no negotiations with a terrorist country.

Manipulation The Bundestag admitted that Russia will not give up Crimea

Most of the Russian media spread the news claiming that Germany has recognized that Crimea is forever Russian. But this is manipulation. Propaganda media refer to an interview with German MP Sarah Wagenknecht, who said: the war must end, it's time to look for compromises - and Crimea can become such a compromise. Then she remembered that Russia is a nuclear state, and that the Black Sea Fleet has been in Crimea for many years - and all this, according to Wagenknecht, will prevent Ukraine from returning Crimea. Firstly, these reflections are the personal opinions of one deputy, and not the entire German parliament, contradicting both the statements of Olaf Scholz, and the position of the German government, and numerous EU bodies, whose position is supported by Germany. All of them unanimously call Crimea Ukrainian, and are not going to recognize its annexation.

Secondly, Wagenknecht is a representative of the German Livi (Die Linke) party, which constantly promotes pro-Russian messages. Representatives of this party assured that the “referendum” in Crimea was legitimate; traveled to the Russian-occupied Donbas and assured the German parliament that Azov was a “neo-Nazi battalion.” But, as StopFake testifies, even this party has not officially declared that it recognizes Crimea as Russian. Thus, the Russian media again used their favorite trick: they took the personal opinion of a sympathizer of Russia in Europe, in this case, the German woman, and they pretend that this is the position of the whole country.

Message Propagandists are spreading the position of the RF Ministry of Defense about “a fire with detonation on the territory of a temporary ammunition storage site” in the Dzhankoi region of Crimea

In particular, about the fact that explosions in military warehouses are the work of Ukrainian saboteurs who have not yet been apprehended.

A reminder is that on the morning of August 16, an ammunition depot broke out in Crimea near the village of Azovske, Dzhankoi district, a fire broke out at a transformer station in Dzhankoi, and explosions were heard at an air base in the Simferopol district.

The Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine named the main points of the propagandists' comments:

- the main enemy of the Russian Federation is the negligence of the military: the composition of weapons and equipment in general view in the open air without disguise;

- among the Crimeans there are many who sympathize with the Ukrainian regime - it's time to identify and get rid of the "Bandera agents" and sympathizers;

- anti-terrorist measures should begin in Crimea: checkpoints, a ban on the use of drones, personnel purges.

The CPI noted that the emphasis by propagandists on the problem of saboteurs gives the green light to an increase in the number of FSB officers, increased checks on roads in order to search for “sleeping agents of the SBU” and identify pro-Ukrainian Crimeans.

Message Ukrainians rejoice that war has come to Crimea

This is written in anonymous telegram channels. Like, if Crimea is Ukraine, then how, after such joy, to return these territories.

Explosions were heard in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea on August 9 at the military airfield in Novofedorovka. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the fire at the Saki airbase was caused by the detonation of several aircraft projectiles, allegedly due to a violation of fire safety requirements. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that it could not establish the cause of the fire. That is, neither Ukraine nor Russia recognized any military operations on the territory of the military airfield, which is under the control of infidels.

Information about the explosions at the airport really caused a strong reaction on social networks. However, emotions were caused primarily by significant losses of the enemy. Yurii Ihnat, a representative of the Air Force command, said on the air of the national telethon on August 10 that a composition of aviation weapons and about a dozen aircraft that systematically patrolled the airspace on the territory of Ukraine were destroyed at the airfield in the occupied Crimea.

Manipulation Ukraine banned the entry of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium because of her trip to Crimea

Russian media with reference to the Ukrainian edition "European Truth" write that the new head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Aji Lyabib, was banned from entering Ukraine due to a trip to Crimea. At the end of July 2021, Aja Lyabib, being a TV journalist at the time, went to the "Global Values" festival, which was held in Sevastopol under the supervision of Putin's daughter Kateryna Tikhonova.

The article in "European Pravda" entitled "The Dodon Effect. How the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium refuses to apologize for a visit to the occupied Crimea" is not about the fact that Ukraine does not allow Aja Lyabib to visit Ukraine. However, Ukraine expects an apology from Lyabib for his illegal visit to the occupied Crimea.

The author, Serhiy Sydorenko, notes that Lyabib flew to Crimea via Russia, thereby violating Ukrainian legislation. This visit was financed by the host country - Russia. After returning to Belgium, Aja Lyabib also resorted to statements that cast doubt on Crimea is Ukraine. At that time, almost no one paid attention to this event. However, after the former TV journalist became the new head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the fact of an illegal visit to Crimea cannot remain unnoticed. More details.

Manipulation The power blockade of Crimea has ended

The Russian media spread this thesis after the occupiers restored power lines between the Kherson region and Crimea, blown up in 2015 during the energy blockade of the occupied peninsula. Petro Kotin, president of the national energy generating company Energoatom, said that Ukrainian electricity, particularly from the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP, does not reach occupied Crimea. "If there is a threat of stealing electricity from the Ukrainian power system or supplying it from the Zaporizhzhia NPP (to Crimea), appropriate measures will be taken in advance and will need to be carried out by our Armed Forces so that this never happens," he explained to Radio Svoboda. Kotin specified, "Crimea is connected to the Russian energy system; its frequency does not coincide with the Ukrainian one, so the automatic connection is impossible without additional expensive equipment."

In addition, Russian propaganda calls the restoration of power lines "an important step towards the economic integration" of the occupied territories of southern Ukraine in the Russian Federation. The representation of the President of Ukraine in Crimea reported that despite the statement of the occupiers about the readiness of Crimea to "become a transit region" for the supply of electricity to the captured territories of southern Ukraine, the situation would likely be the opposite. "The energy system of the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula was never self-sufficient and always required the supply of electricity from other regions. It is extremely likely that in the conditions of the occupation of certain territories of southern Ukraine, particularly the city of Energodar and the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the restoration of high-voltage power lines between the Kherson region and the occupied Crimea can be used precisely to meet the needs of Crimea at the expense of the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP," the Representation noted and added that the theft of electricity by the occupiers could create a shortage of electricity for the needs of the population of the region.