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Fake Kyiv is allegedly turning into a “faecal Venice”

Such information is spread by propaganda telegram channels. For example, first the metro was completely flooded in the capital, then the city was flooded with sewage “on Zelenskyi's birthday”, and this time the waste spilled onto Verkhovna Rada Boulevard.

However, this information is not true, writes the Center for Strategic Communications at the National Security and Defence Council. In fact, on the night of March 26, a water main with a diameter of 600 mm was damaged on the capital's Verkhovna Rada boulevard, as reported by the Kyiv City State Administration. Water spilled onto the carriageway of the boulevard. Then specialists of “Kyivvodokanal” immediately arrived at the scene. As of noon on March 28, the Kyiv City State Administration reported that the repair of the pipeline on Verkhovna Rada Boulevard was completed, so full water supply was restored to all residential buildings on the left bank.

The purpose of spreading misinformation about the alleged total communal collapse in Ukraine and the capital in particular is to advance the narrative of a “failed state”. He said, “Russia will come and bring order”. Earlier, we refuted the information that more than 70 churches of the canonical UOC may be destroyed in Kyiv.

Disclosure Russia once again intimidates the West with nuclear war

Russian political scientist Serhii Karhanov, who previously proposed a “pre-emptive retaliation strike” against one of the NATO countries, published an article in which he demands a change in Russian nuclear doctrine. According to Karhanov, if the downing of Russian planes and subsequent bombing of Russian cities continue, then, according to the new doctrine, powerful nuclear attacks should be carried out on EU countries. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

Karhanov also proposes to abandon the nonproliferation doctrine and “help” “friendly countries” obtain nuclear weapons, in particular, the Arab world and Latin America. This should supposedly help Russia achieve victory in the war, which he considers the complete occupation of the eastern, southern and central regions of Ukraine.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to use the US election period to force the EU to reduce military aid to Ukraine and agree to peace negotiations on Putin’s terms.

Karhanov himself is considered an influential scientist and is a member of the scientific council of the Russian Security Council, but does not directly participate in decision-making. Moscow uses statements by Karhanov, as well as ex-President Dmytro Medvediev, solely to frighten the world with a “nuclear cataclysm”.

Read also: The EU flouts its principles because it supports providing Ukraine with depleted uranium weapons, but wants to impose sanctions on Belarus for nuclear weapons

Message Scientists have refuted the message of Russian propagandists that “Russia will only benefit from climate change on Earth”

From time to time, Russian experts and media spread the opinion that the whole world is losing from global climate change, but Russia is gaining, albeit partially. For example, Russian media distributes publications with headlines like: “Russia benefits from global warming”.

However, according to the results of a new study, which was reported by the authors of Science Daily on February 21, 2023, Russia is experiencing significant consequences from climate change and is not ready to either mitigate or adapt to these challenges. Moreover, in the context of the global transition to renewable energy sources, the Russian government, which is dependent on fossil fuels, is not eager or ready to develop alternative plans for the country that could benefit the entire society.

The study, conducted by a team from Russia as part of the PONARS program, analyzed the impact of climate change on Russia and its role in global efforts to combat climate change. They found that, despite the government's optimistic statements, Russia is already suffering from various consequences of climate change and is not ready to adapt to these challenges.

Russia, one of the world's largest grain producers and exporters, faces the effects of climate change such as floods, heat waves, droughts and wildfires, affecting not only communities but also agriculture, forestry and water resources. Global warming has also had a major impact on Russia's permafrost, which is melting at an alarming rate, causing landslides, flooding and infrastructure destruction.

However, Russian leaders interpret these climate influences to their advantage, encouraging citizens to perceive them as advantages. For example, despite warnings from Russian scientists about extreme temperatures and declining sea ice in the Arctic, the government touts a year-round shipping route through the Arctic and a more comfortable climate. Despite research into the impacts of climate change, policies to reduce the vulnerability of some regions to climate impacts are limited, and adaptation planning and implementation remain low.

Russia's carbon-intensive war in Ukraine has only worsened the climate crisis, adding several million additional tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Thus, the myth of Russia benefiting from climate change is refuted, pointing to serious challenges and the unpreparedness of the Russian government to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Message Ukrainian troops destroyed the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant as there was no explosion from inside it

This thesis was circulated in social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that it was actually the Kakhovka HPP that suffered at the hands of the Ukrainian military. Like, they destroyed the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant with their missiles. The propagandists also attach photo evidence of the surviving power plant from the turbine hall of the Kakhovka HPP. According to the conclusions of the authors, this proves that the alleged explosion occurred from outside. They also add that international organizations are aware of this, but are silent in favor of Ukraine.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project worked on the case, and found out that the circulated photo shows only a part of the surviving machine room of the Kakhovka HPP. The other part is completely destroyed. This does not prove that the Kakhovka HPP was destroyed from outside. Fact-checkers showed a photo of the turbine hall before the destruction of the hydroelectric power station and found out that it is much larger than the propagandists showed. In addition, the thesis about the destruction of the hydroelectric power plant by Ukrainians is not true. Earlier, the chief project engineer of the Ukrhydroproject Institute, Mykola Kalinin, explained that the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant was indeed designed and built so that it could withstand a blow from outside. He further emphasized that the dam was built so that it could withstand any blow from the outside, but not from the inside. He thinks it was several simultaneous explosions from within. That is, the hydroelectric power station was mined from the inside of the building itself and the entire complex.

Russian troops seized the Kakhovka HPP on February 24, 2022 and used the station as a military facility. Ukrainian troops did not have direct access to the dam. The New York Times also provides evidence of the destruction of Russia's hydroelectric power plant. This is indicated by the access to the dam by the Russian military and the presence of engineering drawings of the hydroelectric power plant from the Soviet times of the construction of the structure.

Fake The Kyiv hydroelectric power plant is 93% out of order, the Ukrainian authorities said

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the Ukrainian authorities recently said that the Kyiv hydroelectric power plant is 93% out of order. They say that the relevant services do not care about the safety of the hydroelectric power plant, which can lead to flooding of certain territories. As proof, the authors cite a map of Kyiv, on which there are conditional marks about the likely flooded areas of the capital. For example, in the publications they write that the Obolonskyi district will be flooded in 3 minutes, Troieshchyna - in 2 minutes, Podil - in 10 minutes, etc. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project analyzed the case and found out that there were no official statements from the authorities. That is, the thesis about the “emergency state of the Kyiv hydroelectric power plant” is a propaganda stuffing. And with the help of a reverse Google search, fact-checkers found a photo of the map, which shows another flooding of Kyiv districts in the event of a dam break. Such a map does exist. In 2012, the Ukrainian media published an article where they raised the topic of the Kyiv hydroelectric power plant. Journalists, with the help of experts not named in the material, compiled this map. That is, it may not be entirely accurate. One of the experts named in this material, environmentalist Volodymyr Boreiko, stated that ice floes frozen in the Kyiv Sea could lead to holes in the dam. There was no other information about the breach of the dam or the flooding of certain territories. Despite the fact that such a map exists, there was no statement about the emergency state of the Kyiv HPP.

The propagandists simply used the old journalistic material and took advantageous data from it including the “flood” map.

Fake An outbreak of cholera was recorded in Mykolaiv

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that an outbreak of cholera was recorded in Mykolaiv and the region. The authors of the messages add that allegedly in the cities people are not allowed out of their apartments and quarantine is being introduced. It is not true.

Fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation investigated this case and found that the information about the cholera outbreak is not true. At the same time, the chief state sanitary doctor of the Mykolaiv region confirmed that no cholera outbreak had been found in the city and the region. There are no deviations from the norm. And quarantine measures too.

The chief state sanitary doctor Ihor Kuzin said that Ukraine is ready to respond quickly in case of outbreaks of cholera. So far, they have not been fixed. According to him, there are enough drugs and diagnostic tools to diagnose acute intestinal infections, including cholera.

By spreading this fake, propagandists seek to sow panic among Ukrainians in order to destabilize their moods. Earlier, we just refuted a similar case about records of an outbreak of cholera in Kyiv. It turned out that this was also not true.

Message The supply of Western weapons allowed Ukraine to destroy the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant

Propagandists claim that the EU allegedly thoughtlessly blames Russia for any problem, as well as for blowing up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, but in fact it was destroyed by the “Kyiv regime” with Western weapons.

This message was brought to the attention of the EUvsDisinfo project specialists. They found out that he was an unsubstantiated accusation and a combination of other messages. Allegedly, military support from the West continues the war and continues the suffering of civilians.

Propagandists spread such information in order to once again justify Russia's aggression. However, in reality, it is Russia that causes significant damage to the Ukrainian economy and kills thousands of people. It is Russia that is trying to destroy Ukraine, its people and culture, project experts say. NATO member countries independently decide on the provision of assistance to Ukraine and it is not illegal, since Ukraine uses it for self-defense, provided for by the UN Charter.

In addition, Russia wants to shift responsibility to Ukraine for a number of provocations, artificially creating for it the image of a “terrorist regime”. Propagandists equate the explosion at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant with fakes about “dirty bombs”, devaluing the scale of the disaster. However, Russia blew up the dam. In particular, this is evidenced by the data on seismic activity in the area of the Kakhovka HPP, recorded by the Norwegian seismic station in Romania. Detector Media has already written about what propagandists said about the bombing on the day it happened.

Fake Ukrainian military shelled the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that a Ukrainian military sabotage group allegedly blew up a section of the Togliatti-Odesa pipeline that Russia was using to export ammonia. The authors add that toxic fumes allegedly covered the positions of the Ukrainian military: one was killed, several were poisoned, the rest of the military received orders to use gas masks in their positions. They also claim that the Ukrainian military is doing this on purpose. It is not true. 

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project drew attention to the case, they established that it was not a “sabotage group of Ukrainian military”, but the Russian military that damaged the pipe of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline near the village of Masiutivka as a result of artillery shelling. This was stated in the Kharkiv police department. The head of the Regional Military Administration confirmed that the pipeline had been depressurized as a result of Russian strikes.

Also, the thesis about the death and poisoning of the military is a lie since later the Kharkiv police department came out with a statement that the situation with the release of ammonia in the Kupiansk district is fully controlled. Nothing threatens the life and health of people. After the night shelling, the safety valves at the station worked, and due to this, the leakage of ammonia was relatively insignificant. It was also reported that a cloud of ammonia was blown away by the wind in the direction of the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. That is, in fact, it is the Russian military who carry out terrorist attacks on industrial facilities and destroy the ecosystem of Ukraine. For example, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine recently reported that the Russians were mining the Crimean Titan plant in temporarily occupied Armiansk and preparing a terrorist act with the release of about 200 tons of ammonia. This can lead to an artificially created man-made disaster. Russia simply reflects its actions and thus tries to present itself as a constant victim of Ukraine's “aggression”. Allegedly, it is Ukraine that commits terrorist attacks and kills civilians.

Message Kakhovka HPP was designed to withstand a nuclear strike, so it “self-destructed”

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that in fact the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant was built with the expectation that it would withstand a nuclear strike and not collapse. The authors add that no one is to blame for the destruction of the dam, because this is a man-made impact on the environment. They imply that the Kakhovka HPP allegedly self-destructed over time. They also assure that the Russians do not seem to be involved in undermining the dam. 

The specialists of the NotaYenota project took up this case and determined that such a thesis is unfounded. They explained why it is beneficial for propaganda to come up with different versions of the terrorist attack at the hydroelectric power plant and came to the conclusion that in this way they blur the information field, throwing in different versions of the incident. Further, the fact-checkers said that their colleagues from the Texty.org project talked with the chief engineer of the project of the Ukrhidroproekt Institute, Mykola Kalinin. Actually, this enterprise specializes in the design of energy facilities on rivers. Expert Mykola Kalinin explained that the Kakhovka HPP was indeed designed and built so that it could withstand a nuclear strike from outside. Therefore, any theories that it somehow collapsed itself are absolutely unfounded. He further emphasizes that the dam was built to withstand any blow from the outside, but not from the inside.

He thinks it was several simultaneous explosions from within. That is, the hydroelectric power plant was mined from the inside of the building itself and the entire complex. And the explosions were not heard, since the main array of explosives was located in the internal premises of the hydroelectric power plant, below ground level. 

Thus, the authors try to whitewash themselves and deny their crimes. Allegedly, the Kakhovka HPP self-destructed, because “its time has come”. Read in our selection what else the propagandists wrote about the blowing up of the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

Fake A radioactive cloud is coming from Ukraine, Italian media partially confirmed

Russian telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread the information that the Italian media had allegedly confirmed about the radioactive cloud - it is on its way from Ukraine to Poland. They also note that the cloud was formed as a result of the explosion of ammunition with depleted uranium. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. On May 20, the Italian newspaper Metro published a statement by Mykola Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, about the spread of radiation. However, they further cited the position of the National Atomic Energy Agency of Poland, which claims that there is no radiation threat, all indicators are normal.

This is not the first time Russian propagandists have spread fake news about the radiation threat from Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainians and Western partners, as well as to convince them that Western weapons do not help, but only aggravate the situation. Detector Media refuted the fakes that a “radioactive cloud” was allegedly approaching Europe, which arose as a result of the destruction of ammunition in Ukraine.

However, the quoted Italian newspaper quotes the position of the National Atomic Energy Agency of Poland: there is no radiation threat in the country.

Fake In Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi, the level of radiation has increased, the local population is in a panic

Russian propagandists spread information online that during the attacks on Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi on May 13-14, warehouses with depleted uranium ammunition exploded. Like, that's why people are panicking: there is already an iodine deficiency in pharmacies, and residents are leaving the cities en masse. In addition, Russian experts say that materials for making a “dirty bomb” may also have exploded, since both beta and gamma radiation were allegedly recorded after the explosion. It's fake.

Analysts of the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that the local authorities denied the information about the explosions of ammunition. They also refuted the increased levels of radiation hazard. In addition, according to the Ternopil Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the level of background radiation in the Ternopil region on May 14 was within the normal range. Propagandists add screenshots from the SaveEcoBot portal, which allegedly shows a “sharp increase in radiation levels” just after the explosion, but in fact on the site you can see that after the explosions, the radiation level even decreased in the respective cities.

Moreover, there is no iodine deficiency in the pharmacies of Khmelnytskyi and Ternopil. According to information on Tabletki.ua, both an alcoholic solution of iodine and potassium iodide (in tablets) are available for sale in most pharmacies in these cities. Experts explain that potassium iodide is used when there is a threat of a radiation release in order to reduce the risk of thyroid diseases. However, these pills should be taken only after official notification and once, since it blocks the functioning of the thyroid gland. The use of an alcoholic solution of iodine or Lugol's solution is generally considered ineffective and may be harmful to health.

Thus, the propagandists want to cause panic among the local population and justify Russian attacks on the civilian population. Like, they only hit military warehouses, and now they have broken NATO ammunition. However, in reality, the Russians caused damage precisely to civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings and schools, which are a war crime.

Fake A “radioactive cloud” that arose as a result of the destruction of ammunition in Ukraine is approaching Europe

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that a “radioactive cloud” is heading towards Western Europe, resulting from the destruction of depleted uranium munitions. They say that the West handed over these dangerous ammunition to Ukraine. The authors refer to the statement of the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Mykola Patrushev, who added that in Poland “an increase in radiation has already been recorded”. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of The Insider project investigated this case and found that, in fact, the level of radiation in Ukraine does not exceed the norm. This is evidenced by the map data of the Ukrainian chatbot SaveEcoBot, which monitors information on pollution in real time. That is, there is no “radioactive cloud”. Also, the State Atomic Agency of Poland on May 17 denied a report about an increase in the level of radiation in Poland, in particular, in the Lublin voivodeship.

Uranium in its pure form is a radioactive element, but not depleted. To put it simply, the projectile “does not emit light”. That is, the influence of radioactive radiation from depleted uranium is insignificant.

By spreading this message, propagandists are once again trying to promote the message that Western weapons being handed over to Ukraine only exacerbate the situation, and Ukraine is just a testing ground for Western weapons.

Fake In Khmelnytskyi region, as a result of Russian shelling chemicals leaked

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. On May 13, the Russians attacked Khmelnytskyi with drones and the bombardment resulted in the release of harmful chemicals into the city. It is not true.

The press service of the city council of Khmelnytskyi denied this information. They explained that not a single chemical leak had occurred. The Russians attacked Khmelnytskyi on May 13 and damaged critical infrastructure. In general, the Russians damaged educational and medical institutions, administrative buildings, industrial facilities, multi-storey and individual residential buildings.

The city council of Khmelnytskyi believes that such fakes are designed to destabilize the mood of Ukrainians and intimidate them. At the same time, analysts of Detector Media have previously analyzed cases related to allegedly polluted cities in Ukraine. For example, we refuted the fake about “contaminated Kherson water”.

Fake Kherson water is infected with cholera

Information was disseminated in local groups of social networks, allegedly in Kherson, cholera is expected to appear in the water, which will lead to mortality “more than from COVID”. The outbreak of the disease is allegedly caused by “decomposing corpses” near the rivers flowing into the Dnipro. It's fake.

It was noticed in the Kherson edition of “Kavun. city” (Watermelon.city). Its journalists found out that messages with a fake spread in Kherson chats had already been used in Russian local chats a year ago. At the same time, the fake was then refuted by the Russian media.

Journalists of the publication also note that the abbreviation BSMP, which is referred to in the fake, is rarely used in Ukraine, which indicates the Russian nature of the creation of the message. The information on the fake was also refuted by the Kherson military administration and by the local Water utility office, recalling that water from the Dnipro river is not used for water supply.

Thus, propagandists want to cause panic among the population and distrust of local authorities. All this is done to divert attention from the crimes of Russians at the front.

Last year,  Russian propaganda launched a wave of similar fakes in relation to Ukrainian cities, in particular, about “contaminated water” in Kyiv and Odesa.

Fake Ukraine provoked an ecological catastrophe

This is the message propagandists use on social networks and on enemy telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. It says that Ukraine “provoked an ecological catastrophe” by allegedly lowering the water level in the Dnipro river lower and lower so that the river would freeze faster. As “evidence”, the authors of the messages publish various photographs and videos in which you can really see the shallow Dnipro and dead fish.

Fact-checkers of the StopFake project investigated the case and found that the drop in the water level in the Dnipro was not at all connected with the work of the Ukrainian army, but with Russian shelling, as a result of which the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant was damaged. On January 19, the Zaporizhzhia regional prosecutor's office opened criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Art. 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “On violation of the laws and customs of war”. Currently, priority investigative actions are underway to establish the amount of damage caused to the environment.

“Due to the hostilities and terrorist activities of the occupying troops, it is impossible to plan and carry out any repair and restoration work at the Kakhovka HPP. But everything needs to be fixed and the losses must be counted. According to preliminary data, the amount is already about 105 million hryvnia. The revealed facts have all the signs of a crime against the environment. The aggressor country must answer for them in full”, said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional administration.