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Fake Panic is allegedly prevailing in Kharkiv – city residents are “leaving en masse”

Pro-Russian telegram channels are spreading information that Kharkiv residents are leaving the city en masse due to the lack of light, heating and other benefits of civilization. In their messages, propagandists add a video allegedly describing the entire situation.

In fact, the video that was circulated dates back to the end of February 2022: the footage shows wet snow and the author of the video can be heard saying: “We will defeat you [the Russians] anyway”. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

As for the situation with electricity, in Kharkiv it is indeed difficult, but not critical for the citizens. The massive Russian shelling of energy infrastructure on March 22, 2024 caused significant damage to it, but the blackout lasted less than a day. Currently, power outage schedules are in effect in Kharkiv and the region.

The heating season ended ahead of schedule - on March 26 instead of April 30. This decision is due to damage to the energy infrastructure by the Russians, as well as the need to save resources during the war and global warming. The heating season was also completed ahead of schedule in Kyiv, Dnipro, Lutsk and other cities, where there were no attacks on energy facilities during this period.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda seeks to provoke panic among Kharkiv residents, as well as to intimidate with a possible Russian attack on the city in the summer. As for the latter, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, spoke eloquently about this: “If the Russians go there again, Kharkiv will become a fatal city for them”. Previously, we refuted information that Ukraine allegedly announced the deportation of residents of Kharkiv, preparing it for defense.

Message In Kyiv, the only city in the “former Ukraine”, energy supplies are to be quickly restored with the help of West

Such a message is spread by pro-Russian telegram channels. They say that people of Kyiv are very happy that electricity has been restored in their homes. Allegedly, this is not the merit of power engineers, but of the “West” and weather conditions. However, it will soon become colder and people will again be left without electricity and heating.

With this message, propagandists are trying to achieve several goals at once. Firstly, to devalue the work of Ukrainian power engineers and workers who ensure the operation of critical infrastructure. Secondly, to fix the narratives about “external governance”, “loss of subjectivity by Ukraine”, “Ukraine as a “failed state””, etc. Thirdly, to distort foreign aid to Ukraine to restore energy supply. Also, the Russians are once again trying to oppose certain parts of Ukraine to each other. They say that restoring electricity in Kyiv is “more important” than in other parts of Ukraine.

Message Kyiv becomes a ghost city

Russian media and pro-Russian resources are spreading reports that residents are allegedly leaving Kyiv en masse. Like, because of the actions of the authorities, the city is emptying, the real estate market is not working. Kyiv is in decline.

Russian propaganda once again gives out wishful thinking. Despite massive rocket attacks, problems with energy supply, the number of Kyiv residents is returning to pre-war levels. In Ukraine, there is indeed increased migration now, but it is not caused by “decline”, but by Russian aggression. StopFake notes that the message of Russian propaganda about the departure of people from Kyiv and the state of the real estate market is a fiction of propagandists.