Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation In Ukraine, electricity tariffs for the population are supposed to be increased from January 1, 2024

Propagandists are disseminating information that from January 1, 2024, electricity tariffs for the population will increase in Ukraine. Anonymous telegram channels write about this and refer to a recent interview with Kostiantyn Ushchapovskyi, head of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Field of Energy and Utilities. However, this is manipulation.

Colleagues from the Center for Strategic Communications and Security decided to check the information. They found out that Ushchapovskyi did not make such a statement. The Ministry of Energy also reported that at present there are no plans to increase tariffs for the population. The words of the head of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Field of Energy and Utilities were taken out of context: in fact, he said that “until the successful completion of the autumn-winter season there can be no talk of raising tariffs”. The Russians manipulated information to nourish their narrative about the “Kyiv regime”, whose representatives do not take into account the Ukrainian people, but think only about themselves and are ready to torment the population with cold and darkness.

This case of disinformation, like other similar ones - about a power outage or the unpreparedness of the Ukrainian energy system for winter, is intended to demoralize Ukrainian society and “scold it with the authorities”. By the way, we previously refuted information that supposedly in November there could be a blackout in Ukraine even without shelling.

Fake There may be blackouts in Ukraine in November even without shelling

Some Ukrainian media have spread information that in Ukraine in November it seems they can turn off the lights even without Russian attacks on energy facilities. Journalists refer to Serhii Nahorniak, a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Energy Issues. It's fake.

The case was studied by the fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine denied this information. “Shutdowns are possible only in case of massive enemy shelling and, as a result, damage to energy equipment”, the Ministry of Energy said in a statement. They also emphasize that “the electricity produced by Ukrainian power plants is quite sufficient to meet the needs of consumers”.

Previously, Detector Media refuted the fake news that power outage schedules would be introduced in Ukraine starting October 1.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: “coldness”

On October 10, 2022, Russia began a massive shelling campaign against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. It lasted until March 9, 2023, and then individual cases of such attacks could be observed. As a result, Russian terrorist attacks caused serious damage to the Ukrainian energy system.

After the first large-scale attacks, Russian propagandists tried to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and promoted messages that the “obsolescence” of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure is one of the main reasons for power outages. Other factors behind the problematic power supply in Ukrainian homes were alleged government inaction and inadequate maintenance of power grid facilities. They say that the Ukrainian leadership, led by Volodymyr Zelenskyi, is deliberately tormenting the population of Ukraine with cold and darkness. Russians speculate on the famine (Holodomor), a tragic event in Ukrainian history, and describe this alleged infantilism and indifference of Kyiv as the “coldness” (Kholodomor) of ordinary citizens.

On March 16, 2022, Ukraine officially joined the common energy system of the European Union. This decision was intended to help our country maintain a stable electricity supply system. European electricity began to be supplied to Ukraine, and Ukrainian electricity to the EU. However, on October 11, 2022, the day after the first large-scale Russian missile attack on energy infrastructure, Ukraine suspended electricity exports. This was due to Russian shelling and, as a consequence, the need to cover Ukraine’s internal consumption needs throughout the day, as well as to provide reserves for the evening, when demand is maximum. Already on April 7, 2023, electricity exports were resumed.

If it weren’t for the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, there would not have been widespread power outages. This is confirmed by the fact that there were no problems with electricity generation and heating seasons in the country until the fall of 2022.

Russian plans to completely cut off power to Ukraine failed thanks to the titanic work of Ukrainian energy workers, the support of international partners and balanced decisions of the Ukrainian authorities in the context of the energy crisis. After each attack, power engineers went to facilities that were damaged and, risking their own lives, repaired the stations.

As of June 2023, the Kyiv School of Economics preliminary estimates the damage to Ukrainian energy infrastructure at $8.8 billion. It is Russia, by firing missiles at the Ukrainian energy system, that is responsible for putting it out of action. Already in August 2023, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported that five nuclear power units had been repaired in Ukraine, and four more were under repair at that time. Ukraine has been fruitfully preparing for this winter, also purchasing, for example, 100 spare high-voltage transformers, which will be stored abroad for safety purposes in case the need for them arises.

Fake Power outage schedules will be introduced in Ukraine from October 1

Ukrainian media are disseminating information that from October 1, 2023, emergency power outage schedules will come into effect in Ukraine. It seems that government officials and energy companies have already prepared them. It's fake.

The case was examined by fact-checkers from the Center for Countering Disinformation. The official website of the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine reported that “the energy system will be fully ready for the heating season without power outages and, accordingly, consumer restrictions” and “the use of outages from October 1 in any of the regions of the country is not planned”.

Since last year there were power outages due to Russian rocket attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, the ministry notes that this year they “can only be used in the event of shelling and damage to energy equipment”.

Fake Ukraine restores schedules of hourly power outages

Such information was disseminated in the Ukrainian segment of social networks. Reports say Ukraine is restoring hourly power outage schedules in May. The authors refer to the press service of the Ministry of Energy. It is not true.

The Ministry of Energy denied this information and said that it was not true. According to them, power engineers did not plan to introduce schedules for limiting electricity. Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko also added that thanks to the well-coordinated work of power engineers, there have been no electricity restrictions for almost three months. In addition, the Ministry of Energy is already preparing for the new heating season and is convinced that local blackouts can only be due to Russian shelling.

At present, together with all power engineers of the country generating, transmitting and distributing electricity, an optimized repair schedule has been drawn up, designed to eliminate the consequences of Russian shelling.

Fake Ukraine “announced attacks” on Russian nuclear power plants

Russian propaganda media disseminate information that they are allegedly going to “seize and destroy nuclear power plants located on the territory of the Russian Federation” in Kyiv. Such a statement was allegedly made by Serhii Kryvonos, the former deputy commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on the air of Channel 5. It's fake.

The case was noticed by specialists from the StopFake project. In fact, on Channel 5 a major general Serhii Kryvonos answered a journalist’s questions about the Zaporizhzhia NPP and said that the Russians also have NPPs, “perhaps it’s even easier not to liberate the Zaporizhzhia NPP, but to seize the NPP or disable the NPP on the territory of the Russian Federation”. Serhii Kryvonos acted as a military expert, is now out of service and does not represent the official position of the Ukrainian army. And the pro-Kremlin media presented his considerations as the official position of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the announcement of the attacks although this was not about it.

Thus, the Russian propaganda is trying to show that Ukraine is an aggressor country and it threatens the security of the whole world, but not Russia. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine “refused to create a protective zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP”.

Manipulation Ukraine “gives” all uranium to Canada and destroys its energy security

Such information is disseminated in the Kremlin propaganda media. Russian “experts” criticize the agreement between the Ukrainian company Energoatom and the Canadian company Cameco to process Ukrainian uranium to produce nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. But they insist that the export of uranium from Ukraine does not guarantee the proper operation of the remaining nuclear power plants. It would be more convenient to cooperate with Russia. This is manipulation.

As StopFake project analysts found out, Ukraine does not give its uranium to Canada, but sends it for processing. This is necessary for the production of nuclear fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

That is, the thesis that Ukraine gives Canada all the uranium mined on its territory is not true. However, Ukraine sends it to be recycled. This is necessary in order to increase the level of safety and energy independence of nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

Manipulation Ukraine will become “uninhabitable”

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Ukraine will soon collapse due to Russian shelling of energy infrastructure. They say that it will become unbearable to live in Ukraine, and the number of victims due to lack of electricity “may be more than from nuclear weapons”. The authors add that Ukraine is paying for the shelling of the Crimean bridge, because before that Russia did not shell civilian infrastructure. In addition, the authors refer to the publication of Foreign Affairs and its probable material, which dealt with the collapse of Ukraine. This is manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project investigated this case and found that the context of the article was completely distorted. Foreign Affairs did publish an article “Ukraine's Coming Electricity Crisis. How to Protect the Grid from Russian Attacks”, which talks about the problems of the energy system in Ukraine. The material also predicts what could happen if effective measures are not taken to counter Russian shelling.

However, in the article, such a “forecast” is possible only under the worst-case scenarios, the journalist says that without “the support of the West”, and also “in case of further successful attacks by the Russian army on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure”, a collapse of the energy system is possible. At the same time, the author notes how such a catastrophe can be avoided.

By spreading such a message, propagandists want to nourish the narrative that Ukraine is allegedly uninhabitable due to a lack of electricity or high utility prices. Thus, the authors want to sow panic among Ukrainians in order to destabilize moods and create a feeling that “nothing will change”. Also calling the so-called collapse revenge for the Crimean bridge, the Russians once again seek to shift the responsibility for what is happening to Ukraine. Like, Russia is destroying the infrastructure solely because of the aggression of Ukraine. However, it is Russia that is the aggressor, and it is this country that started the war.

Message In Odesa, even without Russian shelling, the energy system would not have survived

This message is actively spread by pro-Russian telegram channels. Reports say that the energy system in Odesa and the region was already very poorly equipped and depleted, and therefore would not have survived despite Russian shelling. That is, according to the propagandists, the blackouts would have awaited the residents of Odesa even if Russia had not fired missiles at infrastructure facilities. In addition, local authorities were accused of hiding the real “details” of the situation and unequal distribution of electricity. They say that the reason for the problems with electricity is not the Russian bombing, but the “old age” of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure and the “inaction” of the Ukrainian authorities, which is only profiting from problems with electricity.

In fact, the difficult situation with electricity in Ukraine arose solely because of Russian aggression. Outrages in different regions of Ukraine began on October 10 after the first massive missile attack on infrastructure. As of today, according to information from Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian energy system has already survived 13 missile attacks and 15 waves of attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles. Unequal distribution of electricity often arises due to the technical complexity of the power grid, as well as other logistical circumstances.

Propagandists deliberately spread this message in order to distort reality and shift responsibility for their actions to others. In addition, such messages are aimed at creating mistrust towards the Ukrainian authorities and Ukraine as a whole.

Previously, Russian propaganda actively spread disinformation about problems with electricity in Ukraine. In particular, the propagandists accused the Ukrainian authorities of selling electricity abroad.

Manipulation In Ukraine, electricity from schools and kindergartens was redirected to ski resorts

Russian media disseminate information that allegedly in Ukraine, electricity from schools and kindergartens was redirected to ensure the operation of ski resorts. Like, the Ukrainian military massively complain to the local authorities that their relatives are sitting without light and heat, while the electricity is not turned off in ski resorts. This is manipulation.

The situation with power supply in the Transcarpathian region is really difficult. In some settlements of the Khust district of the Transcarpathian region, there really was uninterrupted power supply for two days in a row, while in other cities and villages electricity was supplied according to the schedule. This angered the locals. The situation was described in an article on the Zakarpatpost website on January 29. According to the StopFake fact checker, the local authorities promised to find out why this situation arose and to resume power supply in all settlements according to the schedule. There was no talk of the fact that the authorities deliberately “redirected” electricity from schools and kindergartens and “gave” it to recreation centers. This is an unfounded fiction of propagandists, since outrages do not occur point by point, but by certain lines.

By spreading such messages, Russian propagandists are trying to devalue the work of Ukrainian energy workers and workers who ensure the operation of critical infrastructure as well as to show the inability of the authorities to solve energy issues. Previously, Russian propaganda spread messages: that Ukraine is resuming the export of electricity, and that is why people turn off the light, that Kyiv is the only city in the “former Ukraine” where, with the help of the West, energy supply is quickly resumed. They also tried to divide the Ukrainians, spreading the message that Odesa was without electricity, because “their electricity was given to the West of Ukraine”.

Previously, Detector Media explained how the Russian army and propaganda are trying to destroy Ukraine's energy system.

Fake The use of "Points of invincibility" will be chargeable

Such messages are distributed on the network. The messages include photos of supposedly announcements of the introduction of paid services and their cost. It seems that adults will have to pay 50 hryvnias for themselves and 30 hryvnias for children when using the “Points of invincibility”. It's fake.

The spread of the fake was recorded by the Center for Counteracting Disinformation. The Center notes that the primary source of fake content is the “Ukropskyi Fresh” (Ukrainian fresh) telegram channel, which distributed a photo from an unknown Instagram account. There are numerous errors in the text of the message, indicating automatic translation of the text from the Russian language.

Manipulation The head of the IAEA is “against” the demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this with reference to Zaporizhzhia collaborator Volodymyr Rohov. Rohov in his telegram channel writes that allegedly the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi does not consider it necessary to demilitarize the Zaporizhzhia NPP. They say that we are talking exclusively about a ceasefire on both sides in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant, but not about the withdrawal of the Russian military contingent from the territory of the nuclear power plant. This is not true.

In fact, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, said that the withdrawal of Russian weapons from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant would be part of the Agency's agreement with Ukraine and Russia. According to him, the parties agreed not to shoot either at the object or from the object. But these agreements are preliminary, they will still be specified.

Message Ukraine plans to protect nuclear power plants from itself

Anonymous telegram channels write about this. Like, planning the construction of new NPP units, taking into account military threats, is ridiculous. Allegedly, only Ukrainians around the world dared to deliberately shell nuclear power plants. Like, there are no other “suicidal people” anymore.

The propagandists are manipulating the words of Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko. He spoke about the prospects for the development of nuclear energy in Ukraine and noted that the seizures and systematic shelling of ZNPP by the Russians drew attention to the need to improve the safety system at nuclear power plants. Russian propaganda uses ridicule tactics to discredit Ukrainian officials and cover up the crimes of the Russian army.

Manipulation All Ukrainians will pay less for electricity

Such a message was distributed in the Rivne segment of Telegram. Anonymous telegram channels name the source of their information the National Commission, which regulates energy and utilities.

The fact-checkers of the “Brekhunets” (Liar) project explained why this is manipulation.

On December 5, the website of the state institution indeed published a decree on the need to protect consumers by applying, in the absence of actual meter readings, a reduction factor for electricity consumption.

Representative of Rivneoblenergo Alla Likhachova explained to journalists that it is not yet possible to say what the coefficient will be in December 2022, since the company will have indicators for electricity consumed in December only in January 2023.

“To put it simply, residents of those regions that have suffered from Russian occupation and where the power grids have been significantly damaged and energy consumption has definitely decreased, and there is also no way to track the actual meter readings, we can count on the application of the coefficient there. As for the residents of relatively peaceful areas, it is too early to draw conclusions”, the fact checkers noted.

Message Ukraine resumes the export of electricity and that is why people turn off the light

Such a message is spread by Kremlin propagandists in a month. The other day, a letter appeared on social networks allegedly from the head of the board of Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytskyi to the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine about the “resumption of exports” of electricity.

The national energy company Ukrenergo drew attention to the mistake of the authors of the fake.

They are “in such a hurry that they apply from the “board of directors” of Ukrenergo, while the Ukrainian system operator has only a supervisory board and a board. The Russian grid operator has a “Board of Directors”, from which Ukraine has permanently disconnected after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion”, Ukrenergo noted.

The fake email is yet another failed attempt to convince citizens that the power outages are the fault of the power industry, and not, as of December 19, ten massive waves of Russian attacks.

Message "Points of invincibility" kill people

Users of telegram channels and social networks write about this, commenting on fake information about the fire allegedly in one of the “Points of invincibility” in Kyiv on December 12.

The Kyiv police denied the information about the fire at the "Points of invincibility". The video circulating on social media was actually filmed in Russia. The police say that the purpose of distributing such content is probably to whip up worrying moods among Ukrainians.

Message The authorities ask Ukrainians to follow the "rules of propriety" and not to chop wood in apartments

Anonymous telegram channels distribute supposedly photo messages with a request not to “chop wood in apartments and stairwells” and “not to destroy living quarters”. Like, Ukrainians are asked to observe the rules of propriety. The text of the "message" is written in Russian in the style of Soviet propaganda posters.

In fact, this picture has nothing to do with Ukraine. This is the content of Russian entertainment and humorous sites, distributed since 2016. Propagandists are dragging Russian content into the Ukrainian space that ridicules Russian problems, and using it to subconsciously reinforce the thesis in the readers of telegram channels that the situation in Ukraine is as difficult as possible.

Message Invincibility points are ineffective and dangerous

Immediately after the appearance of invincibility points, which were introduced for Ukrainians suffering from the lack of light and heat due to Russian shelling, Russia launched a disinformation campaign against them. At first, Russian propagandists and anonymous telegram channels wrote that the points were not effective at all, and even “provoked” the enemy to strike, because they were unprotected and they had a lot of people. Then - that three people have already died at the invincibility point in Kharkov - although this is a refuted fake. Now, telegram channels supervised by Russian military intelligence are spreading unconfirmed information that men are issued a draft notice at points of invincibility.

Fake In Ukraine, they proposed a bill allowing to turn off everyone's mobile communications and the Internet without reason

This information appeared on the Internet, in particular on the YoTube channel of a blogger who previously spread fakes and manipulations on COVID-19. The user notes that the Verkhovna Rada proposed a bill allegedly regulating the permanent shutdown of mobile communications and the Internet at the request of the authorized body. However, this is not true.

Vox Ukraine specialists investigated this case and found that the blogger misinterpreted the provision of the document. Analysts note that the blogger quoted excerpts from bill No. 8185, which was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on November 7.

The document refers to the addition of Article 43 of the Law “On Electronic Communications”. In particular, the bill proposes:

“To allow the use of radio electronic means or emitting devices for special purposes in order to temporarily restrict electronic communication in certain areas in order to eliminate the threat from drones”.

It was this point that the blogger interpreted as the one “regarding civilians”. However, in fact, all proposals are about communication to eliminate the threat from drones.

Fake In the point of invincibility, three Kharkiv residents died

This message was spread across the network by propagandists in their telegram channels. Reports say that Kharkiv residents died from carbon monoxide poisoning in one of the points of invincibility. They say that the authorities have neglected the safety rules of Ukrainians, so there are already the first victims. As evidence, the propagandists attach supposedly screenshots of real materials on Ukrainian information resources. However, this is not true.

According to Vox Ukraine experts, this is fictitious news. And the screenshots of the materials were edited by means of graphic editors. The editors of a number of publications and news agencies, in particular, Ukrinform, confirmed that such news had never been published on their websites. In response to an information request, the speaker of the chairman of the Kharkiv military regional administration said that the information about the death of three people was not true.

Propagandists are spreading fake news to intimidate Ukrainian society and convince them that supposedly no one cares about them. Recently, the occupiers have added the phrase “points of mediocrity” to their dictionary of the new language, which hints at their desire to devalue and defile the efforts of the state to help the Ukrainians.

Message Ukrainian officials "ask" Russia to deliver a new blow to the Ukrainian energy system

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Like, in recent days, Ukrainian officials and opinion leaders have been so actively discussing possible missile strikes and “frightening” Ukrainians with their consequences that “there can be only two explanations for this.” Either they are trying to “repel” the desire of the Russians to strike, or, which is supposedly “most likely”, they are deliberately “provoking and asking for it”. Allegedly, this is how the Ukrainian authorities plan to hide their own mistakes and shift the blame to the Russians.

Russian missile strikes actually have worse consequences every time, because Russia deliberately hits the Ukrainian energy system with massive rocket attacks. In particular, those objects, the repair of which is long-term and requires significant financial costs. Naturally, officials and experts are trying to explain the consequences of the strikes already inflicted and analyze possible options for the further development of the situation. Understanding the real realities is necessary in order to prevent unnecessary panic and irrational actions of Ukrainians.

Message In Kyiv, there are kilometer-long queues at ATMs and taped outlets in restaurants

Such messages have been spread by Russian propagandists in telegram channels over the past few days. As proof, they use screenshots of posts from the telegram channel "Kyiv Dvizh" (Kyiv movement).

They say that Kyiv was left without electricity, people are panicking, it is impossible to withdraw cash and there are no places where you can recharge phones or other gadgets. In fact, propagandists would like an atmosphere of despair and helplessness to prevail in the capital of Ukraine. But the real picture is quite different. Among the dozens of reports on the impact of a power outage on the city on the Kyiv Dvizh channel, there are only two pessimistic photographers: on one of them, after rocket attacks, people began to queue up at one of the ATMs, because the other ATMs did not work without a power outage, and in supermarkets they accepted only cash; one of the establishments in Kyiv really taped the outlet. At the same time, all the other messages on this channel were about how people support each other, how cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and even pharmacies allow the use of sockets and electrical cords, how the people of Kyiv pay for each other in cash so that no one is left without the necessary thing. Propagandists filed isolated cases for mass ones in order to show a paralyzed Kyiv, sow panic among Ukrainians and cause people to revolt against the government, which allegedly led to a blackout due to the fact that it did not agree to Russia's ultimatum.

Fake In Ukrainian de-energized cities, they “loot and kill on the streets”

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels write that Ukraine, without electricity, allegedly “traveled in the Middle Ages” or “into the Stone Age.” It seems to be an "apocalypse in the dark." Like, Ukrainians organize annihilation in supermarkets and even kidnap foreigners for ransom. It is not true.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that the crime situation did not worsen due to the power outage. Also, the presence of the National Police, automobile and foot patrols, was tripled on the streets. Earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that in the first half of 2022, the crime rate in Ukraine decreased by 25% compared to the previous year.

Message Zelenskyi wants to muffle blackout dissatisfaction with patriotic slogans

Russian propagandists are shocked by how courageously and unbendingly all of Ukraine is going through the third day of blackout, as Ukrainians, instead of criticizing the authorities and blaming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi for all the troubles, share tips on social networks on how to survive in dark times and help each other.

In this regard, Russian anonymous telegram channels launched messages that the Ukrainian authorities allegedly record the growth of rebellious moods in society due to the blackout, but in order to muffle them, they convince people to be silent and endure. Like, the one who meekly accepts the lack of electricity, communications and water is the best patriot.

With such messages, propagandists want to incite Ukrainians to take to the streets and protest against the authorities, and not to be obedient. It seems that if they do not do this now, it will be even worse in winter, and only the Office of the President is to blame for everything.

Fake IAEA resolution allows Ukraine to shell ZNPP

Such information is disseminated by Russian propaganda media. It is also being shared on social media, in particular, in anonymous telegram channels. Reports say that the Resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency is allegedly "unprofessional", "politicized" and "inappropriate". Also, the Russian media called the Resolution, which refers to the problems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), which is still occupied by Russia, inadequate and allegedly “giving Kyiv the right to shell” the ZNPP. However, this is fake.