Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Stoltenberg allegedly said that no one gave guarantees for Ukraine to join NATO, and also that China is the organizer of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

On the eve of the NATO summit in Washington, pro-Kremlin media disseminated an alleged statement by Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that “no one gave guarantees for Ukraine’s entry into NATO”. The Secretary General also allegedly called China the main organizer of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Propagandists claimed that Stoltenberg’s statements were allegedly made in an interview he recently gave to the American television channel CBS.

However, in fact, Stoltenberg’s words were manipulated, distorting the context of what was said,  the StopFake project wrote.

As for the accusations of the alleged lack of promises to admit Ukraine to NATO, it is important to understand the context. Stoltenberg actually answered the journalist’s question: “Why such a long period for Ukraine’s accession, you talked about a 10-year period, why exactly 10 years, and not one, two or three years, because they were faced with war?” To which the Secretary General said: “Well, no one talked about 10 years, but it is obvious that this is a very serious issue for Ukraine. Because Ukraine is in a state of war. Ukraine was attacked by Russia. Therefore, the most important thing we must do is strengthen our support for Ukraine to ensure its victory. This is a precondition for any future membership of Ukraine”. That is, Stoltenberg did not say anything about the absence of guarantees for Ukraine to join NATO; the statement was invented by propagandists. He spoke about the absence of a clear time frame for Ukraine’s entry into the alliance, and that now the support of Ukraine in the war with Russia is more important.

As for China, Stoltenberg called the country “the main enabler of Russia’s war in Ukraine”, rather than its organizer: “The war in Ukraine demonstrates how closely connected Russia and China, North Korea and Iran are. China is the main leader of Russian military aggression against Ukraine. President Xi and President Putin all want NATO and the United States to fail in Ukraine”.

Russia is trying to counteract Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration by spreading disinformation about Ukraine's accession to NATO. As for China, by manipulating information, Russian propaganda seeks to antagonize NATO and Beijing for its own benefit.

Manipulation Denmark allegedly refused to train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 due to “their inability to learn”

Propagandists are spreading a “news” story on social networks, which claims that Denmark allegedly refused to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft due to their “learning disabilities”. The 42-second video is edited in the format of a news story with the channel name NewsFlash and the caption “Planes don’t fly”. At the top of the video it says live, which should indicate a live broadcast. However, this is manipulation.

StopFake project specialists tried to determine whether the NewsFlash news channel really exists. Several accounts with this name were found on YouTube, but none of them distributed this video. The earliest version of this story can be found on the Moscow Never Lies YouTube channel dated June 25, 2024. The page notes that this is “Russian satirical news No. 1 from Dmytro Medviediev and Pieskov on Telegram!” There are also numerous videos labeled “NewsFlash”. Although the video was likely originated by a satirical channel, the story was widely disseminated among pro-Russian Telegram channels, X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook users.

Analysis of the plot showed that it consists of different videos. For example, for a comment allegedly belonging to a NATO general, declaring the degree of “training” of the Ukrainian military, a video was used by the Ukrainian Mission to NATO, published on May 1, 2024 on its official Facebook page. The video shows a Ukrainian military pilot nicknamed “Moonfish”. The soldier is currently training on the F-16 in the UK.

Also featured in the fake video is General Jan Dam, commander of the Royal Danish Air Force, allegedly declaring the “fall” of all F-16 aircraft in the simulator. In the real video from which this fragment is taken, the Danish general talks about the advantages of the F-16 for Ukraine.

It is the statement that Denmark refused to train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 due to their “inability to learn” that is not true. On June 24, Danish Defense Minister Trols Lund Poulsen, during a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart Bern Arild Gramm, said that by the end of 2024 Denmark would stop training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft. However, the training is being stopped due to Denmark's transition to more modern F-35 fighters, which will use Skrydstrup Air Base, where Ukrainian pilots are trained. The Danish Minister of Defense also noted that the country will be able to facilitate the training of Ukrainian pilots in other countries.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and stop the supply of weapons from Ukraine’s allies. They say that the Ukrainian military is not capable of controlling Western weapons, which means there is no point in transferring them.

Fake EU allegedly stops funding for Rail Baltica due to excessive spending on aid to Ukraine

Russian propagandists are disseminating information about the termination of funding for the Rail Baltica project by the European Union. They sarcastically suggest that the EU ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi for money, arguing that the EU is refusing to finance the project and is demanding the return of invested funds due to excessive assistance to Ukraine. However, this is fake.

Rail Baltica is a railway transport infrastructure project aimed at integrating the Baltic countries into the European railway network. Financial assistance and funding for this project are not related to each other. Rail Baltica's funding source is the Connecting Europe Facility, which supports the development of trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

In reality, the EU does not stop funding. The current funding period will end in 2027, and the next one will begin in 2028. Therefore, the Baltic countries face two challenges: 1 year without EU funding and the unknown amount that will be allocated in the next funding period. The EU recommends that the Baltic countries seek additional sources of funding, but this does not preclude continuing to allocate funds for the project.

The idea of building Rail Baltica was put forward back in 1991. However, Russian propagandists claim that building the infrastructure became necessary after the closure of communications with Russia, which made the Baltic railways unprofitable. Another reason for the parasitism of Russian propaganda is the increase in the estimated cost of the project by four times and the extension of the construction period until 2030. This is precisely the reason for the cessation of EU funding for Rail Baltica.

Russian propagandists are spreading fake news about Rail Baltica for several reasons. Firstly, it helps them support the idea that reduced ties with Russia are harmful to Europe. Secondly, it contributes to the creation of an image of Ukraine as a problem for the EU. They say that by helping her, the Union neglects its own interests. Third, such propaganda creates the impression that the EU's priority goal is to dominate Russia and, accordingly, it demonizes the EU.

Manipulation More than 80% of candidates for members of the European Parliament allegedly do not want to accept Ukraine into the EU

Russian media are disseminating information with reference to the Finnish news service Yle that the overwhelming majority of candidates for members of the European Parliament do not agree to accept Ukraine into the European Union.

“MEPs do not want to see Ukraine in the European Union, but they promised, as well as Moldova”, some netizens comment on the news.

On June 2, the Finnish news service Yle published the results of its survey, which it conducted in the run-up to the European Parliament elections. However, the data distributed online is significantly distorted.

This study does not say that the vast majority of candidates for the European Parliament do not agree to accept Ukraine into the European Union. In fact, the survey concerned the conditions under which Ukraine should gain membership in the European Union. Thus, according to a Yle survey, more than 80% of candidates for the European Parliament believe that Ukraine should not be admitted to the EU without meeting all conditions - that is, the question is not about whether it is worth admitting Ukraine into the union at all, but about whether it is necessary to provide Kyiv with exclusive conditions for EU membership

Fake Ukraine allegedly sold more land to foreign companies than it lost

European Parliament member Mick Wallace expressed disappointment that, in his opinion, Europeans in Ukraine bought more land than Russian troops captured in the east of the country. He accused the West of turning Ukraine into a colony, pointing to reform of land laws that allowed foreigners to purchase agricultural land. His statement was quickly picked up by the Russians. However, the facts show that the information is false.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this fake. They note that the Law on the Land Market in Ukraine was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on March 31, 2020, but according to it, foreigners do not have the right to buy agricultural land. This is confirmed by Serhii Datsiv, senior lawyer at Integrites. He noted that the lifting of restrictions could become the subject of an all-Ukrainian referendum. It is now impossible to predict when this will happen due to the martial law in the country.

During the two years of operation of the land market from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2023, Ukraine sold only 1% of agricultural land that was previously under a moratorium on sales. According to the Geodetic Service of Ukraine, as of May 2024, 307,966 land plots with a total area of 677,982 hectares were sold.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine among Western partners and create distrust of the government’s actions among Ukrainians. They say that there is almost no country left because all its land was sold off.

Fake The British are allegedly frightened by the threat of a Russian invasion and have emptied supermarket shelves

Propagandists spread information in the media that ordinary Britons are allegedly frightened by the threat of a Russian invasion and therefore stock up, emptying supermarket shelves. They say that the British government has begun to prepare the population for possible emergencies by launching an information campaign. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden launched the government's disaster preparedness website, listing 100 possible threats, including a “full-scale Russian invasion” and disruption of transport links by drones. The Daily Mail claims that calls for an anti-crisis kit have allegedly caused panic among the British. However, this is fake.

The Insider specialists drew attention to it. They found that on May 22, the government website launched a Get prepared for emergencies page with tips on evacuating, storing important phone numbers and things you should have at home: a flashlight, a portable charger, a radio, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, water and canned food. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden spoke at the London Security Conference, where he outlined the government's approach to emergency preparedness. He referred to the National Risk Register, which contains possible threats to UK residents, including natural disasters, man-made accidents, terrorist attacks and military threats. There are no reports of panic buying of goods from the government list in the British media. The Daily Mail only urged shoppers not to repeat the panic buying that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Propagandists spread such fake news to discredit foreigners and cause unnecessary panic among Europeans.

Manipulation Scholz allegedly said that Ukraine may not join NATO in the next 30 years

Russian propagandists claim that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz allegedly said that Ukraine may not become a NATO member in the next 30 years. “You know the solution, this will not happen in the near future. Perhaps not even in the next 30 years”, Scholz said during a meeting with Berlin residents. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that in fact Scholz noted at this meeting in Berlin that before the full-scale invasion, discussing Ukraine's entry into NATO, he assured Putin: “This is not being considered for the next 30 years”. Scholz also accused Putin of attacking Ukraine for “absolutely absurd” reasons, since “NATO has never posed a threat to Russia”.

After the old quote was again picked up by Russian propaganda, the German government commented on the information being disseminated. According to government spokesman Steffen Gebestreit, the situation “has completely changed, and therefore, no, 30 years are no longer relevant”.

During the decade of war in Ukraine, Russian propaganda regularly spread manipulations and fake news that Ukraine would not be accepted into NATO or the EU. Thus, they want to cause skepticism and panic among Ukrainians regarding the actions of their Western partners.

Fake Children of Ukrainian refugees are allegedly taken away by Lithuanian guardianship authorities for “washing dishes”

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks in which police allegedly forcibly take a child from his parents. In addition, there were reports that it supposedly depicts a Ukrainian family of refugees in Lithuania, and the police are taking away the children due to “improper upbringing”. “It is known that such cases occur not only with Ukrainians, but also with Belarusian families who seek asylum in the countries of the European Union”, the publications note. Propagandists also claim that in the Baltic countries, justice authorities “remove children from their families for washing dishes or caring for younger brothers and sisters”. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this case. They discovered information from the Lithuanian news portal Lrytas.lt that the incident in the video occurred in September 2023. The child's parents divorced and the court ruled that the child should live with his father. Despite this decision, the mother and child went into hiding, forcing social security authorities to intervene with the help of the police. The director of the State Service for the Protection of Child Rights and Adoption, Ilma Skuodene, in a comment for lrytas.lt, said that the video recorded a particularly difficult process that social workers have to carry out.

Although the procedure was legal, the actions of social services and the police attracted criticism. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda noted that social services lack a “sincere, non-bureaucratic approach to child care”. In his post on Facebook, he emphasized that the actions of the services should not traumatize the child, but should ensure his interests. Later, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children's Rights found that the social workers who separated the child from his mother in Palanga acted inappropriately and unprofessionally, which could have resulted in negative experiences, stress and fear.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine’s Western partners and Ukrainian refugees, as well as to cause panic.

Disclosure Russia began to create even more fakes to influence the elections to the European Parliament

Euractiv, citing the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Czech Senate, writes that Russian interference poses a significant threat to the elections to the European Parliament.

Such conclusions were made after recent revelations about the activities of the pro-Russian news agency Voice of Europe, which was eventually banned throughout the EU.

“This media company tried to influence public debate in the Czech Republic and other EU countries with Russian money, worked against the interests of the Czech Republic and systematically disseminated Russian propaganda”, said Czech Senator Pavel Fischer.

Let us remind you that the elections to the European Parliament are scheduled for June 6-9, 2024. They will be the first after Britain leaves the European Union. Previously, we analyzed the Russian message that the EU would supposedly disappear after the elections to the European Parliament.

Message The EU will supposedly disappear after the European Parliament elections

Russian propaganda continues to spread disinformation in an attempt to interfere with the democratic processes of the European Union. Russians claim that the European Parliament elections held in June will allegedly lead to a situation similar to the collapse of the USSR. They say that regardless of which parties win them, the new schedule of forces, according to them, will lead to the collapse of the EU, since it has long gone beyond the scope of the “club of interests”. “Does this mean that the victory of the globalists will bring stability to Europe? Not at all. Everything will be the other way around. If the “Euro-heretics” simply collapse the EU, then the “European Inquisition” will destroy Europe, turning it into an economic and political periphery, thrown to the margins of global historical processes”, write propagandists.

These statements of Russian propaganda are untrue and aimed at undermining citizens' trust in national institutions. StopFake project specialists refuted them using statistical data. They found that according to research by the international Eurobarometer project, which regularly conducts public opinion polls on behalf of European institutions, the positive image of the EU among citizens of member countries has reached its highest historical level. This happened against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the April 2024 study.

According to the survey, almost three-quarters of EU citizens (73%) say that EU actions have a direct impact on their daily lives. In addition, the majority of Europeans agree that their country would benefit from EU membership (71%). These results remain high across the EU, the study authors note.

The Eurobarometer survey also recorded significant interest among EU citizens in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament. In particular, Europeans want to see the fight against poverty and social exclusion (33%), as well as support for public health (32%) among the main issues discussed during the election campaign. EU defense and security are in third place (31%) - the importance of this item for Europeans has increased significantly in light of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the study says.

Message The EU is “introducing censorship” ahead of the European Parliament elections

Russian media write that “EU politicians have begun to aggressively suppress freedom of speech”, allegedly trying to suppress Russian “resistance movements”.

StopFake fact-checkers explained that the disinformation message is based on a number of measures and resolutions of the European Parliament aimed at limiting the scale of Russian influence ahead of the European elections on June 6-9, 2024.

Russian media are trying to denigrate two European Parliament resolutions of February 8 and April 25, 2024 - both documents report a number of identified cases of bribery of European officials by the Kremlin in order to interfere in democratic processes in the European Union.

Indeed, according to investigations, Moscow recruits some members of the European Parliament and other European institutions as “agents of influence”, and also finances certain European political parties, which then act as mouthpieces for Russian propaganda, promoting Russian interests in the EU.

Manipulation Petro Poroshenko allegedly called on EU countries to deprive Ukrainian refugees of benefits and use the released funds for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, material from Deutsche Welle

Pro-Kremlin publications are disseminating information that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko allegedly appealed to the European Union countries with a demand to “deprive assistance from Ukrainian refugees and direct the freed funds to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

Russian propaganda quotes the politician’s statement, which he seemed to voice in a conversation with journalists from the German publication Deutsche Welle.

StopFake analysts explain that on May 8, Petro Poroshenko attended the congress of the German conservative party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin. There, when asked by DW whether Germany should facilitate the return of Ukrainian men to their homeland, the politician expressed doubt that any actions by Ukraine or Germany could influence the position of Ukrainian men who refuse to return to their homeland. In a conversation with reporters, he said:

“But I highly recommend (Germany - DW ed.) in relation to these individuals - the men here who refuse to return to Ukraine - please stop funding this, and immediately start providing this money to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

That is, Poroshenko did not call for depriving all Ukrainian refugees of assistance in Germany, but only advised redirecting the money used to finance the so-called refugees to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And the ex-president’s words in no way represent Ukraine’s current political decisions regarding refugees in Europe.

Message The EU believes that Zelenskyi is allegedly not a legitimate president of Ukraine

Propagandists have been speculating for quite some time on the topic of holding elections in Ukraine, since the term of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s rule will supposedly expire, so his rule of the state will be illegal. They say that Western countries will soon bring this issue up for discussion.

Experts from StopFake found that this narrative intensified in the late spring of 2024, when elections would have been held if there had not been a full-scale war. Also, the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council emphasizes that this message is a construct of the Russian special services  disseminated with the help of bloggers who left Ukraine. This disinformation campaign, known as Maidan-3, is aimed at weakening Ukrainians' trust in the government and discrediting the current government, as well as strengthening distrust of Ukraine among its allies.

As for the EU's opinion in this case, there has not yet been any statement from Western politicians on this topic. However, the so-called presidential elections in Russia, held on April 15-17, were recognized by the European Parliament as a farce and adopted a resolution. “Since they were carried out in the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine and Russia, it was neither free nor fair”, the text of the resolution notes.

Russian propaganda uses this message to spread disinformation and create the impression that the Ukrainian authorities are false. This helps the Russian regime push the population towards internal strife and create conditions under which Ukraine can make concessions in the future.

Fake The Council of Europe allegedly decided to deport 830 thousand Ukrainians

A screenshot is being circulated on social networks, allegedly from the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, which indicates that due to the so-called mass protests in European countries, a decision was made to deport some Ukrainians.

“Yesterday the EU Council decided to extend restrictive measures against Ukrainians. 830 thousand Ukrainians will be deported from the EU until April 15, 2024”, the press release allegedly says.

The case was dealt with by the fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project, who investigated that the fake bots forged the screenshot and replaced the original text with information about “deportation”. Accordingly, the Council of Europe did not make such a decision.

Also included in the ad is a bot supposedly from the European External Affairs Service (EEAS), @EEAS_deportation_bot. However, there is no mention of this bot on the website of this European agency. And when one clicks on this “bot” in a search engine, it takes one to the TG channel, which is artificially trying to increase the number of audiences.

Fake Some Ukrainians are allegedly being deported due to mass protests in Europe

A screenshot from the supposedly official website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine is being circulated online, containing information about the “deportation of 830,000 Ukrainians to resolve the conflict”. The authors of the “news” report that lists of citizens subject to deportation have already been compiled, so they invite you to go to the telegram bot to familiarize yourself with them.

In fact, this information is fake, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. There is no publication of similar content on the official website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Probably, such content is distributed to increase the reach of anonymous telegram channels to which links lead. In addition, the creators of the fake seek to destabilize the situation in Europe and make Ukrainian refugees object to their future in EU countries. Previously, we denied information that German citizens allegedly advocate the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees from the country.

Fake Ukraine allegedly built an anti-tank ditch on its western borders to prevent Ukrainians from “escaping” to Europe

Photos of an anti-tank ditch are being circulated online; according to the authors of the publications, it was dug on the western borders of Ukraine. “This was done on the orders of dictator Zelenskyi so that Ukrainians would not run away to free democratic countries”, they comment on the message. However, this is a lie.

Analysts from the StopFake project took on the case and found that the photo actually shows an anti-tank ditch located in the Donbas and Luhansk regions. The photo of the ditch also shows military journalist Vlad Voloshyn; he published this photo on his Facebook on March 3, 2024. His message says that the photo was taken in March 2024 in one of the “hot destinations in Donbas”.

Moreover, he wrote that the ditch was built many years ago - and he saw it with his own eyes in 2016. That is, the construction does not in any way affect the western borders of Ukraine, because it is a propaganda fiction.

Read on Censor.NET: Ukraine “dug” a ditch on the border with Moldova to stop the flight of men from mobilization.

Fake A Ukrainian refugee allegedly “desecrated and broke” a statue in a Paris museum

Anonymous telegram channels are distributing a video allegedly from the European media Euronews, which states that a Ukrainian refugee in a Paris museum broke the statue of the Swedish artist Anna Uddenberg “Journey to Self-Discovery”, imitating sexual intercourse with it. It's a lie.

The case was investigated by VoxCheck analysts, who determined that Euronews did not create such a story, and the video was simply assembled from different photos and videos that were not related to each other. For example, no information about such an incident could be found on the official media pages on social networks: on the media website, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube.

Using a reverse search on Google, it turned out that all the footage was used in the so-called story - can be found in the public domain. In addition, according to the information presented in the video, the statue was damaged and its limbs (arm and leg) were broken off. However, this was not shown on the video. No additional information about the destruction of the sculpture was found in other media.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU - in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own research.

Message Zelenskyi’s visit to the Baltic countries is an attempt to obtain new loans

Russian propagandists are disseminating information that President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s visit to the Baltic countries is an attempt, through the “advocate countries” of Ukraine, to obtain a positive vote in the EU for the allocation of new military loans. They say that without this, Ukraine has almost no chance of receiving financial assistance from the EU.

This information is not true, as explained by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. The real purpose of the visit of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the Baltic countries is to deepen cooperation with these states in many areas. In particular, in the area of security, integration into the EU and NATO, and military cooperation.

It should be noted that Zelenskyi’s visit to Lithuania has already brought significant results:

- work began on a bilateral agreement on security guarantees, as provided for in the Joint Declaration of the Group of Seven and the Ukrainian Peace Formula;

- Lithuanian officials approved a new package of military assistance worth 200 million euros, which included ammunition, detonation systems, armored vehicles, and training for the Ukrainian military;

- new agreements in the field of military-industrial complex and military cooperation were signed, support for the renewal of Ukraine continues.

Russian propaganda seeks to convince everyone that Europe is already tired of the war in Ukraine, so they no longer want to provide financial assistance to it. In addition, in this way, propagandists are trying to discredit Ukraine in the international political arena, saying that the Ukrainian leadership is “grasping at the last straw” to receive money from the EU to continue the war.

Fake Ukrainian refugees will allegedly be limited in free movement between EU countries

One of the propaganda telegram channels disseminated information that due to “numerous violations” of visa-free rules by Ukrainian refugees, sanctions would be applied to them in the form of a ban on free movement between EU countries.

In fact, there were no “statements” about restricting the right of refugees from Ukraine to move freely throughout the EU countries either from officials or from the relevant EU bodies. Also, the propaganda message on the telegram does not contain any specific information about “numerous violations” by Ukrainians in Europe, note investigators from the “No Lies” project. To make the message “plausible”, the creators of the fake placed in its text the names of several countries with a link, which supposedly should show what restrictions were introduced in these countries. However, there is no such information there.

By spreading this misinformation, propagandists are trying to create a picture that Ukrainian refugees have already fed everyone up and that they are the cause of all the troubles and problems in Europe. Previously, we denied information that German citizens support the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees.

Manipulation The real reason for the war in Ukraine is “The EU wants Ukrainian minerals”

Russian resources are disseminating information that the countries of the European Union “intend to seize” the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine in order to “free” use the mineral resources of the Ukrainian region. This thesis is based on a part of an interview taken out of context by German parliament member Roderich Kiesewetter, which he gave to the German television channel ARD. That is, the politician’s words were manipulated.

The fact-checkers from the StopFake project analyzed the information and found out that in fact, in the interview, the deputy reflected on the need to increase the level of assistance to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Roderich Kiesewetter argued that the Ukrainian economy is necessary to provide the world market with certain goods. He also gave an example of the current crisis in the global food market and the risk of famine in the poorest countries left without Ukrainian grain after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Roderich Kiesewetter also mentioned large lithium deposits in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, access to which Ukraine lost after the start of Russian aggression back in 2014. That is, the politician’s opinion was that by seizing Ukrainian fields, Russia placed the EU under an energy blockade.

After the start of the spread of Russian disinformation online, Roderich Kiesewetter separately explained in an interview with the German newspaper Nordkurier that in an interview with ARD he spoke exclusively about the aggressive motives of Russia, which in 2014 began the occupation of Ukrainian regions rich in minerals.

“Raw materials in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are another interest and goal of Russia in this aggressive war, and this explains why [Russian — Ed.] slogans like “land in exchange for peace” are completely unrealistic. Ukraine must be able to survive economically as a country, including the Donetsk and Luhansk region, as well as the Black Sea ports that are needed for grain exports. That is why Crimea has not only symbolic significance, but also ensures the economic viability of Ukraine in the future”,  argued Roderich Kiesewetter. That is, the German deputy spoke about Ukrainian minerals purely in the context of the motives for Russian aggression and the need to support Ukraine in the war.

Propagandists manipulated the politician’s words as part of a broader Kremlin information campaign against Western countries that allegedly “started a war in Ukraine to divide it”. Let us recall that collectively, EU countries have allocated about $85.1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine as of October 6, 2023. Germany, Denmark and Poland turned out to be the largest sponsors of this issue. Claims that the EU wants to divide Ukraine and gain access to Ukrainian minerals through predatory means have no logical basis.

Message Ukrainian refugees have turned Poland into the “criminal capital” of the EU

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that under the “influence of Ukrainian gangs” money laundering, trafficking in children, drugs, weapons, etc. are flourishing in Poland. The publications refer to materials from Polish media.

The VoxCheck analysts worked on the case and explained that the material was published in a Polish-language media system that systematically disseminates Kremlin propaganda. Consequently, any theses do not claim to provide objective information.

One of the materials that really reveals the topic of crimes committed by foreigners in Poland is the material in the publication Rzeczpospolita, which analyzes what crimes migrants have committed in Poland in 2022. The National Police Headquarters prepared statistics specifically for the publication on crimes committed by foreigners in Poland. Thus, in total in 2022, 15 thousand crimes were committed by representatives of different nationalities; Ukrainians, as the largest group, as well as Belarusians and Georgians, were most often included in the statistics. Analysts add: there are about 1.5 million people with Ukrainian citizenship in Poland. That is, according to relative indicators, the number of Ukrainian offenders is 0.15% of all Ukrainians in Poland. The most common type of crime among foreigners, notes Rzeczpospolita, is driving while intoxicated. The second most popular crime is drug possession.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU - in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own investigation.

Detector Media analysts have refuted a number of fakes and manipulations on the topic of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. For example, we analyzed a manipulation to increase thefts in Polish stores by a third, allegedly due to Ukrainian refugees. But they also explained another manipulation, according to which propagandists claimed that the attitude of many Poles towards Ukrainians had worsened.

Fake The Prime Minister of Estonia allegedly said that it is necessary to “kill” EU residents holding Russian passports

Pro-Kremlin media are spreading information that Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that it is necessary to “kill” all Russian passport holders living in the countries of the European Union. It's a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts analyzed the case and found out that the prime minister did not call for killing people with Russian citizenship at all. Experts add that the Kremlin’s minions manipulated one of Kaja Kallas’ quotes:

“In a situation where a person’s acquisition of Russian citizenship is a clear signal of support for terrorism and Russian actions against Estonia and our allies, it is certainly necessary to consider the person’s suitability for life in a human rights-respecting democratic country”.

The question is whether a person can function in European society and not threaten people's lives. Moreover, the Prime Minister of Estonia says: such a decision may indicate that, if necessary, a person (who has received Russian citizenship and lives in Estonia) is ready to join the Russian army and commit crimes against Ukraine and Ukrainians.

She also assured that the official position of the Estonian authorities is to look for ways to deport persons who decide to obtain Russian citizenship.

Manipulation The EU allegedly admitted Ukraine's loss in the war

Russian media are disseminating information that supposedly the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that the European Union recognized Ukraine’s loss in the war. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that propagandists used Borrell's statement, taking it out of context. In fact, the diplomat had no doubt about the prospect of ending the war in Ukraine’s favor. The quote was taken from the speech of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security during the Congress of the Party of European Socialists in Malaga, Spain on November 11. Borrell said that EU countries must be prepared to continue to support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression.

Although Borrell did say that Ukraine's victory over Russia “does not happen overnight”,  Russian media deliberately skipped a significant part of the European diplomat's speech that followed this phrase. Borrell emphasized that the greatest security guarantee that the EU can provide to Ukraine is its membership in the “European family”. However, for this to happen, the Union must remain united and prepare for a longer conflict than Russia had planned, which hoped to take over the country in two weeks and establish its own puppet regime, similar to the Belarusian one. Borrell emphasized that, despite the expectations of dictator Putin, Ukraine not only did not fall, but is also recapturing its territories. This became possible thanks to Ukraine's fierce resistance against the Kremlin regime and the support of its allies. Thus, according to the EU representative, Ukraine is the EU's top priority, and work to support the country must continue until it wins the war.

Propagandists spread such fake news because they want to convince Ukrainians that even their closest allies have allegedly turned their backs on them. Like, if the EU has already recognized Ukraine’s loss, the situation is definitely catastrophic. However, this is not the case, and Detector Media has repeatedly refuted such fakes and manipulations of Russian propaganda.

Message Bilderberg and the US appointed Borrell as Colonial Manager of Europe

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media claim that EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell is holding an urgent European Congress in Kyiv at the end of October to “make empty promises” to the Ukrainian government. They say that he was chosen to be the caretaker of Europe, but he is not doing well in this role, since there is no unity among European leaders on the situation in Ukraine. He was allegedly appointed to this “position” at the last meeting of the Bilderberg Club, where it was determined that Europe would de facto become a US colony.

Analysts of the EUvsDisinfo project drew attention to this message. They note that it stems from conspiracy theories about the EU. In particular, the Bilderberg Club is a forum of annual meetings with a hidden agenda and list of participants. At the same time, Russian propaganda constantly portrays it as a secret world government that appeals to the theory of a “new world order”.

In response to accusations that the EU has allegedly lost sovereignty and become a vassal of the United States, project experts note that the United States is a strategic partner of the European Union in spreading peace and stability throughout the world. Together they are two of the world's greatest donors of humanitarian aid. In addition, the EU and the US have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship and the closest integration of their economies in the world.

By spreading such messages, propagandists want to divert attention from Russian aggression against Ukraine and crimes committed by Russians, as well as express their disagreement with the general position of EU countries regarding Russia’s actions. Detector Media also refuted other fakes, messages and manipulations of Russian propaganda directed against the EU.

Message Ukraine will not at any way be accepted into the European Union

Russian propagandists are disseminating information that Ukrainians are constantly discussing the topic of joining the EU due to the fact that they are now losing the war to Russia. At the same time, pro-Kremlin sources claim that Ukraine will never join the EU, and the promises of European leaders are nothing more than empty words. They say that even the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, is bluffing: he realizes that none of his promises will ever be fulfilled. He allegedly uses the situation in Ukraine to increase his personal rating, on the one hand, and to gain the favor of Washington, on the other.

The information was analyzed by the fact-checkers from the EUvsDISINFO project. They found that, despite accusations against EU representatives of the insincerity of their relations with Ukraine, it is possible to clearly trace the steps and efforts taken by both sides towards the integration of Ukraine into the EU. On February 28, 2022, Ukraine submitted its application for EU membership. In June of the same year, the European Commission presented its favorable findings on the EU membership applications submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. According to the conclusion of the commission on Ukraine’s application for EU membership, our country noticed the European vector of movement and granted Ukraine candidate status by unanimous consent of the leaders of all 27 EU member states. This happened on June 23, 2022.

The path to EU accession is a relatively long technical process. In June 2023, the European Council called on Ukraine to continue reforms in the country and fight corruption. At the same time, the European Council assures that it will work closely with Ukraine and support its efforts to fully comply with all necessary conditions for accession.

The Kremlin is afraid of losing its leverage over Ukraine and is trying to neutralize its aspirations to become a member of the EU by repeating this disinformation narrative. Russia’s position is the same regarding Ukraine’s entry into NATO.