Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Kharkiv authorities are allegedly planning to flee the city

Information is being spread online that the leadership of the Kharkiv regional military administration, led by Ihor Terekhov, is preparing to flee the city. “Proof” of this statement is the allocation of funds for road repairs in the area of Liubotyn and Korotych (Kharkiv region).

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council reports that reports about the alleged “flight” of the city administration from Kharkiv are untrue and are an information and psychological operation of the Russians.

According to the deputy chairman of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Vadym Skibitskyi, today the invaders do not have enough forces and means to launch a powerful offensive operation in the western strategic direction (Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kyiv region). In addition, at the beginning of 2024, the press officer of the command of the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Volodymyr Fitio, said that the northern border is constantly being strengthened, and the number of Russian troops stationed on this section of the border is constantly being monitored.

By spreading this disinformation, propagandists aim to sow panic among the people of Ukraine, in particular among the residents of Kharkiv and the region. Russian propaganda has previously spread disinformation about the “surrender of Kharkiv”. In the Detector Media podcast called “Russian fake, fuc* you!” in the issue dated May 23, 2022, we refuted “the preparation of Kharkiv for surrender to the Russians”.

Fake In the Kharkiv region, fighters of the 125th separate territorial defense brigade allegedly shot two men

This information is disseminated by pro-Kremlin resources. According to propagandists, the incident occurred near the border village of Slatyne.

The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council says that this is another fake by Russian propagandists. In fact, the victims were blown up by an explosive device installed by the Russians in the forest belt between Velyki Prohody and Slatyne (Kharkiv region). This was reported by the Kharkiv regional prosecutor's office. The men were aged 32 and 19 years old, both residents of the village of Slatyne. The prosecutor's office established that they went to the forest to cut firewood for household needs.

Russian propagandists spread such fake news in order to demonize the Ukrainian military. However, it is the Russian army that is to blame for the death of these men, because Slatyne is an occupied territory. In all likelihood, during the flight from the Kharkiv region, the Russians left traps, in particular in the form of anti-personnel mines.

Read also: As a result of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ shelling of a “bakery” in Lysychansk, 28 “civilians” were allegedly killed

Fake In Kharkiv, a hospital was allegedly closed for the hospitalization of civilians, because Polish soldiers were being “treated” there

Anonymous Telegram channels are distributing screenshots of correspondence allegedly in which a doctor at Kharkiv Hospital No. 3 talks about how the surgical department provides medical care to wounded foreign military personnel, in particular Poles. The authors of the fake publications conclude that the facility is “isolated” for civilian patients.

The VoxCheck specialists contacted the hospital department, where they were told that the information about the treatment of Polish or military personnel of other nationalities was not true. Moreover, there is no surgical department in this hospital, the propagandists simply made it up.

And the screenshot of the “correspondence” is extremely dubious. It does not include the user's name or photo to potentially identify the likely identity of the doctor. The Kremlin’s minions could easily simulate and invent this dialogue, just like the fake itself.

Fake A Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee allegedly called a military man’s wife a “katsap woman”

Social networks in the Russian segment are disseminating information that an employee of one of the local territorial recruitment and social support centers addressed the wife of a Ukrainian prisoner of war, saying that “she is a katsap’s (Russian) wife, and he is the master of his country”. Allegedly, this happened during a meeting between the relatives of the prisoners and the city administration of the city of Lozova, Kharkiv region. Photos are attached to the publication, which supposedly should testify to the words of an employee of the Territorial center of recruitment and social support . It is not true.

The VoxCheck specialists analyzed this case and found out that the quote from the so-called Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee was simply made up. After all, at first these messages were published on telegram channels of the Russian segment and subsequently replicated online without indicating the original source. A reverse search on Google showed that the photos used in the publication were actually taken in Lozova during a meeting of relatives of prisoners and missing persons.

Although representatives of the Territorial center of recruitment and social support were present at the meeting, they did not make any such statements, nor was there any mention of this in the media.

Fake In the Kharkiv region, Russia allegedly captured Tabaivka in the Kupiansk district

Pro-Russian resources disseminate information that after the capture of Krokhmalne, Russian troops “liberated” the village of Tabaivka in the Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv region.

In fact, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation with reference to the speaker of the Ground Forces Command, Volodymyr Fitio. According to him, as of 9:00 on January 29, 2024, fighting is taking place in Tabaivka. At the same time, the representative of the Ground Forces emphasized: “If it is possible to take the best positions in order to take up the defensive and then move on to offensive actions, improve the tactical position, this will be done”.

Regarding Krokhmalne, V. Fitio said that there were no civilians there anymore, and the village itself was completely destroyed. Ukrainian defenders retreated to more advantageous positions.

By spreading disinformation about the capture of Tabaivka, propagandists seek to exaggerate the achievements of the Russian army at the front in order to reassure Russians that “everything in the war is going according to plan”. Previously, we refuted information that Ukraine was allegedly preparing for the surrender of Kherson.

Fake In Kharkiv, a man allegedly killed a Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that a resident of Kharkiv allegedly killed a Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee because he sent his son to the front without a medical examination and a conclusion of the Military and medical commission of Ukraine. The guy was allegedly detained and immediately mobilized, despite the fact that he suffered from asthma. This allegedly happened “in front of the mobilized father”, so he decided to get even with the Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee by throwing his body on the railway tracks to simulate suicide.

The “news” being circulated is distorted and inaccurate. This is stated by the Center for Countering Disinformation and Information Security. In fact, the conflict occurred between two civilians in the village of Dubivka, Kharkiv region, after drinking alcohol, the Kharkiv region police reported. A domestic dispute arose between the 70-year-old suspect and his 57-year-old friend, which did not end simply with words. One of the men grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed the other man several times in the neck. The victim died on the spot.

The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office established that the suspect took the body of the murdered man to the railway station and dumped the corpse on the track to make the version of the alleged “friend commit suicide” more credible. However, the railway workers discovered the body and reported it to law enforcement agencies. There is no official confirmation that the deceased was a serviceman, an employee of the Territorial center of recruitment and social support, or had any connection at all with the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

This fake by the Russians is another manifestation of discrediting the mobilization process in Ukraine. They say that Ukrainians are now killing the Territorial center of recruitment and social support workers because they exceed their authority - this is another confirmation of this. Previously, we have already refuted the information that the Ukrainian military commissar was allegedly killed while serving draft notices.

Fake They have published the lists of “French soldiers” allegedly killed by shelling in Kharkiv

Unverified lists of French soldiers who allegedly died as a result of rocket attacks on hotels in Kharkiv have appeared on social networks and publications in both Russian and Western media. The Russians, by distributing such lists, are trying to confirm the thesis about the presence of “foreign mercenaries” in Ukraine. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the Beyond the News project drew attention to it. They found that in justifying missile attacks on civilian targets in Kharkiv, in particular on the Kharkiv Palace and the Park Hotel, the Russians claim that they eliminated “200 mercenaries”. However, the GUR calls this nonsense.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, on January 10, as a result of rocket attacks at the Park Hotel, 13 civilians were wounded; not a single military man was in the hotel. Among the victims were media representatives from Turkey and Georgia.

Despite this, the Russians continue to support the thesis of killed “French mercenaries” to justify the shelling of civilian targets. On January 16, they again attacked the city center, damaging a private hospital and residential buildings and injuring 17 people. This fiction appeared again in the media after rocket attacks on Kharkiv on the night of January 22-23.

Russian propagandists are disseminating information about the supposedly dead “French artillerymen” in Kharkiv, but the project’s fact-checkers have not found any truthful evidence in this. In addition, the published names of the “dead” turned out to be part of the list that Russian propagandists published back in April 2022 as a list of “foreign mercenaries in Ukraine as of 2021”.

Propagandists spread such fake news to justify attacks against civilian infrastructure. Such actions qualify as a violation of international humanitarian law and constitute the legal basis for future liability of the Russians.

Message Russian paratroopers may allegedly land near Kharkiv, in the rear of Ukrainian troops

In its report for January 13, 2024, ISW reported that Russia could form an assault force for landing in the rear of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Hostomel is mentioned as an example at the beginning of a full-scale invasion. Russian and even Ukrainian resources picked up the news and began to disseminate information about possible similar operations, in particular near Kharkiv.

In fact, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council. In the ISW report, it referred to one Russian source, which may already indicate the falsity of what was stated. In addition, it states that Russian paratroopers do not even seem to need parachutes. Everything had to happen by landing helicopters in the near rear for the rapid deployment of personnel. However, since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has significantly strengthened its air defense, and the landing in Hostomel in February 2022 was not successful. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have weapons that are capable of quickly destroying any helicopters and aircraft. For example, the operation to destroy the A-50 aircraft over the Sea of Azov is a clear confirmation. Before this, there were other downings of Russian planes and helicopters.

Such rhetoric is intended to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among the Ukrainian people. This is one of the propaganda tactics. There will probably be more information leaks on this topic, so trust verified resources. Earlier,  Detector Media analyzed the message of Russian propaganda saying that Ukrainian air defense is about to end.

Manipulation In Kharkiv, funeral assistance seems to amount to only 1942 hryvnia

One of the pro-Russian telegram channels disseminated information that the executive committee of the Kharkiv City Council allegedly decided to pay Kharkiv residents a funeral allowance in the amount of UAH 1942. It seems that this money will begin to be paid on January 1, 2024. However, this is manipulation.

In fact, the benefit amount UAH 1942 is not an innovation, as propagandists are trying to present, but a revised amount taking into account the cost of funeral services, as Gwara Media fact-checkers write. That is, the executive committee of the Kharkiv City Council increased the existing funeral assistance to 1942 hryvnia. Thus, the amount of such assistance in 2022 was no more than 1,730 hryvnia, and in 2019 no more than 1,440 hryvnia. It should be noted that this amount is established for persons who, at the time of the person’s death, have not yet reached retirement age, were not working and were not registered as unemployed. Also, this assistance is for people registered and living in Kharkiv for at least six months, that is, the corresponding decision also applies, for example, to IDPs.

At the same time, this is not the only type of financial assistance for funerals in Ukraine - the current amount of benefits from the state, according to the resolution of the PFU On establishing the amount of funeral benefits dated December 26, 2022 No. 29-1, is 4,100 hryvnia.

There are also other types of burial benefits, such as:

- assistance for the funeral of persons who died from an accident at work or an occupational disease;

- assistance for the funeral of a pensioner among military personnel;

- assistance for the funeral of military personnel.

By manipulating this information, Russian propaganda is trying to show that everything seems to be so bad in Ukraine that the state doesn’t even have enough money for people to pay for funerals. Previously, we refuted information that in the Kyiv region the director of a cemetery allegedly refused to provide a place for the burial of a Ukrainian military man.

Fake The Kharkiv authorities are allegedly popularizing schoolchildren’s education in shelters for the sake of their own PR

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that the Kharkiv authorities intend to begin construction of an underground school solely in their own interests - “for the sake of a beautiful picture and PR”. They say that initiatives of this kind are being made only in order to once again steal the budget, while schoolchildren in regular schools seem to be in no danger. However, this is a fake.

In the StopFake project, the fact-checkers drew attention to this information. They noted that propaganda resources “forgot” to say that Ukrainian schoolchildren are forced to study not in the classrooms of their schools, but in underground shelters due to constant Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure, including educational institutions. According to the Ministry of Education of Ukraine and UNICEF, as of November 2023, more than 4,100 Ukrainian schools were destroyed or damaged by Russians throughout the country. Of these, in the Kharkiv region, 51 educational institutions were completely destroyed, and 579 schools, kindergartens, educational institutions were partially damaged. Experts from the UN Children's Fund note that due to Russian aggression, Ukrainian children are left without access to basic rights - education and healthcare, which puts their lives and well-being at risk.

When schools and kindergartens are closed due to Russian attacks, children lose the opportunity to communicate with their peers, which is important for their development. In this regard, in Kharkiv, as in a number of other Ukrainian settlements, blended learning is practiced - online and offline in safe places. In Kharkiv it is the metro. At five Kharkiv metro stations, 19 classrooms are equipped that meet wartime safety standards, as well as educational standards. The classrooms are equipped with sound insulation and climate control, the rooms are isolated from the platforms on which the trains move. In the metro, 105 classes and 2,087 children study in several shifts. These are mainly primary and secondary schoolchildren.

Given the demand among parents of Kharkiv schoolchildren for offline education of their children in safe places, city authorities in October 2023 announced their intention to begin construction of the first underground school. The cost of construction is 58 million hryvnia. The school will be able to accommodate 450 schoolchildren, that is, 900 children in two shifts. Preparatory work has already begun.

Propagandists claim that their “high-precision weapons” only hit strategically important military targets, and that Russians shelling schools, kindergartens, cultural institutions, etc. – these are all inventions of Ukrainians. That is, the Russian army in no case supposedly attacks the civilian population of Ukraine, and therefore there is no need to worry while Ukrainian children are alive. Ultimately, this case of disinformation aims to nourish the Russian propaganda narrative about a mediocre Ukrainian government that steals everything and engages in self-promotion, instead of raising the standard of living of ordinary Ukrainians.

Manipulation A resident of Kharkiv was arrested by SSU for simply “posting on social networks”

This thesis was spread by pro-Kremlin media. The reports say that Ukraine allegedly interferes with freedom of speech by monitoring all Ukrainians on social networks who show an anti-Ukrainian position - and if they find such, they quickly “get rid of” the person. Consequently, the authors give an example where a resident of Kharkiv was charged “for nothing”, or rather, in their words, for a simple “post on social networks”. The authors of the manipulative message add that this is “an attempt to shut the mouth of those who tell the truth”.

The analysts of the StopFake project analyzed the case and determined that the 58-year-old Kharkiv resident was charged with justifying Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine and discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This was announced by the representative of the regional department of the Security Service of Ukraine Vladyslav Abdula. Actually, in his publications, which the Kremlin’s minions consider peace-loving, the man distributed propaganda materials and glorified the actions of the occupying army. And among other things, the attacker accused the Ukrainian Armed Forces of shelling residential areas of Kharkiv.

The fact-checkers explain that in March 2022, the Criminal Code of Ukraine was supplemented with Article 436-2, which provides for liability for justifying, recognizing the legitimate armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine, and glorifying its participants. That is, the actions of the SSU against the man are completely legal and not an “attack on freedom of speech”. Manipulators are trying to shift responsibility for crimes onto Ukraine, so it is obvious that they call the “shelling of the Ukrainian Armed Forces of Kharkiv” truthful, but also the Russian occupiers - valiant.

Read how Russia blurs reality with the word “extremism”. In short, the Kremlin sees any actions that contradict Moscow’s “policy” as extremism. For example, the Russian branch of the BBC gave an example in its material when a Russian posted a publication similar to Odnoklassniki wishing death and shame on Russians who are going to fight in the Donbas. And a criminal case was opened against him on charges of “ethnic hatred”.

Fake An air show will be held in Kharkiv on the occasion of Aviation Day

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that on August 25-26, 2023, an air show will be held in Kharkiv on the occasion of Aviation Day, where they will show the latest drone developments. Also, allegedly, there may be provocations by the Ukrainian military. It's fake.

The case was investigated by fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation. The organizers of the air show have publicly stated that the event has been postponed indefinitely. That is, there will be no air show on August 25 and 26 this year.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate the Ukrainians and shift the responsibility for the future crimes of the Russians to the victim. Earlier, Detector Media analyzed what propagandists wrote about Russia's strike on Chernihiv.

Manipulation In Kharkiv, the Russians destroyed a warehouse with ammunition

Russian media and pro-Russian resources report that, allegedly on January 10, in Kharkiv, Russians struck at the pyrotechnics, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine stored ammunition. It seems that in addition to fireworks, explosions of shells were also heard. The reports also suggested that the personnel of the Ukrainian army were allegedly in the same place. This is manipulation.

The Russians really struck into the pyrotechnics in Kharkiv. On the spot, law enforcement officers seized fragments of a cluster shell, previously from the Smerch MLRS. After hitting a one-story warehouse building, a fire broke out. According to the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center, this store of pyrotechnics has been renting this warehouse for about 20 years.

There is no confirmation of the detonation of ammunition. According to preliminary information, there are no victims either, which refutes the propagandists' assumptions about the placement of Ukrainian servicemen nearby. Local residents also confirmed that it was pyrotechnics that exploded, and not shells.

Manipulation A pensioner from Kupiansk will be put on trial for organizing football matches during the occupation

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels spread messages about a “pensioner from Kupiansk” who was allegedly unfairly announced on suspicion of treason. Like, the whole corpus delicti consists in holding football matches. And for this he faces a sentence of up to twelve years in prison. This is manipulation.

According to the Kharkiv region police, during the occupation of the settlement, the man served as director of the Spartak stadium, supported the decisions and actions of the occupiers, and, in addition to football matches, organized other cultural events with elements of propaganda.

Message Ukraine is not engaged in the restoration of sacked settlements

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Like, the government prefers stabilization measures, rather than the restoration of populated areas. In particular, allegedly recently liberated Kherson is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Allegedly, there is no water and energy supply in the city, there is not enough medicine, fuel, etc. Like, the situation is the same in the de-occupied Kharkiv region. Allegedly, this is how the Ukrainian authorities “thank” the Ukrainians who were waiting for the de-occupation.

Russian propaganda continues to manipulate information about the de-occupied territories of Ukraine. Kherson was on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe during the Russian occupation. After the de-occupation, life support systems are being restored in the city, despite daily shelling from the Russian army. As of December 4, Kherson resumed power supply by 85%. Also, “Points of invincibility” were opened in the city and additional centers for issuing humanitarian aid were deployed. Gradually in Kherson, the work of a supermarket chain is resumed.

Fake Humanitarian aid has not been provided in Kharkiv region for the third week

Such information is disseminated by Russian propaganda media and telegram channels. Allegedly, in the communities of the Kharkiv region, humanitarian aid has not been given for three weeks. Like, people are being starved, the authorities said to tighten the belts, not to walk and not to ask for anything. The reports do not indicate specific villages where there is allegedly a problem with the issuance of humanitarian aid. This is not true.

As the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center notes, the situation with the distribution of humanitarian aid is different in different communities. Even in communities located nearby, there may be a different intensity of the issuance of assistance. However, on the pages of different communities almost every day there are messages about receiving humanitarian aid. There is a Unified Humanitarian Coordination Center in the region that helps to direct humanitarian aid to communities where the needs are more urgent.

Fake The Armed Forces shelled a column of refugees in Kharkiv Oblast, and 30 people were killed

The tragic news was spread by Russian propaganda media and pro-Russian bloggers concerning Rodion Miroshnyk, who calls himself the ambassador of the occupied part of the Luhansk region. It allegedly happened near Kupiansk. The wounded were taken to a hospital in Luhansk.

During the spread of other fake, the propagandists made several inaccuracies. As fact-checkers from the "Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center" reported, all reports of this type do not contain videos and photos from the "place of the event". All illustrative photos used by propagandists have nothing to do with this fake.

The Kremlin propaganda media could not determine the date of the "shelling" and, at the same time, claimed that it was September 29, September 27, and September 25.

Propagandists are confused about the types of weapons with which they allegedly "shelled the column of refugees." Some talk about firearms, and some - about artillery.

The Security Service of Ukraine confirmed that at the end of September, in the so-called "grey zone" between the occupied Svatov in the Luhansk region and the liberated Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, the Russians shelled a civilian convoy of seven cars.

"At least 20 people died, including 10 children. A brutal attack on civilians was made by a sabotage and reconnaissance group of the occupiers - they shelled six old cars and one Gazelle truck closely with firearms. The enemy once again proved that his goal was the destruction of all Ukrainians, regardless of age and gender. The occupiers are defeated on the battlefield and respond to these losses and hopelessness by murdering civilians" said the acting head of SSU Vasyl Malyuk.

Such "news" of Russian propaganda is another attempt by the Kremlin to accuse the Ukrainian army of "atrocities" typical of the Russian military. On September 30, due to a Russian rocket attack on a civilian humanitarian convoy in Zaporizhzhia, which was trying to leave for the occupied territory, 30 people died, and almost a hundred were injured.

Fake Russian teachers who came to teach Ukrainian children under the Russian program were arrested in Kupiansk

Anonymous telegram channels and Russian media write about this. Allegedly, the Investigative Committee of Russia will open criminal proceedings on the arrest of teachers in the Kharkov region. The fake got into the Ukrainian information space because of the pro-Russian media and bloggers. They allegedly referred to a comment by Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk that the detainees would be tried under Article 483 of the Criminal Code (violation of the customs and laws of war). Like, the punishment for them provides for up to 12 years in prison and they are not subject to exchange, because they are not prisoners of war. Some telegram channels also hinted that not all teachers would live to see the trial. It is not true.

As journalist Iryna Romaliiska reported with reference to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Ukrainian police did not detain Russian teachers in the de-occupied territories of the Kharkiv region. Information about the detention was not confirmed in the office of the President of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Russian authorities denied the information about the detention of Russian teachers in Ukraine.

Most likely, this news was deliberately spread by pro-Russian resources in order to demonstrate the “ruthlessness” of the Ukrainian authorities, and subsequently its “absurdity”. This fake also echoes the Russian propaganda narrative about “Ukrainian Nazis.” Previously, fakes were spread that schoolchildren in the temporarily occupied part of the Kharkiv region were choosing Russian as the language of the studies process.

Fake The special unit "Kraken" has lost its combat capability

This is reported by the Russian media with reference to the representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense Igor Konashenkov. He said that the unit suffered significant personal losses and combat effectiveness in general. Allegedly, they tried to fill the unit with local residents, but no volunteers were found. It is not true.

As the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center writes, the special unit "Kraken" has indeed announced the recruitment of recruits for the assault company. According to Kraken Chief of Staff Kostiantyn Nemichev, in the first two days, 800 questionnaires were received from those wishing to join the special unit. The selection will take place in several stages, including an interview and a "young fighter course". After that, the instructors will make the final decision.