Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Ukrainians are afraid of Russia's answer for the Crimean bridge, so they leave Kyiv creating traffic jams

Facebook and Twitter users broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric circulated a video of traffic jams in Ukraine on July 17. On it, the inhabitants of Kyiv are allegedly fleeing the city out of fear that Russia will retaliate for the explosions on the Crimean bridge. The Ukrainians decided to flee as if after Volodymyr Putin announced that his defense ministry was preparing proposals for a response. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Reuters media drew attention to the case. The video shared on July 17, 2023 showing the traffic jam was actually filmed last year. It was reposted by Instagram user lyudaoshomok. According to her, the video was filmed on August 21, 2022, and it shows vehicles heading to Kyiv.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to intimidate Ukrainians and sow panic. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the head of the GUR, Kyrylo Budanov, thanked the patriots for the special operation in Crimea. We also talked about what pro-Kremlin telegram channels wrote about explosions on the Crimean bridge.

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

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

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

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

Fake Kyiv agreed with UNESCO on the transfer of holy relics to the museums of Italy, France, Germany and the Vatican

In the Russian and Georgian segment of Facebook and in the media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, they disseminate information with reference to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service that Kyiv allegedly agreed with UNESCO to transfer the Orthodox relics of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to museums in Italy, France and France as if the holy relics had to be taken out in order to preserve them. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Myth Detector project drew attention to the case. They established that the information about the removal of holy relics from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to European countries is false. The Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko wrote on his Facebook page that “not a single sacred value will leave the territory of Ukraine”.  Also, the acting director of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Maksym Ostapenko, noted that “the reserve did not have such plans and will not have them”. Information about this agreement cannot be found on the official website of UNESCO. This fake was denied on the official Facebook pages of the Ministry of Culture and the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO.

By spreading information that Kyiv has agreed to transfer relics to European countries, propagandists are trying to discredit UNESCO and the Ukrainian authorities. Russian propaganda created a fake to sow religious discord, as well as divert attention from the crimes committed by Russia, in particular, from the looting of museums and galleries. Earlier, Detector Media talked about the message that allegedly Russia does not destroy Ukrainian cultural and historical heritage.

Manipulation Kyiv entered the top ten worst cities to live in because of the “rule of Zelenskyi and Klychko”

Propagandists are spreading the word that Kyiv is one of the ten worst cities to live in the world according to The Economist due to the careless management of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and the mayor of the city Vitalii Klychko. This is manipulation.

Specialists in the StopFake project drew attention to it. They note that the fall in the rating of Kyiv was not due to the rule of Zelenskyi and Klychko, but because of Russian aggression against Ukraine. In a ranking published on June 21, The Economist did place Kyiv in the top ten least livable cities in the world. The publication's analysts assessed living conditions in 173 cities according to the following categories: stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure. According to the ranking, Kyiv is in 165th place with an index of 44 points out of 100. The extended version of the ranking indicates that the assessment of Kyiv has decreased by 5.9% compared to 2021 “due to damage caused by the war to its stability, infrastructure and general suitability for life”.

Analysts at The Economist also note that the city received only 23.2 points out of 100 in the category “infrastructure” due to constant Russian shelling. In addition, Russian aggression against Ukraine has affected the scores of other Eastern European cities such as Warsaw and Budapest due to their proximity to the war zone. In 2022, the publication excluded Kyiv from the ranking due to the war, so the city has no points in a number of categories.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists seek to shift the responsibility for aggression from the aggressor to the victim. In addition, by taking foreign materials out of context, they want to find a false verification of their messages, hoping that people will not read their full version.

Manipulation In The United States, they will set up a center to counter Ukrainian disinformation

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Like, despite censorship in the Ukrainian information space, the United States “considered” Ukrainian disinformation. Allegedly, Ukraine so “often lies” to the United States that it is time to fight it. The messages also link to an article in The American Conservative. This is manipulation.

Russian propaganda presents the proposal of the pro-Russian American expert Doug Bendow as an official initiative. Moreover, the article in The American Conservative is Bandow's emotional response to the work of the Center for Counteracting Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which drew attention to his pro-Russian position. In the article, Bandow writes that the Center has compiled a list “over those who don’t go to bed  humming” Zelenskyi and Ukrainian governments. To combat the Ukrainian Center, according to Bandow, the United States should create its own Disinformation Countermeasures Center. It was this thesis that Russian propaganda used.

Actually, The American Conservative has also previously published pro-Russian materials, including that the Republican Party did not live up to American expectations due to support for Ukraine.

Russian propaganda systematically uses foreign experts with a pro-Russian stance to promote Russian disinformation messages and narratives and give them greater prominence.

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

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

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

Fake The Russian army hit a hotel in Kyiv with foreign advisers and mercenaries

Such information is disseminated by Russian resources. Allegedly, one of the rockets hit a Kyiv hotel where foreign advisers and mercenaries lived.

Like, the Russian soldiers knew that “someone important” had settled in the hotel, so they chose it as a target. The propagandists also spread information that in the Alfavito Hotel and the Ukraine Palace, located 100 meters away, both buildings received significant damage from a rocket strike, “interesting people were sitting there - Western and Ukrainian, with and without shoulder straps”.

After the mayor of Kyiv, Vitalii Klychko, announced that a journalist from Japan had been wounded during an attack on Kyiv, Russian propagandists said that he was not a journalist at all: “Yeah, and at the front are all the drivers”.

To justify the terror and their aggression against the civilian population, the propagandists noted that this was revenge for the allegedly destroyed hotel in the occupied Kherson, where the traitor of Ukraine, collaborator and ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksii Zhuravko died, as well as for the explosion in the hotel in the temporary occupation where the former head of Roskosmos, the head of a group of military advisers to Russia, Dmytro Rohozin, and the head of the so-called “government” of the Donetsk occupied territory, Vitalii Khotsenko, were injured.

After the explosion in a Donetsk hotel, propagandists intimidated Ukraine that Russia would begin to strike at the places where Ukrainian top officials of law enforcement agencies are located. If their goal was precisely the power structures, they would not have destroyed the hotel, in which journalists have been holding various conferences and training sessions for many years in a row. In particular, Belarusian journalists and bloggers stayed there, for whom the Detector Media NGO conducted training sessions in 2019 as part of the School of Quality Media project. Also, they would not destroy the Ukraine Palace, where New Year's performances for children are usually held these days. Fortunately, only one person was injured in the Ukraine Palace, receiving minor leg injuries.

Message Kyiv becomes a ghost city

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

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