Spilnota Detector Media

Fake German Foreign Minister asked Ukraine not to call Leopard tanks German

The Russian segment, Facebook and media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock asked Ukraine not to call Leopard tanks German. Baerbock allegedly asked the media not to name the Leopard tanks destroyed in Ukraine as German. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. Annalena Baerbock did not ask the media not to call the Leopard tanks German. Experts have determined that open source searches in German, English and Russian lead to Russian propaganda sites and the Russian segment of social networks. Also, on the website of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs there are no texts with a similar request from Annalena Baerbock.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Germany and the assistance provided to Ukraine by Western partners. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine could join NATO if it gave up the territories occupied by Russia.

Manipulation Ukraine justifies its failures in the counteroffensive with the ineffectiveness of Western technology

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the Ukrainian military has begun to complain about Western equipment. Allegedly, it is not adapted for Ukraine, and in general it is because of it that Ukraine “experiences failures” in the counteroffensive. The authors refer to the material of The Wall Street Journal. This is manipulation. 

The fact-checkers of the Stop Fake project took up the case, and found out that the article does not talk about the Ukrainian military complaining about Western weapons, especially justifying the “unsuccessful counteroffensive”. Journalists from The Wall Street Journal interviewed several Ukrainian servicemen participating in the battles in the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk directions. One of the fighters noted that, in his opinion, MaxxPro armored vehicles are not suitable for moving through swampy areas. And according to him, such cars hardly pass swampy areas. It was this phrase that the propagandists used and distorted the entire context of the quote. The military did not criticize or justify “failures” in the counteroffensive. He talked about the features of the operation of a particular technique. 

Thus, the authors once again promote false messages about broken or malfunctioning Western weapons. So, they want to show that the Ukrainian army is constantly losing and even innovative Western technology does not help.

Fake Shares of the German defense concern Rheinmetall collapsed after unsuccessful attempts by the Ukrainian military to attack

This message is spread by Russian media and anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The report says that “after several unsuccessful attempts to attack the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the shares of the German defense concern Rheinmetall went down sharply”. According to Russian propaganda, this happened after the mass destruction of Leopard 2 tanks produced by the concern by Russian troops. Ukraine seems to have become a testing ground for the “miracle technology”, which proved to be not the best. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. The German concern Rheinmetall AG is one of the largest manufacturers of military equipment in Germany and Europe. Together with the Krauss-Maffei concern, it also produces Leopard tanks, which are now supplying Ukraine. The group is now ramping up production and is not having a significant drop in shares or economic problems, as evidenced by the data from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. And the head of the German defense concern Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, said earlier that the Ukrainian military spoke very positively about the weapons provided.

By spreading this message, propagandists are once again trying to promote the message that Russian technology is effective and invincible, and that Ukraine is a testing ground for Western weapons. Russian propaganda is also trying to embroil Ukraine with its partners. Earlier, Detector Media explained the message that Western technology is stupid, it is unsuitable for use in Ukraine.

Manipulation Australia wants to transfer Hawkei armored vehicles with faulty brakes to Ukraine

In Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, reports are circulating that Australia will transfer Hawkei armored vehicles with faulty brakes to Ukraine as part of a military aid package. Russian propaganda refers to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, which allegedly released an article about this. This is manipulation.

As fact-checkers of The Insider media note, in fact, the Australian newspaper reports that the obligation to supply armored vehicles to Ukraine has not yet been formally fixed, but an agreement has been reached. The aid package itself will be announced in July, during Prime Minister Anthony Albaniz's visit to the NATO summit in Lithuania. Australia has 1,100 Hawkeis equipped with the same US-Norwegian air defense system protecting the White House. However, the army opposed the transfer of these vehicles to Ukraine, referring to the fact that the vehicle has faulty brakes. Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryman believes this is a cop-out.

Also, the Australian military came up with another argument. They say that Ukraine will have to transfer so many spare parts that the entire Australian fleet of armored vehicles will become unusable. However, despite this, agreements were reached.

By spreading such manipulations, Russian propagandists are trying to show that the West does not want to support Ukraine in the war, does not believe in its victory, and therefore transfers broken equipment to it. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the Ukrainian military is unprofessional, so the United States is transferring tanks to Ukraine without secret equipment.

Fake Russian military destroyed a Leopard tank in Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry and anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric published a video captioned “destruction of foreign armored vehicles, including Leopard tanks”. They even suggest that they have attracted the Vykhor (whirlwind) anti-tank missile system (VTRK). It's fake.

OSINT community experts determined that the Russians fired from the Ka-52 not at Leopard 2 tanks, but at agricultural equipment - a sprayer and a combine. Later, the specialists of the Stratcom project of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed this.

Thus, propagandists are trying to convince the whole world of the effectiveness of Russian technology. It has no equal, and Western technology can be easily destroyed. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that the Russians “hit” the Leopard2A5 tank near Vuhledar.

Message Russians effectively destroy Western equipment in Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that due to the constant Russian shelling, the occupiers managed to destroy many equipment and, in particular, a third of the annual production of missiles before the Patriot.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project worked on the case and found that such a thesis is unfounded. No one knows how many weapons were provided to Ukraine in order to talk about the exact amount of equipment destroyed. In total, there are more than 240 Patriot launchers in 19 countries of the world, thousands of missiles are produced for them with different characteristics and according to different needs. Different countries have different needs and the corresponding number of launch missiles. Such a number is not constant, which means that propagandists simply throw in false information.

The authors often speculate on the topic of Western weapons and exaggerate their achievements, saying that they destroyed a certain number of weapons. For example, earlier we refuted the fake that the Russians destroyed five Patriot launchers. We also explained the message that allegedly all Western equipment is poor, so it is unsuitable for use in Ukraine. Thus, the authors are only trying to convince everyone of the effectiveness of Russian technology. It seems that it has no equal, but all Western equipment can be easily destroyed. So, Moscow wants to create the appearance that Russian troops are constantly winning.

Message Western equipment is poor, it is unsuitable for use in Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Western equipment supplied to Ukraine is completely poor. They say that equipment gets stuck in the fields and generally breaks down quickly. As proof, the authors cited a photo where the M2 Bradley BMP allegedly got stuck in the Ukrainian black soil. In the photo of the combat vehicle, one can see a white cross, allegedly proof that Ukrainian troops are using it. The authors also add that this is “a vivid demonstration” of how Western equipment is exploited in Ukraine. That is, they hint that all weapons and equipment quickly fail.

The specialists of the VoxCheck project took up this case, explaining that the white cross on the vehicle was added in a photo editor, and the photo shows the M2 Bradley in Baakub (Iraq) in 2006. That is, propagandists created a fake photo to confirm that “Western equipment cannot be used in Ukraine”. Of course, when using machinery on the field of battle, it can break or fail. However, propagandists exaggerate the significance of faulty equipment and explain this by its “absurdity”. Repairing equipment on the battlefield is quite understandable, because no one is protected from malfunctions. At the same time, propagandists want to prove that Russian technology is much better than Western technology, and it “does not break at all”.

By spreading this message, the authors seek to convince everyone of the effectiveness of Russian technology. It seems that it has no equal, but all Western equipment can be easily destroyed. Thus, the Russians want to create the appearance that the Russian troops are constantly winning. For example, we recently refuted a fake claiming that Russia “destroyed” five Patriot launchers.

Fake The Ukrainian military is unprofessional, which is why the US is handing over tanks to Ukraine without secret equipment

Kremlin propaganda telegram channels are spreading the word that the US is handing over Abrams tanks to Ukraine without depleted uranium to keep it out of the Russians. Russian propaganda refers to a USA Today article, according to which Western partners allegedly believe that the Ukrainian military is unprofessional, therefore they remove secret equipment because they fear that the tanks will fall into the hands of the Russians. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the Vox Check project drew attention to the case. The US is indeed removing secret equipment in case the Russians seize one of the vehicles and use it for reconnaissance. The transfer of equipment to Ukraine without unique armor made of uranium is no exception. Egypt, Thailand, Saudi Arabia or Iraq have already received such tanks. And with armor they were delivered to Poland and Australia. However, the USA Today article did not talk about the low assessment of the training of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In this way, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Western partners who give weapons to Ukraine, as well as Ukrainian military who are allegedly poorly fighting. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the Ukrainian military is massively complaining about equipment supplied by the United States.

Fake Russia “destroyed” five Patriot launchers

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. During rocket attacks on May 16 in Kyiv, the Russians managed to destroy five Patriot launchers, reports say. Like, with the help of one Kinzhal missile, the Russian army destroyed the entire Patriot complex. As evidence, the propagandists cite screenshots of the alleged sale of spare parts from the installation on one of the Ukrainian sites. It is not true.

The case was processed by StopFake project specialists, who, first of all, turned to the Patriot “spare parts” seller. He stated that he only assumes that these parts belong to the Patriot. In addition, the seller finds these and other parts in the open field and usually keeps them for their own collection or sells them on Internet auctions. As for the destruction of five launchers, this is also not true. First, on May 18, the Pentagon confirmed that the Patriot system was damaged (not destroyed) as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine, but it has already been repaired. Secondly, the speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, said that it is impossible to destroy the Patriot “in one blow”, since this is a division consisting of a command post, a radar, and also the launchers themselves (up to eight units). That is, neither the Pentagon nor the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the destruction of five Patriot launchers. However, damage was confirmed to one repaired installation.

Propagandists spread such fakes to convince everyone of the effectiveness of Russian technology. It seems that it has no equal, but all Western equipment can be easily destroyed. Thus, the Russians want to create the appearance that the Russian troops are constantly winning. For example, we recently refuted a fake that the Russians allegedly destroyed the first Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

Message All air defense systems were installed in Kyiv, so other cities of Ukraine are under no defense

Anonymous telegram channels spreading pro-Russian rhetoric reported on May 17 that approximately 10 explosions were heard in Odesa, there were “strikes at military facilities”. According to anonymous telegram channels, “the Russians realized that there was no good air defense in Odesa, they moved everything to Kyiv”, and therefore they are attacking this particular city.

However, such conclusions are unfounded. From May 17 to May 18, Russia launched 30  missiles, of which 29 were destroyed by air defense forces. This was stated by the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, on the air of the United News telethon, the speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, said that during today's missile strike over Odesa region, 8 missiles were shot down. This refutes the message that all air defense systems were installed in Kyiv.

Yurii Ihnat noted: “The capital is attacked most often, so this city, obviously, needs more protection”. He also added about “the eastern and northern regions – there is also a very serious vector of work and air defense is also working there. Therefore, we distribute our forces where it is most needed”.

By spreading such a message, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainians, arouse distrust in the authorities and split society. Like, the amount of air defense is not enough to close the whole of Ukraine, so the Ukrainian authorities determine “more and less important” areas.

This is not the first time propagandists have been spreading this message. Previously, it was promoted on the telegram channels of Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kharkiv regions. In October 2022, Detector Media talked about a message that air defense was taken from Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions, and Kyiv and Dnipro were “excessively” protected because they were “more strategically important” for the authorities.

Manipulation The British assume that the Ukrainian army and NATO will be defeated by Russian tanks “Armata”

This message has been spreading in the Russian propaganda media and the Russian segment of Facebook. Russian propaganda cites comments under the publication of the British media Daily Mail and writes that “NATO will be bleeding” and that “the Challenger tanks donated by the UK are no match for the mighty Armatas”. This is manipulation.

The fact checkers of the StopFake project drew attention to the case. Russian propaganda media cite a skeptical Daily Mail article. The publication ironically notes that Armata tanks are primarily used by Russian propaganda, and not on the battlefield. The article writes that the T-14 is heavier and larger than other tanks, has only a few dozen units, and commanders are unlikely to trust this vehicle on the battlefield. So far, Armata tanks have been seen mainly at military parades on Red Square.

As for the quotes of the commentators referred to in the propaganda, they do not represent the opinion of all Britons. Moreover, the large number of comments under the publication of the Daily Mail is ironic: people write about the Russian “wonder weapon” that does not exist. To create this manipulation, the Russian media used comments from the “Comments with the worst rating” tab. One can register on the site under a fictitious name, which means that it is impossible to identify the commentator. And the users who left comments are registered not only in the UK, but also in other countries - Hungary, the USA, Australia, etc.

Thus, propagandists are trying to convince the audience that Ukraine is losing the support of the West and will not be able to win the war with Russia and resist its “powerful” weapons. Earlier, Detector Media talked about the message that France allegedly admitted that the situation of the Ukrainian army is disappointing and it will not succeed in defeating Russia.

Fake The Russians destroyed the first “Bradley” IFV

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Ukraine has lost the first American Bradley infantry fighting vehicle in the Zaporizhzhia direction. As proof, the authors of the messages cite a photo of the destroyed IFV. It is not true.

The VoxCheck project specialists worked on the case, they determined that the photos were edited, and the author of the photo reported this himself. When anonymous telegrams circulated this photo, the author of the edited photo also said this. He acknowledged the fact of editing and explained that the image was created precisely so that Russian resources would “go” for it. In the photo editor, an infantry fighting vehicle was added to the image.

Manipulation In Latvia, they transferred all air defense systems to Ukraine and have been left without protection

The Kremlin propaganda media spread information that Latvia allegedly gave all stocks of air-defense missile systems (ADMS) to Ukraine and allegedly “deprived itself of protection for the sake of the Kyiv regime”. Propaganda refers to the statement of the head of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia, Inara Murniece. This is manipulation.

 Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to it. To create it, Russian propaganda used only part of the statement of the Latvian Ministry of Defense Inara Murniece. During the Ramstein meeting, Murniece said that, at the request of Ukraine, Latvia “has decided to transfer all of its Stinger missile systems to a country that is fighting the Russian invasion”. She also said that Latvia will not remain defenseless, since the country has the Swedish RBS-70 jet systems.

Thus, propagandists are trying to convince the audience that Ukraine is draining the resources of other countries, reducing the help of Western partners. Earlier, Detector Media denied the manipulation that 58% of Americans allegedly oppose assistance to Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainian military complain en masse about US-supplied equipment

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric spread information that the Ukrainian military is allegedly complaining about the equipment that Western partners handed over to Ukraine. It is about the International M1224 MaxxPro MRAP armored car. Earlier, propagandists posted a video with this car and wrote that it was smashed “near Artemivsk”. It's fake.

The case was noticed by specialists from the StopFake project. They report that the Ukrainian military, on the contrary, has repeatedly written about the reliability of the M1224 MaxxPro MRAP, for example, the armored car withstood a hit from a grenade launcher. And even the most anonymous Russian telegram channels write that the Russian army should also be equipped with similar vehicles.

By spreading this fake, Russian propaganda continues to discredit Western partners that provide weapons to Ukraine. The propagandists want to show that this technique is outdated or expired. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that supposedly fascist crosses were depicted on Ukrainian armored vehicles.

Fake Russians “massively destroy” tanks M1 “Abrams”

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the Russians are destroying Abrams tanks en masse. Like, they are so poor quality that they “burn like matches”. In addition, the authors of the reports are convinced that “the unwise production of Abrams tanks from depleted uranium negatively affects both the military and future generations due to chemical poisoning of the population”. It is not true.

The experts of the StopFake project investigated this case and found that the US Army M1 Abrams battle tank has not yet been delivered to Ukraine and therefore cannot “burn like a match” during military operations against the Russian occupiers. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive American tanks by the fall of 2023.

In addition, the thesis about the “danger of shells from depleted uranium” is untrue. Yes, pure uranium is a radioactive element, but not depleted. Some countries are armed with tanks with depleted uranium shells.

To put it simply, the projectile “does not emit” radiation and only threatens Russian tankers. Exposure to radioactive radiation from depleted uranium is insignificant.

We recall that earlier analysts of Detector Media refuted the fake about the alleged destruction of the first M1 Abrams tank near Soledar. We also refuted the destruction of another tank on the battlefield - Leopard. We explained the message in which we claimed that only the foreign legion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine uses foreign equipment on the  battlefield.

Fake The Russians “hit” the tank “Leopard2A5” near Vuhledar

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the Russians “hit” a Leopard2A5 tank with an RPG-76. As evidence, the authors of the messages add to the publication a photograph of an allegedly Russian military man who is aiming at a Leopard2A5 tank. At the same time, there is a patch with the flag of Russia on the military uniform. It's a lie.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project investigated the case and found out that the photo actually depicts a Lebanese military and Israeli Merkava tank, and a patch with the Russian flag was added in a photo editor.

The fact checkers decided to find the real photo through a reverse image search using the TinEye tool. Among the results of the search is a publication on the Twitter of the Lebanese Armed Forces, from where the propagandists took the photo.

Earlier, analysts of Detector Media denied the fake, which said that the Russians allegedly destroyed the first Leopard tank on the battlefield.

Manipulation The aircraft delivered from Poland and Slovakia are ineffective, the Armed Forces of Ukraine said

In the Kremlin propaganda media, there were reports that the planes transferred to Ukraine by Poland and Slovakia are not effective in combat conditions. Like, this was recognized by the leadership of the Air Force of Ukraine. In their messages, propagandists refer to the words of the speaker of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, on the air of the Rada TV channel. Propaganda theses about the inefficiency of the aircraft appeared against the backdrop of news about the transfer of MIG-29 aircraft to Ukraine.

In fact, according to StopFake, the Russian media took out of context a quote from the representative of the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat. He did not say that planes from Poland and Slovakia were ineffective. Ihnat said that these planes would help Ukraine on the battlefield while patrolling the airspace, covering strike groups of Ukrainian bombers and other cases.

However, by spreading such fakes, Russian propaganda seeks to create the appearance that Ukraine's partners let Ukraine down, because they are sending unnecessary weapons that allegedly will not help the Ukrainian army in any way.

Manipulation The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is convinced that Ukraine will not receive Western fighters

Such information appeared in the Russian propaganda media. Reports say that the fact that Ukraine will not receive planes from abroad was allegedly announced by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Like, Ukraine is already desperate and there is no optimism that fighters from partners will still arrive. However, this is manipulation.

As StopFake analysts found out, propagandists distorted Dmytro Kuleba's commentary to the German publication Bild am Sonntag.

In fact, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine, on the contrary, has no doubt that it will receive fighter jets from allied countries. However, he added that the acquisition process could take a long time despite the work being done.

Propagandists use such manipulation to reassure the audience that Ukraine will not receive weapons from Western partners to fight Russia. They say that even Ukrainian officials do not believe in new deliveries, so there will definitely not be weapons. Thus, Russia creates the appearance that Ukraine is allegedly losing the support of the West and will soon be left without any help.

Manipulation The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have the equipment to create full-fledged units

This thesis was spread on social networks and in the propaganda media. The reports say that the West did not provide the Armed Forces with the necessary amount of equipment to create full-fledged units. Like, the Ukrainian military has no weapons. The authors of the messages refer to the material of “Forbes”. This is a manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to this case, investigating that propagandists distorted the context of the material. As the fact-checkers explain, the Forbes article says that the lack of heavy equipment in some units is not a problem at all and is a “temporary state of affairs”. A military journalist explained in his material that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have enough other weapons. He gives the example that while heavy tanks have not arrived on the battlefield, the Ukrainian army already has “a bunch of other weapons, including lightly armored tanks”. That is, the military journalist did not say that there were “not enough weapons” in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but on the contrary, he talked about the presence of “a bunch of other weapons”, at the same time he called the absence of heavy tanks a matter of time.

Propagandists systematically spread manipulations designed to discredit the West and allegedly show that the Western countries allegedly do not care about Ukraine, which will not be sent the promised weapons and so on. Thus, the authors of the messages discredit Western partners and undermine Ukrainians' confidence in the West.

Detector Media has repeatedly refuted fakes about Western weapons, for example, about the destruction of an American M1 Abrams tank near Soledar, which had not yet been handed over to Ukraine. He also denied the fake creation of Leopard 2 tanks with so-called “nuclear warheads” and explained the message that the West came up with a new deadly weapon called “tectonic weapons” to punish Turkey with an earthquake.

Fake The Russians captured the German tank “Leopard”

A photo of a German Leopard tank allegedly captured by the Russians with a Russian flag attached is circulating on social networks. Like, the tank went on the attack near Bakhmut, but got stuck in a swamp after a hundred meters. It is not true.

The spread of the fake was recorded by the fact-checkers of the NotaYenota project. They found out that Russians used a photo published on one of the Dutch sites back in 2007 for this message. The Russian flag was added to it. There is no evidence that the Russians managed to capture a German tank.

After the decision to supply tanks to Ukraine, propagandists launched a campaign to discredit them, saying that they would not help on the battlefield, they would be burned right away. Also, the Russians have already spread fakes about the destruction of the first Leopard tank.

Manipulation In the number of tanks that Germany will give to Ukraine, Nazi symbols were encrypted

Messages are circulating on the net that the alleged number of tanks that Germany will transfer to Ukraine is not accidental. They are talking about 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks and 88 Leopard 1 tanks. Users claim that Nazi symbols were encrypted in these numbers: 88 - two eight letters of Latin (HH - Heil Hitler), 14 - the slogan of white racists from 14 words. This is manipulation.

The statement about encrypted characters in the number of tanks is a conspiracy theory. Moreover, finally Germany will transfer more tanks. First, the German government announced the supply of 14 Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks to Ukraine from the stocks of the Bundeswehr. According to VoxCheck fact-checkers, according to NATO standards, a tank company consists of 14 tanks. That is, this figure has nothing to do with Nazi symbols. Somewhat later, they announced the delivery of 88 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine. However, the German federal government finally approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine.

Russian propaganda used the coincidence and came up with a “hidden meaning” in the number of tanks it plans to deliver to Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda not only nourished the narrative that Nazism reigns in Ukraine, but also tries to discredit military assistance to Ukraine from other states. Previously, propaganda spread fakes, as if the Ukrainian military were awarding “Nazi” awards and allegedly fascist crosses were depicted on Ukrainian armored vehicles.

Fake The first tank “Leopard” destroyed by Russians on the battlefield

Such a message was circulated on social networks, including telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The report says that the Russian military on the battlefield has already destroyed the first Leopard tank with the help of Russian equipment. The authors attach to the publication the testimonies of the so-called “foreign mercenaries” who were allowed to drive the tank. It is not true.

The Center for Counteracting Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council explains that this statement is not true, since not a single Leopard is even on the battlefield yet. Accordingly, the testimonies of “foreign mercenaries” are also false.

By spreading this fake, propagandists want to distort reality and show that Ukraine is constantly losing and even powerful equipment does not help, because the Russians are successfully destroying it. In addition, Russian propaganda has repeatedly spread manipulations about so-called foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. Thus, propaganda wants to create an appearance that is actually at war not with Ukraine, but with the so-called collective West.

We recall that earlier Detector Media refuted the fake about the destruction of the American M1 Abrams tank near Soledar and explained the message in which they claimed that only the foreign legion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine uses foreign equipment on the field of battle.

Message The West does not allow the Ukrainian military to use its equipment as “foreign mercenaries” are engaged in this

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on Telegram broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that all operators of foreign weapons, such as the Challenger 2 tanks or the AS90 artillery mount, are “foreign mercenaries”. They say that Western countries do not trust Ukrainians and entrust their equipment on the battlefield only to foreigners. The authors of the reports note that the Ukrainian army is only engaged in “protecting equipment” and in some cases, according to them, “foreigners allow Ukrainians to steer”.

Such a thesis is unfounded, because the Ukrainian military use foreign weapons on their own. For example, recently a group of Ukrainian military arrived in the UK to train to use the AS90 self-propelled artillery mount. Earlier, the British government announced that it would transfer Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine for use. This indicates that the Ukrainian army and Ukrainians in particular are entrusted with the use of weapons. This is not the only case when the Ukrainian army is sent for training and taught to use foreign weapons.

As for the so-called “foreign mercenaries”, Russian propaganda replaces the concept and calls the foreign legion mercenaries. The Foreign Legion is legally part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the exact number of its members is not reported, like all other fighters. In theory, both the Ukrainian military and members of the foreign legion can use weapons. The ban does not apply to Ukrainians or the foreign legion, since they are all part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Accordingly, foreign countries, sending their weapons for use to Ukraine, give the Armed Forces of Ukraine the right to operate them.

Russian propaganda has repeatedly spread manipulations about so-called foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. The propagandists claimed that the military from the EU countries fought on the territory of Ukraine even before the full-scale invasion, or the number of foreigners in the Ukrainian army would soon exceed 50%. Thus, propaganda wants to create an appearance that is actually at war not with Ukraine, but with the so-called collective West.

Fake Zelenskyi asked the earthquake-affected Turks for military equipment

Such a fake was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that against the backdrop of earthquakes that took place in Turkey, Volodymyr Zelenskyi turned to the victims with the goal of “pulling even more weapons”. Like, instead of compassion and words of support, Zelenskyi showed “hypocrisy” and demanded even more weapons. The authors of the messages add a likely screenshot from Twitter, where he allegedly wrote that “Turkey will be able to overcome the tragedy, and the supply of weapons will not stop”. It is not true.

Analysts of the StopFake project investigated this case and determined that Zelenskyi did not actually write such a thing, but a screenshot with a message was created using graphic editors. Analysts add that the official account first published an appeal in Turkish, and then in Ukrainian. The fake screenshot did not show the post in Turkish. Moreover, the fabricated nature of the screenshot is indicated by spelling errors, in particular the spelling of “my”.

By spreading such a fake, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit Zelenskyi and present him as a beggar, as if the only thing he does is he begs for money and weapons from other countries.

We recall that Detector Media described the main messages that propagandists spread during Zelenskyi's visit to the UK, France and Belgium. In particular, among the many messages it was said that Volodymyr Zelenskyi was begging for weapons from the West.

Manipulation US refuses to transfer Abrams tanks

Such a message was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. It says the US is unlikely to hand over the Abrams tanks to Ukraine because of their difficult process of maintaining combat capability. The authors of the report add that the Ukrainian army is not capable of repairing tanks, so they will definitely not be sent. As evidence, they refer to the material of the Financial Times, where supposedly experts talked about this. This is manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project investigated this case and found out that neither the author of the article nor the experts interviewed stated that the United States was not ready to transfer the tanks. On the contrary, the publication says that after long discussions and requests from Germany and Ukraine, America nevertheless decided to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which is equivalent to one Ukrainian tank battalion. The fact-checkers note that the reporters only cited experts interviewed by the Financial Times who expressed concern about whether Ukraine could actually handle the maintenance of the tank. That is, the context of the article was distorted and the authors used convenient propaganda theses to justify “the unwillingness of the United States to transfer tanks”.

By spreading such manipulation, propagandists are trying to convince that the Ukrainian military is not capable of using Western weapons, they say, they don’t even know how to repair them. Thus, they also want to promote the narrative about the combat-ready Russian technology, which has no equal in the world. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake story about the alleged destruction of the Abrams tank by the Russian army, which had not yet arrived in Ukraine.