Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Germany participated in the development of biological weapons in Ukraine

Such information is disseminated in social networks and on Russian Internet resources. However, many projects to test biological weapons in Ukraine were implemented in the interests of the Central Medical and Sanitary Service of the German Armed Forces. The information is disseminated concerning the chief of radiation, chemical, and biological defense forces of the Russian army Igor Kirilov. He says that allegedly German specialists in Ukraine paid attention to the causative agent of Congo-Crimean fever and conducted screening for the sensitivity of residents to this infection. It is not valid.

The press service of the Bundeswehr denied the information in response to the request of the StopFake fact-checkers. The agency reported that it is probably the Ukrainian-German Biosafety Initiative aimed at controlling the risks of zoonotic diseases near the EU's external border. However, this project did not conduct any research related to biological weapons. In addition, similar projects have been implemented in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, and five other African countries. Moreover, representatives of the German agency said that a German-Ukrainian cooperation project has been implemented in Kharkiv since 2016 due to the danger of the emergence and spread of infectious diseases in the temporarily occupied territories of eastern Ukraine. This project has nothing to do with the development of biological weapons.

Russian propaganda systematically spreads fake messages about the work of biolaboratories and the development of biological weapons on the territory of Ukraine, allegedly to harm Russia. Such statements do not correspond to reality and are used by propagandists to justify a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. More details.

Fake The Pentagon will test biological weapons on the Ukrainian military

The Russian mass media spread the fake of the Ministry of Defense of Russia that allegedly, "in the laboratories of the Pentagon" in Ukraine, Ukrainian soldiers were subjected to "experiments on the assessment of the transfer of infectious diseases." The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation stated that "every third of the recently captured Ukrainian servicemen has hepatitis A, and a fifth has West Nile fever." It indicates that "servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine volunteered for experiments" at the Pentagon.

This fake is another in a series of fictions of Russian propaganda about non-existent laboratories for developing biological weapons in Ukraine. Earlier, they stated about "insects and birds" that supposedly had to infect Russians (still impossible, since there is no difference between Russians and non-Russians for bacteria and viruses). Moreover, they wrote about medical experiments in the same defunct laboratories on people with mental illnesses. Now they spread a fake about experiments on the military.

In fact, there is no single refutation of these fictions - there are too many of them. For example, it is unknown why experiment with the hepatitis A virus since this disease is well studied. There is a vaccine against it; it is well treated and cannot be used for military purposes. It is transmitted only through contaminated water or, in some cases, sexual intercourse. Even if a soldier gets hepatitis A, he will not be able to infect the enemy with it. Moreover, West Nile fever is not transmitted from person to person at all - insects spread the pathogen, although a disease from which almost 5% of those who get sick die.

Finally, it follows from the reports of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation that the Russians test every Ukrainian prisoner of war for dozens of diseases, including those rarely recorded in Ukraine, such as West Nile fever. On the other hand, it is known that Ukrainian prisoners do not receive the necessary medical care, not to mention elaborate complex tests.

Fake The Ukrainian military uses garbage mines that cause gangrene

The Russian mass media is spreading the fake news that during the military operations in Donbas, the Ukrainian military uses homemade mines with construction debris, which cause gangrene when wounded. This fake was spread by RIA Novosti, MK, Gazeta.ru, Vzglyad, Lenta.ru, Tsargrad, and others, referring to a representative of the LPR terrorist group, who spoke about the "socks" in which construction waste was placed, including pieces of concrete and glass, as well as TNT shrapnel and a charge to "infect a person with gangrene."

In fact, many self-made devices can cause gangrene in a person whom doctors did not help after an injury because gangrene is the death of tissues due to either a bacterial infection or a violation of blood circulation in an organ. There is also no evidence that the Ukrainian military uses improvised explosive devices.

Fake The Russians destroyed two American HIMARS multiple launch systems

Russian propaganda media, referring to the statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, reported that they destroyed two new HIMARS surface-to-air missiles, which were provided to Ukraine by the United States. It is another fake, which was refuted by both Ukrainian state authorities and American partners.

"It is a Russian fake. Perhaps the information we have HIMARS has led to panic and increased fear in Russian society. Therefore, they were advised to provide such information. This is work for their internal information market," said Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Malyar.

The United Forces of Ukraine also called Russian reports about the "destruction" of HIMARS a fake that does not correspond to reality. On July 8, representatives of the Pentagon separately emphasized that the United States sees the use of each of the installations provided to Ukraine, and all complexes are taken into account. The Pentagon confirmed that Russian reports about the destruction of HIMARS are false.

Read more about the refutation of the Russian fake about HIMARS here.

Manipulation An HGU-56/P ABH helmet was found at the crash site of the Ukrainian helicopter - this indicates that NATO troops are fighting in Ukraine

Russian and Georgian media spread the information that at the crash site of the Ukrainian helicopter, they found an HGU-56/P ABH helmet used by pilots of NATO member countries and the US Armed Forces, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have them. At the same time, Russian propagandists are distributing photos of the helmet and saying that it indicates the participation in the war of current or former NATO service members.

Fact-checkers at Mythdetector have reported that this information is false. They said the helmet manufacturer Gentex Corporation first published the photos. In this post, the company wrote that the pictures were sent to them by the Air Force of Ukraine as a sign of gratitude for the fact that the helmet saved their lives. It is not the first time that Kremlin propaganda has tried to prove that NATO troops are participating in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Fake The Americans bred ticks in Ukraine to increase the incidence of borreliosis in the border regions of Russia

The Russian mass media report it concerning the Ministry of Defense of Russia. Allegedly, scientists from the University of Texas studied ticks in the territory of Ukraine, and the study coincided with a sharp increase in the number of ticks in the Russian regions bordering Ukraine and an increase in the number of cases of borreliosis (Lyme disease). It is a fake. Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russians have repeatedly claimed that the United States has created laboratories for the development of biological weapons. This topic became the most common in Russian propaganda. As the Polish publication Wiadomosti writes, the study of Lyme disease was published in the journal BMJ Global Health. For the publication, scientists analyzed the results of 137 studies conducted until 2021 with the participation of almost 160,000 people. The researchers obtained statistics on immunity against Lyme bacteria in Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia, Western Europe, and the Caribbean. The research was conducted in many countries, but only the Russians claimed they were trying to harm them. Russia is again manipulating information to confirm fabricated theses about American biolaboratories in Ukraine, which allegedly became one of the reasons for the invasion of Ukraine.

Manipulation The USA and Europe can no longer actively support Ukraine.

The Russian propaganda media spread such messages concerning The New York Times materials. They said that the capacity of the USA and Europe to provide Ukraine with weapons is already running out. But it is not so.

Experts whose opinions are given in The New York Times talk about the need to consolidate the West's efforts to help Ukraine and speed up the pace of providing heavy weapons as part of military aid. In particular, it is said that the US defense industry is currently working for the needs of Ukraine, and President Joe Biden is negotiating with the countries of the Middle East to provide Ukraine with stocks of Soviet-made weapons. According to the Center for Combating Disinformation, Russian media reports about the lack of weapons among Ukraine's allies are aimed at destabilizing the situation inside our country. Russian propaganda systematically uses out-of-context or distorted quotes from Western media to convince Ukrainians that the world has left Ukraine to fend for itself and that without Western aid, Ukraine will not be able to withstand such a "strong adversary."

Fake The Serhiy Prytula Foundation is collecting donations for nuclear weapons

Such a message was published on the pro-Russian Telegram channel Legitymnyy. Serhii Prytula, for example, started collecting funds for nuclear weapons but did not realize the consequences of his actions. But it is a fake.

The Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation never claimed to be raising funds for nuclear weapons. More detailed information about the Fund's main work areas can be found on its website. The fact that Prytula can raise funds for any needs of the Ukrainian army joked on social networks after the record collection of over 600 million hryvnias for the purchase of Turkish drones "Bayraktar." Among other things, users of social networks assumed that the next collection would be opened to purchase nuclear weapons. However, it is impossible to implement. In October 1991, Ukraine adopted the Declaration on Nuclear-Free Status, and in 1994 it finally declared it. Therefore, neither the state of Ukraine nor its citizens can "buy" and use nuclear weapons at will. More details.

Fake Indian media reports that Western weapons will not help Ukraine in the war against Russia

Pro-Kremlin mass media and social networks reported that the Indian edition of The Economic Times wrote that Western weapons supplied to Ukraine by allied countries will not help it win the war with Russia. The Russian media also reported that the Armed Forces might repeat the fate of the Afghan army: get large amounts of resources but ultimately be defeated. Propagandists also hint that there are fewer and fewer personnel in the Ukrainian military, and morale is significantly falling because the mobilized soldiers practically do not resist the Russian military. However, all this is not true.

As VoxCheck writes, The Economic Times reported problems with developing Western weapons but did not say that Ukraine would repeat the fate of Afghanistan. There is no resource that purports to be an article from The Economic Times that cites the original material. More details.

Fake The Ukrainian military sold French self-propelled guns to the Russians

Russian propaganda media spread information that French self-propelled guns, which Ukraine received as military aid, were sold to the Russian army by the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for nothing. All propagandist media refer to the publication Bulgarian Military, which claims that "French and Ukrainian [from Donbas] sources assure that in the hands of the Russian army, and more precisely in the production workshops of the Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod, there are two 155 mm Caesar self-propelled howitzers, donated by France to Ukraine as military aid against the Russian invasion on February 24."

It is alleged that Ukrainians sold two Caesar self-propelled howitzers through an intermediary for $120,000 each. However, as The Insider writes, there is no evidence that the French self-propelled guns were sold to the Russians. The publication Bulgarian Military, which did not write about it, cites only the comments of experts, particularly a lawyer, who claims, referring to his own observations, that the Ukrainian military sold self-propelled guns to the Russians. Since no proper evidence has been found, such facts cannot be believed for sure; it is only assumption. More details.    

Fake The German publication Bild reported that the Russian military captured a trophy German howitzer PzH 2000

The information that the Russian army captured a trophy German howitzer was spread by Kremlin propaganda media. In materials, they allegedly refer to the publication of the German magazine Bild. Propaganda media reports that the howitzer had reportedly been damaged by a trophy German grenade launcher, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine also received from Germany. However, it is not true.

According to the fact-checkers from StopFake, the Bild publication did not publish the information that the Russian Armed Forces allegedly took possession of the German PzH 2000 howitzer, which was previously given to Germany as military aid to Ukraine. Also, the German publication Welt journalists could not find any confirmation of the information distributed on the network. Also, the Russian side did not provide any photo or video evidence that this self-propelled gun ended up in their military's hands. More details.

Fake The Americans placed 200 nuclear bombs in six European countries

Russian mass media, referring to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, spread manipulative articles that "200 tactical nuclear munitions of the USA are stationed" in Europe, which "pose a threat" to Russia and Belarus. It is stated that Russia and Belarus are "obliged to ensure their security in this regard." The materials also shift the blame for Russia's aggressive policy to the North Atlantic Alliance: "The current crisis was provoked by the NATO countries that declared themselves a nuclear alliance."

According to the StopFake fact-checkers, Russian President Vladimir Putin resorted to manipulating facts, declaring the "threat" of a nuclear attack by NATO countries. Unlike senior Kremlin officials, NATO has never threatened Russia with the launch of warheads. For example, in May 2022, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmytro Medvedev, announced the "possibility of the conflict with NATO turning into a nuclear war." On June 12, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, directly threatened a nuclear strike on Poland.

Without further context, Putin's statement of 200 tactical nuclear warheads stored in Europe can seem threatening. However, the Russian president, thinking about the "security" of his country, deliberately did not say how many similar warheads are in Russia's arsenal. According to NATO analysts, Russia's tactical nuclear arsenal exceeds the US stockpiles in Europe by about ten times. According to the estimates of NATO experts, as of 2020, there are 1,500 to 2,000 nuclear warheads in Russian storage facilities, compared to 150-200 American free-fall bombs, which are in special storage facilities in Europe.    

Fake Russia captured French self-propelled artillery installations and Caesar's self-propelled artillery in Ukraine

It was stated by the French politician Regis Castello in Telegram and the Russian plant "Uralvagonzavod," which in the comments asked to convey "thanks to President Macron." The Russian mass media spread these comments. The General Staff of the French Armed Forces called this information fake. "This information is false. We categorically reject it. We discussed this with our Ukrainian partner," the General Staff said.

As reported in the Strategic Communications Department of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the source of information about the capture of the SPA was named as a little-known French politician (probably a member of the Communist Party of France, an opponent of the current president of this country) Regis Castello.

He does not provide any confirmation or evidence but only refers to a comment on his Telegram channel, which representatives of the Russian plant allegedly left.

"This is proof that the supply of weapons to Ukraine is a strong blow to our enemy, and he is trying to sow distrust in the Armed Forces among the French and create the impression that it is useless to send weapons to our country," the message emphasizes.

Fake Now the new weapon will be used only for videos, that is there and somewhere shooting in the fields; it will not be delivered to the front line

Anonymous pro-Kremlin Telegram channels spread such rumors. The Western partners demand that Ukraine not transfer their weapons to the front, but this does not apply to the Western decommissioned, old Soviet equipment that is transferred.

They announced this demand behind the scenes after the information that the Russians had captured the French Caesar's self-propelled guns. The report does not provide any proof; it is written that there are "rumors" about it. Recently, Russian propaganda often turned to foreign weapons in Ukraine. If earlier Vladimir Putin repeatedly said only that the West and the USA had "stuffed" Ukraine with weapons, then later the Russians launched a series of accusations: the "black market" of weapons flourishes in Ukraine, while foreign weapons "are by no means suitable for a major land war" and is not designed for intensive long-term work, and even more so for frequent long marches on broken roads and off-road. So, the Ukrainian military leaves weapons depots when withdrawing from positions.

This news should be read "between the lines" and understand that the Russian army is waiting with horror for foreign weapons to arrive at the Armed Forces of Ukraine; they are afraid of them and try in every way to sow discord so that Western partners and volunteers doubt the feasibility of helping Ukraine.

Message Ukraine will use Western weapons to kill Russians and attack Russian territory

Anonymous pro-Russian Telegram channels distribute information with such a message. Their authors are convinced that if the West prolongs the supply of weapons to Ukraine, it will start using them to attack Russia.

However, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities have already repeatedly explained that Ukraine uses weapons provided by allied countries exclusively for self-defense - to fight off the enemy that attacks our territory and protect its sovereignty. In particular, the head of the German Ministry of Defense, Christine Lambrecht, said about the non-use of weapons in the attack on Russia: "We did not need to demand this from the Ukrainians; they clearly stated it. We are confident that Ukraine will use weapons only for defense."

Ukraine is a peaceful country and does not attack other countries; in the case of a Russian-Ukrainian war, it only defends itself. Therefore, weapons are needed precisely for defense. However, using such a message, Russian propaganda wants to convince our Western partners that giving weapons to Ukraine can be dangerous. It is beneficial for Russia that its partner countries do not provide Ukraine with weapons for defense.

Fake The USA said that many countries had given all their weapons to Ukraine

The Russian media spread fake information that the permanent representative of the US to NATO, Julian Smith, allegedly stated that there were difficulties in providing military aid to Ukraine because many countries had already allegedly "given almost everything they had."

Fake The Ukrainian command blew up bridges in Sievierodonetsk to prevent the fighters from leaving Azot

Russian propagandists have launched a spam mailing in the Telegram about the mass betrayal in Sievierodonetsk. According to the press service of the National Guard, there are reports in the network that the bridges in Sievierodonetsk were allegedly blown up by the Ukrainian command so that the fighters could not get out of Azot.

Another manipulative report states that the Ukrainian victims were allegedly thrown into the field or taken to the morgues of the Dnipro and Mykolayiv and then buried in these cities.

The National Guard emphasizes that in this way, Russia continues to carry out information and psychological operations to cause panic in society.

Manipulation The Americans accused the United States and Ukraine of stealing $ 40 billion

Russian media are actively spreading the news that the Americans have accused the United States and Ukraine of stealing $ 40 billion in military aid. In particular, RIA-Novosti wrote about it. Do reports say that under the news of allocating a new tranche of aid, Americans ask the authorities where the previously given money went? Also, Americans under this post seem to be concerned about the use of taxpayers' funds and financial responsibility for government actions. Russian propaganda turned the comments of anonymous users into loud headlines such as: "Where did the money go?", "Ukrainians spent the previous 40 billion too quickly!" etc. However, all this is manipulation. According to StopFake, the news was made based on the comments of seven anonymous users of the social network Twitter. Their authors are not opinion leaders, experts, or analysts. In addition, comments were added almost simultaneously, which is a sign of the activity of bots. Therefore, it is evident that such an opinion cannot reliably reflect Americans' views. Russian media often use this technique to create news and mislead readers artificially. It is not the first time Russian propaganda has tried to discredit US aid to Ukraine. Earlier, we wrote about how similar attempts were made based on extracted citations from an article published in The Wall Street Journal. Similarly, during the week, propaganda used comments from individual social media users from France and Germany to spread the idea that citizens of these countries did not support and "dislike" Ukraine.

Fake At the Kharkiv Hospital №28, the Ukrainian military set up an artillery depot

Russian propaganda media spread this information. In particular, the publication RT. In Kharkiv, the Ukrainian army deployed artillery and MRL in the city hospital №28. In their texts, the journalists refer to the head of the National Defense Management Center of Russia, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev. However, this is a fake. Journalists from the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center asked the city council for comment, where they denied Mizintsev's words and called them nonsense. Recently, similar information about weapons depots has been spread about other hospitals in the city. The Department of Health of the Kharkiv City Council also noted that there is no army or terrorist defense in medical institutions in Kharkiv. We will remind the Russian propaganda, not for the first time invents stories about warehouses of the weapon in Ukraine placed on civilian objects, particularly in hospitals, schools, and shopping centers. Recently, the fake about the placement of firing points in Odesa schools was refuted by the head of the Odesa RMA, Serhiy Bratchuk.

Fake Russian air defense shot down a Ukrainian AN-26 aircraft carrying weapons in the sky over Odesa

Information about this is disseminated online. The reports claim that the Russian system allegedly shot down a Ukrainian AN-26 plane with weapons and military equipment consignment over Odesa on June 5. The authors of such posts refer to the message of the Ministry of Defense of Russia. However, it is not valid.

Manipulation The United States is harming Ukraine and is delaying arms supplies

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, gave an interview to the Russian newspaper RIA Novosti, in which he accused the United States of deliberately prolonging Ukraine's predicament. "The United States is prolonging the troubles of Ukraine. The United States is prolonging this bad period for Ukraine, for the people of Ukraine," Peskov said. The statement was widely circulated in the Russian media. For example, RT wrote that the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov announced that America was prolonging Ukraine's troubles and delaying the process of arms supply, which was terrible for the country. In fact, Peskov's words are manipulation and an emotional reaction to the unprecedented assistance the United States provides to Ukraine. It is almost 54 billion dollars allocated by the US Congress. The total amount of aid includes the cost of weapons that the United States supplies to Ukraine. Also, in his statement, Peskov "forgot" to say that it was because of Russia that "all the troubles" and the "bad period" arose in Ukraine. Silencing the root causes and shifting one's responsibility for war crimes against Ukraine to anyone else (Ukraine, the United States, the collective West) is part of the information policy of the occupiers. Of course, it is more advantageous for Russia to leave Ukraine without help and support because, unfortunately, we will not be able to resist such an enemy on our own. Also, in this way, Peskov is somewhat intimidating, saying that even Ukraine's partners in this war are only harming it. Hinting that as long as the United States sends weapons, the war will continue. However, the war in Ukraine began not because of actions but because of an attack by Russia, which, in particular, with the help of American weapons, Ukraine is resisting.

Manipulation The United States is concerned about the disappearance of billions of dollars sent to Kyiv

This message was spread by the Russian media and social networks concerning an article in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), published on June 13. Russian propaganda has traditionally exaggerated information and speaks of "ordinary sawing" and "expected theft." However, the quotes announced by the Russian media are taken out of context and distort the opinion expressed in the original source. The fact-checkers from StopFake drew attention to the manipulation. The WSJ published an article about how much money the United States spends daily on military aid to Ukraine under the headline: "Since billions go to Ukraine, officials are concerned about the possibility of fraud and waste." It reports that the United States sends about $ 130 million a day in aid to Ukraine (including the cost of weapons, not just money as such). The US Congress has also allocated nearly $ 54 billion to Ukraine, exceeding annual aid to any other country, including aid sent to Afghanistan at the peak of US military involvement there. The article's authors, referring to the opinion of American politicians, draw attention to the need to establish an effective mechanism for controlling the allocated funds, which did not happen at the beginning of the war due to the need to respond quickly to challenges. That is, Americans want to be sure that the money allocated goes to their goals. And this is natural, given the amount of funding.

Manipulation The Armed Forces refuse to fight with weapons provided by the West

Russian media reported that the Ukrainian military allegedly refused to fight with weapons provided by Western partners. This thesis is disseminated concerning a CNN article. CNN does have a paragraph saying that "some units (AFUs) prefer to use commercial drones equipped with explosives" instead of the American Switchblade. In other words, it is already clear from this quote that this is not a mass renunciation of all Western weapons by the Armed Forces, and Russian propaganda has distorted CNN material. Another quote from the material confirms this: "In some cases, according to one of the sources familiar with American intelligence, Ukraine has simply decided not to use unfamiliar Western systems."

Fake Russia destroyed 186 aircraft and 129 helicopters of the Armed Forces

Following the results of the three-month full-scale war against Ukraine, the Russian General Staff announced that "...the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 186 aircraft and 129 helicopters since the beginning of the SMO in Ukraine...", "...the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 1,084 UAVs and 3,373 units of armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the beginning of the special operation ". Specialists of the Zaporizhzhia Center of Investigation compared the figures of the Russian General Staff with official data and proved that what was said could not be true. Thus, according to information from the World Air Forces 2022 directory, at the end of 2021, Ukraine had 134 fighter aircraft, attack aircraft, and transport aircraft under the command of the Air Force. Another four are in the fleet. Total - 138 units. In this way, if the Russians report 186 "trophies," it turns out that they destroyed 30% more military aircraft than Ukraine had before the war. According to the same directory, at the beginning of 2022, there were 112 helicopters in Ukraine. Of them, 15, 88, and 9 belong to aviation, army, and navy.

Fake Azov fighters crucified and burned the militant alive

The fake, repeatedly refuted, is spreading on social networks again - about the crucifixion of an LPR soldier by the Azov Battalion. The VoxCheck project drew attention to this.

This video, in which a man is allegedly crucified and set on fire, has existed since 2015. Then the Russian media spread the video about the group "Kiber Berkut" - a Russian or pro-Russian hacker group - which allegedly received this video from the Azov fighters. According to the publication, there is no confirmation of the reality of this video or the fact that there is no Azov fighter in the video. Moreover, it is impossible to identify people on the video or confirm that it is not a production video.

At the same time, Kiber ​​Berkut has repeatedly disseminated fakes created by this group - non-existent orders, documents, fake videos, and photos allegedly obtained by Ukrainian hacking websites. The Azov Regiment reported in 2015 that it had nothing to do with this video. In addition, even the Russian media outlets that distributed the video wrote that there was no evidence that the video was authentic. But after the start of a massive information campaign against Azov in the Russian media in early 2022, this fake is again actively spread - and without the postscript "unverified video."