Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Ukraine “wasted” $11 million on Antarctic research

The network is spreading information that Ukraine spent $11 million on wine, chocolate and studying penguins in Antarctica. As propagandists add, this money “can be redirected to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

Analysts from the VoxCheck project investigated the case and explained that Ukraine is one of several dozen countries that have year-round stations in Antarctica. Scientists also use this influence on the international platform to inform about Russian aggression and counter Russian activities. And the money allocated for research cannot be redirected to the defense sector of Ukraine. The purchase for the station's activities is made at a time for the entire year in Chile for 14 people.

The polar explorers also refuted the thesis about the “tons of delicacies” that are allegedly purchased for them. All products are bought once a year in Chile by 14 people at once. Also regarding alcohol, “per week, one polar explorer receives 300 grams of dry wine (two glasses) and 200 grams of chocolate and sweets”. So, it is not about any “excessive consumption”; this purchase is necessary to provide food for the year.

Fake Ukrainians allegedly receive bills to pay for the telethon

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that Ukrainians are supposedly receiving bills to pay for the telethon. As “proof”, propagandists add a photo of a “receipt” from the Rivne Regional Energy Supply Company, which, in addition to electricity charges, allegedly shows charges for the telethon amounting to 40 UAH.

However, this information is not true, write experts on the VoxCheck project. In fact, the United News telethon is financed exclusively from the state budget.

A sample invoice for services from the Rivne Regional Energy Supply Company is presented on the company’s official website. There is no payment for the telethon. Also, the Bereznivskyi district, which is mentioned in the receipt, no longer exists for a long time - as a result of the administrative-territorial reform, four districts were formed in the Rivne region, the former Bereznivskyi district became part of the Rivne one.

Finally, the telethon is broadcast on a dozen national television channels, available on digital airwaves, satellite television and online for free. It is technically impossible to separate “Unified News” into a separate package of services. Citizens of Ukraine either watch it for free or pay providers for a package of channels, which may include channels broadcasting the marathon. Accordingly, when purchasing such a package, the money goes directly to the provider and cannot be combined in one bill with utilities.

Previously, we refuted the information that in Rivne those who evade are disconnected from public services.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fake Germany will pay pensions to 57.5 - 60 years old refugees from Ukraine

Social media users are sharing a video saying, “We need to protect ourselves from this” and “Should they work until they are 67 when they can retire at 57 without investing anything?” The point is that Ukrainian refugees in Germany can retire earlier as early as June: men aged 60 years and older, and women another two and a half years earlier, and that Germany will pay for their pension. However, this is fake.

Fact-checkers of the German project Correctiv drew attention to it. They found out that this fake has been circulating in Germany since 2022. In fact, Ukrainians cannot retire before the Germans. The retirement age ranges from 63 to 67 years.

The fact-checkers also found out whether any rules on pensions for Ukrainians have changed. Katja Braubach from the German Pension Insurance Service (DRV) objected: “For citizens of Ukraine, no special conditions are provided for in the pension legislation”. The German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) also confirmed that “the current legislation applies when receiving a German pension”.

Ukrainians can receive a pension in Germany in the same way as Germans. Persons from abroad must have at least five years of statutory pension insurance contributions to be entitled to pension benefits in Germany. Periods of work abroad only count if it is an EU member state or if the country has a social security agreement with Germany - neither of which applies to Ukraine.

Although EU accession negotiations have been ongoing since December 2023, Ukraine is not a member of the EU. Germany signed a social security agreement in 2018 and ratified it in 2020, but the ratification process in Ukraine has stalled.

For Ukrainians, the “regular retirement age” applies. Excluded from this regulation are a “very small group” of Ukrainian refugees who - like other persons recognized under the Emigrants Act who come from ethnic German families - have acquired working hours recognized as German insurance periods, as stated on the DRV website . However, according to DRV, “normal pension age restrictions” apply here too.

This information can be disseminated by propagandists in order to arouse skepticism and hostility towards Ukrainian refugees among the population. They say that they are taking away the pensions of Europeans, which means that Ukrainians need to stop helping. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other Russian provocations against Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

Fake Ukrainians allegedly began to donate less

Propaganda spreads information that Ukrainians allegedly began to donate less and help volunteers and the military less. And also that Western foundations and organizations have completely stopped funding, as a result of which financial support for the treatment of the military has decreased. In addition to this, the ability to travel abroad to receive surgical services was allegedly limited. But all this is fake.

Vox Ukraine specialists drew attention to it. Based on the results of a survey conducted by Gradus Research on the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion, there is a positive trend toward an increase in the frequency and regularity of citizens making donations. Data from Monobank, one of the leading banking services for collecting charitable contributions, confirms this positive trend. During 2023, support for charities and voluntary organizations has more than tripled compared to the first year of the full-scale invasion.

Data from the reports of the Come Back Alive foundation also refute this fake. Compared to 2022, the amount of donations in 2023 was slightly lower, but it is known that the average amount of donations in the second year of a full-scale invasion increased by more than 10%.

In this case, propagandists are trying to level out the support of Ukrainian citizens and contribute to the destabilization of society by reflecting false opinions. They describe the situation in such a way as to provoke a pessimistic attitude towards assistance to the Ukrainian military and dramatize the economic situation of citizens.

Fake In private correspondence, military wives allegedly talk about how the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine hides large losses and does not pay funds to the families of the victims

Propagandists are distributing supposedly real correspondence between the wives of military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on anonymous telegram channels. These reports claim that the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is allegedly hiding real losses among the military and evading payments to the families of the victims. This information is false.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that this “correspondence” is distributed only by Russian and pro-Russian telegram channels. Message texts are formal in nature.

From the photographs it is clear that messages were sent at regular one-minute intervals, regardless of the length of the text. It is unlikely that a woman who had just learned of the death of her husband could so accurately observe these intervals in her answers.

The messages also incorrectly use the name Artem. First, one of the wives calls her husband by this name, then uses the shortened form “Tema” whereas in Ukrainian it would be “Tioma”, and in Russian it would be “Tiema”. Thus, it can be assumed that the text was incorrectly translated from Russian.

The texts of this correspondence are filled with Russian stereotypes about large losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, lack of payments, incompetence of command and calls for the murder of commanders. In fact, the losses of the Ukrainian side are much less than what is covered in the Russian media. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi mentioned the number of deaths - 31 thousand over two years of a full-scale invasion.

Propagandists spread such fake news to discredit the Ukrainian armed forces.  Detector Media refuted other similar fakes created against the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Manipulation Canada allegedly finances the sending of Ukrainian women as the first to demine particularly dangerous areas

Propagandists spread information on social networks and the media that Ukraine intends to send its women to demining particularly dangerous areas “as one of the first”, and Canada will pay for it. The authors of such posts refer to the official website of the Prime Minister of Canada, which they claim confirms this information. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that there is no mention on the official website of the Canadian Prime Minister that Ukrainian women will be sent to demining particularly dangerous areas. The website contains information on the provision of additional military assistance to Ukraine, including the project “Gender-Inclusive Demining for a Sustainable Future in Ukraine”, for which Canada allocates funds. The HALO Trust project mentioned in the document, which helps women to acquire appropriate education and skills, does not assume that Ukrainian women will be guaranteed to be among the first to be sent for demining. Instead, the HALO Trust really aims to help Ukrainians in the destruction of explosive ordnance on the territory of the country.

Propagandists spread such manipulations in order to cause panic in the population and demotivate Ukrainians to cooperate with similar projects. In addition, in this way, Russia reinforces the message that the West is supposedly indifferent to Ukrainians and their victims.

Fake Ukrainians who did not travel abroad during a full-scale war will allegedly receive a one-time payment from the state

On behalf of Ukrainian TV channels, videos containing information are being distributed in TikTok, allegedly the government adopted Law No. 3386 regarding a one-time payment of 14 thousand hryvnia to those Ukrainians who have never left the country since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

In fact, these videos are fake. They are generated by artificial intelligence. The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council writes about this. Law No. 3386 itself simply does not exist. Such content applies, in particular, to increasing the reach of anonymous telegram channels, which are linked in the description under the video.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda aims to split Ukrainian society. Like, “those Ukrainians who remained in Ukraine during the war are “more Ukrainians” than those who left, therefore the state in this way seeks to show the privilege of the former”. It is on this basis that the fake Russian propaganda is based.

• Read also: More money is spent on one prisoner in Ukraine every month than on pensions for Ukrainians

Fake The budget of the American child tracing organization was allegedly cut to help Ukraine

Russian propagandists spread such information. In some US stores, milk cartons allegedly posted notices about a missing boy named Elijah. This was supposedly done by the public organization National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC),  the captures are as follows: “We would have found Elijah if the government had not cut our budget to send aid to Ukraine”.

In fact, these photo ads are fake. This was reported by checkers from the StopFake project. NCMEC Communications Director Angeline Hartman responded to StopFake's request that the organization did not print such postcards, someone else used their logo without permission.

Response from NCMEC Communications Director to StopFake request:

Probably, a caption about Ukraine was added to the photo of the milk carton in a graphic editor.

In addition, NCMEC is financed by the US Department of Justice, whose task is to ensure law and order and justice within the country, so there can be no talk of any “budget cuts to help Ukraine”. Moreover, funding provided by the Department of Justice to NCMEC has, on the contrary, increased compared to 2021.

If in 2021 the Department of Justice allocated almost $37 million to the organization, then in 2022 this amount was already more than 44 million. In 2023, the organization received more than $51 million. The organization also has other sources of funding. Many resources are provided by private donors, including large corporations like Google and Zoom.

Thus, Russian propaganda seeks to fuel the narrative that “Western society is already tired of the war in Ukraine”. According to propagandists, such fakes can influence the minimization of international support for Ukraine. Previously, we refuted information that economist Robert Kiosaki allegedly called any financial injections into Ukraine pointless.

Manipulation Ukrainians are allegedly buying cars en masse with money raised by Lithuanians

From the very beginning of the charity campaign of the Lithuanian public broadcaster Radarom, propagandists in the Lithuanian segment of social networks began to spread information that the funds donated to Ukrainians did not bring any benefit after all. One of the most widespread reports in Lithuania claims that the purchase and sale of cars, especially premium ones, in Ukraine have increased significantly since the start of the war, which means that the warring country is trading on the support it has received. At the same time, they refer to statistics from Ukravtoprom. However, this is not true.

Lithuanian fact-checkers for the 15min.lt project drew attention to this. They found out that propagandists are silent about the fact that the growth of the automobile market began with the beginning of the war, when it was significantly depressed. It is also not mentioned that as many as a third of new cars were purchased by companies. According to Ukravtoprom, in 2023, almost 61 thousand units of new passenger cars were sold in Ukraine (most of which were purchased by companies) worth more than 105.5 billion hryvnia (about 2.5 billion euros). This is 1.6 times more than in 2022, when Ukrainians purchased 37,900 new cars, the lowest since the beginning of the century. When the war began, many off-road vehicles were purchased. According to these data, 103.25 thousand new cars were sold in 2021, and 37.89 thousand new cars were sold in 2022. Last year this figure rose to 75.99 thousand, and this year it is expected to increase to 86 thousand. Thus, neither last nor this year the same level as before the war is expected.

Ukrainian public figure in Lithuania Andrii Tapin also added that in Ukraine in 2023 there will be one new car for every 606 inhabitants. Last year, 31,000 new passenger cars were registered in Lithuania, or 1 car per 90 inhabitants. The difference is about 7 times.

Propagandists spread such disinformation to discredit Ukrainians and reinforce their “corrupt Ukraine” narrative. All this is so that foreigners stop supporting Ukraine.

Message The transfer of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine will allegedly destroy the global economy

Russian propagandists claim that the confiscation of frozen Russian assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine will lead to inevitable economic collapse. This message gained traction in early 2024, as proposals to use these assets for reconstruction efforts in Ukraine became more common.

Specialists from the EUvsDisinfo project drew attention to it. They explain that while there is heated debate about the advisability of avoiding this decision, its critics argue that it could violate the principle of state sovereignty and undermine confidence in Western financial institutions, arguments made by propagandists are a serious exaggeration.

Russia has said that if its assets are confiscated, it will respond by confiscating Western assets on its territory and resorting to other economic actions. However, this will not lead to the consequences of fearful propagandists. The dissemination of this message aims to question the actions of the West and try to stop these processes.

Fake Economist Robert Kiyosaki allegedly called any financial injections into Ukraine senseless

Russian resources are spreading the news that allegedly the American media Bloomberg released a video in which American economist Robert Kiosaki called investments in Ukraine pointless. According to propagandists, Kiyosaki made the corresponding statement at a meeting of the international investment company Traderfriends.

In fact, this information is not true, they write in the VoxCheck project. The video published by the propagandists is not on Bloomberg’s official channels - website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Kiyosaki himself also did not call investments in Ukraine pointless on his pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Propagandists edited the video from several videos that are unrelated to each other. In particular, using keywords, VoxCheck specialists were able to find an excerpt from an interview with the YouTube channel “Finance With Sharan”, published on September 6, 2023. In it, Kiyosaki discussed finance, politics and the like. We were also talking about Ukraine. Kiyosaki said that the United States is printing dollars to support Ukraine, and therefore does not recommend saving in this currency. However, the economist did not say a word about the absurdity of financial assistance to Ukraine.

In addition, Kiyosaki could not make a corresponding statement at a meeting of the international investment company Traderfriends, as propagandists write. Traderfriends is actually a company that provides educational trading services. VoxCheck's colleagues were unable to find any evidence that Robert Kiyosaki recently spoke at the company's invitation. The last publication with an economist on the Traderfriends YouTube page dates back to January 14, 2018.

After the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, Kiyosaki supported Ukraine and stated that if he were in Ukraine, he would also fight for freedom. The economist also believes that the impact of the war on the economy will give impetus to the development of cryptocurrency.

Russian propaganda seeks to interfere with the decision-making process of high-ranking officials on the allocation of financial support to Ukraine in many countries of the world, in particular the United States, and therefore resorts to such fakes. Previously, we denied information that French activists were allegedly conducting an anti-Ukrainian campaign, calling on citizens to stop supporting Ukraine.

Message Ukrainians are supposedly panicking en masse and preparing for something sad

Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels are disseminating information that Ukrainians have allegedly begun to massively withdraw deposits from their bank accounts and take everything valuable and important from the boxes. According to Russian propagandists, this is due to the fact that Ukrainians are preparing “for something sad”, and the entire banking sector is now “supported only by foreign credit injections”.

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council analyzed this message. Having verified the information with the NBU, the Center found out that at the beginning of 2024 there actually was a seasonal outflow of funds from the accounts of individuals, but growth resumed in February - and therefore there are no threats to the stability of bank funding.

By spreading such messages, Russian propaganda seeks to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt about the future in Ukraine. The ultimate goal of such messages is to force Ukrainians to either protest against the current government or flee abroad in search of a better life. Previously, we refuted the information that Oschadbank was allegedly blocking the cards of those residents who were draft evaders.

Manipulation Zelensky will allegedly stop considering the United States a strategic partner if Washington does not give money

Propagandists broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels are disseminating information that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has stated that if assistance is refused, he will no longer consider the United States a strategic partner. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Zelenskyi really didn’t say that. An excerpt from his speech was disfigured.

During the Munich Security Conference, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and US Vice President Kamala Harris held a joint briefing. When asked about “Plan B” if the US Congress does not support the bill on additional funding for Ukraine, the President of Ukraine noted that no alternatives are being considered.

He expressed hope for a positive decision by Congress, pointing out that Ukraine views the United States as a strategic partner, and therefore hopes for its further support. Zelenskyi stressed that an alternative position would mean instability in relations. These words have been twisted and used to create a manipulative “quote” that is being circulated online without proper context.

Kamala Harris also supported Zelenskyi, expressing confidence that the bill will be passed and called for a focus on “Plan A” - providing Ukraine with the necessary resources. She stressed the importance of avoiding politicization of the issue and the need to remain steadfast in supporting allies. The President of Ukraine also expressed his faith in the positive decision of Congress and said that he does not consider the adoption of the bill a treacherous position, because, in his opinion, the strategic partner will not leave Ukraine without support.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to undermine bilateral relations between the United States and Ukraine and stop US support. They say Zelenskyi is provoking America, which means we won’t see the money. Detector Media also refuted other manipulations regarding Ukraine’s relations with the United States.

Fake In Ukraine they are allegedly looking for people who write negative comments about Carlson’s interview with Putin for money

Users of social networks and Kremlin media are spreading false information that vacancies for “provocateurs” have appeared in Ukraine. It is noted that they “need to leave negative comments” during the interview of Russian President Volodymyr Putin with Tucker Carlson. Russian propaganda added fake screenshots of “vacancies” from Ukrainian job search sites to these messages. However, this is fake.

After disseminating such information, StopFake decided to check whether similar vacancies actually appeared on Ukrainian sites. It turned out that this is not true.

Propagandists are distributing three different screenshots of similar “announcements”. The first was allegedly made on the website Robota.ua, the second on Work.ua, and the third on Jooble. The job description states that a future employee will have to review Carlson's interview with Putin and then comment negatively on it. Since the propagandists did not leave links to these vacancies, StopFake tried to find them on its own.

From the first fake ad on Robota.ua, it is clear that the vacancy for a “provocateur” - “media strategist” was posted by the company Telemarketing 24. StopFake specialists found such a company on this site, but did not find a vacancy for a “media strategist”. However, among the positions offered by the company there is an advertisement that is very similar to the spread of propaganda - “system administrator”. This announcement coincides with the time of publication, the proposed salary, place and working conditions, but there is no task to leave comments under Putin’s interview. It seems that it was the description of this vacancy that was edited in the fake advertisement.

The second fake ad – “technical support specialist” on Work.ua – was allegedly published by the company New Media Space. StopFake was also able to find this company, but there is no such position among the vacancies it offered. But there is a vacancy for “sales manager”, in which we offer a place of work, the salary and conditions are similar to those indicated in the fake advertisement. There is also no obligation to leave comments under Putin’s interview.

The third fake ad - a “copywriter” from the Jooble website - was published by Recruiting Group. Such a company, as in the first and second cases, exists and is really looking for a copywriter. However, in the original vacancy there is not a word about working with comments under Volodymyr Putin’s interview with Tucker Carlson. However, the conditions, place of work and part of the description are similar to what propaganda publishes. StopFake also tried to contact Recruiting Group and Telemarketing 24, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

It looks like Russian propagandists took real vacancies published on Ukrainian job search sites. By changing their description, they created another fake that discredits Ukraine. Detector Media wrote about the main messages of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin and his true goals.

Fake Economist Kiyosaki allegedly called financial aid to Ukraine nonsense

Users of social networks broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric are distributing a video allegedly produced by the American media company Bloomberg, with statements attributed to economist and author of the best-selling book “Rich Father, Poor Father” Robert Kiyosaki. Like, he called any financial investments in Ukraine “nonsense”. “He believes that helping Ukraine means passing money through a shredder, because Ukraine will disappear in the near future”, propagandists write. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They noticed that the video material distributed online imitates the design of videos from the Bloomberg news agency, including the company logo in the upper right corner of the frame. However, there is no corresponding material either on the official website or on the social networks of the American media company. Even if attackers use a media company’s logo, a mismatch in the video’s design (font and caption design) indicates that it is a fake. It should also be noted that most Bloomberg videos are published without a logo.

If a publication uses someone else's videos or photographs, the source must be indicated in the story. The video circulating online is a compilation of various video clips from old interviews with Robert Kiyosaki, but nowhere in the story is it mentioned where these clips were taken from. For example, a video clip in which Kiyosaki allegedly expresses his opinion about the absurdity of financial assistance to Ukraine appeared on the Internet four months ago. In it, an economist actually talks about investing.

StopFake was unable to find any evidence that Robert Kiosaki publicly opposed financial assistance for Ukraine. The last statements he made about Russian military aggression against Ukraine date back to February and March 2022. One can also find a video clip online where he expressed condolences to Ukrainians suffering from the war.

The purpose of this fake is to undermine partners’ trust in Ukraine and its financial support. They say that even economists do not consider such actions to be correct, therefore, this support must be stopped.

Manipulation They allegedly spend more money on one prisoner in Ukraine every month than on pensions for Ukrainians

Information is being spread on the Internet that supposedly 10 thousand hryvnias are spent monthly on the maintenance of one prisoner of war in Ukraine, and if the amount is less, this is a violation of human rights. At the same time, the state allocates only 2,500 hryvnia monthly for pensions of Ukrainians. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to this. They found out that the cost of maintaining a prisoner included not only clothing and food, but also utilities, staff and security. No special conditions were created for Russians, since the same amount is spent on maintaining prisoners in Ukraine. In March 2023, Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska stated that about 10 thousand hryvnia per month are spent on one prisoner of war in Ukraine. However, this amount includes not only clothing and food for the prisoner, but also payment for utilities, arrangement of the place of detention, work of staff and security, and so on. The Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War does not specify a specific amount that the state must allocate for their maintenance. Each country determines this amount itself. Prisoners are also involved in work in the camp, and their labor partially offsets the costs.

As for pensions, in 2024 more than 271 billion hryvnia will be allocated from the state budget to pay pensions. The average pension in Ukraine exceeds 5,300 hryvnia. It is incorrect to compare expenses on prisoners and pensions, since these are different categories of expenses related to the protection of human rights and social support of the population.

With their statements, users are trying to sow hostile sentiments in society and emphasize that Ukraine allegedly does not care about its residents. Detector Media recently denied other manipulations related to Ukrainian captives.

Fake Ukraine will allegedly spend UAH 3.2 billion on propaganda in 2024

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that in 2024 they will spend 3.2 billion UAH from the Ukrainian state budget on propaganda. They say that compared to 2023, propaganda spending in Ukraine has doubled.

This information is untrue, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council. Russians call “propaganda” expenses for the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the National Council for Cinema and Television, the National Commission for State Regulation in the Field of Electronic Communications and the State Special Communications Service. In fact, these departments do not create media content for the state. As for information products directly, 1.5 billion UAH will be allocated from the state budget for the telethon in 2024 - this is 400 million UAH less than last year.

Russian propaganda seeks to undermine the trust of the Ukrainian people in power and force them to rebel against the “Kyiv regime”. Previously, we refuted information that Ukraine allegedly spent $1.2 billion on fake news in 2023.

Message Paying assistance to Ukrainian male refugees is much more expensive than transferring them to the service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Pro-Russian online publications and users of social networks are spreading a call to expel Ukrainian refugees from Germany to Ukraine in order to relieve the burden on the German budget to pay assistance to Ukrainian men and cover the “large losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” with recruits. By spreading this thesis, they distort an article by Peter Carstens, a journalist for the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to liaise with and match Russian propaganda. It was analyzed by the fact-checker of the StopFake project.

The FAZ article does not call for the deportation of refugees. At the same time, the author compares the costs of social assistance to refugees who have received asylum in Germany with military support from Ukraine. From February 24, 2022 to September 2023, Germany has allocated approximately 24 billion euros to support Ukraine. Of this amount, more than 15 billion euros were allocated to help Ukrainian refugees. Data from the German Federal Government shows that military support to the Ukrainian army by the end of December 2023 amounted to only 5.4 billion euros. Carstens argues that this ratio of spending is ineffective in the context of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and it is necessary to increase the share of spending on military support for Kyiv.

Peter Carstens also presented the positions that exist in German society regarding Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. In particular, he wrote that there are not enough workers in Ukraine not only at the front, but also for civil defense or for extinguishing fires. Carstens also quoted Bundestag member Roderich Kiesewetter: “It would be very helpful if the government could make an agreement so that these young people or older people can return without having to go to the front if they don’t want to”.

In early January, the topic of deportation of Ukrainian men from Europe appeared in fake news about the establishment of checkpoints to “filtrate” Ukrainian men with subsequent mobilization into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And also in conspiracy theories about the existence of a secret order for the return of men aged 18 to 60 years from abroad, otherwise their passports and Ukrainian citizenship will be revoked.

With such messages, propagandists try to incite distrust in the governments of states hosting Ukrainians. They are also manipulating the topic of developing a bill that could change the rules for registering those liable for military servicemen and performing military service.

Fake In 2024, expenses for the Office of the President will allegedly amount to 18.8 billion hryvnia

Russian propagandists are disseminating information that the 2024 state budget allegedly included 18.8 billion hryvnia for the maintenance of the Office of the President (OP), although this money could have been spent on the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, this is a fake.

Fact-checkers from the VoxCheck project processed this case. On November 9, 2023, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the law on the state budget for 2024. On November 17, the bill was signed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, and on November 28 by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, approving the draft state budget.

In fact, according to the adopted law on the state budget of Ukraine for 2024, 1.1 billion hryvnia are provided for the OP, and not 18.8 billion hryvnia, as propagandists write. In addition, 1.69 trillion hryvnia will be allocated for the security and defense of Ukraine - almost 100% of annual budget revenues.

Thus, Russian propaganda seeks to discredit the OP and undermine the trust of the Ukrainian population in it. The ultimate goal of such disinformation is to force Ukrainians to rebel against the “Zelenskyi regime”.

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 Zhytomyr City Council allegedly purchased two quadcopters for as much as 530 million hryvnia

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the Zhytomyr city council handed over two quadcopters to the 30th separate mechanized brigade, allegedly spending 530 million hryvnia on the purchase of them. Propagandists say this indicates that much of the funds were stolen by local officials. It's fake.

Specialists from the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council worked on this case. As it turned out, in fact, 530 thousand hryvnia were spent on the purchase of two “birds”. The Zhytomyr City Council reported this on its telegram channel.

It is common for Russian propagandists to distort information by adding zeros to numbers or replacing one or more words in a sentence to convey the desired as real. Previously, we analyzed information that 200-500 thousand Ukrainians allegedly lost limbs due to the war, although in the original it was about 20-50 thousand military personnel.

Fake Poland allegedly canceled payments for Ukrainian refugees from January 1, 2024

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels and other social networks are spreading fake information that Poland is allegedly canceling payments to Ukrainian refugees from January 1, 2024. They say that Poland was Ukraine’s lawyer in the European Union, but Zelenskyi quickly managed to turn a friend into an enemy. As proof of this decision, users add a screenshot of the news from November 17, 2023, allegedly from the official website of the Polish government.

After disseminating such information, StopFake decided to check whether the Polish government really made a similar decision and reported it on the official website. As it turned out, the information disseminated is not true.

Project specialists went to the corresponding website of the Polish government, from which they allegedly took a screenshot distributed by propagandists. There is a separate page for citizens of Ukraine, containing official information for refugees in Ukrainian. Among the news published there, there is no information that the Polish government has decided to cancel social payments for refugees from January 1. The remaining publications are still relevant, in which you can familiarize yourself with all existing assistance programs. While researching this site, they also found the same picture with which Russian propaganda created a fake screenshot. The news “Living and working in Poland – 2022” uses the same image as in the false reports spread by propagandists. In addition, in the edited “announcement”, Russian propaganda made a mistake: the word “terminates” in Ukrainian should have been written in another way. This error indicates that the information may be incorrect.

The StopFake analysts note that the Polish government has indeed publicly announced a possible reduction in assistance to Ukrainian refugees. In October 2023, a representative of the Polish government, Piotr Müller, in an interview with the PAP agency, said that the decisions determined by the law on assistance to Ukrainians would probably lose force in the first quarter of next year and expressed the hope that “there is simply no need to continue them”. However, as of now, the Polish government has not announced that from January 1 all payments to Ukrainian refugees will be stopped.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to quarrel between Poles and Ukrainians, as well as to arouse mistrust of Ukrainians not only in the Polish government, but also in the Ukrainian one. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other fakes involving Poland. The large number of Russian propaganda fictions about this country is due, among other things, to the high level of support for Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Fake Ukraine plans to reduce assistance to people with disabilities

Russian media are disseminating information that Ukraine is allegedly going to “reduce assistance” to people with disabilities in order not to pay them social assistance. As evidence, Russian propaganda cites a proposal to remove the concept of a “person with disabilities” from the legislation. It's a lie.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project took on this case and explained that the Ministry of Health had actually prepared a bill proposing to replace the disability status with an assessment of loss of functionality. However, the bill does not talk about canceling the status of a person with a disability or reducing any social benefits.

The goal of such an initiative is for Ukraine to abandon the post-Soviet model of defining disability, providing a person only with “benefits and compensation”. And the task of the state should be “to return a person to an economic state”. However, benefits and payments will not be canceled. And the changes themselves are planned to be implemented in 2025. The bill has nothing to do with mobilization. Russian propagandists are simply speculating on this topic.

By the way, in our recent review of disinformation, we also explained why Ukraine is not going to abolish the status of individuals with disabilities: then propagandists convinced that the Ukrainian leadership supposedly wants to mobilize everyone to the front without exception. This also turned out to be a lie.

Fake The Estonian Council provides Ukrainian children with cash assistance in the amount of $250 for winter clothes

In the Ukrainian segment of Instagram, a video is being circulated with information that the Estonian Council allegedly provides financial assistance to children for winter clothes in the amount of $250. “Today, the Estonian Council provides assistance for winter clothes to all children in Ukraine who are under 10 years old (...) Or one can choose a box with clothes”. To receive it, you need to follow the link and fill out the form. It is not true.

The case was examined by the fact-checkers from the Brekhunets (The Liar) project. The page that distributed the video on Instagram has more than 20 thousand subscribers, and the link, where one can supposedly find a form to fill out, leads to the “Kyi City” telegram channel, which one needs to subscribe to.

Moreover, the fact-checkers checked the official information resources of the Estonian Refugee Council and determined that there was no such message. So, information about cash benefits from international organizations should be found on the organization’s official pages on social networks or on the official website.