Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation NATO seems to invade Russia “after the war in Ukraine”

Such information was disseminated on social networks in the Russian segment, commenting on the meeting of the presidents (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic) of the Visegrad Group, who discussed issues of international politics, including the Russian-Ukrainian war. The authors claimed that Czech President Petr Pavel allegedly explained during the summit of heads of state that the Visegrad Group was “ready to engage in aggression against Russia”,  and NATO would allegedly attack Russia “after the war in Ukraine”. This is manipulation.

The StopFake analysts investigated the case and found that there were no statements about NATO’s readiness to launch an invasion of Russia at the Visegrad Four summit - this is an invention of the propaganda media. The meeting of leaders was devoted to European security issues in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The parties stated that Russia must bear responsibility for human lives and damage, and the four countries must “resolutely continue to fully support Ukraine and its citizens”.

Among other things, Peter Pavel said during the meeting that Russia is the main threat to the security of Europe and, accordingly, the defense Alliance. That is, the manipulators distorted the entire context of the officials’ statements and simply came up with profitable Kremlin theses.

Using quotes from public figures, military officers, politicians and other public figures, Russian propaganda is trying to convince consumers of disinformation of the authenticity of such expressions. Like, if the European leader himself said this, then he can be trusted, because he is an authoritative source although the authors do not explain how reliable the information presented in the manipulative publication is. This is how propagandists use the tactic of appealing to authority.

The Visegrad Group was founded on February 15, 1991 in the Hungarian city of Visegrad by the presidents of Central European countries - Poland, Hungary, and then Czechoslovakia with the goal of integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. After the collapse of Czechoslovakia, the official name of the group was the “Visegrad Four”, or V4, consisting of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. It was possible to achieve the European and Euro-Atlantic goal in 2004 - the four countries joined NATO, and on May 1 of the same year V4 joined the European Union. Currently, countries also cooperate in the fields of culture, education, science and data exchange.

Manipulation Ukraine may join NATO “in exchange for territory”

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that Ukraine was offered to join the North Atlantic Alliance “in exchange for abandoning” Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Propagandists refer to the words of former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who allegedly made such a proposal due to the “failure of the Ukrainian Armed Forces counteroffensive”. However, this is manipulation.

This case was analyzed by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. They found out that Rasmussen actually promoted the idea of Ukraine joining NATO without occupied territories. However, he did not call on Ukraine to give up those territories, but had something slightly different in mind. In his opinion, the country’s early entry into NATO will help protect itself from new manifestations of Russian aggression in the territories controlled by Ukraine, since Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on Collective Defense will apply to them. That is, the invasion of Russian troops into these zones will mean an attack on NATO and the response will be immediate. If Ukraine joins NATO as soon as possible, it will also be possible to release additional Ukrainian defense forces, which, for example, are now located on the border with Belarus, and send them to de-occupy the territories captured by the Russians.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also reminded that there is a similar historical precedent. In 1955, West Germany joined NATO and Article 5 was extended to its territory. At the same time, it did not apply to East Germany, which was then under Soviet occupation.

Russian propaganda is trying to demoralize Ukrainian society with such manipulations and declare that Ukraine allegedly cannot de-occupy the territories captured by Russian troops. Previously, we denied information that NATO is preparing for the defeat of Ukraine and the occupation of the western part of Ukrainian territories.

Fake In Vinnytsia, a fire allegedly broke out at “weapon depots from the West” on November 9

Such information was disseminated on social networks, in particular, on anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that on November 9, 2023, a fire broke out in Vinnytsia, allegedly at “NATO weapons” warehouses. The authors add to the messages that Zelenskyi allegedly did not turn on the air raid sirens in the Vinnytsia region, and the air defense did not work. It is not true.

In Vinnytsia on the evening of November 9, a large-scale fire broke out in warehouses where laminate flooring was stored. This was reported by the Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of the Vinnytsia region. At 22:40 the fire was localized.

This is how the authors try to dispel the thesis about their “irresistible technology”, which is ready to destroy everyone, and as confirmation of this they give an example of “shelling” an object with ammunition. Although it was a fire, experts localized it.

In our Newspeak section we described the Russian phenomenon of “irresistible technology”. In short, this is how the Russians try to convince the domestic audience of constant victories.

Fake Ukraine used the “grain agreement” to transport NATO weapons to the Middle East

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social media claim that Ukraine has used the Black Sea Grain Initiative to smuggle weapons. In particular, Western weapons allegedly reached Hamas through the “grain corridor”. It's fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that the statement was not true. The Black Sea Grain Initiative (Initiative for the Safe Transport of Grains and Food Products from Ukrainian Ports) consists of two agreements that constitute one “grain agreement” - between Ukraine, the UN and Turkey and between Russia, the UN and Turkey. According to it, under the auspices of the UN, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was created in Istanbul (Turkey), which had representatives of all parties to the agreement. A team of inspectors, including representatives of Russia, on behalf of the SCC inspected each vessel “for inappropriate cargo and crew on the way to and from Ukrainian ports”. During the entire period of its work, the JCC never reported that Ukraine was allegedly using the Black Sea Grain Initiative to smuggle weapons to the Middle East or other territories.

Also, to date, there is no confirmation that Hamas militants are allegedly using weapons transferred to Ukraine as military aid from Western countries. The Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine draws attention to the fact that Russian intelligence services have already handed over to Hamas representatives “captured weapons manufactured in the USA and EU countries”, that is, acquired in battle. The department emphasizes that it can be used against Ukraine, accusing it of selling Western weapons.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to discredit Ukraine and reduce the scale of military assistance from its partners. Detector Media has already repeatedly refuted other Russian fakes and manipulations regarding Western weapons.

Message NATO sent troops to Ukraine

In the American segment of the social network Facebook, a message is being circulated that NATO allegedly sent troops to Ukraine to fight Russia. The post contains a video in which a man expresses support for the candidacy of US ex-President Donald Trump in the White House elections in 2024 and notes that “NATO troops have been sent to Ukraine”.

As fact-checkers of the PolitiFact project note, there are no reliable news or official sources that could confirm the message that there are no NATO troops in Ukraine. The man in the video refers to Russian sources.

Moreover, NATO press officer Matthias Eichenlaub commented to the fact-checkers, where he noted: “There are no NATO troops in Ukraine”. The official website also contains no information about these military personnel in Ukraine. “And we have a responsibility to ensure the conflict does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine. That would be even more dangerous, destructive, and even more deadly”, the alliance’s website says.

Russian propaganda continues to spread messages that Russia is fighting the West on the territory of Ukraine. Thus, the Russians are trying to justify their defeats at the front and absolve themselves of responsibility for crimes in Ukraine.

Manipulation Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Russia invaded Ukraine “because of NATO”

This information was disseminated by Russian media. Reports say that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg allegedly confirmed that it was the North Atlantic Alliance that “started the war in Ukraine” and that Russia invaded Ukrainian territory due to “NATO expansion”. This is manipulation.

Fact-checkers of the StopFake project took up this case and found out that in fact the Secretary General did not say this, and his quote was distorted. Experts explain that the quote itself was compiled from Stoltenberg’s speech at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on September 7. Then he talked about the failed policy of dictator Putin, who, on the eve of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, blackmailed the Alliance and demanded that Eastern Europe be given to its sphere of influence.

We are talking, in particular, about how, at the end of 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry demanded that Western states “stay away from Ukraine”, preventing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. At that time, Russian “parliamentarians” sought a legal guarantee that NATO would renounce any military activities in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

Actually, commenting on the events of the past, Stoltenberg said that Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine is in fact a strategic mistake and a dictatorial failure.

By distorting quotes from public figures, military officers, politicians and other public figures, Russian propaganda is trying to convince consumers of disinformation of the authenticity of such expressions. Like, if the military man himself said this, one can trust him, because he is an authoritative source. This is how propagandists use the tactic of appealing to authority.

Russia systematically deals with the distortion of quotes. This helps it promote its own theses, and if they are “consonant” with the statement of authority, the information acquires legitimacy in the eyes of users of anonymous telegram channels. Read the latest fake cases:

  • How the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces admitted that Ukrainian air defense hits residential buildings. 
  • Zelenskyi “called” the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ counteroffensive a failure. 
  • The Ukrainian Parliament decided to legalize medical cannabis so that people “endure pain, stress and injury”.

Fake NATO is preparing for the defeat of Ukraine and the occupation of the western part of Ukrainian territories

Russian media, broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, are disseminating information that the future NATO exercises Steadfast-Defender-2024 are allegedly directed against Russia. They are also preparing for the “loss of Ukraine” and are working on a “plan for the occupation” of the western part of Ukrainian territories. Like, “when Russian troops approach Dnipro, (...) a peacekeeping operation will begin. Poland is part of Western Ukraine, it has two or three regions there plus Romania”, said the Russian propagandist, cited by Russian media. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checker of the StopFake project. Romania and Poland have repeatedly denied statements by Russian propagandists regarding the occupation of Western Ukraine. NATO regularly conducts Steadfast-Defender exercises, which practice defending European countries rather than attacking others.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the Alliance and sow panic among Ukrainian society, saying that European countries are trying to seize the territory of Ukraine. However, neither state has territorial ambitions. Russia is an invader and, using reflexive tactics, tries to accuse other countries of what Russia is accused of. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that Poland and Lithuania approved a plan to annex the western part of Ukraine.

Fake The Baltic countries could carry out drone strikes on Pskov

Similar theses were heard on Russian propaganda television channels. They say that the border with Estonia lies not far from Pskov and some strange sounds were allegedly heard from there. Russian propaganda states that “the question of Estonia’s participation remains open”. “Pskov is located on the NATO border. Where did the launch come from? From Ukraine or what? In any case! From the Baltic territory? Destroy the hell out of the Baltic countries if that’s the case”, the propagandists said on air. It's fake.

As EUvsDiDiNFo analysts note, on the night of August 29, a series of explosions occurred at Pskov airport. It later became known that four Il-76 military transport aircraft were damaged as a result of drone strikes, and at least two aircraft were destroyed. A spokesman for the government of the Republic of Estonia commented to Newsweek about Estonia's involvement in the attacks on Pskov and stated: “This is false information”. Also, the Latvian Ministry of Defense issued a similar statement, denying any involvement by Latvia, and condemned the accusations against the Baltic countries.

The drone strike on Russian territory is the result of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. Thus, Kremlin propagandists are trying to accuse the Baltic countries of “provocation” and are using nuclear blackmail to intimidate the inhabitants of these countries. Earlier, Detector Media talked about manipulation, as the UN said that Ukraine threatens nuclear security in the world.

Fake Russians fired at a meeting of Lithuanian and Polish NATO officers in Chernihiv

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric and the Lithuanian media spread information that on August 19, the Russian army fired cruise missiles at an alleged meeting place of NATO officers in Chernihiv. Among them were many Polish and Lithuanian soldiers. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the 15min project. On August 19, the Russian army hit the center of Chernihiv with an Iskander-M ballistic missile, including the drama theater, which hosted the announced exhibition of drones. As a result of the Russian attack, 7 people were killed; 144 people, including 15 children, were injured, Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a video message.

At first, Russian propaganda disseminated information exclusively about SBU specialists in Chernihiv, and the version about Lithuanians or Poles - high-ranking NATO officers appeared much later. However, there was no meeting of NATO soldiers in the theater. In a 15min comment, a representative of the Lithuanian army said: “Officers of the Lithuanian army do not participate in hostilities in Ukraine, so this information is not true”.

There is a Foreign Legion in Ukraine, but the alliance is not directly involved in hostilities in Ukraine. If any of the NATO countries entered the territory of Ukraine, the forces of the alliance would come into direct conflict with Russia.

Thus, Russian propaganda promotes the message that NATO and Russia are fighting on the territory of Ukraine, and also tries to justify missile strikes on the territory of our state. This is a continuation of the narrative that the Russian military only targets military facilities in order to whitewash itself and show that they allegedly do not commit war crimes against Ukrainians. Earlier, we talked about the message that Ukrainian officials pass off military facilities as civilian ones.

Fake In Belarus, the leader of the Wagner group Pryhozhyn was arrested and handed over to NATO

On Facebook, on the page of the educational and documentary channel, a video was circulated in which they say that the leader of the Wagner group, Yevhenii Pryhozhyn, was arrested in Belarus. Allegedly, President of Belarus Oleksandr Lukashenko ordered the arrest of Pryhozhyn and handed him over to NATO. It is not true.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the Check Your Fact project. Mercenaries of the Wagner group are in Belarus and train the Belarusian military, and Lukashenko did not give the order to arrest the leader Pryhozhyn. Neither NATO nor the Belarusian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Pryhozhyn was arrested and handed over to NATO.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted on August 10 that Wagner continues its presence at facilities in Belarus, and, according to rumors, the status of its withdrawal to Russia remains unclear.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to convince the whole world that there is a conflict between Lukashenko, Putin and Pryhozhyn, and it was the Russians who were bleached as if they were not involved in the war. Earlier, we refuted the fake that the US Secretary of State welcomed Pryhozhyn with the capture of Bakhmut.

Message Ukraine may become a NATO member in exchange for giving up part of its territory

This assumption was made by the Head of the Office of NATO Secretary General Stian Jensen. He stated that Ukraine could become a member of the Alliance in exchange for giving up part of its territory.

Such a thesis is unfounded and does not express the opinion of the entire Alliance. At the NATO summit in Vilnius, a representative of the Alliance, in a commentary to the Public, emphasized: “We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, and we are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace”. This is a response to Jensen's statement. The interlocutor also noted that Ukraine itself must decide when and under what conditions to achieve peace.

The case was also studied by the fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. They note that the issues of accelerating Ukraine's victory were discussed at the summit. They also pay attention to the fact that both Ukraine and NATO do not trade their territories and citizens. Russia is an aggressor country that deserves punishment, not encouragement of new territories. This could be a bad example for potential invaders in the world.

The message, voiced by Stian Jensen, plays into the hands of Russia. Russian propaganda can use it to promote narratives around the world at any cost and distract from Russian crimes. Earlier we talked about the manipulation that Western countries refused to provide Ukraine with a security guarantee.

Сonspiracy theories How conspiracy theorists explain events in Ukraine and the world: the theory of Ukraine as a NATO colony

Propagandists continue to downplay the success of the NATO summit in Vilnius. For decades they have presented the alliance as the eternal enemy of Russia, which poses a threat to peace.

Most often, for Ukrainian audiences, Russian propagandists promote the theory that if Ukraine joins NATO, the US will take over and turn it into its colony.

The roots of this conspiracy theory go back to Soviet times, when the citizens of the USSR were intimidated that NATO wanted to destroy the population of the Union. The Cold War left a reflection on the perception of NATO by Ukrainians. Even with geopolitical changes and the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet alternative to NATO), Ukrainians have not been committed to the North Atlantic Alliance for decades. According to opinion polls, Ukrainians' distrust of NATO peaked in 2006. Skeptical messages about the Alliance were fed by pro-Russian politicians and media people. In particular, one of the main elements of the election campaign of the odious Nataliia Vitrenko was the fight against NATO. In 2008, deputies from the “Regions” party brought balls and flags with “NATO - no”  inscriptions to vote for a resolution on mutual understanding with the Alliance. Ex-president Viktor Yanukovych also nourished the rejection of NATO, promising Ukraine a “neutral status”.

By spreading such conspiracy theories, Russia wants to force Ukrainians to remain in the networks of Soviet ideology. This is how propagandists want to intimidate Ukrainians and prove the seemingly unviable Ukrainian statehood. However, the Revolution of Dignity and Russia's aggression against Ukraine increased support for Ukraine's integration into NATO, not only among the citizens of Ukraine, but also in several NATO member countries, as the poll of the Renaissance Foundation shows. The Ukrainians have nevertheless become convinced that in the NATO member countries, the troops of the Alliance have almost no influence on the life of the states in which they are based. In addition, NATO is very cautious about accepting new members. In particular, despite the high level of support among the Ukrainian society, the Alliance itself has not yet accepted Ukraine into its membership.

Disclosure At the NATO summit in Vilnius, pro-Russian activists distributed brochures with the “peace plan of the Ukrainian people”

On July 11-12, a NATO summit was held in Vilnius, as a result of which Ukrainian officials received assurances from NATO leaders that Ukraine would become a member of the Alliance after the victory. However, Ukraine has not yet received an official invitation to NATO membership. Also, as a result, Ukraine received a new weapon, a program for training pilots on the F-16, a new body - the Ukraine-NATO Council, coordinating relations between Ukraine and NATO. Fact-checkers of the project “Beyond the News” found out that during the summit, pro-Russian activists distributed brochures with the “peace plan of the Ukrainian people” through bookcrossing boxes. This, they say, was organized by the “representation of the Ukrainian people”, which acts on the “name of the Ukrainian people”, who do not agree with the policy of the current government. However, such an organization does not exist, it is fake. As experts explained, the theses written in a brochure repeat the pro-Kremlin agenda. That is, all of them are propaganda. So they gave an example of “harassment of the Russian-speaking population” or the so-called legal referendums in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Among other things, the brochure broadcast the following messages:

In the last 9 years, a totalitarian regime has been formed in Ukraine. Ukraine does not take into account the opinion of the people, but follows its own separate path.

Russian propaganda hints that Ukrainians allegedly did not choose the path of Europeanization, and the Revolution of Dignity and its political consequences were the work of nationalists. Publicity and free-thinking reign in Ukraine, Ukrainians declare their national identity, moreover, they often emphasize this, for which propagandists equate Ukrainians with the so-called “nationalists”. The latter (their minority) allegedly monopolized the right to publicly express their civil position and oppress the opinions of others. Fact-checkers add that since 2014, many independent publications and investigative journalism centers have appeared in Ukraine, and cooperation with European media has intensified. In the world ranking of freedom of speech, Ukraine took 79th place among 180 countries. And, for example, Russia took 164th place this year.

The Ukrainian authorities are destroying the “Russian-speaking population” and are engaged in linguocide. 

Knowing the state language as the language of one's citizenship is the duty of every citizen of Ukraine. At the same time, every citizen of Ukraine is free to choose the language or languages for private communication. Propagandists systematically speculate on the language issue, arguing that Ukraine discriminates against the Russian language. Although it has the same rights as other minority languages. Ukrainian is the main one in public communication. But the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language” provides an opportunity to serve customers in other languages at their request.

“Russian-speaking population” is just a political term used by Russia to achieve its own goals. In particular, to destroy Ukraine as a state, and Ukrainians as a nation. According to a sociological survey of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, 84% of Ukrainians believe that there are no problems with the use of the Russian language in Ukraine and Russian-speaking citizens do not experience harassment and persecution, only 8% are convinced of the opposite. A slice of public opinion proves that the reproaches about linguocide are propaganda speculation.

The referendums held in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions are absolutely legitimate. 

Russia is positioning the referenda as the key to the return of historical justice. However, the Russians substitute the concept, calling “reunification” the annexation of the territories of another, sovereign state. In fact, Russia is holding illegitimate referendums, seizing land, destroying cities.

The fictitious referendums in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are not the will of the Ukrainians, but only try to give legitimacy to Russia's attempts to seize part of another state, the UN says. Their results, except for Russia itself, recognize other “brother states” of Russia as the DPRK. A decision on the issue of changing the territory of Ukraine can only be taken on the basis of an all-Ukrainian referendum. In general, the issue submitted to the referendum cannot call into question the territorial integrity of Ukraine. That is, changing the territory of Ukraine in an illegal way. It is no less important that voting should take place voluntarily, and not at gunpoint (when the armed occupiers, together with members of the “electoral commissions”, collected votes from apartments).

Ukrainians have always been in favor of an alliance with Russia and against Euro-Atlantic integration.

Ukraine entered into relations with NATO as early as 1992 when it joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later to become the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). In 1994, Ukraine became the first among the post-Soviet states to sign a framework agreement with NATO as part of the Partnership for Peace initiative. Ukraine first declared its desire to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance in 2002. Then, according to a poll by the Razumkov Center, 32% of Ukrainians supported Ukraine's entry into NATO and 32.2% were against it. Over the years, attitudes towards joining the Alliance have changed dynamically. Russia's aggression in 2014 had a significant impact on public opinion: since then, the level of support for membership has stabilized and has not been below 40%. According to the May 2023 NDI poll, more than 90% of respondents support Ukraine's accession to the EU. And 89% would like to see Ukraine in NATO. That is, the thesis that Ukrainians support Russia and strive to “reunite” with it is not true.

Ukrainians have chosen their path since 2014.

Fake 47% of Odesa residents oppose Ukraine’s accession to NATO

Russian media, as well as anonymous telegram channels that spread pro-Russian rhetoric, claim that 47% of Odesa residents oppose Ukraine's entry into NATO. Like, such data was published in the results of a poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (USA). It's fake.

Specialists in the StopFake project drew attention to it. They claim that in fact 53% of Odesans would vote for joining NATO and only 18% are against. At the end of June, the International Republican Institute did indeed publish the results of a poll where respondents were asked whether they would vote for Ukraine's entry into NATO if a referendum on this issue was held “now”. It does not indicate that the remaining 47% of respondents from Odesa oppose Ukraine's accession. If one reads the original document with the study in more detail, on page 136 one can find that only 18% of Odesans openly oppose it. Another 21% of respondents answered that they would not vote at all, and 8% preferred not to answer or found it difficult to answer.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to show that Ukrainians allegedly oppose Ukraine's integration into NATO, especially in the southern and eastern regions of the country. Last week, Detector Media wrote on what propagandists were talking about the recent NATO summit in Vilnius.

Manipulation British publications ignored the NATO summit and Zelenskyi’s participation in it

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric on July 12 published a selection of British tabloid covers featuring a sex scandal involving a BBC journalist as the main topic. Russian propaganda asks a rhetorical question: “Find at least a word about Ukraine and the NATO summit …”. This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications paid attention to the case. They note that The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and others “traditionally prefer the “yellow” theme”. And some of the most popular and authoritative socio-political publications, such as The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, not only wrote articles, but also covered the announcements of materials about Ukraine and the NATO summit on the first pages.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit the UK and promote the view that the West is tired of the war in Ukraine and ignores the news related to it. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the German edition of Handelsblatt published a cover with Volodymyr Zelenskyi who cannot get into the NATO door.

Disclosure What propagandists wrote about the NATO summit in Vilnius

The propagandists devalued and manipulated news stories to increase Ukraine's mistrust of its partners.

On July 12, a two-day NATO summit ended in Vilnius. The summit adopted a package of decisions of three elements on Ukraine. In particular, the allies confirmed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance and agreed to remove the requirement to fulfill the Membership Action Plan (MAP) from the entry procedure. According to them, this will change Ukraine's path from a two-step process to a one-step process. Propagandists could not get around such a large information drive. Detector Media prepared a selection of their messages.

1 The summit was a failure for Ukraine

Russian propagandists reacted to statements by Western leaders at the summit with cries of “Failure!” and blamed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi for this. Propagandists promoted the view that the NATO summit brought nothing to Ukraine. Like, they didn’t let them into NATO, didn’t give them new weapons, and Zelenskyi, with his harsh statements, alienated everyone so much that they didn’t even want to be photographed with him. Propagandists snatched from the stream of news only those pieces of news that were convenient for them.

Let us remind that although at the summit there were no specifics regarding when and according to what clear plan Ukraine can join NATO, however, our state was allowed to bypass the procedure of the Membership Action Plan. That is, theoretically speed up the flow. In addition, the summit adopted the Declaration of the G7 countries, which deals with security guarantees for Ukraine, to which the propagandists reacted with cries of “external control” and “surrender” of Ukraine to the West. We also received new types of weapons from a number of countries participating in the event.

2. Foreign press ignored the summit

The propagandists tried to show that the foreign press allegedly ignored the summit, which means they were tired of the topic of Ukraine as a whole.

They regularly use collections of fake and genuine covers from foreign media or distort materials from foreign publications. The main purpose of such collections is to confirm by allegedly independent sources that the picture of the world that the propagandists paint is true. On the eve of the NATO summit, for example, they quoted an article by the Finnish public broadcaster Yle about Ukrainian refugees who are being denied social assistance. At the same time, propagandists did not give links to the source. And the latest publications on the Yle website, in fact, were supportive of Ukrainians who received asylum in Finland.

In general, the topic of the NATO summit in foreign media has become a noticeable news drive. And they would write about it even if they did not talk about Ukraine there, since this is an international meeting of the highest level. In particular, the media actively wrote about him both in the United States and in European countries.

3. At the summit, Zelenskyi lobbied for the introduction of Polish and Lithuanian troops into Ukraine, but NATO did not agree to this

During the NATO summit, the traditional message of propagandists about Poland, which supposedly wants to take over Ukraine, took on a new shade. In particular, they frightened their audiences with the likely introduction of Polish and Lithuanian troops into Ukraine. Like, Zelenskyi demanded this from NATO, but he was refused.

This is another invention of propagandists. First, they are trying to convince Russia's supporters that Russia is not the only aggressor. Secondly, to emphasize that the Ukrainian Defense Forces no longer have the ability to confront Russia, which means that Russian victory is close. Thirdly, to play on the Ukrainians' fears of losing independence. Fourth, to devalue the help of Poland and Lithuania, which are one of the main partners of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. Detector Media has written about this before.

4. NATO reduces funding for Ukraine as a result of the “failed counteroffensive”

Propagandists claimed that Western leaders, whose names they did not name, allegedly announced at the NATO summit that they planned to cut the amount of aid to Ukraine. Like, this is the result of a “failed counteroffensive” that began in February.

It's fake. Neither Ukrainian nor foreign media have any information about such statements. The topic of the counteroffensive was rarely heard in official speeches and publications of the NATO summit participants.

By spreading such fakes, their authors tried to undermine the confidence of Ukrainians in NATO.

5. Citizens of NATO countries do not want to see Ukraine in the Alliance

Propagandists spread the assertion that Ukraine did not receive guarantees of joining the Alliance, because the citizens of the countries-members of the Alliance do not want to see it there.

In such publications propagandists refer to the results of opinion polls. In this case, in particular, they manipulated a survey commissioned by the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. In the original article, 47% of respondents did not agree with the results of the survey that Ukraine should be immediately accepted into NATO. However, the infographic from the article in Rzeczpospolita is only an illustration of one question on a sociological survey. And the original article goes on to say that the Poles recognize the importance of Ukraine as part of the NATO security architecture and are not against Ukraine joining the Alliance later. This is quite in tune with the positions of the top officials of the NATO member states. At the summit in Vilnius, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that all NATO members and their allies are unanimous that Ukraine will sooner or later become a member of NATO.

Fake NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted that the “promoted counteroffensive” does not bring results

Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg allegedly stated that the Ukrainian military had problems with the counteroffensive. Propagandists refer to his recent interview with Politico and write that NATO allegedly had to admit that “the publicized counteroffensive does not bring the expected results”. It is not true.

The fact checkers of the StopFake project drew attention to the case. In an interview with Politico, Jens Stoltenberg did not talk about unjustified expectations from the counteroffensive. On the contrary, he was optimistic about the actions of the Ukrainian military and noted that, despite the difficulties, they are moving forward.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to convince Ukrainians that the counterattack is not successful, and Western partners do not believe in Ukraine's victory. They also want to discredit NATO. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the 92nd brigade would be disbanded and the military would be transferred to other units.

Fake In 2023 the war will still continue, Ukraine will not join the Alliance and will lose its statehood, NATO says

Russian propaganda media circulated publications according to which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen allegedly stated that in 2023 “there will be no peace”, Ukraine will lose its statehood and that it will not be accepted into the Alliance. Propagandists gloat: they say that NATO is carrying out “denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine”, as Russia demanded. It's fake.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to it. They refuted it by finding two interviews cited by the authors of the fake. In particular, Stoltenberg, in a conversation with the Center for a New American Security, on the contrary, pointed out the readiness of the Ukrainians for a counteroffensive and the need to strengthen their position in order to guarantee the independence of Ukraine. In addition, he notes that the allies agree that sooner or later Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Rasmussen, in an interview with The Guardian, said that unless a clear path to NATO membership is offered to Ukraine at the Vilnius summit, some states may send troops to Ukraine on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, he stressed that it is important for Ukraine to receive security guarantees from NATO in writing and before the summit. According to the ex-secretary general, they should include the exchange of intelligence, joint military training, increasing the production of weapons, compatibility with the standards of the Alliance and the supply of weapons in quantities that will deter Russia from future attacks. Summing up, Rasmussen stressed that leaving Ukraine without a response to its membership requests for an indefinite period is dangerous. None of them made predictions about the timing of the end of the war.

By manipulating the words of foreign politicians, propagandists want to change the attitude of Ukrainians towards Western partners and make them doubt their intentions. In addition, this is another attempt to show that Ukraine is not in NATO, and it has no chance of winning against Russia. All this is aimed at demoralizing Ukrainian society.

Manipulation NATO may agree to send troops to the territory of Ukraine

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that the European Union is ready to discuss sending peacekeepers from Poland and Romania to Ukraine. Russian propaganda refers to a statement by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Also, Ukrainian media, citing The Guardian, write that ex-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen believes that some members of the Alliance, such as Poland, may agree to send troops to Ukraine. This is manipulation. 

On June 8, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba commented on the statements of the ex-NATO Secretary General on the air of the Breakfast with 1 + 1 program. He said that “until the end of the armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine, foreign states would not send their troops to the territory of our state. Moreover, we do not ask for it. We say: give us weapons”. The Minister stressed that “Ukraine's membership in NATO cannot end this war, but it will prevent new wars”. 

Thus, propagandists want to show that Russia is at war with NATO on the territory of Ukraine, while other countries are belligerent and ready to go to war at any moment. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that, according to Zelenskyi, hopes for Ukraine's accession to NATO are fading and that Ukraine seems to be able to join NATO if it gives up the territories occupied by Russia.

Manipulation Zelenskyi says hopes for Ukraine's NATO membership are fading

Such information is disseminated by Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, and in the Russian segment of Facebook. At the European Political Community (EPC) summit in Moldova, Zelenskyi allegedly said that hopes for Ukraine's accession to NATO “are becoming more and more distant”. This is manipulation. As the fact-checkers of the Stop Fake project note, the quote used by Russian propagandists is inaccurate, shortened and taken out of context. But Zelenskyi did not declare “fading hopes” for Ukraine's entry into NATO. However, the president did talk about the prospect of Ukraine and other countries joining NATO. According to him, every European country that borders on Russia and wants to be protected from it should join the European Union and NATO. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the President of Ukraine, sow panic and despondency among the population. Russian propagandists systematically spread fakes that Western partners do not want to help Ukraine and do not want to see it in NATO. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine is not expected to join NATO.

Manipulation Ukraine no longer wants to join NATO because it is making concessions to Russia, Zelenskyi said

Such information was disseminated in social networks, including the Georgian segment of Facebook. Reports say Zelenskyi has renounced NATO membership, saying he no longer wants to pressure Western officials. The authors of the messages convince readers that Zelenskyi was making concessions to Russia. They also refer to France 24 material. This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the Myth Detector project drew attention to the case, who found that Zelenskyi did indeed say that he would not insist on joining NATO, although he did not indicate that this was because of Russia and pressure on him. The authors of the messages simply distorted the context of the material, which does not even indicate that Volodymyr Zelenskyi is making concessions.

In the material itself, journalists wrote that in the context of NATO membership, Zelenskyi said that he did not want to be the president of a “begging country on its knees”. That is, there are no concessions to Russia, Zelenskyi only said that he would not try to whine about membership and would not insist.

Fake Ukraine can join NATO if it refuses the territories seized by Russia

The Kremlin propaganda media are spreading information that Ukraine can join NATO if it refuses to return the temporarily occupied territories. This was stated in an article by the American edition of The New York Times, which was written by correspondent Steven Erlanger. It's fake.

Experts of the Stop Fake project analyzed the article “If a Divided Germany Could Enter NATO, Why Not Ukraine?” in The New York Times cited by the propagandists. They found that the article does not mention that NATO put forward the demands of Ukraine. Steven Erlanger wrote an article in which he thinks about the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO without temporarily occupied territories and draws parallels with Germany in 1955. Then the Federal Republic of Germany joined the Alliance, and in 1990 the former German Democratic Republic. That is, it happened after the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990.

At the same time, the journalist writes that the issue of the integrity of Ukraine will not be removed from the agenda, and the experts he interviewed note that the ceasefire is an unfortunate decision, since in this case the war could start again after some time.

Russian propagandists systematically disseminate information that Western partners do not want to help Ukraine and do not want to see it in NATO. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine is not expected to join NATO.

Manipulation Ukraine is not welcome in NATO

Kremlin propaganda media and anonymous telegrams are spreading the word that Ukraine is not expected to join NATO. This was allegedly stated by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in an interview with Welt. This is manipulation.

In fact, Olaf Scholz said that after the war, Ukraine will be equipped with Western-made weapons and then it will be necessary to discuss the security guarantees that can be provided in the post-war situation. But we're not there yet. Now let's focus on what's in store for us”, Scholz added. He did not say that Ukraine was not expected by NATO.

When asked by a journalist, “Would you theoretically support Ukraine’s membership in NATO after the end of the war?” Scholz replied that NATO made decisions in Bucharest in 2008 that set out a long-term vision. “It is clear to everyone that this will not happen in the foreseeable future. Also because there are a number of conditions in the NATO criteria that Ukraine cannot yet fulfill”, Scholz said.

Russian propaganda systematically disseminates information that the West does not want to help Ukraine in the war, and tries to show that Western partners do not consider Ukraine and do not want to see it in NATO. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that the Germans were “against Ukraine's entry into NATO”.

Fake NATO experts are confident in the failure of the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian military

The Kremlin propaganda media are spreading information that the Ukrainian allies are allegedly confident that the counteroffensive will fail. Russian propaganda refers to the words of the former commander of NATO forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, who believes that “Western countries are actually aware of the catastrophic situation of Ukraine at the front. Therefore, they have no doubt that sooner or later the Armed Forces of Ukraine will lose”. It's fake.

The case was noticed by specialists from the StopFake project. In fact, Ben Hodges, in an interview with Business Insider cited by the propaganda, did not talk about the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but on the contrary, he expressed “restrained optimism” about the effectiveness of the Ukrainian army, “considering the weakened, disorganized forces of Russia and the superior willpower of Ukraine”.

He also noted that it is necessary to abandon the view that the upcoming counteroffensive is decisive for victory. And in his opinion, the only thing that can spoil everything is “if the West puts such strong pressure on Ukraine that it will force them to stop before a complete victory”.

Thus, propagandists are trying to sow discouragement among Ukrainians before a future counteroffensive. They say that it will not be possible to defeat Russia, and Western partners also believe in this. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that if the Ukrainian military fails the counteroffensive, the West will stop supporting Ukraine.

Fake After Finland joined NATO, Russia began moving nuclear weapons to the Russian-Finnish border

On April 6, a video began to be distributed in the Georgian segment of Facebook, which recorded the movement of the RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system. According to the description, mobile nuclear installations appeared in the border town of Vyborg after Finland joined NATO. It's fake.

Myth Detector specialists drew attention to the case. The video went viral on Twitter, where several accounts were able to determine the location of the vehicle using geolocation. Comparing the location on the video with a Google map, it was determined that the video of the equipment was filmed in the city of Kolchugino, Volodymyr region, not far from Moscow, and not in the city of Vyborg near the border with Finland. The Myth Detector also turned to weapons specialist Gigi Inaishvili. According to him, the range of the RS-24 Yars missile system is up to 12,000 km, “the system is not intended for nearby countries, and the complexes shown in the video were probably preparing for the May 9 parade”.

The distribution of the video, which recorded the movement of equipment allegedly to the border with Finland, was for intimidation. Earlier, Dmytro Polianskyi, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN, noted that “If NATO units appear in these territories [Sweden and Finland], these territories will become a target or a possible target for a strike”.  Detector Media has already investigated what anonymous telegram channels wrote about Finland's accession to NATO and how Putin accused NATO of “breaking” the promise not to expand to the East.