Spilnota Detector Media

Fake A senior NATO officer allegedly wears a skirt and heels

Users broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks are distributing a video of a high-ranking NATO officer allegedly walking around in a skirt and heels. However, this is fake.

Myth Detector specialists paid attention to it. They found that this message with homophobic and mocking comments was distributed in the Russian and Georgian segments of social networks.

In fact, the video shows model Mark Bryan, who has no professional relationship with the alliance structures. He is an American robotics engineer who currently resides in Germany. Brian has become an Instagram fashion sensation for breaking gender stereotypes in clothing. Mark, in his personal profile on this social network, writes that he is heterosexual and identifies himself as a husband, has a wife and three children, and also notes that he likes to wear skirts and heels, because after 20 years of working in an office, he was tired of the “monotonous clothing style”.

The original source of the fake, according to Myth Detector, is a user from Georgia who systematically publishes anti-Western and anti-Ukrainian conspiracy theories. The author often duplicates reports from Russian propaganda media and war correspondents about Ukraine's failures on the front line.

This fake is aimed at discrediting the NATO military and its leadership. Homophobic speculation on the topic of sexual orientation and “traditionality” is typical of Russian propaganda.

Message NATO assistance to Ukraine only embitters Russia

Pro-Kremlin resources, citing ex-US Army officer Douglas McGregor, are disseminating information that Western military assistance to Ukraine in no way affects the situation in the war, but only allegedly kills the civilian population.

In fact, Western weapons demonstrate high effectiveness in the hands of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in repelling Russian armed aggression. In particular, after resuming the supply of weapons and obtaining permission to use them on the territory of the Russian Federation in the Kharkiv region, it was possible to stop the offensive potential of the invaders. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. In addition, air defense systems provided by partners successfully repel terrorist missile and drone attacks of the Russian Federation.

Douglas McGregor himself, to whom propagandists refer, in 2014 justified the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of Donbas. And after the start of a full-scale invasion, he predicted the rapid defeat of Ukraine, which eloquently testifies not only to his views, but also to the quality of his “expertise”.

Fake The Russians allegedly liquidated NATO officers in the Lviv region

Pro-Russian telegram channels are disseminating information that on the night of May 28-29, 2024, the Russian army launched a Kinzhal missile at the Yavoriv test site in the Lviv region. As a result, many servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as foreign instructors, allegedly died.

However, this is a fake, they write at the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. At the time indicated by the propagandists, Russian missiles did not fly into the territory of the Lviv region. In addition, on the night from May 28 to May 29, an air raid alert was not announced in the Lviv region (with the exception of the period from 20:17 to 20:31 on May 28, but no launches were recorded). Also, the Lviv Air Force, which reports a hit during air raids, did not record any strikes on any infrastructure within the region. No hits were recorded in the International Peacekeeping Center or the military departments of partner countries.

As of May 30, 2024, the last time missiles flew into the airspace of the Lviv region was on the night of May 26, but they subsequently disappeared from radar. Subsequently, on the night from May 31 to June 1, six missiles hit three critical infrastructure facilities in the Lviv region. However, from May 27 to May 31, no missiles were recorded in the airspace of the Lviv region. Previously, we refuted information that 180 foreigners were allegedly killed near Lviv by Russian missiles.

Manipulation Scholz allegedly said that Ukraine may not join NATO in the next 30 years

Russian propagandists claim that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz allegedly said that Ukraine may not become a NATO member in the next 30 years. “You know the solution, this will not happen in the near future. Perhaps not even in the next 30 years”, Scholz said during a meeting with Berlin residents. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that in fact Scholz noted at this meeting in Berlin that before the full-scale invasion, discussing Ukraine's entry into NATO, he assured Putin: “This is not being considered for the next 30 years”. Scholz also accused Putin of attacking Ukraine for “absolutely absurd” reasons, since “NATO has never posed a threat to Russia”.

After the old quote was again picked up by Russian propaganda, the German government commented on the information being disseminated. According to government spokesman Steffen Gebestreit, the situation “has completely changed, and therefore, no, 30 years are no longer relevant”.

During the decade of war in Ukraine, Russian propaganda regularly spread manipulations and fake news that Ukraine would not be accepted into NATO or the EU. Thus, they want to cause skepticism and panic among Ukrainians regarding the actions of their Western partners.

Fake NATO Secretary General allegedly called the Ukrainian military “cannon fodder”

Propagandists are spreading information on social networks that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg allegedly called the Ukrainian Armed Forces military “cannon fodder”. However, this is not true.

VoxCheck project specialists found that Stoltenberg did not say this. They found the speech that the Russians are quoting. The Secretary General voiced these theses at a press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on April 23, 2024. His words were taken out of context.

In his speech, Stoltenberg did not call the Ukrainian Armed Forces military “cannon fodder”. At the same time, he said that NATO countries must pay a certain price, that is, provide assistance to Ukraine in order to live in a safer world. Stoltenberg noted the need to support Ukraine. In his opinion, this is an investment in the security of other countries that are threatened by Russia.

NATO officials say the organization was created for defense, not to participate in wars. Although NATO does not intervene in the war with Russia, NATO member countries condemn the aggression and provide assistance to Ukraine.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine’s Western partners and devalue the Ukrainian authorities. They say that NATO does not send its soldiers to war, but “uses” Ukrainians for its own whims. They say, therefore, Ukraine should follow the road with Russia.

Fake Poland allegedly confirmed the war in Ukraine by NATO forces against Russia

Russian media are disseminating information that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has confirmed the introduction of NATO into Ukraine. The official allegedly announced this during a conversation with the press in the Sejm (Polish parliament).

StopFake analysts write that during a conversation with the press, Mr. Tusk was asked whether NATO could help Ukraine resist Russian aggression by sending troops into the country? In response, the Prime Minister explained that the Alliance already provides Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance, but does not want to intervene directly in the war and therefore does not send its troops to Ukraine.

At the same time, the Polish prime minister also noted that there is a small technical contingent in Ukraine - these are observers and engineering specialists who remain far from the front line and do not participate in battles. Most often, such specialists oversee the distribution of military aid to allies, guard the embassies of member states, or represent the apparatus of military attaches.

Message Ukraine is allegedly fighting solely in the interests of the United States

Propagandists quote Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu, who at a meeting of the Russian Defense Collegium said that the Ukrainian military is fighting in the interests of the war between the United States and Russia. They say that during the full-scale invasion, almost half a million military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces died. He also noted that during the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military allegedly failed to achieve the goals that “NATO instructors” set for them, and thus were able to dispel the myth about the superiority of Western weapons. However, this is not true.

Now we do not have an accurately known number of dead, wounded and missing Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers for the entire time of the full-scale invasion. But on February 25 of this year, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, during a large press conference following the results of the forum “Ukraine. Year 2024” answered this question. According to him, “31 thousand Ukrainian soldiers died in this war”, not counting the fighters of volunteer battalions and the missing. But we see that this figure is significantly less than what the Russian Ministry of Defense states.

Russian propaganda has been promoting the narrative of Ukraine's war in the interests of the United States for long enough to neutralize the fact that Ukraine is defending its own territory, interests and cultural heritage. Claiming failures in the counteroffensive and dispelling the “myth” of the superiority of Western weapons does not reflect the full picture. Ukrainian forces carried out successful defensive actions, repelling attacks and inflicting significant losses on the enemy. For example, in the summer of 2022, an agreement was reached with Russia on a “safe corridor” in the Black Sea through the UN and Turkey. However, this agreement lasted only a year, after which Russia threatened to attack Ukrainian ports. Ukraine responded with naval drone and missile attacks on September 13, 2023, forcing Russia to reduce its ambitions in the Black Sea region.

Also, the “largest tank battle”, according to The New York Times, which the Ukrainian side won, took place on March 2, 2023 and proves the opposite of Shoihu’s claims. The Russian army launched powerful offensive operations after defeats in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions. Despite successful actions at Bakhmut and Soledar, they were defeated at Vuhledar due to the effective resistance of Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian Armed Forces fighters hit several tank columns heading towards Vuhledar and subsequently inflicted significant losses on Russian troops.

Shoihu’s statements regarding the counteroffensive and losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces look like an attempt to distort circumstances and convince the public of his superiority on the battlefield, despite such a powerful “enemy” as NATO.

Message NATO is expanding to Russia's borders and has surrounded Russia with military bases

Propaganda anonymous telegram channels are spreading information that NATO is allegedly actively expanding to the borders of Russia, establishing military bases around it. However, this information is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that  propagandists say that NATO broke its promises, in particular, regarding the non-concession of the eastern countries, and supposedly this is what led to tension in relations with Russia. However, historical facts indicate that such promises do not exist in writing, and countries' accession to NATO was carried out on a voluntary basis in accordance with the interests and freedom of peoples.

In addition, NATO has no plans to locate its military bases in close proximity to Russia's borders. The Alliance acts in accordance with the principle of self-defense and ensuring the security of its members, but this does not mean provocative actions against Russia.

Propagandists spread such messages to create an image of victimhood in Russia and justify Russian aggression. Detector Media has already written about how propagandists previously reacted to NATO expansion.

Fake Ukrainian soldiers allegedly beat a NATO instructor because he “didn't want” to speak Ukrainian

Anonymous Telegram channels spread information that the Ukrainian military beat a NATO instructor for refusing to speak Ukrainian. The incident happened in Denmark during pilot training. This is a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts took up this case and found out that it was a fictional news story published on a satirical channel.

Neither Ukrainian nor foreign media wrote about such an event. The primary source of the fabricated news is the satirical telegram channel “Empire of the Very Evil”. The description of the channel states: “Caution, possible fake and harsh satire. All written is fiction, all coincidences are accidental”.

Fake French troops are allegedly heading to Romania and then arriving in Ukraine

Information that French troops are being sent to Romania to confront the Russian army in Ukraine is actively spreading online. It is noted that they will be in Odesa. However, this information is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to this. They found out that such information first appeared on the FranceNews24 news portal on the X network, but was then deleted because it turned out to be false. It should be noted that this resource is not a reliable source of information as it does not have contact information or details of the owners or editorial team. He is also noted for publishing only pro-Russian materials.

Rumors about the deployment of French troops in Odesa circulated amid statements by President Macron about possible military assistance to Ukraine. However, even if this happens, military intervention requires permission from the relevant authorities, and in this case, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It should also be noted that France has already stationed its troops in Romania as part of strengthening NATO's eastern flank.

Propagandists spread such fake news to intimidate the local population and discredit Western partners. Detector Media has already written about how Russian propaganda reacted to Macron’s recent statements.

Fake Jens Stoltenberg allegedly “confirmed NATO's involvement” in attacks on the Russian fleet

Russian media said that Jens Stoltenberg allegedly admitted NATO's involvement in attacks on the Russian Black Sea Fleet. However, this is not true.

StopFake analysts investigated this case and found that the fake was based on the speech of the NATO Secretary General on March 14, 2024. Then Jens Stoltenberg presented his 2023 report, which covers all aspects of the Alliance's work over the past year.

Reflecting on NATO's support for Ukraine, Stoltenberg noted that in 2023, a number of member countries sent long-range systems to Ukraine for the first time - the British Storm Shadow missiles and the French SCALP. The allies also agreed to supply F-16 aircraft to Ukraine. Stoltenberg emphasized: “Ukraine needs even more support, and it needs it now. Ukrainians are not running out of courage. They're running out of ammunition”.

Stoltenberg emphasized that all this testifies to the high level of professionalism of the Ukrainian defense forces. And he noted that Ukraine’s successes in the Black Sea became possible, in particular, thanks to the support of NATO member countries, which provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces with modern weapons as important tools for countering Russian aggression in the Black Sea.

The Russians used these words to mean that NATO allegedly “confirmed involvement” in the Ukrainian attacks although it was exclusively about the supply of weapons.

Manipulation Zelenskyi allegedly promised Western countries to bomb Krasnodar

Russian resources are disseminating information that the President of Ukraine promised the West that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will use long-range weapons provided by partner countries only against targets in territories that Ukraine considers its own. However, according to a recent presidential decree, the list of “ours” now allegedly also includes one area (krai) and five regions of Russia, propagandists say.

In fact, this information is distorted, as reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Zelenskyi’s decree on the territories of Russia historically inhabited by Ukrainians concerns exclusively the protection of the national rights of Russian citizens of Ukrainian ethnic origin, but propagandists pass it off as a demonstration of “territorial claims”.

The weapons transferred by partners are used exclusively to defeat Russian targets in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. The Defense Forces are destroying objects on Russian territory by Ukrainian-made weapons.

By manipulating information, in this case, Russian propaganda seeks to mobilize Russians for war against Ukraine and the “collective West”, resorting to demonization. Propagandists also want to intimidate Ukraine’s Western partners with “escalation” from Russia in order to disrupt further assistance. Previously, we denied information that NATO countries would try to capture “six Russian regions”.

Manipulation The West allegedly wants to give Ukraine German long-range Taurus missiles for terrorist attacks in Russia

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that NATO has decided to move on to terrorist attacks and sabotage in the Russian rear using long-range Taurus cruise missiles. In asserting this, the propaganda media refers to the Russian “expert” Ivannikov.

In fact, this information is distorted. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Germany is not transferring Taurus missiles to Ukraine due to fears that it will use them to attack Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained that in order to prevent missiles from hitting the wrong targets, it was necessary to involve German specialists in programming the missiles. “A Taurus with a range of 500 kilometers, if used incorrectly, can reach a specific target somewhere in Moscow. I initially clearly said: there will be no German or NATO soldiers in Ukraine... And my position remains unchanged”, Scholz said.

With such rhetoric, Russia seeks to create an image of a victim, saying that “the provoking West is to blame for everything”, so it is forced to “defend itself”. Previously, we analyzed information that Germany allegedly transferred 1,000 laptops to Ukraine instead of long-range Taurus missiles.

Disclosure Russia once again intimidates the West with nuclear war

Russian political scientist Serhii Karhanov, who previously proposed a “pre-emptive retaliation strike” against one of the NATO countries, published an article in which he demands a change in Russian nuclear doctrine. According to Karhanov, if the downing of Russian planes and subsequent bombing of Russian cities continue, then, according to the new doctrine, powerful nuclear attacks should be carried out on EU countries. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

Karhanov also proposes to abandon the nonproliferation doctrine and “help” “friendly countries” obtain nuclear weapons, in particular, the Arab world and Latin America. This should supposedly help Russia achieve victory in the war, which he considers the complete occupation of the eastern, southern and central regions of Ukraine.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to use the US election period to force the EU to reduce military aid to Ukraine and agree to peace negotiations on Putin’s terms.

Karhanov himself is considered an influential scientist and is a member of the scientific council of the Russian Security Council, but does not directly participate in decision-making. Moscow uses statements by Karhanov, as well as ex-President Dmytro Medvediev, solely to frighten the world with a “nuclear cataclysm”.

Read also: The EU flouts its principles because it supports providing Ukraine with depleted uranium weapons, but wants to impose sanctions on Belarus for nuclear weapons

Fake Kuleba allegedly proposed renaming Avdiivka to Prague in order to activate Article 5 of the NATO Charter

Russian news resources and social media users spreading pro-Russian rhetoric are spreading an alleged quote from Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. They say that in Ukraine they were considering the idea of renaming the city of Avdiivka to Prague in order to activate Article 5 of the NATO Charter and provoke a war with Russia on the part of the alliance member states. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has never expressed such absurd proposals, and such a quote is not on his official pages on social networks or other communication channels of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. This fictitious quote was distributed only in Russian telegram channels and in user posts on social networks.

Regarding Ukraine's entry into NATO and the activation of Article 5, the Minister wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs why Ukraine should join NATO, noting that this would ensure its protection under this article.

Propagandists spread such fakes to misinform and discredit Ukraine before the world. They say that Ukrainian diplomats are going to the extent of desperate and absurd attempts for Ukraine to join NATO.

Message NATO allegedly wants to occupy the Arctic and Ukraine during training

Russian media continue to publish “analytical” materials on NATO exercise Steadfast Defender 2024. By spreading false narratives about “Alliance aggression against Russia”, pro-Kremlin media claims that the “real goal” of allied maneuvers is to “start” World War III and “capture” Ukraine. “In connection with the assessment of Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as the Arctic, as a potential site for the outbreak of conflict regarding the Union State, the United States and NATO countries are intensifying their military activities in this region”, Russian propagandists write.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to the message. They remind that Steadfast Defender is a regular deterrence exercise in which troops from across the Alliance train in defending European NATO allies rather than attacking third countries. The exercises do not pose a threat to Russia, and certainly are not aimed at reproducing maneuvers to “occupy” the Arctic, Ukraine or any other territory or state. The planning of the maneuvers took place long before they began, and information about their conduct was transmitted to other states. No NATO country has ever attacked another state under the guise of military exercises - this is unique to Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022 in exactly this way.

The alliance, in light of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the possibility of its spreading to other European countries, has begun developing new defense plans in those areas that NATO believes Russia could use to launch an invasion. Therefore, the legend of the exercises involves the deployment of forces from North America and other parts of the Alliance to Eastern Europe in order to create the ability to counter a hypothetical large-scale threat to the allies.

The exercise involves approximately 90,000 troops from all NATO countries and involves more than 1,200 pieces of equipment, including ground combat equipment, naval weapons and aircraft. The maneuvers are multi-faceted, with allied forces demonstrating their individual and joint defenses on land, air, sea, cyber and space. Capabilities in various sectors show NATO's commitment to collective defense, regardless of the method of hypothetical attack.

This is truly the biggest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War, just as Russia's war in Ukraine is the biggest aggression on the continent since 1939. It was the Russian attack that became the impetus for the Alliance to mobilize all efforts to revise the defense plans of NATO countries. In February 2022, NATO member countries revised their Strategic Concept. The North Atlantic Alliance recognized Russia as “the most significant and direct threat” to security in Europe. However, separately for those who declare “NATO aggression”, the allied countries wrote out paragraph 9, which notes that “NATO does not seek confrontation and does not pose a threat to the Russian Federation”.

At the Vilnius NATO Summit in the summer of 2023, Alliance countries continued to develop new defense concepts to counter possible Russian aggression. These plans were not hidden from the public and were widely covered by the press. The summit noted that Russia's attack on Ukraine has forced NATO to strengthen its deterrence and defense efforts, as well as develop new regional plans and new force models using large numbers of allied troops. Now, during the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, allies are practicing precisely to improve their defense capabilities.

Fake Ukraine allegedly proposed to “exclude” Slovakia and Hungary from NATO

Anonymous telegram channels write that Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal proposed to exclude Slovakia and Hungary from NATO — according to anonymous telegrams, the prime minister said that those countries “are not keeping up with the times”. This is a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts managed to analyze the case and establish that the “news” was originally published in a satirical Telegram channel. Subsequently, the information was circulated in the Russian segment of social networks as if it were true and reliable. At the same time, it is impossible to find information about the official's so-called “statement” in Shmyhal's social networks or by reverse Google search.

Fake Britain allegedly prepared a plan to secretly introduce NATO forces into Ukraine

Pro-Russian resources are spreading information that London has developed a plan to secretly send NATO forces to Ukraine. Propagandists report that Great Britain has initiated a plan to introduce NATO troops to the right bank of the Dnipro and to the border with Belarus in order to “free up” the forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and send them to the “real war” zone.

In fact, this information is not true, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation. This is another disinformation spread by the Russians, based on manipulations around the British statement about the NATO training Steadfast Defender 2024. The training itself began near the borders of Russia at the end of January 2024.

Thus, propagandists seek to demonize NATO, in particular Great Britain, and assert that in the event of any “aggressive actions” by the North Atlantic Alliance, Russia will certainly “defend itself”. This fake feeds the Russian propaganda narrative that supposedly Russia is really fighting not against Ukraine, but against the “collective West”, which is interested in exhausting Russia. Ukraine seems to be nothing more than a tool in the hands of the West. Previously, we denied information that NATO countries would try to capture “six Russian regions”.

Manipulation NATO countries will try to capture “six subjects of Russia”

Pro-Russian media are disseminating information that the security guarantee agreement that Great Britain signed with Ukraine states that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are actually part of NATO, and the goal of the “proxy war” with Moscow through Kyiv is to capture “six subjects of Russia”. Thus, in Russian news they named LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security reports that in fact, propagandists presented this news in a distorted form, that is, they manipulated the essence of the agreement. It stipulates that the UK will provide Ukraine with all possible assistance in protecting and restoring territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders, as well as helping to counter any military escalation or new aggression from Russia. The fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine is developing and moving to NATO concepts and operational procedures does not make them military of the Alliance. The return of the territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Kremlin to the control of Kyiv is not the “seizure of Russian subjects”, but the de-occupation of internationally recognized Ukrainian lands.

Let us recall that the UK became the first country to conclude a final bilateral security agreement with Ukraine as part of the agreements agreed upon during the Vilnius NATO summit. Security responsibilities are an intermediate step before Ukraine joins NATO. It should be noted that Ukraine and the UK will also cooperate in the field of information security and the fight against manipulation and propaganda within the framework of the agreement signed on January 12, 2024.

Fake Now the Ukrainian Armed Forces can allegedly use any NATO weapon on Russian territory

Pro-Kremlin telegram channels disseminate information that NATO member countries, including the United States, are not against the Armed Forces of Ukraine “hitting”  Russia with all available weapons, that is, foreign ones, and not just Ukrainian ones. Based on the results of an emergency telephone conversation between representatives of the United States, NATO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, which followed another massive Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities on January 2, 2024, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin allegedly promised to satisfactorily respond to Ukraine’s requests regarding medium- and long-range missiles. In arguing this, propagandists cite an article by The New York Times. However, this is a fake.

The truth is that The New York Times never published such a story, and their reporter at the Paris bureau of Constant Méheut, the supposed author of the fictitious article, did not actually write the story. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The Western countries arming Kyiv demanded that Ukraine use only its own weapons to attack Russian territory. In addition, neither on the NATO website nor on the official Pentagon channels there is any mention of the supply of missiles to Ukraine without range restrictions. This information is also not available on the website and communication channels of the US Embassy in Ukraine.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda seeks to demonize NATO, including the United States, saying that they are starting to openly fight against Russia and are even ready to destroy the civilian population of Russia. Thus, the propagandists also want to justify the bloody war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine and, according to them, against the entire West and NATO, which allegedly want to destroy Russia. Previously, Detector Media analyzed the Russian manipulation that NATO would allegedly invade Russia “after the war in Ukraine”.

Manipulation Ukraine allegedly itself refused to end the war

This information is disseminated by pro-Russian resources. Russian propaganda refers to an interview with the head of the Servant of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamiia, who allegedly said that Ukraine could have stopped the war by agreeing to the neutral, non-bloc status proposed by Russia. However, representatives of Ukraine “rejected peace” and “doomed hundreds of thousands of their citizens to death”. This is manipulation.

This case was processed by fact-checkers from the StopFake project. They found out that Arakhamiia stated that Ukraine really did not agree to the non-bloc status proposed by Russia, but there were objective reasons for this. Firstly, there is no trust in Russia’s promises to withdraw troops and not engage in hostilities with Ukraine anymore, and secondly, the Constitution of Ukraine should be changed, since the path to NATO is written there.

Throughout the war, the Russians have been promoting the thesis that Ukraine itself does not agree to peace. Thus, the Kremlin wants to show that the root cause of the armed aggression was allegedly the actions of Ukraine, which “provoked” Russia to war, and that in fact it was the Russian government that was the “peacemaker”. The purpose of such a narrative is to refute that it was Russia that started the war and that it was Russia that is to blame for all the crimes committed against the Ukrainian people.

Read on Censor.NET: 90% of Ukrainians are against territorial concessions to the aggressor, even for the sake of ending the war.

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.