Spilnota Detector Media

Disclosure How Russia conducts propaganda at the TOT through youth organizations

Russia continues to invest large resources in the ideological indoctrination of youth in the temporarily occupied territories (TOT), expanding the network of organizations specially created for this purpose. In particular, at the TOT, with the assistance of local gauleiters, recruitment is underway for the all-Russian community of children and youth “Movement of the First”, created on December 18, 2022 on the initiative of Russian President Putin. Outreach events are also held for local schoolchildren and students. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

As for the “First Movement” community, it is the reincarnation of Soviet practices of youth education - organizations of pioneers and Komsomol members. By resorting to old, proven methods, the Kremlin is trying to achieve several goals at once:

– ideologically educate youth at the TOT in the spirit of loyalty to Russia;

– prevent any resistance by controlling the mood of young people;

– integrate local youth into the Russian space;

– form personnel for administrative, political and military structures at the TOT.

This youth movement is part of a large-scale program to strengthen the influence and control of children and youth in the temporarily occupied territories.

Disclosure How Russian propaganda spreads fiction about “improving life” in the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region

The telegram channels of the occupation authorities are filled with messages about improvements in the TOT: repair of water pipelines and roads, drilling of new wells, infrastructure development. The Zaporizhzhia Investigation Center found out what really lies behind this news and how local residents react to it.

Manipulation No. 1. Restoration of roads in Zaporizhzhia region

The occupation authorities claim that since the beginning of the year, 106 kilometers of roads have allegedly been restored in the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region. The so-called governor Balytskyi claims that special attention is paid to settlements where roads “have not been repaired for decades”. According to the plan for this year, asphalt should be replaced and laid on 265 km of roads.

However, comments from TOT residents on these channels indicate that the real situation is different. Verification of this information is complicated by the lack of access to official Russian data and possible falsification, so one has to rely on reports and comments from local residents. They note that the roads after the so-called repairs leave much to be desired.

Manipulation No. 2. Half a billion rubles for the Kuibyshev district

Each TOT district has “chiefs” - regions or territories of the Russian Federation who finance the restoration of occupied territories. The head of Mari El, the patronage region of the former Bilmatskyi district, said that by 2028 he will allocate half a billion rubles. This year, 138 million rubles have been allocated for the social sphere and utilities.

Checking the information shows that repairs are carried out quickly and without complying with standards. It is likely that we are also talking about money laundering.

Manipulation No. 3. Observation platform in Berdiansk

The reconstruction of the observation deck in Berdiansk is a long-standing promise of the occupiers. In April 2024, the occupation authorities announced the start of preparatory work. 105 million rubles were allocated. However, residents of Berdiansk did not understand who voted for the project. Even Ukraine’s opponents admit that its benefits are questionable.

The occupiers promise to complete the project by the end of 2024, but the site still looks like a wasteland.

The editor of the Locator.Media website, Oleksandr Pylypenko, explained that regional chefs send their contractors, through whom the money is immediately returned to the Russian Federation. Critical work is done superficially or not done at all.

Russian propaganda is trying to create the illusion of an improvement in life on the TOT, talking about new projects and renovations in order to justify its aggression against Ukraine. However, TOT residents are skeptical about such improvements. Work in sponsored territories is carried out by contractors from the Russian Federation, and the money is returned to Russia, which leads to insufficient or non-fulfillment of planned work.

Message Russia plans to create a new federal district “Novorossiia” from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

Russian propaganda is actively spreading the statement of Yevhen Balytskyi about the creation of a new federal district of the Russian Federation in the occupied Ukrainian territories called “Novorossiia”.

This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation. Similar ideas were heard before, but they were not implemented. Also, after the start of the occupation, a “federal district” was created for Crimea, which lasted only two years.

With these statements, Russian propaganda is trying to create the impression that the integration of the temporarily occupied territories is at the final stage and convey a message to the local population and the world, supposedly “Russia is here forever”. This once again proves that Moscow does not intend to negotiate to achieve peace.

If this plan is realized, it will allow Putin to consolidate his power in the captured territories and tighten his control over local officials. Also, by unifying the temporarily occupied territories with other regions of the Russian Federation, it will be easier for Moscow to filter them and repress the disloyal population.

Disclosure How the occupiers promise a “better life” in the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region

Life in the so-called new regions of the Russian Federation, that is, in the temporarily occupied territories (TOT) of Ukraine, will supposedly soon improve. These are the promises that residents of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia region constantly hear. However, occupiers often make promises but do not keep their promises. The Zaporizhzhia Investigation Center (ZCR) has collected false promises from the occupiers, which have not been fulfilled in recent months. Its experts emphasize that checking the real situation on TOT is complicated by the lack of free access to official Russian data and possible forgeries. They rely on messages and comments from local residents. In particular, experts warn that these comments may be biased, but they reflect the actual state of affairs.

“New elevators” for Berdiansk residents

In February 2024, the occupation authorities announced that the occupied territories would receive 300 new elevators, of which 22 would be in Berdiansk. In March they even reported on the launch of three and the installation of five more. Propagandists claimed that these elevators had greater capacity and speed, were quieter, and were more reliable and safe. However, these elevators quickly stopped working. Local residents were told that their work required documents from Moscow, which were not available. They say that until the documents are completed, the elevators will not work. Residents of TOT are again forced to walk, and the occupation authorities were satisfied with filming the story and photographing it.

Marketplaces in temporarily occupied territories

The occupation authorities promised that large Russian marketplaces - Ozon and Wildberries - would begin operating on the territory of the so-called Novorossiya. However, the marketplaces themselves denied this information, saying that the TOT does not have the necessary infrastructure to open their branches. The closest place with operating online stores is temporarily occupied Crimea. TOT residents order goods from Ozon and Wildberries and receive them through private carriers, since some goods, such as medicines, cannot be purchased on TOT.

Medicine stock for TOT

A month ago, the occupation authorities announced that in the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, the necessary supply of medicines had allegedly been created and now residents do not need to wait for supplies or order hard-to-find medications. According to them, over the past two years, 146 pharmacies and pharmacy points have been opened in TOT. However, TOT residents continue to search for medicines, especially those in short supply. Ordering through marketplaces remains a more reliable method than buying them at a pharmacy. Another way is to receive medicine through “transfers” from Ukraine and Europe. Thus, the promise of stock of medicines has also not been fulfilled. The occupiers manipulate statistics by announcing the opening of new pharmacies, although it is likely that they were simply re-registered according to the rules of the occupation authorities. For example, before the occupation, more than 50 pharmacies operated in Berdiansk alone, and “improvement” of the network was not required.

Promises to improve life at the TOT are part of the propaganda that creates the impression of a stable situation at the TOT, encourages those who left to return, and paints a picture of prosperity for Russians. According to ZCR, promises are made every day, and TOT residents are skeptical about them.

Fake All employers will allegedly fire workers with connections in the temporarily occupied territories

Deputies of the Servant of the People party allegedly adopted a law on the dismissal of workers with “connections” in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia. They say that this norm will now be used as a reason for dismissal if the employer simply “does not like” the employee.

However, this information is not true. Specialists from the VoxCheck project write about this. In April 2024, the Verkhovna Rada adopted bill No. 7731, which amends the Labor Code of Ukraine, and sent it to the president for signing. The purpose of such changes is to prevent collaborators from working at enterprises, institutions and organizations of strategic importance for the economy and security of Ukraine, as well as at critical infrastructure facilities.

Therefore, according to this law, employees must inform the employer about connections with persons who are registered or reside in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and Russia. However, on May 16, 2024, Volodymyr Zelenskyi returned bill No. 7731 to the Verkhovna Rada.

Earlier, eight human rights organizations approached the president with a request to veto the law, calling such a rule “the basis for harassment and stigmatization of those who have relatives in the occupation, and people who are still registered but have traveled abroad”. That is, the relevant law has not yet been finalized and entered into force. In addition, according to the law, an employee who has not reported his connections to the TOT can be fired only if he or she  works in institutions of strategic importance for the economy and security of Ukraine.

Disclosure At the TOT, Ukrainians are forced to publish photos with their families at “polling stations”

The Center for National Resistance and the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security reported that the Russians are trying to force Ukrainians to participate in voting for Putin.

The occupation pseudo-administration announced a flash mob called “The whole family goes to the polls”, in which participants must publish photographs of their families from “polling stations” on social networks. In this way, Russians hope to create the illusion of mass participation in the elections.

The Center for National Resistance adds that the occupiers informed all employees of fake government agencies in the occupied Luhansk region that participation in the flash mob was mandatory. You can also read about how Russian propaganda uses residents of (de)occupied territories and what to do about it in another material of the Detector Media.

Disclosure Anti-Ukrainian postcards are being distributed in Mariupol schools

In some schools in Mariupol, which is temporarily under occupation, brochures with anti-Ukrainian content are being distributed. This was reported by the Mariupol City Council and the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

The postcards feature Russian propaganda clichés, namely Ukraine's “gay troops” and false comparisons. They say that Russia and its supporters are good, but Ukraine is a “wrong choice” and fascism.

The main goal of these materials is to justify and glorify the Russian occupiers and discredit the Ukrainian military. The main target audience of such postcards are children, which means that with their help they want to shape their civic position.

You can also read about how Russian propaganda uses residents of (de)occupied territories and what to do about it in another material of the Detector Media.

Message Putin's decision on Crimea 10 years ago supposedly preserved peace and stability on the peninsula

Russian resources are disseminating information that the situation in Crimea has been taken under full control after Putin’s decision and the actions of the Russian army. They say that this “ensured the preservation of peace and stability”. The corresponding statement was made by the ex-chairman of the Crimean State Committee for Interethnic Relations and Deported Citizens Smyrnov.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine denied this information. In fact, the introduction of Russian troops to the peninsula provided not “peace and stability”, but occupation. In 2014, the Russian military forced residents of the peninsula to vote “correctly” for Russia. This is what is happening today in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular in Crimea. That is, we are not talking about “ensuring peace and order on the peninsula”, but about limiting rights and freedoms.

After 2014, Crimea turned into a huge military base, from where the Russians launch missiles at peaceful Ukrainian cities, where they store military equipment and conduct military exercises.

Read also: Turkey allegedly admitted that Crimea “is Russian territory and will always be so”.

Message The eviction of Ukrainians from the Zaporizhzhia region was called a “forced measure”

Pro-Russian resources disseminate information that the decision to overpower the residents of the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, who supported Ukraine, was made due to fears of lynching against them. The corresponding statement was made by the “governor” of the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, Balytskyi.

In fact, this information is not true. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The eviction of Ukrainians from their homes is not a forced measure, but forced deportation. This is part of the Russian campaign aimed at destroying Ukrainian identity. The mayor of Melitopol Fedorov said that the Russians are preparing a mass settlement of the occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region with residents from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. That is, the occupiers want to evict “undesirable” Ukrainians and move doctors, teachers, engineers, fighters, etc. into the housing taken away by force from distant regions of Russia.

All the statements of propagandists about “caring for Ukrainians” have nothing to do with reality - in fact, the invaders cruelly abuse the residents of TOT and deprive them of any rights and freedoms, forcing them to receive Russian passports and vote for Putin. We previously wrote that the Russians sent SMS messages to residents of Zaporizhzhia about supposedly evacuating the city, but in fact it was a fake story.

Message The Russians claim that the “liberated” Avdiivka allegedly “returned home”

On the Internet, pro-Kremlin resources promote the message that “the city of Avdiivka, liberated by Russian troops, has returned home”. The Russians have already managed to film a report with the same name.

In fact, Avdiivka, like a number of other cities, villages and towns in Ukraine, never belonged to Russia. It is meant total destruction, genocide and terrorism by “liberation” and “return home” - the whole essence of the “Russian world”.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Security reminds that Russia is not here forever. Avdiivka and all temporarily occupied cities and villages will definitely be deoccupied. This is only a matter of time, which depends on many factors, in particular, on the military support of Ukraine by its partners.

This message is aimed at the internal population of Russia, the vast majority of whom will not even be able to find Avdiivka on the map. Such “statements” pursue purely propaganda purposes. Previously, we analyzed the propaganda message that supposedly Kherson is waiting for Russia.

Message Kherson is allegedly waiting for Russia

Propagandists do not stop trying to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine, the motives of which are hidden under the narrative of “the need to fire Russians in Ukraine”. To promote this message, Russian media again claim that the residents of Kherson are supposedly waiting for “Russian liberators” and “supporting” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this.

Russian media used the statements of the governor of the occupation authorities, collaborator Volodymyr Saldo, who cannot be considered a reliable source of information. Although the Kremlin calls him “the governor of the Kherson region of Russia”, this position is fictitious. In Ukraine, Saldo is wanted for high treason and violating the territorial integrity of the country. In addition, Volodymyr Saldo is under numerous sanctions from Ukraine, the EU, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

After massive shelling of peaceful cities, destruction of civilian infrastructure and mass murder of civilians, the level of self-identification of Ukrainians reached its highest level in all the years of the country’s independence. According to an all-Ukrainian sociological survey by the Rating group, published on January 29, 2024, very high rates of a sense of Ukrainian identity were registered in the Kherson region - the majority of respondents called themselves convinced Ukrainians from a European nation. At the same time, respondents most often noted Ukrainian identity as a conscious choice, aggravated by the war.

Russia regularly shells every district of the city, killing civilians in Kherson and causing enormous damage to critical infrastructure. It was the actions of Russian troops that led to significant material and human losses in Kherson, which caused negative emotions among the vast majority of local residents. According to a survey by the Protection Kherson Society Foundation (2023), only 8% of Kherson residents noted that they were not injured as a result of enemy shelling. Every third Kherson family lost property due to Russian aggression. A third (35%) of Kherson residents had their apartment or private house damaged, 27% of respondents noted that their apartment building was damaged, and another 23% had their property damaged. Significant damage has also been caused to the health of Kherson residents: 35% testify that in their families there are people who have begun to suffer from mental disorders, 3% in the family are injured. However, the worst thing is that people are dying due to shelling of the city. During the survey, 2% of Kherson residents said that there were deaths in their families.

The majority of respondents believe that the restoration of Kherson should occur primarily at the expense of the aggressor state (79%), which should be punished for its criminal actions.

The Russian myth about the “originally Russian southeast” of Ukraine, which, according to the occupiers, should include the Kherson region, has never been confirmed by facts. It should be recalled that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, during the all-Ukrainian referendum on December 1, 1991, 93.13% of the residents of the Kherson region voted for the independence of Ukraine. Thus, they confirmed their desire to live in an independent and sovereign state - Ukraine. And during the 2001 All-Ukrainian Population Census, the majority of Kherson residents (82%) considered themselves Ukrainians.

Detector Media wrote that Russian propaganda is trying to create the impression that life is thriving and being restored in the temporarily occupied territories, while disorder reigns in those controlled by Ukraine.

Message 85% of the population of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine allegedly supports Putin

On the eve of the presidential elections in Russia, the occupation “administrations” and propagandists are promoting the message that “85% of the population in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine supports Putin”. The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council writes about this.

The Russians also sent special detachments to the occupied territories of Ukraine to create the appearance of supporting Putin. Their task is to oversee the falsification of ballots and monitor the work of the so-called “election commissions”.

One can take part in illegal “elections” in enslaved territories with either a Russian or Ukrainian passport, ID card or other identity document. And this indicates the failure of forced passportization in the occupied territories of Ukraine. This was reported by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. At the same time, this is another tool of the Russian special services to identify “unreliable” Ukrainians.

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.

Manipulation As a result of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ shelling of a “bakery” in Lysychansk, 28 “civilians” were allegedly killed

Pro-Russian resources disseminated information that on February 3, 2024, the Ukrainian Armed Forces dealt a “cruel blow” to Lysychansk, Luhansk region, as a result of which a two-story “bakery” building collapsed and allegedly injured “civilians”. In particular, gauleiter of the occupied Luhansk region Leonid Pasichnyk wrote about this on his telegram channel. The next day, February 4, after clearing the rubble, the Russians announced 28 dead “civilians” and blamed the Ukrainian Armed Forces for this.

However, already on February 5, Pasichnyk himself admitted on his telegram channel that the Minister of Emergency Situations of the LPR, Colonel Oleksii Poteleshchenko, was killed during the shelling. He received Russian citizenship in 2019, worked in the ranks of the so-called “LPR People’s Militia”, and in 2023 headed the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the self-proclaimed LPR.

According to the British media Reuters, based on the design and color of the shelled building, as well as the location matching the file images, an acquaintance was able to confirm the location of the video shared by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. On Google maps it coincides with the location of the Adriatica restaurant on Moskovska Street in Lysychansk. That is, the blow was struck not at the bakery, which is located next to the restaurant, but precisely at the Adriatica. Ukrainian blogger and journalist Denys Kazanskyi also writes about this, citing propagandist Anastasiia Kashevarova, who also claims that there were many security officials in the restaurant with the Minister of Emergency Situations of the LPR. According to her, they were celebrating the birthday of a “high-ranking man”. However, they were allegedly surrendered by local residents who did not support the activities of the occupation authorities.

By spreading disinformation about the shelling of a “bakery” and the death of 28 “civilians”, the Russians seek to demonize the Ukrainian army and nourish their narrative of “atrocities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” against civilians on the temporary occupied territories. Earlier, Detector Media denied information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly fired at the market in Donetsk.

Fake Russians allegedly overcame the “medical collapse” in Melitopol thanks to doctors from St. Petersburg

This information is published by pro-Russian resources and supported by “evidence”: a fragment of a video with an alleged comment by the head of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, on the air of a telethon. Basic Russian-made medicines are also imported into the territory of the Zaporizhzhia region in large quantities.

In fact, the Melitopol mayor did not say anything like this during the telethon, because such a video simply does not exist, and there are no comments on this topic on his official communication channel. This was brought to the attention of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The video itself was made using the deepfake method. It can be viewed here. The video shows facial expressions that are not typical for humans, a lack of speech pauses, and desynchronization of lips and direct speech. In addition, the video is of low quality, the date and time of inclusion are blurred. The last broadcast, where Fedorov commented on the medical situation in Melitopol, was on December 16, 2023. There he spoke, in particular, about the fact that the Russians are conducting medical experiments on Melitopol residents.

Thus, propagandists strive to assure that “Russia will come and restore order”. However, the reality is somewhat different. Considering the atrocities of the Russians in Bucha, Hostomel and Izium, it can be argued that this war is genocidal in nature, and Moscow’s ultimate goal is the complete destruction of the Ukrainian people.

• Read also: In Italy, a propaganda exhibition about Mariupol “revived” by the occupiers was banned.

Fake Ukraine will allegedly deprive citizens of all temporarily occupied territories of citizenship

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that Ukraine allegedly intends to deprive the citizens of all temporarily occupied territories (TOT) of citizenship. They say that this will de facto mean Kyiv’s abandonment of territories captured by Russian troops. In addition, propagandists claim that the commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who once studied in Russia, will also be deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.

The National Security and Defense Council’s Center for Countering Disinformation claims that these inventions of Russians have nothing to do with reality. Ukraine will never recognize the forced passportization of Ukrainians in the occupied territories. People whom the enemy forces to obtain Russian passports remain only citizens of Ukraine.

At the same time, the Verkhovna Rada is now considering changes to the legislation that will allow deprivation of Ukrainian citizenship only of those people who voluntarily received a Russian passport, thereby effectively abandoning the Ukrainian one.

By promoting this message, Russian propaganda is playing with the feelings of TOT residents and nourishing its narrative that Ukraine no longer needs them. In addition, in this way, Russian propaganda is trying to win over the Ukrainians in the TOT, saying that they have nothing to lose and this is “a new reality that should simply be accepted”. We wrote earlier that a network of propaganda lecturers was being formed in the TOT of Luhansk region.

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 Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly shelled a market in Donetsk

Russian propagandists and politicians write that on the morning of January 21, 2024, the Donetsk Mercury market came under fire from the Ukrainian army. Like, it’s customary in the Ukrainian Armed Forces to shoot at the market, even on a day off.

In fact, the Ukrainian military is not involved in these attacks, as reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The forces that are subordinate to the Tavria Operational-strategic troop grouping and sometimes destroying Russians in the Donetsk region, in this case did not carry out combat work with means of destruction. This was noted in the joint press center of the Taurian Defense Forces and added: “Donetsk is Ukraine! Russia will have to answer for the taken lives of Ukrainians”.

With this fake, Russian propaganda seeks to nourish the narrative that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been bombing Donbas since 2014” and allegedly continue to do so. That is, in this case, propagandists resort to reflexive tactics, trying to justify the atrocities of the Russian army. Previously, we refuted information that the Ukrainian authorities allegedly admitted that they would have to give up the occupied territories to the Russians.

Disclosure Russian intelligence services launched IPSO with a call to expel “American Satanists” from the “original Russian land”

An information attack in the form of mass SMS messaging is aimed at Ukrainians located in different countries of the world. The messages were created in the style of Lubianka linguists: next to the cliché about the need to work together “to revive Kyiv  Rus to harm our enemies” there are phrases like “take care of yourself and your loved ones” or “save the lives of people” - Russian propaganda and threat in one sentence.

The Main Intelligence Directorate notes that in addition to the provocative content with a call to help Moscow expel “American Satanists” from the “original Russian land”,  Kremlin intelligence officers add the cynical one: “from Russia with love”.

The purpose of this information attack is to intimidate, demoralize and disorganize Ukrainian citizens. If you receive such messages, we urge you to ignore them and think critically.

Disclosure In the temporarily occupied territory (TOT) of the Luhansk region, a network of propaganda lecturers is being formed

Moscow continues to recruit a number of lecturers under its control to organize the Knowledge Society in the temporarily occupied territory of the Luhansk region. The task of this propaganda structure, which has existed since the times of the USSR, is to brainwash the workers and students of the region.

The Center for National Resistance reports that propagandists organize lectures, the attendance of which is compulsory. At lectures, agitators tell a distorted story and promote the greatness of Russia and its leaders in the best traditions of totalitarianism. The occupation administration has already developed a plan for “lectures” for 2024 in local educational institutions. They want to pay special attention to the “information zombies” of young people and children.

In the temporarily occupied territories, Russian propaganda continues to promote its narratives. It is worth noting that propagandists also bear responsibility for the war that the Kremlin unleashed, and each such agitator will have to answer for their crimes before the people of Ukraine.

The Center encourages people to report any available information about the mentioned “lecturers” in the chat @sprotyv_official_bot.

Manipulation Almost half of Ukrainians in the front-line territories seem ready to agree to territorial concessions for the sake of peace

Such information is disseminated by pro-Kremlin media and anonymous telegrams. They say that 46% of Ukrainians living in the front-line regions are in favor of ending the war without returning the territories. In asserting this, propagandists refer to the all-Ukrainian public opinion poll Omnibus of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), which was conducted from November 29 to December 9, 2023. However, Russian propaganda manipulates its results.

In the “BezBrekhni” (No Lies) project, experts worked on this case. It turned out that the majority of respondents - 58% - are inclined to believe that even in the event of a significant reduction in assistance from Western countries, military operations should still be continued to put pressure on the occupiers. Moreover, this should be done even taking into account the risks for the territories controlled by Ukraine now.

Still, in the south and east of Ukraine, opinions were divided approximately in half, with a slight predominance of sentiment in favor of continuing hostilities. Yes, in the south 46%, and in the east 47% of Ukrainians believe that even with limited Western assistance, fighting should continue. At the same time, 40% and 42%, respectively, are ready to agree to a cessation of hostilities.

None of the options says that any part of society is willing to cede territory. In the survey, there is the following wording: “The fighting stops with serious security guarantees from the West, but the liberation of the territories is postponed for an indefinite future”. That is, we are not talking about the surrender of territories, as propaganda claims, but about the fact that their de-occupation will occur in the future.

KIIS also notes that “in this case, the factor of proximity to the front line plays an important role. The south and east are significantly closer to the active combat zone, which largely leads to a higher willingness to cease hostilities in the face of limited assistance (although, remember, the vast majority in these regions believe that with proper assistance Ukraine can succeed)”.

By manipulating the results of this survey, propagandists are trying to influence the morale of Ukrainians - to sow panic, fear and uncertainty in the future of the country. Moreover, in this case, Russian propaganda also encourages Ukrainian citizens to rethink the course of the war, saying that “the long-awaited victory may not happen”.  Detector Media has previously denied information that the majority of Ukrainians allegedly want to capitulate.

Manipulation “The occupied territories are no longer Ukraine”, Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klychko said

A video is being distributed on social networks in the Russian segment in which the mayor of Kyiv, Vitalii Klychko, allegedly proposed voting not to consider the occupied territories part of Ukraine. This is manipulation.

The VoxCheck analysts analyzed the case and found out that this quote was taken out of the entire video. In fact, Klychko spoke about the reasons that make it impossible to hold elections. Among them, in particular, is the fact that some people are in the occupied territories and will not be able to vote. He spoke about this on the television channel “Kyiv”.

“Those territories that are occupied are no longer Ukraine, because there will be no representatives [of Ukraine at the polling stations]. How do we take these territories into account or not?” - said the official.

That is, he did not claim that the occupied territories are not Ukrainian, but explained that elections there are not yet possible. For example, because representatives of Ukraine will not be able to establish polling stations there due to active hostilities.

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 a Ukrainian official himself stated this, he can be trusted as 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.

Manipulation Ukraine declares the verdicts of innocent people, the UN said

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media claim that the UN is accusing the “Kyiv regime” of pronouncing sentences on innocent people. They say they mean almost six thousand criminal proceedings for cooperation with Russia. This statement was made by UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif during her speech at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on October 9. Propagandists also refer to statements by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Tetiana Moskalkova, where she accused the Ukrainian special services of keeping teachers in custody in the Kherson region. According to her, Ukraine reproaches teachers in prison only because they “did not violate their professional duty and continued to teach children”. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that although the topic was indeed discussed at the meeting, Al-Nashif did not accuse Ukraine of “declaring the verdicts of innocent people”. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights only expressed concern that “many of those arrested and even convicted suffered because of their actions, which, in principle, the occupying state could force them to do”. In this context, they are observing with “deep concern” the policy of mass granting of Russian citizenship to local residents in the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation.

In addition, Russian media ignored part of the report in which the Office drew attention to numerous human rights violations by Russia. In particular, Al-Nashif said victims described “cruelty that is difficult to imagine”, such as electric shocks, sexual assault and severe beatings, in some cases resulting in broken bones and knocked out teeth. She also criticized the conditions of the prisoners, in particular the lack of access to food and medicine, as well as sleep deprivation. The UN also drew attention to the fact that Russia has not taken any measures to hold accountable for violations and crimes committed by its security forces.

Moskalkova’s statements do not correspond to reality. According to Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, criminal liability is provided not for teaching under occupation, but for “propaganda carried out by a citizen of Ukraine in educational institutions”, as well as for the implementation of the standards of the aggressor state in the educational process. Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Valeriia Kolomiets, in a commentary for Radio Svoboda (Liberty), emphasized that the fact of living in temporarily occupied territories does not automatically define a person as a collaborator. The official also stated cases when Ukrainian teachers under occupation were forced to work under pressure, worrying about the lives of themselves and their families. Accordingly, the pre-trial investigation and the court must take into account all the circumstances of this category of cases.

By spreading such messages, propagandists want to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and avoid responsibility for Russian crimes. In addition, in this way they justify the disdainful attitude towards the residents of the temporarily occupied territories. Detector Media has already written about what harmful messages Russia creates and disseminates against residents of temporarily occupied territories.

Manipulation “Ukraine will not be able to return all the “lost territories”, political scientist Francis Fukuyama said

Enemy resources are disseminating information that supposedly American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, in an interview with Radio Svoboda (Liberty), spoke about the impossibility of Ukraine returning all occupied territories. This is manipulation.

The case was studied by the fact-checkers from the StopFake project. The American philosopher noted that the only possible option in which Russia would leave the occupied territories is the victory of Ukraine on the battlefield. Also in the interview, Fukuyama said that it is possible that Ukraine will face a situation where not all 100% of the territories can be unoccupied and that the war could continue for a long time. That is, the political scientist spoke only about the “probability” that not all territories of Ukraine will be liberated, but did not claim that this is the only possible scenario.

During the interview, Francis Fukuyama was careful with his statements regarding territorial concessions, and inserted remarks such as: “As a foreigner, I cannot give advice on this issue. This is a question that Ukrainians themselves must answer and make a decision”. Regarding the end of the war unleashed by the Kremlin, the political scientist said that “none of us can predict how long this war will last”. Ultimately, he suggested that the situation could become similar to Israel's as long as Russia continues to exist as a state.

Russian propaganda nourishes the narrative that Ukraine is unable to de-occupy all of its territories and win the war against Russia. With the help of fakes of this kind, propagandists are trying to dissuade the Ukrainian people from victory over Russia and sow fear, uncertainty and doubts in the future.

Fake In Ukraine, it is prohibited to communicate with Ukrainians in temporarily occupied territories

Russian media, broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, are disseminating information that in Kyiv it is forbidden to communicate with residents of the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region. Russian propaganda in this news refers to the so-called “representative of the local administration” of the Zaporizhzhia region, collaborator Volodymyr Rohov. Rohov claims that the “Zelenskyi regime” allegedly “imposes sanctions against people who communicate with those already living in Russia”. This is allegedly due to the fact that Kyiv “is afraid that the residents of Ukraine will understand that the Cossacks in Russia live better than they do”. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checker of the StopFake project. In Ukraine there are no sanctions on communication with residents of temporarily occupied territories (TOT). Information about the ban is the invention of Rohov’s collaborators. Interference in communication is poor communication on the TOT and lack of security guarantees. All this is a consequence of the Russian invasion.

Also, the Ministry for the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine published rules for life under occupation, among which Ukrainians are advised not to lose contact with family and friends in the free territories under any circumstances.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to create the illusion that in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia, life is allegedly becoming better than it was under Ukraine, with high salaries and low prices. They also seek to show that Ukrainians are allegedly not interested in liberating the occupied territories. Previously, we talked about how Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: new regions of Russia.