Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Ukraine adopts “sloppy” European experience in pregnancy management

Propagandists are distributing reviews of supposedly a woman from Ukraine on foreign and Ukrainian medicine on anonymous telegram channels. In it, this refugee claims that Ukraine is adopting “sloppy” European experience in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. In particular, in her words:

In Europe, early pregnancy diagnosis is not carried out, vitamin intake and iron levels in the blood of pregnant women are not monitored.

Childbirth in hospitals is artificially induced, and there is no postpartum examination.

Doctors do not recommend following a diet while breastfeeding.

However, these statements are false. Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to them. They found that both in Ukraine and in Europe, early diagnosis of pregnancy, as well as support for the mother before, during and after childbirth, are included in the standards of medical care. According to Ukrainian legislation, medical institutions are required to comply with these standards.

In Europe, there are European Standards for the Care of Newborn Health (ESCNH), which are recommended to be adapted to local conditions when developing laws, guidelines and protocols. These standards cover various aspects of maternal and child health care, including childbirth, postpartum care, intensive care, nutrition, hygiene, moral decision-making, palliative care, safety and data collection.

Early diagnosis of pregnancy and postnatal examination of mother and child (with the participation of a pediatrician) are part of European medical standards. The basis of medical practice is patient awareness and provision of counseling support. The patient is offered, rather than ordered, to undergo additional examinations or courses of vitamins.

In Ukraine, since August 2022, the Standards of Medical Care Normal Pregnancy have been in force, according to which early observation of pregnant women (up to 12 weeks) is an indicator of the quality of medical care. Postpartum care is regulated by the “Physiological Childbirth” clinical protocol, which provides for observation in the first 2 hours after birth, monitoring the well-being of mother and child, maintaining early breastfeeding and informing the mother.

Artificial induction of labor is indeed practiced and only for certain indications, such as delay in labor after 41 weeks, premature breaking of water or health problems in the mother or child.

Regarding diet, European doctors really do not advise limiting yourself in food during breastfeeding, noting a complete and balanced diet. In Ukraine, a hypoallergenic diet may be recommended if it is discovered that some foods in the mother’s diet provoke colic in the child.

Propagandists spread such disinformation to create the impression that the European way of life and Ukraine’s European integration in general are wrong. In particular, one of their narratives is that the healthcare system in Europe is terrible, and therefore it is not worth collaborating with it.

Fake Ukrainians allegedly set fire to a Warsaw skyscraper

Russian propagandists are spreading information that Ukrainians allegedly set fire to the Spektrum Tower skyscraper in Warsaw. They say that Western countries are silent about the participation of Ukrainians and justify this by faulty electrical wiring. The Ukrainians themselves, according to propagandists, are taking revenge in this way for the fact that Poland and the Baltic countries are deporting them back to the war. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that on May 8, 2024, a fire occurred in the Spektrum Tower office building in Warsaw. However, the State Fire Marshal's Office did not then release the cause of the fire or the names or nationalities of those who may have been involved. The Polish media did not report this either. Additionally, the VoxCheck team has not received a response from the Polish police regarding this event.

On May 20, 2024, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that Polish law enforcement authorities had detained 9 suspects who were most likely members of a Russian spy ring and involved in arson attacks in Poland. However, Tusk did not note that it was Ukrainians who were involved in the fire at Spektrum Tower in Warsaw.

It is also important to note that Poland and the Baltic countries are not deporting Ukrainians to the war, as the Russians claim. The Ambassador of Poland to Ukraine at one time emphasized that the Polish authorities will not force men of military age to return to Ukraine forcibly.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the mobilization process in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in Europe. Detector Media also refuted other fakes on this topic.

Fake Children of Ukrainian refugees are allegedly taken away by Lithuanian guardianship authorities for “washing dishes”

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks in which police allegedly forcibly take a child from his parents. In addition, there were reports that it supposedly depicts a Ukrainian family of refugees in Lithuania, and the police are taking away the children due to “improper upbringing”. “It is known that such cases occur not only with Ukrainians, but also with Belarusian families who seek asylum in the countries of the European Union”, the publications note. Propagandists also claim that in the Baltic countries, justice authorities “remove children from their families for washing dishes or caring for younger brothers and sisters”. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this case. They discovered information from the Lithuanian news portal Lrytas.lt that the incident in the video occurred in September 2023. The child's parents divorced and the court ruled that the child should live with his father. Despite this decision, the mother and child went into hiding, forcing social security authorities to intervene with the help of the police. The director of the State Service for the Protection of Child Rights and Adoption, Ilma Skuodene, in a comment for lrytas.lt, said that the video recorded a particularly difficult process that social workers have to carry out.

Although the procedure was legal, the actions of social services and the police attracted criticism. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda noted that social services lack a “sincere, non-bureaucratic approach to child care”. In his post on Facebook, he emphasized that the actions of the services should not traumatize the child, but should ensure his interests. Later, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children's Rights found that the social workers who separated the child from his mother in Palanga acted inappropriately and unprofessionally, which could have resulted in negative experiences, stress and fear.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine’s Western partners and Ukrainian refugees, as well as to cause panic.

Fake The wife of the attacker on the Slovak prime minister is allegedly a refugee from Ukraine and pushed the man to commit the assassination attempt

Propagandists are disseminating information that the wife of Juraj Chintula, who shot Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, is allegedly a “refugee from Ukraine” and incited her husband to take revenge on Fico because of his critical position towards Ukraine. The Russians claim that the woman was allegedly arrested, but do not specify the charges. Some Russian social media users call Chintula’s actions a “SBU operation”, comparing them to terrorist attacks in Russia, and point out that the shooter had pro-Ukrainian views.

In fact, Juraj Chintula’s wife is not a Ukrainian refugee and did not incite her husband to take revenge on Fico. This was found out by specialists from the StopFake project.

According to Slovak media, Chintula’s wife worked as a teacher at a gymnasium. However, they do not mention anywhere that she is Ukrainian. Neighbors describe them as a “very friendly couple” who have lived together for decades and have two adult children, far longer than the concept of “Ukrainian refugees” from Russian aggression against Ukraine has existed.

According to the Slovak website Pluska.sk, Chintula's wife was summoned for questioning in connection with the attempted murder of Robert Fico. She was accompanied by investigators as she left the apartment, covering her face. Juraj Chintula was a former miner, bodyguard and writer. The couple's son Chintul is also in shock and does not know his father's motives. Elenka, Chintula's wife, hides her face for fear of persecution.

The motive for his assassination attempt on Robert Fico in the press was initially disapproval of government policies. However, according to Euronews, investigative journalist Szabolcs Panyi found Facebook posts where Chintula supported the pro-Russian paramilitary group Slovenski Branci, known for ties to the Kremlin. According to TV Markiza, Chintula planned the attack several days in advance, having legally owned the weapon for more than 30 years.

Robert Fico was wounded after a government meeting in the city of Handlove. He is now in hospital in Banska Bystrica, his condition is serious. Police charged 71-year-old Chintul with attempted revenge murder.

The fakes about the “Ukrainian trace” in the assassination attempt on Fico are an attempt by Russian propaganda to discredit Ukraine in the international arena and deprive it of support.

Manipulation Petro Poroshenko allegedly called on EU countries to deprive Ukrainian refugees of benefits and use the released funds for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, material from Deutsche Welle

Pro-Kremlin publications are disseminating information that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko allegedly appealed to the European Union countries with a demand to “deprive assistance from Ukrainian refugees and direct the freed funds to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

Russian propaganda quotes the politician’s statement, which he seemed to voice in a conversation with journalists from the German publication Deutsche Welle.

StopFake analysts explain that on May 8, Petro Poroshenko attended the congress of the German conservative party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin. There, when asked by DW whether Germany should facilitate the return of Ukrainian men to their homeland, the politician expressed doubt that any actions by Ukraine or Germany could influence the position of Ukrainian men who refuse to return to their homeland. In a conversation with reporters, he said:

“But I highly recommend (Germany - DW ed.) in relation to these individuals - the men here who refuse to return to Ukraine - please stop funding this, and immediately start providing this money to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

That is, Poroshenko did not call for depriving all Ukrainian refugees of assistance in Germany, but only advised redirecting the money used to finance the so-called refugees to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And the ex-president’s words in no way represent Ukraine’s current political decisions regarding refugees in Europe.

Fake An Indian TV channel allegedly reported that Ukrainian men bought all the tickets to Europe because of new decisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Propagandists again tried to undermine the authority of Ukrainian refugees by disseminating information, allegedly the Indian TV channel WION published a video in which they claim that 93% of Ukrainian male refugees purchased tickets to Asia through Europe. They say that the hotel booking service Booking recorded an increased demand for flights on April 23, 2024. The video explains that this happened as a result of an order from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to restrict consular services to men. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that the WION channel did not actually have such a video, but instead the propagandists assembled it from various sources. An example of this is a video in which the executive director of Human Rights Watch talks about women's rights. It was taken from another interview back in 2023 and has nothing to do with Ukrainian refugees. Moreover, the Booking service has not confirmed any changes in demand for tickets.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the mobilization process in Ukraine. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other fakes against it.

Fake In Ukraine, they seem to want to mobilize Russians and Belarusians with the status of political refugees

Propagandists began disseminating information on social networks and the media that Ukraine intends to mobilize Russians and Belarusians who are in the country with the status of political refugees. In such “news” they attach a fake “document” in which, as they claim, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi addresses the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umierov with a corresponding initiative. “It says that the Ukrainian command initiated the conscription of citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus with the status of political refugees to serve in a special unit formed from foreigners”, propagandists write. This “document” was allegedly signed personally by Commander-in-Chief Alexander Syrskyi. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that, despite the fact that neither Russian media nor social media users provide any additional information about who published the “document”, Russian propaganda began discussing it with various “experts” in propaganda programs.

StopFake submitted an information request to the Public Relations Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They asked whether such an initiative and such a document really existed. They were told that this information was not true.

In addition, the fact of forgery of the “document” is confirmed by the presence of a number of gross errors, which were probably made by a person who does not speak Ukrainian. For example, propaganda uses the word “we care” in a sentence where we should have written “we urge.” It is likely that the propagandists mistranslated the Russian word “boy” (to try to help someone), which would have been more appropriate in a Russian document. Another example is with the phrase “the issue of conscripting foreigners”. The word “call” (call, invite) is incorrectly used in the context of the appeal “about mobilization”. Propaganda should have written “the issue of conscription (mobilization) of foreigners”.

They are spreading such manipulations to disrupt the mobilization process in Ukraine.  Detector Media also refuted other fabrications of Russian propaganda on this issue.

Fake Euronews allegedly reported on a Ukrainian female scammer in Poland who opened a beauty salon with mosquitoes sucking fat

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks with the symbols of the European news channel Euronews, which states that a refugee from Ukraine allegedly created a beauty salon in Poland with mosquitoes, the bite of which was supposed to relieve clients of cellulite. The video reports that after one of the patients was admitted to a Gdansk hospital with allergies, Polish police allegedly detained Kateryna Ivanchenko, the woman who, according to propagandists, organized this business, for fraud. “The Ukrainian woman earned 1 million zlotys from ordinary mosquitoes, which were believed to suck out fat”, the publications note. In fact, this information is not true.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this. They found that the video distributed online imitates the design of Euronews videos - in particular, the company logo can be seen in the upper right corner of the video. However, there is no such story either on the official website or on the media company’s social networks. The fact that this story is completely fictitious is indicated by the fact that none of the Polish media also reported such cases of fraud on the part of the Ukrainian woman.

To create a fake video, attackers used video clips from free stock videos. To illustrate the fictitious arrest of the owner of a beauty salon, a video clip of the arrest of a suspect in the arson of a shopping center in Gdansk was taken. This incident occurred in July 2020 and has nothing to do with the incident described in the fake video.

The purpose of this fake is to discredit refugees from Ukraine in the eyes of the Poles. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other Russian fakes regarding Ukrainian refugees.

Fake Ukrainian refugees allegedly set fire to a pharmaceutical warehouse in Poland

On social networks and Russian public pages, propagandists are actively spreading messages that “a group of Ukrainian refugees, dissatisfied with the policies of the Polish authorities regarding the supply of Ukrainian goods and insufficient military assistance, staged an act of revenge and set fire to the pharmaceutical composition of Farmacol in Katowice on the evening of April 8”. Propagandists are also distributing two short videos from the scene, one of which shows a burning building with the inscription Farmacol. Social networks traditionally use hate speech and accusations against Ukrainian refugees. However, this is another fake of Russian propaganda.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that on the evening of April 8, 2024, in the Polish city of Katowice, a warehouse belonging to the pharmaceutical company Farmacol actually burned, but Ukrainian refugees had nothing to do with this incident. No Polish media or any other reliable source has information about the arson of the train specifically by Ukrainians.

Moreover, the Polish site Fakehunter also denied this fake and quoted the deputy head of the prosecutor's office of the Southern District of Katowice, Slawomir Barnas: “Previous conclusions made at the visual review stage exclude the possibility of arson in this place, not to mention the fact that the culprits were foreigners”. The prosecutor's office does not yet want to comment on the true cause of the fire, since it does not yet have an expert opinion, but it calls the version that Ukrainian citizens were involved in the incident unfounded.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to demonize Ukrainian refugees in Poland and cause a negative attitude towards them. Thus, they also want Poland to stop helping Ukraine and its people. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other Russian lies about Ukrainian refugees.

Fake The Australian Daily Telegraph allegedly reported that German police have neutralized the largest network of thieves in the last ten years, which included Ukrainian refugees

Propagandists, citing the Australian edition of the Daily Telegraph, are disseminating information that German police allegedly announced the neutralization of “the largest network of shoplifters in the last 10 years”. According to these reports, a group of fraudsters who stole goods from shops in 12 cities in Germany included Ukrainian refugees and stole €2.7 million in six months. To confirm this information, propagandists are distributing corresponding screenshots and a video report from the Daily Telegraph. However, this is fake.

StopFake specialists drew attention to it. They found that the Daily Telegraph never posted the video on its social media and there is no corresponding news on their website. The latest mentions of Ukraine and Ukrainians, which can be found on the Daily Telegraph website, concern regular shelling by Russian civilian forces in Ukraine.

Although the attackers used the Daily Telegraph logo in the video, the media company's actual videos look different: they do not have the publication's logo, the inscriptions are made on a white or black background, and the entire video is accompanied by the voice of a journalist, while the video distributed online only has musical accompaniment. The attackers tried to imitate the Daily Telegraph's corporate style, using the publication's collage style, which they publish on their social networks. However, this attempt was unsuccessful as the font in the fake video was significantly different from the one used by the Daily Telegraph.

The news about the neutralization of a group of Ukrainian refugees who allegedly committed shoplifting in Germany is also fiction. None of the important German media reported such an incident. Fake messages are distributed exclusively on Russian news sites and anonymous telegram channels.

Propagandists spread such messages to discredit Ukrainian refugees abroad and make foreigners dislike them. Detector Media has already repeatedly refuted other Russian fabrications against Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

Fake In Germany, a “gang” of Ukrainian refugees who robbed local shops was allegedly exposed

Anonymous claims that German police have allegedly exposed “the largest network of shoplifters in the last 10 years”. The group of fraudsters who stole goods from stores in 12 cities in Germany allegedly included refugees from Ukraine - in 6 months they allegedly stole 2.7 million euros. The messages refer to the Daily Telegraph material and an alleged story made by the publication’s media workers. It is not true.

StopFake fact-checkers investigated the case and found that there was no such story on the website and social networks of the Daily Telegraph. Russian propaganda used the Daily Telegraph's corporate style to create a story and fake news to create false confirmation of a non-existent news about the detention of a “gang of Ukrainian refugees”.

That is, both the news itself and the “plot” are fiction.

Fake Some Ukrainians are allegedly being deported due to mass protests in Europe

A screenshot from the supposedly official website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine is being circulated online, containing information about the “deportation of 830,000 Ukrainians to resolve the conflict”. The authors of the “news” report that lists of citizens subject to deportation have already been compiled, so they invite you to go to the telegram bot to familiarize yourself with them.

In fact, this information is fake, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. There is no publication of similar content on the official website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Probably, such content is distributed to increase the reach of anonymous telegram channels to which links lead. In addition, the creators of the fake seek to destabilize the situation in Europe and make Ukrainian refugees object to their future in EU countries. Previously, we denied information that German citizens allegedly advocate the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees from the country.

Manipulation The general of the Polish army allegedly announced millions of losses in Ukraine

In an interview for the Polish news channel Polsat News, former Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army Raimund Andrzejczak, according to propagandists, expressed the opinion that Ukraine’s losses should be estimated in millions, not hundreds of thousands. However, this information is manipulated.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found that in his speech Andrzejczak mentioned the losses associated with the large flow of refugees and limited resources for mobilization. He spoke of a certain threat, pointing to the shortage of people in Ukraine and the problem with mobilization capacity, claiming “10 million refugees”.

However, Andrzejczak's estimates of losses are not precise. According to the Mykhailo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, more than 9 million Ukrainians are abroad, only some of them are refugees, and the others are labor migrants or those who left the country earlier. According to various estimates, the number of Ukrainian refugees ranges from 4.9 to 6.5 million.

The Center for Economic Strategy study also cites different figures, pointing to fewer Ukrainians abroad due to the war. Estimates of the actual losses of the Ukrainian military also vary, but do not reach millions. Approximate numbers of dead and prisoners are contained in the materials of the “Book of Memory of those who fell for Ukraine”, which has been keeping records of losses as a result of the war since 2014.

Propagandists often take phrases of famous politicians and military personnel out of context in order to dramatize the situation and cause despondency among Ukrainians.

Manipulation Ukrainians are allegedly fleeing Zelenskyi en masse to Poland

Russian telegram channels, with reference to Polish border guards, disseminate information that during February 5, 2024, 16,400 people left Ukraine for Poland. The reason for this is the alleged flight of Ukrainians from Zelenskyi.

In fact, Russian propagandists manipulate information. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. So, on February 5, 2024, 16,400 people actually left Ukraine for Poland, but on the same day 17,600 people returned from Poland to Ukraine. In addition, this does not mean that none of those who left will return back. These days, when the skies over Ukraine are closed to civil aircraft, one of the few options to get to any other country is to go through Poland. Ukrainians can visit their relatives abroad, travel or go on their own business, and then return back.

In this case, the Russians resort to one of the propaganda tactics called “selective truth”. Its essence is that a statement may be partially true, may be completely true but not include the whole truth, or may contain several deceptive elements. That is, in the message about the “flight of Ukrainians from Zelenskyi”, the Russians deliberately kept silent about the 17,600 people who returned from Poland to Ukraine on February 5, 2024, thereby providing one-sided information.

• Read also: Ukrainian refugees are caught on the Polish-German border to send them to the front.

Fake A Ukrainian refugee allegedly “desecrated and broke” a statue in a Paris museum

Anonymous telegram channels are distributing a video allegedly from the European media Euronews, which states that a Ukrainian refugee in a Paris museum broke the statue of the Swedish artist Anna Uddenberg “Journey to Self-Discovery”, imitating sexual intercourse with it. It's a lie.

The case was investigated by VoxCheck analysts, who determined that Euronews did not create such a story, and the video was simply assembled from different photos and videos that were not related to each other. For example, no information about such an incident could be found on the official media pages on social networks: on the media website, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube.

Using a reverse search on Google, it turned out that all the footage was used in the so-called story - can be found in the public domain. In addition, according to the information presented in the video, the statue was damaged and its limbs (arm and leg) were broken off. However, this was not shown on the video. No additional information about the destruction of the sculpture was found in other media.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU - in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own research.

Fake German citizens allegedly advocate the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees from the country

On social networks in the Russian segment, they are allegedly distributing data based on infographics on the Eurostat website (this is the EU statistical office), which notes that the majority of German citizens surveyed support the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees. It is not true.

The VoxCheck analysts investigated the case and found out that there are simply no such statistics on the Eurostat website, which the propagandists refer to. Moreover, no German media mentioned such a survey. Therefore, this is simply a fiction of Russian propagandists. Experts also cite as an example another survey by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the results of which determined that 62% of German residents agree that the country should accept refugees from Ukraine. The study was conducted in September 2023.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU - in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own investigation.

Fake An Indian publication allegedly made a cover where it compared Ukrainian refugees to rodents

Social media users spreading pro-Russian rhetoric are distributing an image that is described as the cover of the new issue of the Indian edition of Rodip Reb dated December 30. On one side of the cover one sees Ukrainian refugees, and on the other - rodents. It is accompanied by an English inscription: “BATTLE FOR EUROPE. Moles and refugees: the situation in Europe is becoming increasingly tense”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the MythDetector project drew attention to it. They found out that it was a photomontage. Indian edition called Rodip Reb. None of the search engines, including Google and Bing, have results for this edition. The image being circulated contains the website address www.rodipreb.in, but the said site cannot be accessed. After publishing the cover of the same non-existent publication, MythDetector verified its authenticity with the Indian fact-checking organization FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH. It confirmed that an Indian publication called Rodip Reb does not exist. The image is also impossible to find on the Internet outside of the telegram channels and Facebook communities where it was distributed.

Propagandists regularly resort to spreading “fairy covers” to create the false impression that the world is gradually ceasing to support Ukraine. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other publications with false covers from various world publications.

Manipulation More than 50 thousand mobilized people have allegedly died from the Chernihiv region

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the head of the Chernihiv state military administration, Viacheslav Chaus, at a press conference following the results of 2023, said that more than 50 thousand mobilized from the Chernihiv region have already died in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In fact, this information is not true, reports the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. At the press conference, Chaus reported on the demographic situation in the region and noted that the decrease in indicators by 50 thousand residents is due to displaced persons since the beginning of active hostilities in other regions of Ukraine or abroad. That is, the information about the alleged disclosure by the head of the Chernihiv state military administration of the number of people mobilized in the region is a fiction of Russian propaganda, since Chaus did not make any statements on this topic.

In addition, exact data on the distribution of those mobilized by region is not published in open sources, as well as information on the number of killed and wounded defenders of Ukraine. The last is a state secret that will be disclosed only after the end of the great war.

Russian propaganda continues to speculate on the topic of mobilization in Ukraine, which has become sensitive for Ukrainians, since this topic concerns almost every family. The purpose of spreading this disinformation is to intimidate the Ukrainian people, saying that compared to the Chernivtsi region, the numbers throughout Ukraine should be tens of times higher. More exposures of fakes and manipulations by Russians on the topic of mobilization in Ukraine can be found here.

Fake Ukrainian refugees are being caught on the Polish-German border to send them to the front

Russian propaganda resources are disseminating information that there are checkpoints on the Polish-German border where Ukrainian refugees are allegedly detained in order to deport them. It's fake.

This misinformation was processed by the fact-checkers from the StopFake project. They found out that the mentioned checkpoints do exist, but they are not related to Ukraine. The checkpoints are set up for security reasons and are related to the influx of illegal migrants and the activities of smugglers who smuggle people across the border illegally. According to the head of the press and information department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Illarion Pavliuk, the Ministry is not developing any measures to put pressure on Ukrainians liable for military service who have traveled abroad.

After the promulgation of the Bill of December 25, 2023 to improve certain issues of mobilization, military registration and military service, Russian propaganda speculates noticeably more on the topic of mobilization. The bill in the first reading contains, in particular, an invitation to Ukrainians abroad to clarify their credentials. However, this is not a hunt for people, and no forced mobilization outside of Ukraine is planned.

Fake In Poland, they will now hand out draft notices to Ukrainians

Pro-Russian resources write that Territorial Center for Recruitment and Social Support employees began handing out draft notices to Ukrainian men in Warsaw. As proof, propagandists are distributing a video in which a man in military uniform allegedly issues a draft notice to a Ukrainian in the Polish capital.

In fact, the video is staged - it was shot by a Ukrainian military man who is undergoing rehabilitation in Warsaw after being seriously wounded in the war. The purpose of this production, according to the military man, is “to fray the nerves of evaders” who left Ukraine illegally. He spoke about this in a new video distributed by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

Russian propaganda systematically speculates on the topic of mobilization in Ukraine, in particular, spreading disinformation. Propagandists fuel their narrative with this fake, saying that the Ukrainian authorities are pursuing a policy of “grabbing” ordinary Ukrainians. Moreover, from now on they will supposedly “catch” Ukrainians abroad. Previously, we worked on the Russian message, according to which paying assistance to Ukrainian male refugees seems to be much more expensive than transferring them to the service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fake Ukrainian refugees will allegedly be limited in free movement between EU countries

One of the propaganda telegram channels disseminated information that due to “numerous violations” of visa-free rules by Ukrainian refugees, sanctions would be applied to them in the form of a ban on free movement between EU countries.

In fact, there were no “statements” about restricting the right of refugees from Ukraine to move freely throughout the EU countries either from officials or from the relevant EU bodies. Also, the propaganda message on the telegram does not contain any specific information about “numerous violations” by Ukrainians in Europe, note investigators from the “No Lies” project. To make the message “plausible”, the creators of the fake placed in its text the names of several countries with a link, which supposedly should show what restrictions were introduced in these countries. However, there is no such information there.

By spreading this misinformation, propagandists are trying to create a picture that Ukrainian refugees have already fed everyone up and that they are the cause of all the troubles and problems in Europe. Previously, we denied information that German citizens support the forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees.

Fake Men who want to get a new passport abroad will allegedly be returned to Ukraine

Propagandists are distributing an allegedly official letter, which states that Ukrainian men born between 1960 and 2006 who have submitted documents to obtain a passport at the foreign representative offices of the Document State Enterprise will receive temporary travel documents to return to Ukraine. Data about them will supposedly be entered into the register of persons liable for military service and will be provided for verification to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support. Those who are wanted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Territorial centers of recruitment and social support will allegedly have their passport revoked.

In fact, this information is not true. The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security wrote about this.

Firstly, the Document State Enterprise does not have the authority to issue “temporary travel documents for returning to Ukraine” - this is handled by diplomatic missions or consular offices.

Secondly, men born in 1960 are now 63-64 years old, in 2006 - 17-18 years old. Only men from 27 to 60 years old are eligible for the prize. Here is another proof of the falsity of the information.

Thirdly, the mentioned letter was allegedly signed by Volodymyr Shvachko, but he was suspended from exercising his powers as general director for the duration of the internal investigation from December 26, 2023 to January 19, 2024. That is, he could not do this. If this “document” were real, it would not have been signed by Shvachko, but by a temporary acting official.

Fourthly, the “letter” contains a number of errors, including spelling errors. For example, “as received” is a tracing-paper from Russian. The text of the “letter” itself begins with the words “At your request”, but does not first contain the name of the person who made this request - this is unacceptable in official business correspondence.

By distributing this fake document online, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainian men abroad, saying that “the authorities have taken them seriously: they will all be found and mobilized”. This release of information took place against the backdrop of a sensational bill dated December 25, 2023 to improve certain issues of mobilization, military registration and military service. In particular, it proposes to introduce verification of men who are abroad. In addition, it spells out the negative consequences of violating the law if it is adopted in its original form.

Message Ukrainian refugees have turned Poland into the “criminal capital” of the EU

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that under the “influence of Ukrainian gangs” money laundering, trafficking in children, drugs, weapons, etc. are flourishing in Poland. The publications refer to materials from Polish media.

The VoxCheck analysts worked on the case and explained that the material was published in a Polish-language media system that systematically disseminates Kremlin propaganda. Consequently, any theses do not claim to provide objective information.

One of the materials that really reveals the topic of crimes committed by foreigners in Poland is the material in the publication Rzeczpospolita, which analyzes what crimes migrants have committed in Poland in 2022. The National Police Headquarters prepared statistics specifically for the publication on crimes committed by foreigners in Poland. Thus, in total in 2022, 15 thousand crimes were committed by representatives of different nationalities; Ukrainians, as the largest group, as well as Belarusians and Georgians, were most often included in the statistics. Analysts add: there are about 1.5 million people with Ukrainian citizenship in Poland. That is, according to relative indicators, the number of Ukrainian offenders is 0.15% of all Ukrainians in Poland. The most common type of crime among foreigners, notes Rzeczpospolita, is driving while intoxicated. The second most popular crime is drug possession.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to present Ukrainian refugees as criminals or terrorists, as a cultural and economic threat to the EU - in order to reduce support for Ukraine. We mentioned this in our own investigation.

Detector Media analysts have refuted a number of fakes and manipulations on the topic of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. For example, we analyzed a manipulation to increase thefts in Polish stores by a third, allegedly due to Ukrainian refugees. But they also explained another manipulation, according to which propagandists claimed that the attitude of many Poles towards Ukrainians had worsened.

Fake German citizens allegedly support forced extradition of Ukrainian refugees

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the results of a survey from the statistical service of the European Union showed that the majority of German citizens are in favor of Ukrainian refugees being forcibly extradited. However, this is fake.

There are no such statistics on the Eurostat website, which the propagandists refer to. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. That is, information about the Germans’ support for the extradition of Ukrainian refugees is yet another propaganda fake. Another proof of the falsehood of the information is that this “survey” was not mentioned in any of the leading German media.

The goal of propagandists is to create the illusion that the world is tired of Ukrainians and Ukraine as a whole. Thus, Russian propaganda also seeks to demoralize Ukrainian refugees abroad, claiming that no one needs them and only creates problems where they come.

Read also: Ukrainians in Ireland are allegedly extradited to serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces