Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Vatican is upset by Zelenskyi's position on war

Anonymous telegram channels spreading pro-Russian rhetoric claim that the Vatican and the Pope personally are upset by the position of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi regarding the war against Ukraine. The Italian media seems to be writing about this. In addition, propagandists appeal to the fact that they called Zelenskyi's Peace Formula a “provocation”. This is manipulation.

The Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano published its findings on the recent visit of the President of Ukraine to the Vatican. Journalists of the publication believe that the Pope is personally upset by Zelenskyi's position as “everything is at stake” because of the counteroffensive. In addition, according to their version, Ukraine tried to provoke the Vatican by offering its own vision of the world, which includes military assistance to Ukraine.

Such conclusions can be considered speculation, since there are no confirmed statements in the publication. In addition, given the special (apolitical) status of the Vatican as a state, Pope Francis's calls for peace do not mean disappointment in Ukraine or disagreement with its policies. In their official statements, Vatican officials consistently recognize Ukraine as a victim of Russian aggression and call for an end to Russia's fighting. Moreover, Il Fatto Quotidiano is not very popular in Italy itself and from time to time publishes pro-Russian narratives, covering them up with “personal opinion”.

Referring to this material, the propagandists want to impose the opinion that Ukraine wants an escalation and is asking for support for it even from the clergy. However, Ukraine is defending itself from Russian aggression, and the supply of weapons is an effective way to deter and counter this aggression.

Message Ukrainians are Nazis as they restrict access to services to “parishioners of the UOC-MP”

Anonymous telegram channels, where pro-Russian rhetoric is circulating, spread messages  showing a photo allegedly taken in Kamianets-Podilskyi, in which, at the entrance to the bike workshop, it is written that “parishioners of the UOC-MP” are not served there. Along with this image, the propagandists add a photo that shows a sticker on a telephone booth in Munich during the Third Reich, which forbade Jews from using the phone. Propagandists claim that this is yet another proof that Ukrainians have become neo-Nazis.

When trying to search for an image allegedly from Kamianets-Podilskyi published in such messages, it can only be found in pro-Russian Twitter accounts and Reddit threads. It's impossible to find it on social media. Accordingly, its reliability is doubtful, and the original source is incomprehensible.

This message is not used for the first time. Thus, the propagandists want to justify the crimes of the Russians and the aggression against Ukraine in general. Like, that's why they talk about denazification. The identification of the “oppression” of supporters of the UOC-MP with the genocide of Jews also devalues the scale of the tragedy of the Second World War.

Propagandists are constantly spreading information about the UOC-MP, inventing various fakes. In particular, Detector Media wrote about “blackened crosses” in the church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra because of the “blasphemy of Ukrainians”.

Fake The OCU creates a new chasuble for the clergy

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, in the Georgian segment of Facebook. Reports say that the representative office of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has decided to choose new clothes for the clergy. The authors of the messages provide screenshots with new items of clothing, which are all made in black and look more like a tracksuit. Dressed in a suit, the model is depicted with white makeup on the face, in black trousers and a blouse with a hood. As the authors of the messages say, “this is the real face of the OCU”. It is not true.

The specialists of the Myth Detector project investigated this case and found out that such information is not true. Fact-checkers previously contacted the press service of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. They said that such statements about the selection of a new outfit are false. According to the press service, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has not made such a decision and will not consider it in the future.

Manipulation Security Service of Ukraine handed charges of treason to the Cherkasy metropolitan of the UOC-MP for creating the church website

This thesis was disseminated in social networks, in particular on broadcasting telegram channels. The case was noticed by the fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project, who determined that on April 6, 2023, the Security Service of Ukraine handed a suspicion to the head of the Cherkasy diocese of the UOC-MP Feodosii (Snihiriov). However, according to the department, the metropolitan not only created a website following the UOC template, but also used Russian software, with the help of which news and theses justifying Russian aggression from Russian news resources were relayed to the Ukrainian information space. For example, the site praised the activities of Moscow priests who helped the aggressor and called for the unification of religious communities in the war against Ukraine.

Reports say that the Security Service of Ukraine reported suspicion of high treason to the Metropolitan of the Cherkasy diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate for creating a website “based on the template of the Russian Orthodox Church”. They say that there is no freedom of speech in Ukraine, and even the “website template” gives grounds for accusations of treason. This is manipulation.

Pro-Kremlin media and telegram channels did not provide complete information and began to claim that the only evidence against the Metropolitan of the UOC-MP was a website based on the template of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Fake Ukrainians beat the bishop of the Orthodox Church in Ivano-Frankivsk

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, in the Ukrainian segment of Facebook. Reports say unidentified individuals attacked the “famous” Bishop of the Orthodox Church in Ivano-Frankivsk, Mykyta, and the attackers were not punished by the police. Like, the Ukrainians want to get rid of all the clergy in Ukraine. Moreover, these posts are advertised on Facebook, and videos are cited as evidence. It is not true.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security explains that such information is not true. In the publication itself, the authors made lexical and spelling errors indicating the use of a translator. Some sentences in the publication are illogically constructed and do not correspond to the norms of the Ukrainian language. In addition, the authors of the messages do not indicate exactly which church the bishop belongs to.

Such fakes are spread through Facebook pages without a specific description and content. Usually these pages have neutral titles. Thus, the authors avoid additional moderation by Meta, which owns Facebook. So, analysts urge to complain about such manifestations of advertising.

In one of our case investigations, we previously described in more detail how Russian bots use Facebook ads to spread anti-Ukrainian narratives.

Fake The Orthodox Church of Ukraine “does not recognize” the church rites of the UOC-MP

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine refuses to recognize the church rituals of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Like, even burials according to the customs of the UOC-MP are no longer recognized. As proof, the authors of the messages add a photo of the announcement posted in front of the cemetery. It states that the costs associated with reburial, according to the new requirements of the church, must be borne by the relatives of the deceased. It is not true.

The case was taken up by the fact-checkers of the project “Beyond the News”, who found out that there was no information from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine about objections to the rites of the UOC-MP. Therefore, as the fact-checkers say, the information on the “announcement” is not true. However, the fact-checkers were not able to see the signs of photoshop in the photo, so it is likely that the unknown person actually made an “announcement” and photographed it against the background of the cemetery.

At the same time, analysts note that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine does recognize the rites of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, while the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate denies the sacraments of the OCU. The Metropolitan of the Russian Church, in particular, recommends rebaptizing those people who “have not been baptized in a real Orthodox Church”.

Manipulation In Kyiv, Easter service was banned in churches

Such information is disseminated by a number of Facebook accounts and Russian propagandists on Telegram channels, who previously spread information about the struggle of the Ukrainian authorities with Orthodoxy and the UOC-MP. This is manipulation.

Myth Detector specialists drew attention to the case. On April 11, the Kyiv state administration issued a statement on the celebration of the Easter holidays under martial law. The curfew is in effect from 00:00 to 05:00, and residents are urged to give preference to online broadcasts of services. The website of the Kyiv city state administration says that the city authorities “appeal to the leaders of religious communities with a request to limit the holding of mass worship services and to ensure as much as possible online broadcasts from places of worship on Ukrainian TV channels and via the Internet”.

By spreading such manipulation, propagandists are trying to create a religious conflict, sow enmity in society and split it. Earlier, Detector Media debunked the fake that Ukrainian nationalists allegedly set fire to the temple of the UOC-MP in the Mykolaiv region.

Fake Soviet graves are destroyed in Lviv, and the remains of dead soldiers are “thrown away”

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that in Lviv, at the Lychakiv military cemetery, the remains of the First World War and Soviet soldiers are being “thrown out” from the graves. The authors add to the publications that, they say, the cemetery management “makes room for the fallen Ukrainian soldiers”. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project drew attention to the case, they established that excavations on the territory of the Lychakiv military cemetery are indeed being carried out in order to discover the remains of the bodies of the Soviet military and from the time of the World War. However, according to archival documentation, all the burials of the First World War were moved back to Soviet times long ago. However, modern archaeologists find the remains of the bodies of warriors in the cemetery.

As Liliia Onyshchenko, adviser to the mayor of Lviv on the preservation of cultural heritage, explained, the purpose of the work at the cemetery is to identify older burials and their subsequent reburial. According to Onyshchenko, the Soviet authorities did not check how well the remains were transferred and began to carry out their burials there. At the place where the excavations are carried out, the remains of bodies are found, according to the documents of which there should not be.

A press release from the Lviv city council says that the remains will not be “thrown away” but will be reburied. Burials of the First World War will be hidden near the cemetery, where the Memorial Complex will be built later. At the same time, the remains of the Soviet era will be temporarily stored in a special depository (institutions providing storage services, in this case, the storage of the remains of bodies).

Disclosure Chinese sect recruits Ukrainians urging them to put “Amen” in the comments under publications

Such information appeared in the Ukrainian segment of social networks, in particular, on Facebook. The authors of the messages create separate communities and through them distribute posts with photographs of mutilated Ukrainian high-rise buildings with an appeal to write “Amen” in the comments and follow the link. Allegedly, after that the priest will pray for the people and there will be peace, there will be a victory for Ukraine.

The fact-checkers of the NotaYenota project drew attention to the case, referring to the NGO “CLEAR INFO”, which determined that these pages are supervised by a Chinese sect. At the same time, the groups are administered mainly in Spain. According to fact-checkers, active commentators are being recruited into a Chinese sect, which is now banned in that country. This is the so-called “Church of Almighty God”.

If you click on a link in messages with a call to write “Amen”, people are sent to the Facebook messenger. This is a chat with the user “Church of Almighty God”, where they offer to take part in an “international online lecture on the topic: How to get out of trouble and receive God's blessing”. They also promise that “this is a conversation that will give God's blessing, and the priest will pray for the will of all the faithful present”.

After that, the “Church of Almighty God” asked to add user “Oksana Oksana” as a friend, because “only she can add to the group” where the sermon will take place. Thus, Ukrainians continue to be recruited into the sect. New participants are recruited in a similar way in many countries, including Spanish speakers. If in the case of Ukraine communities mimic Orthodox Christians, in Western countries they mimic Catholics.

The “Church of Almighty God” (or “Eastern Lightning”) is a religious community that originated in China in 1991. Its founder, Zhao Wenshan, fled China in 2000 for the United States, where he received political asylum as a man persecuted by religious views. The main teaching of the sect is that the expected Second Coming of Christ has already arrived and that He lives now in the form of the Chinese Yan Xiangbin. This Chinese woman, according to the information available on the network, went to the United States with the founder of the sect and is (or at least was at that time) in a relationship with him.

Fake Ukrainian nationalists set fire to the temple of the UOC-MP in the Mykolaiv region

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric are distributing a video on which the “canonical temple” of the UOC-MP in the village of Novopoltavka, Mykolaiv region, is allegedly on fire. Ukrainian nationalists are accused of setting fire to the temple, whose actions are comparable to Zelenskyi's allegedly anti-Orthodox policy.

Specialists from the Center for Counteracting Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council investigated this case and determined that the information being disseminated is not true. The burning church in the video is different from the one in Novopoltavka. In fact, this video depicts a fire in the Russian village of Illinka. It was made back in 2013, when the temple was burning there.

Propagandists use such fakes to sow religious enmity among Ukrainians and contribute to the division of society. This is not the first time Russian propaganda has been spreading disinformation on religious topics. Detector Media has already talked about the inventions of propaganda, that allegedly the United States guide Zelenskyi’s anti-Orthodox church policy, that crosses are allegedly blackened on the temple of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra because of “Ukrainian blasphemy”, or that the UN allegedly recognizes the oppression of the Orthodox Church.

Message US oversees Zelensky’s anti-Orthodox church policy

This thesis is spread by the Kremlin media. Like, Washington's goal is to strike at the religious sphere of Ukraine and split Orthodoxy. To achieve this goal, the United States has developed mechanisms for direct and indirect influence on the religious policy of Kyiv, aimed at oppressing the Orthodox Church.

At the same time, experts from the EU vs Disinfo team note that although Kremlin propaganda often depicts Ukraine as an enemy of Orthodoxy, this is not true. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies indeed conducted a number of searches at the facilities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). However, the searches were carried out not in order to split Orthodoxy, but to reveal the subversive activities of the Russian special services in the religious environment of Ukraine, because the UOC-MP is considered one of Moscow’s key instruments of influence in Ukraine.

With the help of such messages, Russian propaganda seeks to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and accuse Ukraine of oppression of religion. Let us remind you that Detector Media has already written about similar misinformation stories about the situation with the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. For example, about the blackening of crosses on the church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra because of “Ukrainian blasphemy” and the alleged recognition of the fact of discrimination against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine by the UN.

Manipulation UN releases report on discrimination against UOC MP

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the UN has released a report discrediting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The authors of the messages refer to the report for the period from August 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023. This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project checked this thesis and found that the report refers to the situation with respect for human rights in Ukraine and in the territories occupied by Russia. During the investigation, the UN Commission recorded numerous war crimes committed by the army of the terrorist country. The UN report also identified specific war crimes, which include attacks on civilians and shelling of energy infrastructure facilities, deliberate killings, false imprisonment, torture, rape and other types of sexual violence, as well as the illegal transfer and deportation of children. However, the report did address issues of religious freedom.

Of the 38 pages of the report, several paragraphs were allocated to the topic of freedom of religion in Ukraine which took less than one page. That is why the thesis that the entire report is devoted to “discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)” is manipulative. Moreover, in the report, in only one sentence, they suggested that the activities of the state against the UOC could be discriminatory, and did not claim this as a fait accompli.

Propagandists systematically spread manipulations about the UN report to hide their crimes from domestic audiences and show that Russia is not the aggressor and is not to blame for anything. For example, analysts of Detector Media analyzed a manipulation stating that the UN investigation “found no evidence of the genocide of Ukrainians” during the Russian-Ukrainian war. We explained the message that the so-called “evacuation” of Ukrainian children is “not a war crime”. They also found a message that allegedly the UN Security Council “does not care about the suffering of the inhabitants of Donbas”.

Disclosure Russians launch disinformation campaign aimed at inciting Muslims against Ukraine

Such a disinformation campaign was recorded by specialists from the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. As they say, in the telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, there are messages about “Ukrainian Nazis who hate other religions”, including Islam. The authors of the messages are trying to convince that “Ukraine is a godless/Satanist state”, in particular, by spreading fake stories about the burning of the Koran by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and so on.

As experts explain, the purpose of this disinformation campaign is to stir up sectarian strife and demonize Ukraine and Ukrainians in the eyes of Muslims. In addition, analysts say another goal of the disinformation campaign is to increase the level of mobilization among Muslim believers.

The second important factor was the start date of the great religious holiday of Muslims Ramadan. Before that, the propagandists received training manuals stating that with the help of fakes and disinformation campaigns, they should ignite an interreligious conflict between Ukrainians and Muslims, which should develop into a religious war. No wonder the fake about the burning of the Koran was recorded on March 15, the international day against Islamophobia.

Consequently, the Russians are trying to demonize the Ukrainians and present them as enemies of all peoples. Russian propaganda positions Ukraine as an aggressor, but hides its own actions. At the same time, propagandists reflect their actions in this way and say that it is Ukrainians who kill civilians, profess hatred for many peoples, and despise other cultures and religions.

Message Zelenskyi “seized church power in Ukraine”

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Zelenskyi has launched the latest “offensive against Orthodoxy”. Like, the “attack" on the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the eviction of priests testifies to the “satanist views of the Ukrainian authorities”.

The experts of the EU vs Disinfo investigated the case and explained that the topic of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine escalated after sanctions were imposed on the UOC-MP by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, as well as after the termination of the right to lease part of the premises of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and a number of searches and criminal cases against priests. Russian propaganda considers such actions of Ukraine illegal, but does not take into account that, in general, it has no right to interfere in the affairs of another sovereign state.

Ukraine “does not capture” the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, because it has always been state property. In 2013, the Azarov government leased the premises of the Lavra to the UOC-MP. However, in 2022, a special commission found that the UOC-MP violated the terms of the lease agreement. For example, illegal construction and reconstruction of historical monuments was carried out on the territory of the Lavra.

Thus, propaganda is trying to convince its consumers that Ukraine's actions are contrary to religious canons, and therefore it is worth mobilizing and saving the “canonical Orthodox Church” with weapons.

On March 29, 2023, the Agreement on the lease of premises between the National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” and the UOC-MP ended. The representation of the UOC-MP should leave the Lavra, but the clergy of the church refused to comply with the decision of the Ministry of Culture. On March 30, representatives of the UOC-MP held a service in the Lavra, which was broadcast live on social networks. Metropolitan of the UOC-MP Pavlo behaved aggressively and threatened to beat the journalist with a stick.

Fake The UN recognized that Ukraine discriminates against the Orthodox Church

This thesis appeared in Russian propaganda media and on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. Reports say that one of the UN reports noted that Ukraine discriminates against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Like, the report was published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and concerned freedom of religion in Ukraine. However, this is not true. The UN has not published any report on this topic.

In the messages, the propagandists referred to a long document titled “Report on the situation of human rights in Ukraine – 1 August 2022 – 31 January 2023”, published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 24 March 2023. It contains a single paragraph about searches by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) in the premises of the UOC and reports of suspicion to the clergy of the UOC, as well as the sentence: “OHCHR is concerned that the activities of the state against the UOC may be discriminatory”. But, in general, the report concerns war crimes of Russians in Ukraine. However, propagandists are silent about this in their messages.

Russian propaganda needs such fakes to discredit Ukraine and the Ukrainian authorities. Thus, Russian propagandists show that even in international organizations, the attitude towards Ukraine is allegedly changing and the world is beginning to understand what Ukrainians really are.

Fake Ukrainians protest in defense of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Propagandists spread information that thousands of Ukrainians protested in defense of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Allegedly, they oppose the oppression of Orthodox Ukrainians. The authors of posts on this topic even add a “photo” from the “protests”. It's fake.

Analysts of the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that when looking for  images that are added as evidence of “protests”, one can see that they were actually taken on March 12 this year. On that day, believers gathered for Divine Liturgy at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on the feast day of the Cathedral of All Saints of the Caves. A video from this event was published by the page of the UOC-MP.

Thus, Russian propagandists want to intensify their information campaign on the “oppression of religion” by the “Kyiv regime”. Allegedly, the Nazi regime oppresses people for believing in God. For the same purpose, propagandists recently wrote about “blackened crosses” on the territory of Lavra.

Manipulation Ukrainian authorities will deny access to the relics of saints

This information was disseminated by the Russian propaganda media. Like, since the Ukrainian authorities are atheists, they will deny access to the holy relics in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra starting from March 21. In their messages, the propagandists refer to the video of Klyment, a head of the Synodal information and education department, metropolitan of Nizhyn and Pryluky, which appeared on the telegram channel of the UOC-MP. Klyment stated that on March 20, the monastery received a letter from the leadership of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra national reserve with a message that the museum would now stop access to the Near and Far Caves due to the work of the commission, which will determine the level of safety of cultural values. The priest called this approach of the Ukrainian authorities “atheistic”. However, this is manipulation.

In fact, it is not about closing access to the caves forever but checking the caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and their temporary closure for parishioners. Such actions are held completely in accordance with the law and are not an “atheistic approach”.

The fact checkers of the StopFake project drew attention to the case. According to them, a commission is working on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reserve to check the availability, storage conditions and state of preservation of cultural values. The monastery is located on the territory of the National Reserve on the basis of an agreement for the free use by a religious organization of religious buildings and other property that is state property. This agreement expires on March 29, 2023. “The check of the state commission should be completed on May 15 this year, and the caves of the Lavra will again be open to parishioners”, the fact-checkers said in a statement.

However, with the help of such fakes, Russian propaganda seeks to once again expose the Ukrainian authorities as unprofessional. Like, the authorities violate the law because of their atheistic views.

Fake On the temple of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, crosses got black due to “Ukrainian blasphemy”

This message was circulated on social networks and in the propaganda media. The reports say that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine “sows confusion”, kicking out the UOC (MP) from the territory of Ukraine. Allegedly, even “crosses got black” on one of the main temples of Ukraine, because of the blasphemous actions of Ukrainians. As the authors of the messages add, the crosses turned black after Metropolitan Epiphanii conducted the divine liturgy during Christmas. A photograph is also added to the publication with an alleged image of the church “before and after”. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the “Brekhunets” (Liar) project investigated this case and found that no crosses “blackened” and this is not a sign “from above”, as the propagandists are trying to convince. As they further explain, the photo actually shows the crosses of the Refectory cathedral. At the same time, Metropolitan Epiphanii did not hold divine services either in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra or in the Refectory cathedral on Christmas Day. By that time he served in the Uspenskyi (Assumption) Cathedral.

Regarding the “black crosses” at the Refectory cathedral, this is a consequence of the appropriate shooting angle. Fact-checkers managed to find several photos with the so-called black crosses from at least three angles of the Refectory cathedral. Photos are dated from 2009 to the present. Fact-checkers say that the crosses on the cathedral are dull by themselves, and if they are removed against the light, they will really appear black.

Propagandists systematically expand manipulations on the topic of religion in Ukraine. Especially when the Orthodox Church of Ukraine received the right to autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Russian propaganda began to call Ukrainians schismatics. Like, this church is not real and illegal, all the believers visiting it are not real Orthodox. In particular, propagandists said that paganism is being promoted in Ukraine, and Orthodox shrines are being destroyed. Thus, propagandists incite religious discord and try to nourish the narrative about the existence of the so-called “one and inseparable people”. At the same time, those who do not recognize the Moscow patriarchate are called sinners and schismatics by the Russian propaganda.

We recall that Detector Media previously also refuted the fake, in which they claimed that because of the blasphemy of Kyiv, flocks of crows are circling the city, and also explained the message about the “desantanization” and “deshaitanization” of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

Fake Vinnytsa diocese of the UOC blesses the murders of Russians

Propagandists are spreading information that the Vinnytsia diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church allegedly issued a statement according to which the killing of Russians is not a sin and in which it blesses the Ukrainian military to “wipe the Russian nation off the face of the Earth”. It's fake.

Analysts of the Georgian project MythDetector drew attention to it. They found out that the “statement” was not real. Several details point to this. In particular, the Kyiv patriarchate is indicated in the heading of the “statement”, and allegedly the Metropolitan of the Moscow patriarchate signed the “statement”. In addition, the heading of the “statement” is not correct - the Kyiv Patriarchate of the UOC merged with the OCU in 2019. In a comment to MythDetector, archimandrite Sofronii Chupryna, spokesman for the diocese of Vinnytsa-Bar, denied the diocese's involvement in this “statement”. He also noted that usually monks and priests do not sign documents with a regular signature, but write their names in manuscript. On the “statement” one can see the classic signature.

Thus, propagandists want to show that the UOC has departed from the traditions of Orthodoxy and is a demonic institution. They say that even the church in Ukraine calls for murders, while Ukraine itself is already in the spiritless networks of the West. Such materials are part of a large-scale propaganda information campaign about the need to “desatanize” Ukraine.

Manipulation Ukrainian court decides to demolish an Orthodox church

Russian propagandists are spreading the message that a Ukrainian court has ordered the demolition of the Church of the Tithes (Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in Kyiv. Like, the Ukrainians want to destroy the historical building restored in 2007, which is more than 1000 years old. This is manipulation.

EU vs Disinfo analysts drew attention to the spread of manipulation, in particular to a foreign audience. Tithe Church is considered the first stone church of Kyiv Rus. The church was destroyed during the Mongol assault on Kyiv in 1240. The renovated Tithe Church was destroyed again in 1928. Since that time, the church has not been restored. The remains of the foundation of the Church of the Tithes are a monument of national importance. Both the foundation and the area around it are protected by UNESCO.

Propaganda reports speak of the demolition of a chapel near the foundations of the Church of the Tithes, which representatives of the Moscow patriarchate church call the Tithe Monastery of the nativity of the holy theotokos. The Church of the Moscow patriarchate received permission to place a tent on this site for a one-time festive service. After that, they did not remove the tent, moreover, they turned it into a full-fledged chapel, despite the fact that any construction on this historical territory is prohibited. That is, the court decision refers to the demolition of an illegal structure in the historical part of the city, and not an ancient Orthodox church.

Russian propaganda systematically manipulates religious topics, in particular, claims that Ukraine is on the verge of a large-scale inter-confessional conflict, Ukrainians defame Orthodoxy, that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine calls on its own behalf to kill Russians. Thus, they are trying to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and quarrel Ukrainians with different religious beliefs.

Disclosure On its own behalf, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine calls on to kill Russians, says a postcard distributed by the invaders

Such a “postcard” was distributed on social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The “postcard” states that the so-called Department of cooperation with the Armed Forces and Law enforcement agencies of Ukraine under the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of the Kyiv Patriarchate calls on Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians. Allegedly, the metropolitan himself signed the postcard, which means that the Ukrainian church calls for murders on its own behalf.

Analysts of the NotaYenota project took up this case and determined that the postcard was fake. Analysts analyzed this “postcard” and found a number of inaccuracies in it, in particular:

There has been no Kyiv Patriarchate in Ukraine since 2018;

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine does not have a “Department of cooperation with the Armed Forces and Law enforcement agencies of Ukraine”. Instead, there is such a department in the Russian Orthodox Church;

Varsonofii, whose name the “postcard” was signed with, is in fact the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, emphasized that it is not a sin to wish death on the enemy and to kill the Russian occupiers. However, there were no calls to “kill on behalf of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine”.

Fake The Romanian authorities offered the parishes of the UOC MP to go under the protectorate of the Romanian Orthodox Church

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, in telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Romanian authorities have reportedly offered parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to come under the protectorate of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The authors refer to the “Appeal to the Romanian Priests in Ukraine”, which states this. It is not true.

Analysts of the VoxCheck project drew attention to this case and determined that the Romanian authorities did not announce their intention to establish a protectorate over the parishes of the UOC MP in Ukraine. Analysts explain that the authors of the publication refer to an appeal from priests who are under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. At the same time, indeed, several Romanian non-governmental organizations signed the appeal, but this cannot reflect the official position of the Romanian authorities. Experts note that Romania supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

By spreading this fake, propagandists want to convince that the so-called “true Orthodoxy” led by the UOC MP is ready to defend the whole world. Russian propaganda positions the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as the only correct and canonical one. And the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is false and illegal, all the believers who visit it are false Orthodox.

We recall that earlier Detector Media also explained the message, which claimed that Ukraine denigrates Orthodoxy by separating from the Moscow Patriarchate.

Message Europe and the United States are pulling Ukraine to the “bottom of spirituality”

For a long time, Kremlin publications have been spreading the message that the “collective West” is mired in its own lack of spirituality and attracts Ukraine. As “evidence” propagandists come up with different stories, such as, for example, the legalization of pedophilia and bestiality in Spain. They also take decisions and ideas out of context, as if the Church of England had decided on a gender-neutral definition of God. The message was repeated by Russian President Volodymyr Putin in his annual federal address. In particular, he stated that “only a man and a woman can be a family”, “moral degradation” does not exist in Russia, and that one of the reasons for the war against Ukraine is “protection of world morality”.

Such reports are obviously speculation, since the concept of spirituality is subjective, but the problem of discrimination on any grounds, including sexual and gender identity, is not. If to talk about fakes on pedophilia and bestiality, in this case we are talking about the recently adopted package of progressive laws in Spain. In particular, they ensure women's rights to go on paid “menstrual leave” and remove a number of restrictions on abortion. However, these laws do not cover bestiality or pedophilia. In the story of a gender-neutral definition of God, the main institutions of the Anglican church have only announced their desire to address this issue this spring. In addition, the appeals of Europe and the United States in this context are only advisory in nature, and the government of Ukraine has the final say on whether to implement them or not.

In such a way, Russia is again turning to the point of humiliation and ridicule of representatives of the LGBT community. Moreover, such a method of propaganda renews its true aggression against Ukraine. However, it shows that if one analyzes the statistics on the level of sexual violence in the countries of the EU and Russia, Russia itself is in a worse condition. Detector Media has previously explained why the topic of Russian disinformation is important for representatives of LGBT communities.

Fake For the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, they created the icon of Bandera

Lawyer Irakli Zakareishvili is spreading the message in the Georgian segment of social networks. It says that an icon of Bandera was allegedly created, which they plan to send to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. He also added a photo of an icon, in the center of which is the coat of arms of Ukraine, and the coats of arms of the Azov battalion are in the upper corners. It's fake.

The image of the icon has been changed in photo editors. Mith Detector fact-checkers found out that in fact this is the icon of the “Albazynska” Mother of God. In the photo editor, they replaced the face and added a coat of arms to the image of Jesus.

In June, propagandists spread a fake that the Orthodox church of Ukraine (OCU) had decided to canonize Stepan Bandera. Probably, a new version of the fake news is needed to strengthen the messages about the inter-confessional conflict in Ukraine, the forced transfer of churches to the OCU, the desecration of sacred places, etc.

Manipulation In Kyiv, because of the blasphemy, flocks of dark birds are circling over the city

Videos circulating online show large flocks of dark birds flying near buildings. They write that these videos were allegedly filmed in Kyiv. The Russian media write that this was due to the anti-religious policy of the “Kyiv regime”: state-sponsored sacrilege, the destruction of churches and the persecution of priests. This is manipulation.

Part of the video was actually filmed in Kyiv, and part in Houston (USA) back in 2017. Video from Houston in 2020 was used as “proof” of the effects of typhoon Molave in Vietnam. The migration of large numbers of birds has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or “satanic rituals”.

As the Myth Detector fact checkers explain, this bird behavior is called murmuring. Scientists consider murmurations a way to protect themselves from predators or to exchange information about favorable feeding grounds.

Such manipulations of Russian propaganda nourish messages about the “destruction” of the Moscow patriarchate church, about the need to “desatanize” Ukraine, which promotes paganism. Russian propaganda deliberately divides Ukrainians by religion in order to exacerbate internal disputes and further destabilize the situation in Ukraine.