Disclosure In his article, Medvedchuk, not only spread Kremlin propaganda, but also cited an invented quote from Clinton

Viktor Medvedchuk, a former deputy of the pro-Russian OPZzh (Opposition platform — for life) party, whom Ukraine accuses of treason and deprived of citizenship, published an article in the Russian media Izvestiia (News) about the “anatomy” of the modern military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, as well as about the role of the West in this war. In order to prove the “guilt of the West” in the destruction of the Soviet Union, he used a fictitious quote from former United States President Bill Clinton. Insider drew attention to this.

“Using the mistakes of Soviet diplomacy, the extreme self-confidence of Horbachov and his entourage, including those who openly took a pro-American position, we achieved what President Truman was going to do with the Soviet Union with the help of an atomic bomb”, Medvedchuk quotes Clinton in the article. But, as the checkers found out, the quote allegedly belonging to Clinton was published both in Russian and in English only on Russian resources, for example, on the pages of users on Vkontakte. And also in one of the Russian history textbooks for history teachers, which contains a lot of fakes, propaganda, errors and unproven facts. Secondly, the quote appears to have been taken from Bill Clinton's speech at the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 24, 1995 - but the fact checkers found no evidence that Clinton spoke or even attended this meeting. There is also no quote or mention of this speech in the English-language media or historical articles about Bill Clinton.

We recall that in his article Medvedchuk promotes a lot of disinformation messages that reproduce the position of Russian propaganda. Detector Media has prepared a selection of them.

Disclosure In Russia, they prepared recommendations on covering the war against Ukraine

The Russian military command created a special document for propagandists to cover the events of the war against Ukraine. Now they should praise Serhii Shoihu and not mention the Wagner group.

The document was analyzed by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

General recommendations contain eleven points, the main content of which is:

1) Orientation to information exclusively from sources agreed by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation;

2) Emphasizing in informational materials and comments of “independent” experts on the leading and positive role personally of Serhii Shoihu and Valerii Herasymov;

3) Justifying strikes on Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure, referring to the “forcedness” of such actions;

4) Emphasizing the theme of providing Ukraine with Western weapons. In this sense, it is especially recommended to focus on the fact that “Russia is conducting a military operation not against Ukraine, but against the entire NATO”;

5) Refusal to mention the Wagner military group in a positive context. Emphasizing excessive human losses and Wagner meaningless attacks;

6) Tracking and citing publications in foreign media about the successes of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the failure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

It is proposed to focus particular attention on the statements of Western and Ukrainian politicians, which can be interpreted in a similar vein.

As explained in the Main Intelligence Directorate, the document indicates a fundamental change in emphasis on covering the course of events in the war against Ukraine and the aggravation of the political struggle within Russia.

Message Russia suffers from a constant sense of insecurity, so Ukraine must remain neutral

Pro-Russian and propaganda telegram channels write that the 56th US ex-secretary of State argues that Ukraine should be left alone and not be included into any institutions and organizations such as the EU and NATO. Like, if Ukraine joined NATO, the borders of the North Atlantic Alliance would be within 500 kilometers from Moscow. Propagandists say that then Russia will experience a constant threat and danger from NATO.

Fake In the US, they noted the successes of Russian troops in the war

Such a message is distributed through social networks and hostile telegram channels. It says that Russia is defeating Ukraine, and this was even noted in the United States. Allegedly, the United States is convinced that Ukraine will lose. As evidence, propagandists refer to the material of the Reuters news agency, in which they allegedly talked about this. However, this is not true.

In fact, as StopFake experts say, the US Department of Defense did not note the total success of Russia, and even in some areas. However, it is true that the latest briefings by the US Department of Defense said that although heavy fighting is underway for Bakhmut, Ukraine continues to hold the city. Consequently, the United States did not recognize the actions of the Russian troops as completely successful.

Message In the Ukrainian information space, censorship is much greater than in Russia

Such a message is spread by pro-Russian telegram channels. Like, censorship has become the main tool of power for concealment of corruption, criminal orders or command errors. It seems that the situation with the shelling clearly demonstrated this - the Ukrainian authorities are “rejoicing” at the shelling of Makiyivka, but they are silent about Druzhkivka.

Message Russia will avenge the “innocently killed” soldiers in Makiyivka

In the Russian information space and pro-Russian telegram channels, they are discussing the attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Makiyivka at midnight on January 1, as a result of which up to 10 units of enemy military equipment of various types were destroyed. Also, according to preliminary data, it was the death of about 400 Russian servicemen and about 300 more wounded. According to the latest reports, the Russian General Staff acknowledged the death of only 89 soldiers.

Russian propaganda depicts the dead military as “innocently killed” and calls for revenge on Ukraine for the death of “sons and men”. At the time of death, the armed Russian military were in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and were directly involved in the war against Ukraine. That is, according to international law, they were a legitimate target for the Ukrainian army, defending its territory and its people.

Despite the fact that Russia started a war against Ukraine, Russian propaganda systematically spreads messages about revenge on Ukraine for any successful military actions and denies the right of Ukrainians to defend their state.

Disclosure Manipulative photos of “new” Russian tanks are being distributed online

Photos of new Russian tanks, which are placed in a special hangar, are being circulated on social networks. In the comments to the photo, they scoff, saying that “Russia has run out of tanks” and praise the military might of Russia.

However, this photo is old. It was made in October 2012 during Volodymyr Putin's visit to the “Uralvagonzavod”, an enterprise for the repair of military vehicles and the production of military tanks, located in Nizhnyi Tagil. Fact-checkers of the Delfi project found the original source of the image - an article by the Russian portal “Kommersant”, its author is Dmytro Azarov, the photographer of this publication. The photo has nothing to do with current events and does not reflect the real state of affairs with the equipment of the Russian army.

Message In the war “to the last” Ukrainians will “run out” faster than Russians

Pro-Russian telegram channels write that the Americans are allegedly satisfied with the state of affairs in Ukraine, in particular, the course of the war. Like, the Americans understand that statistically there are four times more Russians than Ukrainians, but they “like everything”.

To promote the message, the Russian propaganda took the words of US Senator Lindsey Graham out of context. Graham said that he likes the way the United States is now supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia and this is very important. It was about the fact that US assistance allows Ukraine not to give up. The propagandists are shifting the focus to the literal perception of Graham's words about “struggle to the last Ukrainian” and manipulate the reference to statistics.

Message Attacks on priests of the Moscow Patriarchate Church happened due to Zelenskyi's policy

Pro-Russian telegram channels are spreading the news about the attack on the priest of the Moscow Patriarchate Church in the Vinnytsia region and accusing the “politics” of Volodymyr Zelenskyi and the “tacit consent” of Ukrainian society with it.

Russian propaganda is using reports of an attack on Archpriest Antonii Kovtoniuk to promote a disinformation message about the “persecution” of the Moscow Patriarchate church in Ukraine. There is no official information about the motives of the attacker yet - an investigation is underway. Propagandists are trying to give greater significance and “systematicity" to a single crime, so they write about “attacks in temples”.

Disclosure The Russian media were obliged to write about the “growth of Putin's rating” and the successful “war against NATO” in the results of the year

The Kremlin sent the Russian media a methodology on how to write about the results of 2022. According to Meduza, the first thing the Russian media should do is emphasize that Volodymyr Putin, by unleashing the war, was saving Russia from an attack by NATO and Ukraine. There is also the thesis that since 2014, Western countries have been going to “divide and conquer the Russian people”. The war, that is, the “special operation”, should be called successful, and an example of achieving goals is “increase in lands”, that is, occupied territories. The methodology does not mention defeats at the front.

The document is divided into four parts: “Main”, “Strengthening of Russia”, “SVO” (Special military operation) and “New World Order”. In the “Strengthening Russia” section, it is recommended to write about how high Putin’s rating is and about the “unconditional support of the special operation” by the Russians. The “New World Order” section says that the media should talk about Russia as “leaders of countries” who “do not recognize the exclusivity of the West” and call it “the leader of a just, democratic and multipolar world”. At the same time, Putin “gives Europe a chance to come to its senses” and stop “being a US vassal”.

These are all the most common theses of Russian disinformation of the last 10 months. Propaganda is constantly trying to convince the Russians and the anti-NATO world to justify the defeats inflicted on them by the Ukrainian army. Propaganda also claims that Putin's rating is growing, and all Russians support the war, but the real picture, even from studies of Russian-controlled sociological services, is different: Putin's rating is falling, the number of supporters of the war is decreasing. In world politics, Russia is now as far from “leading positions” as its closest partners - Syria, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. And thanks to the sanctions imposed against Russia by dozens of countries around the world, it is becoming increasingly dependent on really influential countries, primarily China.

Fake Washington called Ukraine a “new Afghanistan”

Russian media write about it. Like, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken admitted that the US was preparing for war with Russia at the beginning of Biden's presidency, “leaving the Afghans to their own devices”. It is not true.

Anthony Blinken didn't say that at the press conference. These words were made up by propagandists. Blinken noted that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan should be considered in the future. In particular, the completion of the Afghan mission now allows the United States and partners to provide significant support to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.

Russian propaganda systematically spreads disinformation messages that in Ukraine they are at war with the “collective West”, NATO or the United States, and not with Ukraine. 

Message Americans provoke Russia into missile attacks on Ukraine

Pro-Russian telegram channels write that a period of “positional war” has begun in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Allegedly, there will be no serious “breakthroughs”, only “DRG-raids” (reconnaissance sabotage group raids) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Russian airfields. Russia “in response” will launch massive missile strikes on Ukraine. The Americans, on the other hand, will warm up the situation “from around the corner”. They say that in this situation, “ordinary” Ukrainians will lose the most as they will have to cope with the consequences of missile strikes.

Such messages are part of a disinformation campaign of Russian propaganda on aid from the US and other Western partners. Russian propaganda spreads the message of “retaliatory strikes” after any massive missile attack on Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to emotionally put pressure on the Ukrainians and convince them that “negotiating with Russia”, that is surrendering, is the only possible way to end the war. In fact, Russia is cynically attacking Ukraine's critical infrastructure, in particular the energy system.

Message The call for Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine is an attempt to divert attention from corruption in the EU

Such information is disseminated in the Russian propaganda media. Reports say that NATO and the EU are preparing another charade for domestic consumption, the protagonist of which is Russia. Like, considering the general corruption of the European Commission and the European Parliament, they urgently need a smokescreen to divert the attention of their citizens from this problem. It is in this way that propagandists call the EU demand put forward by Russia to withdraw from Ukraine as a distraction. Analysts of the EU vs Disinfo project drew attention to the case in the network. According to experts, this disinformation story concerns a future joint EU-NATO statement promising support for Ukraine and urging Russia to stop the invasion and withdraw from Ukraine. However, this statement has nothing to do with the corruption scandal that erupted in December 2022 after several members of the European Parliament were accused of taking bribes from at least one country.

Message US and NATO have been planning a war in Ukraine against Russia for years

This message is being spread by Georgian pro-Russian resources with reference to German ex-chancellor Angela Merkel. Like, the belligerent position of the West in relation to Russia has existed for decades - the United States and NATO have been planning a war against Russia for years. In addition to Merkel, the article also quotes pro-Russian “expert” Scott Ritter, who said that Berlin's policy provides for gaining time for Ukraine before the war with Russia.

In the article referred to by the propagandists, there is not a single quote from Merkel that confirms the thesis of planning a war. MythDetector fact-checkers note that the article contains only one Merkel quote, taken from an interview with Der Spiegel, where the former chancellor says that 2008 was not the right time for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO. The words of Scott Ritter echo the statements of Russian officials regarding the Minsk agreements.

Disclosure Awarding Zelenskyi the title of "Person of the Year": reaction of propagandists

TIME magazine recently announced its “Person of the Year” nomination. This year, the title was given to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and the spirit of Ukrainians.

At the same time, propagandists traditionally reacted with disparaging messages:

“Zelenskyi is a traitor to the Ukrainian people”;

“Genocide of the Ukrainian people is carried out by Zelenskyi”;

“Zelensky spent almost all his entire life under the protection of Russia, which fed him and protected him”;

“Ukraine will get rid of Zelenskyi on its own, because Ukrainians hate him”.

All these messages are aimed at discrediting the head of state and reducing his authority among the Ukrainian population. Allegedly, Zelenskyi is a traitor to the Ukrainian people and wanted to get this title.

Message In the context of the war in Ukraine, Russia is the victim and NATO is the aggressor

This assertion is spread by the Russian propaganda media. The reports say that the aggressor, NATO under the Anglo-American leadership, is to blame for the war in Ukraine, while Russia is allegedly only a victim in these conditions.

However, NATO is not an aggressor in Ukraine. On the contrary, the countries of the West did everything possible to prevent the war, and only reacted to the full Russian invasion. Some NATO members provide Ukraine with military assistance to help defend against a Russian attack, but they do not engage in direct hostilities. Ukraine receives weapons for the sole purpose of restoring its territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.

Western instructors teach Ukrainian soldiers how to use modern weapons, and NATO officials have frequent political contacts with their Ukrainian counterparts, but NATO troops do not fight at the front. This case was noticed by EU vs Disinfo analysts. This is not the first time Russia has blamed NATO, the US and other countries for the war in Ukraine. Like, they are the aggressors, and Russia was forced to enter the war.

However, in fact, it was Russia that started the war back in 2014, seized parts of two regions and occupied the Crimean peninsula, and in February 2022 launched a full-scale war against Ukraine. It is Russia that is the aggressor, destroying daily Ukrainian cities and villages, killing thousands of Ukrainian women and men, both military and civilian.

Fake Ukraine prepares fake attack to prevent Russian fertilizer exports

Such messages are spread by the Russian propaganda media. The same thesis is spread by pro-Russian users in social networks. Allegedly, Ukraine is preparing a fake attack organized by British special forces to prevent Moscow from exporting ammonia again through the Togliatti - Odesa pipeline. Allegedly, Kyiv wants to disrupt the UN initiative to resume the export of Russian fertilizers.

However, such reports are not confirmed by anything. In fact, the export of Russian fertilizers does not occur due to sanctions. According to EU vs Disinfo project analysts, the authors of such reports do not provide any evidence confirming the fact that Ukraine is preparing an attack. Analysts say that through such messages, Russia is trying to portray Ukraine and the UK as responsible for preventing the re-introduction of Russian fertilizers to world markets. As both the US and EU sanctions rule out fertilizer and food exports, propagandists resort to unsubstantiated accusations to mask what is largely the result of Russia's lack of willingness to compromise in UN-backed negotiations on the issue, and finally a consequence of the invasion of Russia in Ukraine.

This is not the first time Russia has accused Ukraine of provocations. So she transfers responsibility for her actions to Ukraine. For example, the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly been accused of wanting to verify the grain agreement and so on.

Message Ukraine "destroys" the greatest religious denomination

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this in the context of checks and searches taking place in the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate. Like, the authorities are proposing a special law to ban the Moscow Patriarchate church, but for the sake of “decency” this is not indicated in the title. Allegedly, they found a way to “squeeze out” the Kyiv-Pechersk, Pochayiv and Sviatohorsk Lavra. They will also detain clergy and parishioners to replenish the exchange fund.

In fact, the reason for searches was a video filmed in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where during the divine service on November 12 they glorified Russia. The Security service of Ukraine (SBU) opened criminal proceedings on the fact of "acquittal, recognition of lawfulness, denial of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, glorification of its participants". During the searches, law enforcement officers found pro-Russian literature, leaflets and other evidence. The investigation continues.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi indeed announced the preparation of a bill on the impossibility of operating religious organizations affiliated with Russia in Ukraine. However, this name indicates that Ukraine is protecting itself from the pro-Russian influence of any religious organization, and is not biased towards the Moscow Patriarchate Church.

У такий спосіб агітпроп використовує тактику підміни понять — приховує антиукраїнську риторику церкви Московського патріархату за звинуваченнями української влади у дискримінації за релігійною ознакою.

Fake In Germany, they proved that the US was preparing Kyiv for war with Russia

Such messages are spread by the Russian propaganda media. They refer to the German politician Oscar La Fontaine. They say that it is not Ukraine that is at war with Russia, but NATO, and the United States should withdraw their troops from Germany; also, that the war in Ukraine and the “coup d'état” in 2014 is also the work of the Americans. According to Russian propaganda media, Germany allegedly admitted that it was the United States that prepared Ukraine for war with Russia. However, this is not true.

Message NATO "forces" Russia to destroy Ukraine

Pro-Russian anonymous telegram channels write about this, manipulating the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Like, if Ukraine can join NATO after the end of the war, Russia has no choice but either to carry out "fighting forever" or destroy Ukraine as a state.

In fact, Stoltenberg stressed that everyone is paying the price for Russia's war against Ukraine. However, if the world pays with money, the price for Ukrainians is measured in blood. He also noted that supporting Ukraine is a long-term NATO security interest.

Message "There is nowhere to retreat - Moscow is behind us"

Russian propaganda began to actively speculate in the domestic information space with one of the key slogans of World War II. Like, they have already "surrendered" Russian "Kherson", and what's next? Moreover, under such slogans, an alleged "protest" of the inhabitants of St. Petersburg took place. This message entered the Ukrainian information space through telegram channels, but it should not be taken literally.

In Russian discourse, the expression "There is nowhere to retreat - Moscow is behind us" is generally used in the sense of "decisive battle", "fight to the death" or "last line of defense". However, it is clear that there is no physical danger for Moscow. Actually, Ukraine has never expressed its intention to attack Russian territories (except for the destruction of legitimate military targets) and has not encroached on the state sovereignty of Russia. The Ukrainian army protects and de-occupies exclusively Ukrainian territories, within the limits determined by Ukrainian and international legislation.

Message Ukraine missed its last chance for peace with Russia on February 10

Such a message is spread by anonymous telegram channels, which, according to the Security service in Ukraine (SSU), are controlled by Russian intelligence. Reports say that Ukraine could have prevented a war with Russia or rather avoided it. However, according to the authors of the messages, Ukraine, due to the incompetence of the leadership, missed its chance on February 10. According to the authors of the telegram channels, the last chance for peace was on that day, during the visit of the head of the office of President Andrii Yermak to Berlin. According to propagandists, in order for there to be peace, Ukraine should have simply started to implement the Minsk agreements signed in 2014. The authors of the messages also claim that the employees of the President's Office simply lied to people telling them that everything was fine, that there was no need to panic and in such a way they allowed the war. In fact, the Minsk agreements were systematically violated not by Ukraine, but by Russia, which started the war and occupied part of Ukraine in the spring of 2014. That is, experience proves that peace agreements with Russia do not work. However, Russian propagandists need such messages in order to shift the responsibility for the war from themselves to Ukraine. They say that the attack allegedly occurred due to the fact that Ukraine did not work well, and not because Russia is the aggressor. 

Message Shelling of Ukraine's energy system will stop if Kyiv complies with Russia's conditions

Such a message today, November 24, when a significant part of Ukraine was left without electricity and water supply due to Russian rocket explosions, is being spread by pro-Kremlin propaganda media and anonymous telegram channels.

In the messages, they refer to the secretary of the Russian President Dmytro Pieskov, who openly stated that the leadership of Ukraine has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, has every opportunity to resolve the situation, comply with Russia's demands and thus stop all possible suffering of civilians.

Through such messages, Russia is blackmailing Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, inclining them to negotiate and agree to all the conditions of the aggressor. Also in this way, Russia is trying to shift the responsibility for its actions and crimes to the Ukrainian authorities. In particular, the Kremlin says that the lack of electricity and heat in many regions of Ukraine is the consequences of the actions of the Kyiv authorities, who refuse to negotiate. However, the lack of power supply is a consequence of enemy rocket attacks. And the fact that Ukraine agrees to negotiations may not mean that Russia will stop shelling Ukrainian energy facilities.

After all, it was Russia that started the war in Ukraine, and it was Russia that repeatedly violated agreements and so-called peace agreements. Such messages help Russia live up to its reputation and discredit the Ukrainian authorities, who allegedly do not care about the peaceful citizens of their country.

Message The desire for peace and an end to the bloodshed and the desire to further stuff Ukraine with weapons are mutually exclusive actions

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. They say that the supply of weapons to Ukraine does not bring negotiations closer.

In fact, the message that the West is only continuing the war by providing weapons to Ukraine is one of the most powerful since the beginning of the war. However, propagandists are now manipulating it to force Ukraine into negotiations. The longer Ukraine opposes Russia, the more Russia tries to lead the situation to negotiations on its own terms. However, Ukraine's position on the negotiations remains unchanged - for this, Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine. The West provides Ukraine with weapons solely to protect Ukrainian territory. Russia, on the other hand, is destroying Ukrainian critical infrastructure, shelling the civilian population, and wants the surrender of Ukraine, not peace.

Fake US no longer believes in Ukraine's military victory over Russia

Allegedly, this was stated at a briefing by the Chairman of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milley, Russian websites reported. They say that the American military department calls the chances of success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield "low".

General Milli didn't actually say that. He only suggested that the likelihood that Ukraine will liberate all of its territory exclusively by military means in the next few weeks is negligible. At the same time, Milley stressed that the likelihood of a Russian victory over Ukraine is "close to zero" because Russia has not achieved its strategic goals in Ukraine, and now cannot achieve its operational and tactical goals as well.