Message Invincibility points are ineffective and dangerous

Immediately after the appearance of invincibility points, which were introduced for Ukrainians suffering from the lack of light and heat due to Russian shelling, Russia launched a disinformation campaign against them. At first, Russian propagandists and anonymous telegram channels wrote that the points were not effective at all, and even “provoked” the enemy to strike, because they were unprotected and they had a lot of people. Then - that three people have already died at the invincibility point in Kharkov - although this is a refuted fake. Now, telegram channels supervised by Russian military intelligence are spreading unconfirmed information that men are issued a draft notice at points of invincibility.

Message Ukrainian officials "ask" Russia to deliver a new blow to the Ukrainian energy system

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Like, in recent days, Ukrainian officials and opinion leaders have been so actively discussing possible missile strikes and “frightening” Ukrainians with their consequences that “there can be only two explanations for this.” Either they are trying to “repel” the desire of the Russians to strike, or, which is supposedly “most likely”, they are deliberately “provoking and asking for it”. Allegedly, this is how the Ukrainian authorities plan to hide their own mistakes and shift the blame to the Russians.

Russian missile strikes actually have worse consequences every time, because Russia deliberately hits the Ukrainian energy system with massive rocket attacks. In particular, those objects, the repair of which is long-term and requires significant financial costs. Naturally, officials and experts are trying to explain the consequences of the strikes already inflicted and analyze possible options for the further development of the situation. Understanding the real realities is necessary in order to prevent unnecessary panic and irrational actions of Ukrainians.

Fake In Ukrainian de-energized cities, they “loot and kill on the streets”

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels write that Ukraine, without electricity, allegedly “traveled in the Middle Ages” or “into the Stone Age.” It seems to be an "apocalypse in the dark." Like, Ukrainians organize annihilation in supermarkets and even kidnap foreigners for ransom. It is not true.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that the crime situation did not worsen due to the power outage. Also, the presence of the National Police, automobile and foot patrols, was tripled on the streets. Earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that in the first half of 2022, the crime rate in Ukraine decreased by 25% compared to the previous year.

Message The European Parliament recognition of Russia as a sponsor of terrorism "has no consequences"

Russian media say that the resolution supposedly adopted on November 23 by the European Parliament recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism “has no consequences” for Russia. Also, propagandists accuse the European Parliament of "political bias". Like, the UN resolution "contributes to inciting conflict situations and humanitarian crises around the world," and is also designed to "legalize the robbery of Russia." The propaganda calls the European Parliament a rudiment that does not decide anything, but only incites enmity between countries. This is manipulation.

Now the EU really does not have a legal basis to introduce serious restrictive measures against a country recognized as a sponsor of terrorism. However, the essence of the resolution of the European Parliament is to create such an international legal framework. The adopted document is advisory in nature for implementation.

Message Russia withdrew from Kherson because Ukraine wanted to blow up the Kakhovka dam

This is the message Russian propaganda is spreading to Western audiences. Allegedly, Russian troops retreated from Kherson due to fears that Ukrainian forces would blow up a dam at the nearby Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. The flood could have caused the death of many military and civilians.

The fact-checkers EU vs Disinfo drew attention to the spread of the message. In fact, Ukrainian military intelligence reported on October 21 that the Russian army had placed two military vehicles loaded with explosives on the road crossing the dam. The dam of the Kakhovska HPP is 30 meters high and holds back 18 million cubic meters of water. Undermining the dam could lead to huge flooding of Kherson and smaller settlements around. It would also have a significant impact on the operation of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, since this facility is inextricably linked with it. After the retreat of the Russian army from Kherson on November 11, the US satellite company Maxar reported that significant new damage to the dam in Nova Kakhovka in southern Ukraine was visible.

Message There was no Holodomor but an "all-Union" famine

Russian propaganda systematically denies Russia's culpability in the tragedy of 1932-1933. Moreover, in April 2008, Russia protested against the international recognition of the Holodomor as a crime against Ukrainians.

In order to shift the blame for this crime, the Russians systematically spread fake stories that the Holodomor was the result of “excesses at positions” or the result of a drought, and not a systemic policy of Russia. Like, local officials did not report to the leaders about the situation. They also argued that the Holodomor was a fiction of Western intelligence services to discredit the USSR. The Center for Counteracting Disinformation published key fakes of Russian propaganda on the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933. More about the Holodomor of 1932 - 1933 and the Russian-Ukrainian war is here.

Message No one needs “invincibility points”: they were opened for the sake of PR and they provoke the enemy into missile strikes

This message is spread by anonymous pro-Russian telegram channels. In particular, by those that, according to the Security service in Ukraine (SSU), are controlled by Russian intelligence. The reports say that the “Points of Invincibility”, in which Ukrainians can stay warm in the conditions of emergency power and heat outages and charge electrical appliances if necessary, is an absurd invention of the Office of the President. Reports state that these points are not protected by anything at the time of missile strikes. Like, they even provoke the enemy to launch a missile attack, because they become a place of mass congestion of people. The authors of such messages even suggest that if an enemy missile hits one of the points, this will be a good informational occasion. In fact, the “Points of Invincibility” are needed by people who, due to rocket attacks on infrastructure, were left without electricity, water supply and communications. Such points were deployed in most cities of Ukraine, so that residents in the conditions of long blackouts could warm up at these locations, recharge gadgets or warm up food or drink tea.

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 Investigation team issues flawed verdict on MH17 crash as no Russian experts involved in such investigation

This statement is spread online by Russian propaganda media. They say that the investigation of the MH17 crash was conducted according to one possible scenario that was beneficial to the Ukrainian side.

In the reports, the propagandists add that this happened due to the fact that representatives of the Ukrainian side were included in the joint investigation team, while Russian forensic experts and other specialists were excluded. That is why in Russia they are convinced that the verdict has many shortcomings, gaps and hidden facts. In fact, according to the EU vs Disinfo project analysts, the verdict of the Hague court, published on November 17, 2022, was based on strong evidence, and alternative scenarios were evaluated and excluded based on the evidence.

The Court in its decision noted that it is certain that MH17 was hit by a “Buk” missile fired from a farm field near Pervomaisk in Ukraine. This field was located on Russian-controlled territory. “This is clear from photographs of a smoke trail in the sky, statements by a protected witness, satellite images, intercepted telephone conversations and data on broadcast, photographs and video of delivery and dispatch of the “Buk”. Investigations in the Netherlands and abroad found no evidence of falsification. Alternative scenarios, such as that the “Buk” missile was fired from another location, are excluded based on the evidence provided”, the court said in its verdict.

Also, EU High Representative Josep Borrell called the verdict “an important first step towards truth and accountability”. He also stressed that "the EU once again calls on Russia to recognize its responsibility for this tragedy". However, Russia, spreading the theses that the investigation team worked poorly, seeks to cast doubt on the results of the investigation and, in the end, once again justify itself.

Message Ukraine is preparing a "new Bucha" in Kherson

After the de-occupation of the right bank of Kherson, Russian media are spreading reports about “provocations” that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are allegedly preparing in the territories liberated from the invaders. In particular, the pro-Kremlin media claim that the Ukrainian government “forbade visiting Kherson” allegedly because “a new provocation like Bucha is being prepared there”.

According to StopFake, the “new Bucha” is a Russian propaganda message that emerged after Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine. With such messages, the Russian media react to every fact of the crimes of Russian soldiers against civilians, which can be considered as war crimes.

Russian media made the "news" that Zelenskyi "refused to let people into Kherson" by manipulating the President's words about the need to clear mines and check objects before allowing civilians into the city. According to propagandists, this allegedly indicates the "preparation" of some "provocations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".

Proceedings have begun in the Kherson region. As of November 13th, investigators have documented more than 400 Russian war crimes, and continue to uncover the bodies of those killed - both civilian and military. First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin said that torture dungeons were found in the liberated part of the Kherson region, in which the invaders probably abused and tortured the Ukrainians.

Message The Russian army works "filigree", there are hits, but no casualties

This was reported by pro-Russian telegram channels during the air raid due to a massive missile attack on critical infrastructure on the 15th of November. Like, even the Ukrainian authorities write that "there is no information about the casualties".

Russian propaganda is once again manipulating the facts. The Ukrainian authorities urge not to disseminate the results of rocket attacks, especially while the air raid continues. At that time, it was really not known about the dead or injured, when the rescuers were just starting their work. According to the latest data, it is known that one person was killed and six were injured due to rocket attacks. However, this is preliminary information, there may be more victims. A hit on residential buildings was also recorded, and critical infrastructure facilities were damaged.

Message To disable the entire energy system of Ukraine, 15 missiles are needed

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this after massive rocket attacks on November 15, 2022. They say that more than 90 missiles were fired in Ukraine, of which 70 were shot down. In total, they hit 15 energy infrastructure facilities.

In fact, Russian propaganda uses several manipulations at once. In order to achieve mass defeats, Russia has to produce several times more missiles. Therefore, all missiles fired are “counted”, and not just those that hit the target. Indeed, some regions, but not all of Ukraine, remained without electricity, water and heat supply.

Deliberate targeted attack on the civilian population or individual civilians who do not participate in hostilities and deliberate attack on civilian objects are war crimes. By spreading such messages, Russian propaganda indirectly confirms that the Russian army is deliberately committing war crimes and deliberately destroying critical infrastructure.

Message Rocket strikes on Ukraine are “revenge” for Kherson

This is written on social networks during an air raid due to the threat of missile strikes throughout Ukraine. They say that Volodymyr Zelenskyi did not need to go to the de-occupied Kherson and anger the enemy. So now we have a "retribution".

Russian propaganda is once again positioning rocket attacks on Ukraine's civilian and energy infrastructure as “revenge”. In October propagandists used similar excuses. Allegedly, the shelling was due to a drone attack in the Sevastopol bay and after an explosion on the Crimean bridge.

The fact-checkers of The Insider examined the specifics of aiming Russian missiles at civilian infrastructure and proved that the preparation of such strikes takes several weeks. So, as in October, today's attack could not be retaliatory strikes.

Message Mass shelling on October 31 is a "retribution" for the explosions in Sevastopol

Russian media write about this with reference to Volodymyr Putin. At a press conference, the Russian president said that the massive strikes against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure on the morning of October 31 are "partially" Russia's response, and allegedly "this is not all they can do". Also, according to Putin, Ukraine allegedly created a danger to civilian ships by its actions, using the "grain corridor" for the operation.

UN Deputy Secretary General Martin Griffiths during the UN Security Council on Monday, October 31, said that on the night of October 29, when there was supposedly an attack on Russian warships, there was not a single ship in the “grain corridor”, and not a single ship reported about the weekend incident, the UN spokesman stressed that the corridor as such is “just lines on a map” and when no vessels involved in grain exports are moving along it, it has no special status and is not a “shelter” or “shield” for any military actions. Advisor to the head of the President's Office Mykhailo Podoliak said that Ukraine had nothing to do with the explosions in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol and did not use any underwater or surface drones, except for those used on the front line.

The message that Russia is attacking critical infrastructure “in response” began to be promoted after massive shelling on October 10th. Then it was allegedly a revenge for the attack on the Crimean bridge, the responsibility for which Ukraine did not recognize.

Fake Three missiles were shot down over Volyn

Such information is spreading on social networks. The rockets allegedly flew from Belarus. This information was denied by the head of the Volyn regional military administration, Yuriy Pogulayko.

Today, October 31, everything was calm in the region during the morning air alert. With such reports, Russian propagandists are trying to frighten the population.

Because today the Russians launched missile strikes almost all over Ukraine, it is essential not to panic, remain calm, and be in a shelter in case of an alarm.

Fake "Azov" in Kupyansk killed and buried people who cooperated with Russian authorities in mass graves

Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels distributed a fragment of the video with this caption. In fact, Russian propagandists dispersed their crimes online. Ex-commander of the "Azov" regiment Maksym Zhorin published in a telegram a video from the mass grave, which he took from the phone of the Russian occupier.

"Look carefully at the executioners. It's clear to everyone that the Russian military carried out this execution of ordinary civilians in the occupied city. The full video is now with the investigation. Russian soldiers will be identified. There will be payback!" he wrote. Russian propagandists took from Zhorin's telegram those fragments of the video. It doesn't show who is killing people, but Russian propaganda spread it, as allegedly "Azovians" killed people in Kupyansk.

Shifting responsibility for one's war crimes is a typical tactic of Russian propaganda. After mass graves with hundreds of tortured people were discovered in Bucha, Izyum, and Lyman, liberated from the Russians, propagandists launch fakes as if it isn't their fault every time.

The Russians have recently used all sorts of methods to "prove" that the Ukrainian army during the counterattack is "clearing" areas of "civilians who lived under occupation." Thus, they also want to cause distrust in the Ukrainian military, particularly the "Azovs," who have long turned into neo-Nazi horror films in Russian fakes. They want to sow fear among people before the liberation of the occupied territory.

Message Ukraine will take revenge for the drone attack in Sevastopol Bay

After the Russian occupiers announced an attack by drones on their ships in Crimea on October 29, messages on this topic appeared in anonymous propaganda channels.

NATO forces were allegedly engaged in a drone attack in Sevastopol Bay. It was allegedly their military training under cover of Ukrainian strikes. Once again, propagandists repeat the message that Ukraine has become a testing ground for Western and American weapons.

Allegedly, revenge is expected for this, and the Ukrainians will receive a response in the form of strikes on the energy system. Whenever the occupiers report an attack on the occupied sites, they resort to intimidation tactics against the civilian population. Propagandists spread similar messages on October 8 after the attack on the Crimean bridge.

The window of opportunity has allegedly opened for Russia to start a "full-scale war." However, Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022.

The Russians terrorize millions of Ukrainians daily, destroy entire cities and villages, and attack the energy system. In this way, they want to sow panic among Ukrainians to start protests and force the Ukrainian authorities to negotiate with Russia, which means meeting the Kremlin's requirements and capitulating.

The shelling of the power system and residential buildings only angers Ukrainians more, and more Ukrainians say there can be no negotiations with a terrorist country.

Fake The Holodomor isn't a genocide of the Ukrainian people

This message is again spread by the Russian Kremlin media, denying the tragedy that Ukrainians experienced in 1932-33. This time, the "news" began to be promoted against the message that the Russian occupiers dismantled a monument to the victims of the Holodomor in occupied Mariupol. It was dismantled because, according to "historical sources," famine in the regions of the South of Russia and then the Soviet Union was allegedly a recurring phenomenon. Therefore, due to the famine in 1932-33, the tremendous losses were not in Ukraine but other regions of the Ukrainian SSR. As analysts of the Myth Detector project write, the propagandists also claimed that the "authorities" of the city are not fighting the historical monument but are removing "a symbol of misinformation created at the state level." In fact, misinformation about the Holodomor has been circulating for decades. Natural phenomena didn't cause the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. The tragedy was the result of Joseph Stalin's purposeful policy. Falsifying the number of victims during the famine and connecting the famine with natural phenomena were initially part of the propaganda of the Soviet Union. Russian propaganda has now adopted this method, which seeks to hide the crimes of the Stalin regime and deny the genocide.

Message The victims of the rocket attacks on Kyiv on October 10 "actually" are hired, actors

Such a message is spread, in particular, in the Belgian segment of social networks. Pro-Russian users share photos and videos of a lightly injured woman who took a selfie while ambulance workers treated her. If you were the victim of a missile strike, you don't seem to care about selfies or videos. So, according to propagandists, this behavior of people shows that they are actors and not really victims.

Belgian fact-checkers drew attention to the spread of the message. They write that the photos and video fragments shared on social networks are, in fact, taken out of context in such a way as to leave room for ambiguous conclusions.

Propagandists used the behavior of one of the least traumatized victims to promote their message while ignoring more serious human injuries and deaths. Other victims of the Russian attack can be seen in the photo's background, including people injured by glass fragments from the office center next to which the rocket landed. Numerous photographs and videos taken by Ukrainian and foreign journalists in Kyiv on October 10 confirm that the photos show seriously injured people, not actors. The photos were also published on the front pages of foreign publications, which Russian propaganda accused of posting fake images.

Message The Russian military cares more about Ukrainian civilians than the Ukrainian army

Such information is distributed on social networks; in particular, fake accounts advertise this information on Facebook.

The Russian military is allegedly evacuating civilians from Kherson to protect people from shelling and possibly undermining the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant. It shows that they treat civilians more carefully than the Ukrainian military. The Ukrainian army allegedly prefers to take cover as civilians during hostilities. Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, Russian propagandists have been promoting the message that the Ukrainian military is using civilians as "human shields."

Propagandists show their careful attitude of the Russians towards the Ukrainians as a forced evacuation to Russia without the right to choose, the seizure of the homes of the people who evacuated, the abduction of children, and the intimidation that during the de-occupation all locals will be shot. Those civilians who disagree with Russian propaganda are kidnapped from their homes, tortured, and buried in mass graves.

"Human shield" is a standard element of the tactics of the Russian army: it was the case in Chechnya, Georgia, and Syria. It is happening now in Ukraine as well. The Russians practice creating a "human shield," organizing offline training in schools, creating huge queues of cars at roadblocks, and placing military equipment and personnel near residential buildings. Therefore, Russian soldiers are worse than terrorists who take hostages.

Manipulation The UN reported on Ukraine's war crimes, and the Russian media spread this information

The report of the commission of the UN Human Rights Council, dedicated to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, mentions numerous violations of international law by Ukraine.

The Stop Fake fact-checkers noted that the report has 17 pages describing Russian crimes against Ukrainians. Among dozens of facts of torture, executions, and violence by the Russian occupiers against civilians in Ukraine, the document records two cases of Ukraine's mistreatment of Russian soldiers. The pro-Kremlin media ignored the main conclusion of international experts, who put the responsibility for numerous tortures, violence, and murders in Ukraine on the Russian armed forces.

Propagandists regularly resort to manipulations of this kind, where they single out the Ukrainian army's minor violations during the war, thus glossing over hundreds of terrible crimes and atrocities against the civilian population of the Russian military. They try to forget the war crimes committed by Russian soldiers or, in the last resort, assign them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Message Kyiv mocks the graves of the dead in Lyman by exhuming them

Russian propaganda media spread such messages. Propagandists claim that Kyiv is committing an "insult" to Ukrainians who died due to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This information is spread to whiten the reputation of the Russian occupiers. Russian propagandists call the exhumation of the bodies of people who died under occupation and buried in mass graves "the height of cynicism."

"Kyiv, to satisfy its political ambitions, mocks the graves of the dead civilians of Lyman... Kyiv not only brutally killed all these people but also tried to use them for its criminal purposes after their death," claim the propagandists.

Stopfake fact-checkers drew attention to the message. According to fact-checkers, the exhumation of bodies from spontaneous burials discovered in the de-occupied Lyman is necessary to establish the identity of the dead and the cause of their death. Most of those killed as a result of the actions of the Russian invaders are civilians.

Earlier, the Russian occupiers spread the same message about the mockery of bodies after the liberation of Izyum, where Ukraine also had to exhume the bodies.

Fake Western media published photos of fake victims of rocket attacks in Kyiv

The Russian propaganda media spread this thesis to neutralize the consequences of the Russian missile strikes, which the aggressor country inflicted on Kyiv on October 10. Propagandists claim that the photos of the aftermath of the shelling are fake and that people, who are allegedly injured, are actors. However, it is not true.

Fact-checkers from StopFake drew attention to the fake. The testimonies of photographers and journalists of international publications who worked during the tragedy and the stories of the injured people refute yet another Russian misinformation.

According to fact-checkers, international media journalists reported directly from the scene of the events. The gruesome footage from Kyiv hit the world media and shocked the public, but pro-Kremlin propagandists cynically claimed that the photos were fake. In fact, on October 10, the Russian army launched 84 cruise missiles and 24 unmanned aircraft.

The air defense of Ukraine managed to shoot down 43 rockets and 13 UAVs. As a result of the shelling, 19 people died, and 105 were injured of various severity. It isn`t the first time Russian propaganda has accused Ukraine of lying. Propagandists used similar rhetoric after the tragedy in Bucha or rocket attacks from Vinnytsia. In this way, they are trying to settle the guilt of Russia. It seems that Russia only launches missiles at military targets, doesn`t destroy civilian infrastructure, and doesn`t kill people.

Fake After the missile attack on Ukraine, people began to leave the country en masse

Russian propagandist media reported it. The flow of refugees to Europe allegedly increased during October 10-11. Such information is not true.

As the spokesman of the State Border Service of Ukraine, Andriy Demchenko, reported, by October 10, the total flow of passengers across the state border amounted to 90,000 people per day in both directions. "As for October 10 and 11, the passenger flow across the state border decreased to 75,000 people per day in both directions. Besides, there was no advantage of exit over entry," he noted.

Also, these days, journalists who worked at international checkpoints in Moldova and Romania didn`t record "neither queues nor excitement."

Message The Ukrainian military purposefully destroyed the civilian population during the liberation of populated areas

Since the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the city of Lyman in the Donetsk region, anonymous telegram channels controlled by the FSB have been spreading such information. During the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military allegedly received an order to destroy all the people who lived under the occupation. They mainly actively spread the message that it is as if the military is under orders to throw grenades into basements and shelters where people are hiding.