Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation The IAEA is allegedly against imposing sanctions on Rosatom

Propagandists are disseminating information in the media that representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) oppose the imposition of sanctions against the Russian state corporation Rosatom. Like, this was stated by Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA. However, this is manipulation.

StopFake specialists drew attention to it. They pointed out that in fact the IAEA cannot impose sanctions and has no influence at all in this matter. Grossi said that he sees the possibility of negative consequences from the introduction of sanctions against Rosatom in terms of nuclear safety.

Rosatom combines assets in the energy, construction and engineering sectors. The corporation leads the world in terms of the largest portfolio of orders for the construction of nuclear power plants and provides services of this type in many countries. For example, Rosatom is building power units in Turkey, India, and Hungary. That is why, according to Grossi, although countries may politically support Ukraine, they will not support the imposition of sanctions against Rosatom, since they need the services of the corporation.

It is beneficial for Russian propagandists to spread fake information about the position of the IAEA, since this is an element of a campaign to depreciate the impact of sanctions on Russia. Within its framework, the Russians are trying to highlight the sanctions as not beneficial to anyone, which is why supposedly more and more Western politicians and representatives of international organizations refuse to support their introduction.

Manipulation The invasion of bedbugs in France as a consequence of anti-Russian sanctions

Residents of Paris and visitors to the city have noticed bedbugs in public places. Despite bedbug outbreaks occurring regularly in late summer in France, Parisians were feeling concerned. In this regard, seven schools were even closed in France. Against this background, pro-Russian anonymous Telegram channels and some social network users began to spread information that the French newspaper La Montagne allegedly blames Russia for the “invasion of bedbugs” in Paris. They say that anti-Russian sanctions are to blame for everything, and because of them France was unable to purchase the necessary insecticides from Russia.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project analyzed this case and came to the conclusion that the French publication did not publish news that sanctions against Russia are the reason for the appearance of bedbugs in Paris. As Politico journalists report, bedbugs in France have ceased to be a serious household problem since the 1950s. Although they have appeared again in the last 30 years, this certainly has no connection with anti-Russian sanctions. Adaptation of insects to insecticides, climate change and the fact that people now travel more in crowded transport are the main reasons for the mass appearance of bedbugs.

Russian propaganda systematically spreads disinformation about the “uselessness” and “insignificance” of Western countries’ sanctions against Russia. They appeal to the fact that Russian resources and goods are vital to the world. Previously, we analyzed Russian manipulation of French winemakers, who were allegedly subjected to a crisis due to “anti-Russian sanctions”.

Manipulation French winemakers faced a crisis due to “anti-Russian sanctions”

This thesis was spread by propaganda media. Reports say that wines and vineyards are being destroyed in France precisely because of the sanctions imposed by the French government on Russia. The authors add that Moscow was the largest importer of wines, but after the “sanctions war” the French “played it out” and are experiencing a crisis in the wine industry. The publications also try to point out that imposing sanctions on Russia is supposedly ineffective, and as a result, the European countries themselves are supposedly suffering. After all, they are experiencing the impact of the “lack of Russian sales market” themselves. However, this is manipulation.

The fact-checkers of the StopFake project were able to process the case, explaining that the French wine industry is indeed not in the best conditions, if not in crisis. For example, in August 2023, the French government allocated 200 million euros to recycle excess wine production. This initiative from the French Parliament is caused by excessive production and, as a consequence, a decrease in its demand. Actions by the French authorities should curb price fluctuations and support producers who are losing their income. That is, the problems in the wine industry are in no way caused by anti-Russian sanctions or other prohibitions against Moscow. The authors of the manipulative message simply used the news about the crisis situation with wine and presented it as a consequence of the “struggle” with Russia.

In general, as experts say, the level of red consumption has fallen throughout the country: primarily due to the fact that the French began to prefer craft beer. Even in one of the materials of the French daily newspaper Le Figaro they write that wine has given way to beer in 2023 and, according to recent surveys, 56% of the French choose an intoxicating drink. Also, an analytical study by the European Commission for June 2023 shows a decline in wine consumption in other EU countries: by 7% in Italy, by 10% in Spain, and by 15% in France.

As for the “large Russian sales market”, the main consumer of red wine and importer has always been China, not Russia. In particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cessation of Chinese wine supplies even then had a negative impact on the entire wine-growing region of the country. And now wine producers cannot reach pandemic level exports.

Russia is trying to distort the impression that sanctions supposedly do not affect it, while other countries that are economically stable and ready to impose restrictions on Moscow are suffering from the “reverse effect”. But, let’s say, they suffer from the lack of the Russian market. The Kremlin systematically cultivates rhetoric about the so-called “big Russian market” in order to hint that the EU countries will not survive at all if they do not sell their goods to Russia. If they resist, they will face the same fate as the French wine industry. However, according to monitoring by the Kyiv School of Economics, as of July 2023, 254 companies (7.6% of companies that received income in Russia in 2022) have completely ceased their activities in Russia. And 1,191 (35.9% of the total) foreign businesses also folded. Companies will one day abandon Russia, not seeing this as a risk for themselves.

By the way, according to the European Council, 2022 was a bad year for the Russian economy. According to experts, in 2022 Russia's gross domestic product fell by at least 2.2% under the best scenario and to 3.9% under the worst-case scenario. The Russian economy will continue to contract in 2023. GDP is expected to contract by 5.6% or 3.3%.

Manipulation UK lifts sanctions on ex-director of Russia Today

Russian media and social media users spreading pro-Russian rhetoric claim that the UK has allegedly lifted sanctions against Russia Today ex-director Anton Krasovskyi. In particular, at one time he was marked by calls to kill Ukrainian children. However, information about his exclusion from the sanctions list is a manipulation.

Specialists in the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that on July 21, 2023, a document actually appeared on the official website of the British government, according to which Anton Krasovskyi was excluded from the sanctions list. However, an explanation of this decision can be found in the same document: Krasovskyi was excluded from the list, since he was accidentally entered there twice. The British simply removed the duplication. Moreover, the clarification also states that Krasovskyi remains on this sanctions list, and his assets will continue to be frozen.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to give the false impression that the West is ready to make peace with Russia and is gradually lifting sanctions restrictions on the main Russian criminals, but it is not true.

Message Europe steals Russian property in favor of Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the world is illegally sanctioning Russia by taking Russian assets as its own. Like, planes, money, real estate - it's all been confiscated illegally. As an example, the authors cite the case when Canada confiscated an An-124 cargo plane and subsequently handed it over to Ukraine. The authors called it “thefts” and “world Nazism”.

The case drew the attention of EU vs Disinfo fact-checkers, who explained that in the face of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many of its EU allies or international partners, including Canada, have imposed severe international sanctions on Russia's aviation sector. Thus, the imposed sanctions prohibited aircraft registered in Russia from accessing European, American, Canadian airspace.

The Russian An-124 cargo plane was detained at Toronto airport on February 27, 2022, because it belongs to two Russian companies that fell under Western sanctions. Therefore, the thesis that the seizure of the An-124 cargo plane is illegal is absolutely unfounded. This action is fully consistent with Canadian and international law, given the sanctions imposed.

Sanctions are legal restrictions imposed under international and European law in response to violations of international law. This is where Russia's actions fall - a full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine, the killing of Ukrainian civilians, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, etc. The propagandists are simply trying to whitewash themselves and present themselves as victims suffering from crushing “illegal” sanctions. However, sanctions are governed by international law and have nothing to do with the arbitrariness of European states.

Manipulation Sanctions against Russia undermined confidence in the US dollar worldwide

This thesis is spread by pro-Russian telegram channels, referring to the American edition of the Washington Times. According to them, the Washington Times seems to be writing that the application of sanctions against Russia has led to a decrease in confidence in the dollar around the world, and therefore more and more countries are beginning to consider alternatives to the US currency as a reserve currency. The propagandists also claim that the world is in revolt against US financial imperialism. This is manipulation.

Specialists of the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council drew attention to the case. They highlighted several aspects of the Washington Times article that pro-Russian propagandists misrepresented. The text of the original says that China, Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Argentina and South Africa are looking for a new reserve currency, and not the whole world. The article also says that the sanctions caused panic only among the Russian financial community, that is, among countries that have a well-founded fear of falling under sanctions. In addition, the author of the Washington Times article uses the phrase “America's financial imperialism” in quotation marks.

By spreading this manipulation, propagandists are trying to discredit the US and establish the opinion that sanctions against Russia should be lifted. Detector Media has already reported on similar disinformation stories regarding sanctions against Russia. For example, about the destruction of the Western economy or the destruction of Europe's “economic sovereignty” as a result of anti-Russian sanctions.

Disclosure How Telegram helps Russians bypass sanctions for money transfers in Central and Eastern Europe

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine has placed a number of Russian financial institutions under international sanctions, making it more difficult to receive or send funds from Russia. This issue is especially relevant for Russians living in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. However, Telegram helps them bypass financial restrictions by providing a platform for money transfers from and to Russia without the participation of banks under sanctions.

Analysts of the site investigaci.cz found out how this scheme works in the Czech Republic. According to their findings, there are anonymous channels on Telegram, where people who have crypto wallets offer their services as live intermediaries and at the same time exchangers. After an agreement with the sender and a transaction through a crypto wallet, a special person receives the funds, exchanges them for the desired currency and personally gives this money to the recipient only after he or she says a special password. The transfer fee is low as intermediaries earn funds on the scheme due to the special exchange rate. According to Transparency International, about $400,000 was withdrawn this way.

All participants in this scheme choose Telegram because of its anonymity and the lack of strict monitoring of financial transactions. This scheme is not the only one on Telegram that helps Russians bypass sanctions. For example, in the messenger one can find a bot that helps Russians buy a subscription to Spotify, which stopped working in Russia in response to the outbreak of a full-scale war against Ukraine.

Message The Western economy is being “destroyed” as a result of anti-Russian sanctions

This thesis was circulated in social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that the EU is losing in the confrontation with Russia. “The growth of inflation and unemployment, the dysfunctional banking system - this is the result of Brussels’ policy in the EU”. Like, the Russian economy “goes into the abyss”.

The experts of the EU vs Disinfo project worked on the case and found that the thesis about the terrible economic situation in Western countries is untrue. According to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2022 has been a bad year for the Russian economy. According to experts, in 2022 Russia's gross domestic product fell by at least 2.2% in the best-case scenario and by 3.9% in the worst-case scenario. The Russian economy will shrink in 2023 as well. GDP is expected to contract by 5.6% or 3.3% according to the organizations.

In addition, the Yale University study examined in detail the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, concluding that sanctions are catastrophically destroying the Russian economy.

According to the latest figures from the European Commission, the EU economy is “resilient and ready to face the challenges, in particular those caused by Russia's war against Ukraine”.

Message Putin's arrest warrant issued as sanctions against Russia do not work

Such reports appeared in the Russian propaganda media. Their authors argue that the sanctions against Russia do not seem to be working and everything indicates that the sanctions have reached their peak or bottom. Like, the West is disappointed with the ineffectiveness of the sanctions, which is why the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Volodymyr Putin.

Analysts of the EU vs Disinfo project drew attention to the case in the network. Analysts are convinced that messages that do not work are part of Russia's strategy to avoid responsibility for its own war crimes. Messages that Western sanctions do not work appeared in the information space last spring. Then the propagandists assured the audience that sanctions harm countries that impose them more than Russia itself. Like, because of these sanctions, both Ukraine and the EU countries will freeze in winter. But the Russians will be fine.

Western experts are indeed examining the effectiveness of sanctions. However, the International Criminal Court's warrant for Volodymyr Putin's arrest is not an escalation of Western pressure on Russia because sanctions don't seem to be working. An arrest warrant was issued in the case of the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. That is, the European Union expressed support for the investigations of the ICC prosecutor.

Message Anti-Russian sanctions destroy the “economic sovereignty” of Europe

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Europe's “economic sovereignty” has been destroyed due to the imposition of sanctions on Russia. Like, the “collective West” wanted the collapse of Russia, which means “exactly the opposite”: Europe cannot exist without Russian energy resources, and will soon fall apart.

Analysts of the EU vs Disinfo project investigated this case and found that the thesis about a stable Russian economy is not true. According to the World Bank, the International monetary fund and the Organization for economic cooperation and development, 2022 has been a bad year for the Russian economy. According to experts, in 2022, Russia's gross domestic product fell by at least 2.2% in the best scenario and to 3.9% in the worst one. The Russian economy will shrink in 2023 as well. GDP is expected to contract by 5.6% or 3.3% according to the organizations. Analysts emphasize that the sanctions really work and the data show this.

Analysts also explained that the European Union has taken specific steps to phase out Russian energy resources and replace them further. Therefore, the “collapse of the European Union” is another conspiracy thesis of Russian propaganda.

Manipulation The West is “threatening and blackmailing” forcing to join the sanctions against Russia, the President of Serbia claimed

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, in telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić allegedly claimed that Western countries were threatening him and trying to “sway him to the right side”, reports say. The authors of the reports refer to an interview by Aleksandar Vučić with the Serbian television company RTS. This is manipulation.

Analysts of The Insider project investigated this case and found that the authors of the messages distorted the context of the interview. In the original version, Aleksandar Vučić said that both Russia and representatives of Western countries are trying to drag the Serbian president “to their side”. The West, for example, calls for supporting sanctions against Russia, because the security of Ukraine means the security of Europe. At the same time, Russia probably wants Aleksandar Vučić not to support sanctions. He added that now there is no pressure on Serbia to impose sanctions against Russia.

By spreading this manipulation, the propagandists want to discredit Western leaders who allegedly resort to blackmail and open threats. At the same time, they nourish the narrative about the existence of the so-called “Collective West”, which has united against Russia in order to destroy it.

Manipulation Biden planned to blow up Nord Stream a year ago

Propagandists say that a year ago at a press conference US President Joe Biden made a reservation about plans to blow up Nord Stream. This is manipulation.

Analysts of The Insider project drew attention to it. They analyzed Biden's responses at a press conference cited by propagandists. A press conference between Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took place on February 7, 2022. At it, Andrea Schalal, a correspondent for Reuters, asked whether Germany gave Biden guarantees to close Nord Stream in case of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden replied that if Russian “tanks or troops cross the border of Ukraine again”, there will be “no more Nord Stream 2”. The reporter tried to clarify how the United States wants to achieve this, to which the President of the United States replied: “I promise you, we can do it”.

Analysts at The Insider drew attention to the fact that at that time Nord Stream 2 was completed, but not yet put into operation. Given the full context of the press conference, it is clear that we are talking about sanctions against the operation of Nord Stream 2. These sanctions were introduced on February 23, 2022 in response to Russia's recognition of the so-called “DNR” and “LNR”. Then Germany stopped certification of the gas pipeline, which led to a halt in its operation.

Thus, propagandists want to shift the responsibility for Russia's crimes to Western countries. Like, the West is provoking Russia and testing its patience. Russian propaganda actively uses the statements of Joe Biden, taking them out of context. Detector Media published a selection of messages that propagandists disseminated on his recent visit to Kyiv.

Message Russian economy successfully resists Western sanctions

This message is being promoted in pro-Russian telegram channels. Like, despite the pessimistic forecasts, the Russian economy is successfully resisting all the blows of the West. Allegedly, Russia's GDP decreased by only 2.1%, although experts predicted the collapse of the economy.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, today Russia is the most sanctioned country in the world, and now it is sanctions that are the most effective tool of influence on the aggressor country by the civilized world community. According to experts, the Russian economy has so far survived thanks to high energy prices and a tough economic policy. However, the cumulative effect of sanctions will soon become fatal for the Russian economy.

The narrative that sanctions do not harm Russia is one of the most common Russian propaganda narratives. Propagandists systematically spread messages that Russia is a serious economic player and that sanctions against Russia are useless. This time, the message is being shared against the backdrop of the tenth round of EU sanctions against Russia. By spreading such messages, Russia is trying to devalue the sanctions. Like, they are not effective, so they should be canceled. In fact, if the sanctions were inactive, Russia would not have to make so much effort to cancel them.

Read more about the most common narratives and messages of Russian propaganda in Eastern Europe in the Detector Media investigation.

Manipulation Ukraine imposed sanctions against Zaporizhzhia NPP

This is reported by Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi put into effect the decision of the National security and defense council of Ukraine on sanctions against Rosatom and ZNPP. This is manipulation.

Sanctions were not imposed against ZNPP. Based on the decision of the National security and defense council, by Decree of the President of Ukraine, sanctions were imposed against the Russian corporation Rosatom and 199 companies included in its structure. Including two Russian companies: JSC “Operating organization of zaporizhzhia NPP” and the Federal state unitary enterprise “Zaporizhzhia NPP”. As StopFake notes, with the help of these companies, the occupiers are trying to legalize the operation of the Zaporizhzhia NPP for Russia, including the connection of the Ukrainian power plant to the Russian energy system.

Russian propaganda is trying in this way to promote the message that the allegedly temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories and enterprises on them now belong to Russia. Earlier, propagandists wrote that Zaporizhzhia enterprises fell under EU sanctions. Like, this indicates that the EU recognized these enterprises as Russian.

Manipulation The U.S. lifted sanctions on Ramzan Kadyrov

Russian media and pro-Russian telegram channels write about this. Allegedly, the information that Kadyrov was excluded from the sanctions lists was published by the U.S. Treasury department on November 14. It is not true.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) indeed published information about the amendments to the sanctions lists on November 14th. Among other things, it was said that the deleted data of Ramzan Kadyrov, associated with various transliterations of his name - "KADYROW, Ramzan Achmatowisch" - was changed to "KADYROV, Ramzan Akhmadovitch".

Data from the Sanctions List Search tool confirms that the sanctions against Ramzan Kadyrov are in effect.

Probably, in this way, propagandists are trying to undermine the confidence of Ukrainians in the United States. Previously, there were already reports that the United States could betray Ukraine.

Fake Enterprises of Zaporizhzhia fell under EU sanctions

Russian media write about this with reference to the words of collaborator Rohov. They say that as a result of new EU sanctions, enterprises located in the part of the Zaporizhzhia region controlled by Ukraine also “suffer from sanctions”. Allegedly, after the introduction of the 8th package of EU sanctions, European banks refuse to transfer money to companies and entrepreneurs from Zaporizhzhia, explaining this by the fact that the Zaporizhzhia region is included in the sanctions list. Rohov says that supposedly EU officials know something about the future of the city of Zaporizhzhia and have already come to terms with the fact that this is Russia. This is not true.

The new package of sanctions adopted by the European Union against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, refers to a ban on the import of goods from non-government-controlled parts of the regions. In particular, a ban was introduced on imports from the temporarily occupied regions of the Zaporizhzhia region. The European Union continues to constantly support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

According to StopFake, the EU has approved extending the ban on the import of goods from non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions to non-government controlled areas of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. We are not talking about individual enterprises in Zaporizhzhia, as well as about enterprises located in the controlled areas of these regions. The sanctions refer only to a ban on the import of goods from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Manipulation In the EU, they started talking about the gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia

In the EU, they started talking about the gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia. Russian media, citing an interview with Austrian Foreign Minister Oleksandr Schallenberg, spread manipulative “news” that Europe is ready to make concessions to the Kremlin and start negotiations to lift a number of restrictions against the Russian economy.

In an interview with the Wiener Zeitung, Schallenberg, on the contrary, expressed confidence that the sanctions are becoming more effective every day and it is too early to talk about the possibility of easing sanctions.

Answering a question from journalists about whether it is possible to imagine a situation in which the EU lifts sanctions from Russia, the Austrian Foreign Minister specifically stated that there are no such prerequisites now. Russia's disinformation news about the EU's readiness to lift sanctions on Russia is based on this quote by Schallenberg - cut off and taken out of context.

According to him, Putin has no desire to retreat, on the contrary, Russia's goal is still the destruction of Ukraine.

As you know, due to the fact that Russia pretends that the sanctions do not affect its economy and continues the war in Ukraine, EU member states are in favor of expanding the list of sanctioned persons influencing the Russian leadership. However, Russian propaganda is trying to convince at least on the domestic market that the lifting of sanctions is possible. It is indeed possible, but only after Russian troops leave Ukrainian territory. More details.

Message Western sanctions against Russia are in vain

Russian propaganda conveys to Russians the impression that the Kremlin is moderately optimistic about economic performance as a result of anti-Russian sanctions. Russia accuses the West of “irrationality and illogicality of the sanctions that provoked chaos and destabilization of world economic relations” and insists on their cancellation. Russian Foreign Minister Serhii Lavrov accused the West of failing to fulfill its promise to lift sanctions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets as part of the “grain agreement” with Ukraine.

As the Center for Countering Disinformation writes, because of the war the Russian economy is heading towards one of the longest recessions in its history. Several scenarios of a long-term depression of the Russian economy are probable. The first option is “inertial”: the bottom will be reached in 2023 by 8.3% below the level of 2021. The second is “stressful”: the maximum drop in GDP in 2024 by 11.9% from the pre-war year. The third is “targeted”: in 2022, a fall of 2.9% and a resumption of economic growth of 16.9% in 2030.

Manipulation German pensioners stock up on firewood for the winter

Photos of elderly women carrying firewood are circulating on social networks, with captions that German pensioners are supposedly preparing for winter because of problems with gas. This is manipulation.

In fact, in the photo are Russian pensioners. Fact-checkers of the MithDetector project found that the photos were taken in 2018-2019 by Russian photographers to illustrate materials about whether the Russians will have time to prepare for winter. Despite the fact that Russia is trying to blackmail the West with gas supplies, many regions of Russia are still not connected to the gas supply system, so they must prepare firewood for the winter.

After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, European countries are really trying to find alternative sources of energy instead of Russian gas. Alternatives include harvesting firewood and acquiring wood-burning stoves. Demand for wood stoves in Germany has doubled compared to last year. In the past, less than 6% of Germans used wood for heating, but this year the number is likely to arise.

Manipulation he head of the German Foreign Ministry recognized the inhabitants of Ukraine as more important than the Germans

Pro-Kremlin publications spread the statements of German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock that support for Ukraine is supposedly more important than the opinions of Germans and she does not care what German voters think about it.

As fact-checkers from Stop Fake noted, Annalena Burbock’s quote was taken out of context, and its meaning was distorted. The head of the German Foreign Ministry did not say that the support of Ukraine is more important for her than her own voters.

Burbock emphasized that the task of European politicians now is the maximum social support for their citizens due to the increase in energy prices this winter, but also unconditional solidarity with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

“We remain in solidarity with the people of our country, just as we stand side by side with everyone in Ukraine”, concluded Annalena Burbock.

Message German citizens are less and less supportive of anti-Russian sanctions

Allegedly, high energy tariffs and the predicted difficult winter period led to this. Russian propaganda makes such conclusions allegedly on the basis of individual materials from the German media (Die Welt, Tagesschau, etc.).

In fact, according to the latest Tagesschau polls, more than 53% of Germans support sanctions against Russia despite the difficulties in the economy. As the Center for Counteracting Disinformation writes, Russia is repeating for Europe the scenario already worked out in Ukraine to intimidate society with an energy crisis. Russia propaganda has been spreading similar disinformation predictions about frozen Ukrainians and an imminent governance crisis in the Ukrainian information space since 2018. Now the Kremlin is intimidating the Germans with a cold winter and the potential resignation of the government due to the inability to get through the heating season.

Manipulation Russians are not banned from entering the EU

Such news is spread through pro-Russian telegram channels, in particular, it was spread by the Politika strany channel. The messages say that no restrictions have been introduced. Like, despite the requirements of Ukraine on restrictions, the EU did not give in and did not introduce anything. In fact, the authors substitute facts and hide the most important thing: there are significant limitations.

According to Reuters, EU foreign ministers have decided to make it harder for Russian citizens to obtain visas. The visa facilitation agreement has already been suspended. This will significantly reduce the number of visas issued by the European Union. The procedure will be more picky and long.

However, so far we are not talking about a general ban on tourist trips of Russians. Among the countries that opposed visa restrictions for Russians are Germany and France. At the same time, the countries of Eastern and Northern Europe strongly support the ban.

Fake Residents of Great Britain are switching to reusable toilet paper because of the crisis

They write about it on pro-Russian websites. For example, in Great Britain they allegedly invented reusable toilet paper as a way to save money "against the background of anti-Russian sanctions in the country", residents of the country are switching to it because of the crisis. Russian politician Dmytro Medvediev called on Europeans not to be silent about the issue of toilet paper and to demand that their governments restore full-fledged economic relations with Russia. This is not true.

Fake The mayor of Lviv Sadovyi urged residents to buy firewood for the winter

This was written by the pro-Kremlin media with reference to the mayor of Lviv, Andrii Sadovyi. It is not true.

Message The ban on Schenhen visas for Russians is discrimination based on nationality

Propagandists say that today's behavior of Europe is reminiscent of the behavior of Nazi Germany. This seems to be similar to the case when signs “Juden sind hier unerwünscht” (“Jews are not welcome here”) appeared in Germany after 1933. Today's discussion about visas is like a European sign "Russians are not needed here."

According to EUvsDISINFO project fact-checkers, the decision to ban Schenhen visas for Russian citizens has not yet been made. The solution will be discussed at the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague at the end of August 2022. The ban on visas for Russian citizens was initiated by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who believes that "visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right." These words were spoken in the context of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The idea of ​​a visa ban was supported by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. He said Russians "should live in their own world until they change their philosophy."